This may not be food related, but I thought it may be a good time to introduce myself! And I promise…there’s a crazy good Blondie recipe coming your way TOMORROW! In the meantime…
I thought the best introduction would be a visual one. So here it is…From Cancer To Zumba: A heartfelt interview of my battle with Stage 4B Blood Cancer: Hodgkins Lymphoma, from Australian TV program Today Tonight — My story of how health and fitness with Zumba changed my life…and possibly my diagnosis back in 2009—–> From Cancer To Zumba
And 2 years after this interview, I finally finished a book I wrote (Liberation: Breaking The Chains To Survival And Freedom) about my entire journey and sometimes terrifying moments of facing my own mortality. As a mother of three children, it was one of the hardest battles I’ve ever had to face…and my family was my strength and my pathway to salvation.
And from out of my book, here is a short excerpt…just for you guys!
“The first morning of chemo I was a nervous wreck. Reality was smacking me in the face along with the fear of the unknown. My whole body was chilled to the bone, from my fingers down to my toes. I felt like I was strapped to an anchor, and every step was as heavy as lead.
‘I can’t do this,’ I thought. ‘I can’t go through with this. I can’t go and have chemo. Maybe I can cancel it, or avoid it. But how? I had no choice. I went through all the motions of a typical morning, which kept me busy enough to hide the desperation, even from myself. My insides churned as my eyes grew wider than normal with anticipation. Panic, anxiety and fear of the unknown all rolled into one huge ball.
Caught in this sinister shark’s mouth, chemotherapy was now inevitable and in a few short hours I was to go through it.
Just as I had thought I was ready, I wasn’t. I was petrified.
Yesterday, I had cancer. Today, I was a cancer patient, whatever that meant. This would be a day I would never forget.
On the way to the hospital I dissolved into tears. The word chemotherapy repeatedly whispered through my head. It was something so strange to me. Something I’d never experienced before or thought I’d ever have to deal with, and here I was on my way to face it. I couldn’t stop my tears. I felt helpless and furious with my body all over again. I couldn’t wrap my head around the whole six months treatment thing.
I turned the radio off. It was too much noise that I didn’t have patience for. Looking out the window I shook my head in disbelief. I couldn’t believe the past two months had come to this. I suddenly felt trapped. Claustrophobia clouded my head and I couldn’t breathe. The inside of the car was closing me in, suffocating me while I cried into my hands. My heart was racing, with every beat thrumming in my ears. I wanted to turn the car back.
I frantically considered opening the car door mid-highway, and running to hide away somewhere, to escape what was coming. I didn’t want to go through with this. I wanted to go home! I wanted to wake up from this nightmare that had become my life!….
We walked into the hospital, as I dragged my feet around to the chemo ward entrance. When we reached the ward doors with the words ‘Chemotherapy Unit,’ I stopped. I couldn’t go on any further, paralysed and slammed into an invisible wall. Time stopped. Everything just stopped. I couldn’t walk through those doors. It’s not that I didn’t want to, I physically couldn’t.
I stood there listlessly, staring at those words with the smell of the antiseptic invading my nose, sickening me to the core until I burst into tears again. ‘I can’t do it, Paul! Please, don’t make me! Don’t make me go in there!
I didn’t ask for this! Please!”