Sunday, January 19, 2014

Keep Calm and Fight On!

At the age of 27 I did not ever expect my life to be this way.  After marrying the love of my life I planned on a life of bliss. Who doesn't?  I contribute most of my strength to my husband, he is my rock.  Jon I hope you know how much you mean to me.. "Life with you makes perfect sense, you're my best friend."
After going through test after test, surgery after surgery, I never imagined laying in the hospital bed and hearing my doctor diagnose me with cancer.  Of course my first thoughts are holy crap...hold it together, breath, don't cry, we will get through this!
So far I have been diagnosed with Syringomeylia, a disorder in which cysts form in the spinal cord.  It has been very frustrating at times, my doctors are still not sure what type of cancer I have, other than it is a form of glioma.  What this means is that my spinal cord fluid is circulating through my spinal cord and brain carrying cancer cells.  It is common in children but rare in adults.  I have suffered loss of my motor skills in my legs and am currently in a spinal cord injury rehabilitation facility.  While waiting for my radiation treatments to start, I have been learning to become independent in a wheelchair and rebuilding strength in my legs.  We have been working on taking steps and standing again!  It is such a positive atmosphere here and I am so fortunate that I am making progress! 
So how am I dealing with the stress and realization of things?  Easy... staying positive and strong.  While I had to digest the diagnosis of cancer, I realized I had 2 choices....accept it and fight like hell or I can't believe this is happening to me!  My husband and I decided we are survivors and there is no turning back.  Of course there are moments that I want to break down and cry my eyes out, and I know it is perfectly okay to do that.  I also know that with my support system, I have the strongest team out there.  Support is everything.  Cancer just doesn't affect affects everyone in my life. 
It is amazing how you spend most of your life thinking how the materialistic things are the most important and when you get news like this it gives you an entire new perspective on life.  "If it weren't for cancer, I'd say I had the perfect life.  But if it weren't for cancer, would I even realize this?" (Charolette Lawrence).  
The kind thoughts, words, love & support is extremely heartwarming and has made me speechless.  I am for once at a loss of words.  Jon and I are completely humbled by the selfless acts of generosity we have been receiving.  All the words of encouragement touches my heart and brings a smile to my face.  Sometimes, the best things in life are not things at all, but the people who make you feel loved and cared for.  I hope each and everyone of you know you have touched our lives and we would not be able to get through this chapter of our life without your prayers and thoughts. 
I start my treatment this week and will plan to update as often as possible.  I find inspiration and motivation by quotes, so I plan to leave a quote each time to keep me moving forward:
"Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway."  John Wayne


  1. This is beautiful! I wish I had your strength. I graduated with Julie and played softball with you both. You and your family have always been such wonderful souls, and to say the very least, are the last people to deserve a situation like this (if anyone ever does!) Last year, I was diagnosed with cancer, so I know how terrifying it is to start this battle. You stay strong and positive. You are an inspiration. Don't be afraid to have bad days, too, though. Sometimes, emotionally, it's just too much. Just don't forget that it's only a bad day--not a bad life. I am praying so hard for you and your family. Keep your head up and your boxing gloves on, pretty girl! You can win this fight!

  2. Praying for you Beth. Stay positive. ❤

  3. Thank you so much for showing how BRAVE & STRONG you are!! God has so many blessings in store for you and Jon! I will be praying for you every day! I can't wait to read your chapter 20, because your chapter 1 is the start of a very remarkable testimony. God bless you both of you and whatever I can do to help I will!!!

  4. Thanks for the blog beth! You are such a strong and amazing person, you will fight this and beat it! Keep your head up and smile! You are in our prayers daily! Look forward to reading more because your posts are very inspirational!

  5. We're praying for you Beth. A positive attitude and large support system will lead you down this difficult journey. You certainly have all of that and more. You are and will continue to be an inspiration of hope, courage, and strength. Hang in there!
    Meghan Azzara

  6. Beth Ann, hold onto that positive attitude. If you ever need a little support, a lil positive, a change of focus, to forget for a moment about cancer we here at UNITY A JOURNEY OF HOPE are here for you!