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When Cancer or Other Catastrophic Illnesses Strike: Make the Choice to Live

Updated on August 18, 2023
pstraubie48 profile image

Cancer intruded into my loved ones' lives. And they inspire me and many others as they embrace each new day.

My daughter and grandsons still are suffering from cancer BUT they are still on the planet. We have been told numerous times that their time is short. And for a time that scared us, shook us to the core.

But we realized that we were missing each moment that we now have. So our mantra remains....embracing today....squeezing every moment out of each day.

A few years back, Jay was helping his "Padi."


My daughter continues to fight October 19, 2019 and now in August 2023

It is now one year out from when her oncologist told her she only had one year to live. (And if you have read my writings you know she has been told that very same thing many times for many years now.)

She is at present facing new challenges with new tumors in her body. Removal of them is very dangerous and it seems the risk of removal does not outweigh the risk to her life.

She has almost unbearable pain now, more than she has ever had. She pushes through it as long as she can. She has begun to meditate when the pain becomes so great and she says that it does help. And for that I am very thankful.

She is remarkable. Of course I would say that. But she really is. She soldiers on day after day and is thankful for each new day.

Momma and Heston Wayne

Just having fun with their photo. I simply adore these photos and these smiles that belie the pain.
Just having fun with their photo. I simply adore these photos and these smiles that belie the pain. | Source

Don't miss one moment of this walk.

— pstraubie48

My daughter with her hair just growing back after chemo


Each of us has obstacles that confront us...many of them are of a medical nature.

How we confront those obstacles, how we choose to live through the hardships that they cause is probably one of life's most important moments.

From the time that we decide to LIVE through the pain, the sorrow, the angst....our lives are never the same.

Learning to let go of all of the negativity...and embracing the gift that each day offers has been the answer for my family.

Easy?? Hell, no.

But it is the way we have chosen to live our lives and we are so thankful we chose this path.

Choose to LIVE every single moment of every day no matter what illness you or a beloved family member has.

Ways you and your family may live with cancer in your family

Become empowered
Know what the options are for treatment
Be proactive
Adopt postiive thinking
Refuse to give up and give in
Take time for YOU each day
Engage in activities that makeYOU happy
Be unafraid to say "NO"
Surround yourself with those who love you

More health issues for my daughter

At the time, my daughter was having renewed, serious health issues.

For those of you who have read my writing,

  • I have written about her dance with cancer and her journey to hell and back.
  • I have written about her chemo treatments and her radiation.
  • I think I even mentioned that I retired two years early because she had three strokes in the Fall of 2011.

Since then she has had many issues, including a stent being put in her heart. She still passes out often. She is unable to have a pacemaker put in because there is such a high likelihood of a stroke. This time a devastating one is more likely.

My Sweet Jay...Chemo Begins Again Next Week


Someone to stand by you....

How can she be sick? She looks so well so many tell us.


More concerns

As I was getting ready to submit the article about taking off for a bit, she began to have serious issues with her liver. She has been told for several years that it has taken a beating from all of the treatments. And now it seems to be failing.

So, I knew taking off was a good idea. I still have some time to write but not the same time commitment that I had when I was writing here on a more regular basis.

How much can you handle???

And of course you all know that our lives cannot have singular events that happen in them, right? We have to have layers of issues present just to muddy the waters, to see just exactly what we are made of.

That is what has happened. My eldest grandson was diagnosed with cancer twenty years ago and about six years ago was classified as terminal. He has been on and off chemo during those years. He was put back on about 2 years ago. He has been prescribed a much stronger dose of chemo most recently.

This past week he was diagnosed with Chron's Disease. And yet he, like his Momma, soldiers on embracing each new day. Some days are better than others but a new day is indeed a gift.

How much can you handle? That is a very good question. I guess there is no end to what one can handle if the reasons for staying hopeful and positive are good enough. And for each of us that are ensnared in this unwanted journey, the reasons are boundless.

My precious Jay


Momma and Son---fighting the insidious cancer


Many face challenges that could bring them to their knees.

— pstraubie48

Do you have one or more family members who have cancer or another catastrophic illness??

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Our Journey is the Same One that Many Take

Ours is not a singular journey. Down the street, across the state and nation, around the world are many many precious souls who have journeys of their own to face. War, unexplained shootings, hunger, cancer and other devastating illness is no stranger to many.

It is a difficult walk. It is difficult for the one who is suffering. It is difficult for the family who stands in the wings hoping to be able to help make some semblance of order out of the devastation and to offer support without smothering.

And, we do. We all do. We face off with whatever form of cancer that has come knocking. We let it know it is not welcome. We move forth one day at a time. Sometimes we move forth one hour at a time. The important thing is: we move forth never looking back at the wake of destruction behind us.

Our journey has made us stronger and wiser and caused us to love more effusively and to express it often. We don't wait for a special occasion. Because for us, every day is a special occasion.

Asking for some help, please.

Writing about this most challenging part of our lives, the trudging up the mountain, to reach the pinnacle, and see what is on the other side, is cathartic for me. I can send out my feelings into the universe and somehow it lessens the complexity of it all.

I knew if I came back just for today to share what is happening that you would be able to help. So many of you have reached out to us through the two years I have been fortunate enough to be here.

Please send some Angels to Stephanie and Jay and Heston Wayne (little brother who is in bone marrow failure).

A few extra ones for my son-in-law and me would be awfully welcome too.

We need them to carry us through yet another part of this journey.

And we are thanking you in advance.

And would it be too much to admit that the tears slip down my cheeks as I finish this?

  • Tears of sadness that my loved ones have to endure this.
  • Tears of joy that they have had the courage and stamina to endure when they were told they would not survive but a few years. We continue to feel so blessed.

LIVING and Hoping for More New Answers

It is year 14 for my daughter and year fifteen 20 for my grandson since a terminal diagnosis was made. And then little brother, Heston Wayne, began his long journey of bone marrow failure and many other issues. (I have written about his fight for his life here on HubPages.) What a mantle to wear.

And yet we are so thankful that they are on the planet. My grandsons both have times when they are totally immobilized by illness as does their Momma.

My daughter has had two surgeries which we were told were very high risk but she came through so well that again we give thanks. Recently she had another which she again went through quite well. That has been followed by radiation for her colon and her uterus. More procedures lie a head for each of them.

Each day that they are on the planet is another blessing for all who know and love them.

You can LIVE with this nightmare in your life. You just have to find a way to make peace with it and move on.

© 2013 Patricia Scott


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