Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“Today we fight. Tomorrow we fight. The day after, we fight. And if this disease plans on whipping us, it better bring a lunch, ’cause it’s gonna have a long day doing it.”

— Jim Beaver, Life’s That Way: A Memoir

I’m sure I could come across a dozen different quotes about cancer. I could find quotes based upon survival, perseverance, hardship, struggle, overcoming obstacles. They would all work out just fine. But sometimes, you just need to spell it out. No flowery words, no over-the-top metaphors. Plain and simple.

Individuals who have fought or continue to fight are the strongest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. They make the impossible happen everyday. They get out of bed when their body physically holds them back. They go to work, they raise children, they support their families. They love as deeply as ever and savor every moment of life they have. They are miraculous and beautiful.

Everyone is affected by cancer in some way. Everyone has someone who has felt its wrath. It’s time that we rose up as one and said enough is enough and mean it.

To those in the fight… to those survivors…

To the supporters and the loved ones, the caregivers and those left behind…

Put on your ass-kicking boots, tie ’em up tight, and give it your all.

Cancer won’t give up without a fight, and neither should we.

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“If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell.”

— Lance Armstrong

This quote seemed to suit today’s call for perseverance, courage, and optimism. And regardless of what’s going on with Lance, the message remains the same: a call to action from a cancer survivor.

I hope this provides a helpful reminder to all those who are faced with something as seemingly insurmountable as cancer. You have two choices: give up or fight like hell.

For what it’s worth, I have faith in you. And you should always fight.

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“If the future seems overwhelming, remember that it comes one moment at a time.”

— Beth Mende Conny

Going for a walk today with some amazing people. We have been there for each other through thick and thin. They have supported me as I have tried to return the favor. I would be less of a person without them in my life.

Today, as we begin a new week, I simply want you to take a moment and thank all of the wonderful people in your life. Realize how much they inspire you to be a better person, a stronger person. You never know when they will need you most. Be there for them all that you can. I am thankful every minute of every day for these people. I hope you have those people and you thank them for their presence today and every day.

When things get rough and life seems unbeareable, when the word “overwhelming” doesn’t begin to cover it, remember that you can handle it. After all, it’s not always about making it by yourself. It’s the people who take your hand and take these moments in stride as you make your way through your journey.

Love and Light,

Carly

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“Perhaps every ‘victim’ is really a survivor who does not know it yet.”

— Rachel Naomi Remen

I will leave this a short post. Find a survivor in your life and tell them how much they mean to you. Inspiration can be found in the strangest places. When it comes to people, however, most walk along side of us and we never realize how much they mean until it’s too late. To every survivor and victim alike, I look up to you. You inspire me. Thank you.

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“It makes no difference what you do, do it as hard as you can for as long as you can and never give up.”

— Devon Currie, St. Baldrick’s Kid

A year ago today I shaved my head to raise money and awareness of kids cancer. It was one of the best experiences of my life. This quote sums up what we all need to do. No matter what we’re faced with. No matter how insurmountable it seems. As longs as we are doing SOMETHING, it doesn’t matter what, we must fight for as long as we can without ceasing. Take it from, Devon. He knows what it means to persevere.

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“Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain.”

— Kahlil Gibran

Recently, I have had numerous people in my life diagnosed with cancer.

Please take heart, that is not meant to be the motivational message being presented.

Each of these people are strong and courageous and have had their fair share of setbacks and triumphs. Regardless of their history, connection to each other, or connection to the world around them, they all go through the five stages of grief.

1. Denial and Isolation

2. Anger

3. Bargaining

4. Depression

5. Acceptance

Going through any major life trauma can evoke all of these feelings. We start by believing that this event isn’t happening. We push people away. We get FURIOUS about the fact that we’re faced with it. We bargain, we barter with life. We ask so much of any one entity in exchange for a better outlook or a fleeting problem altogether. We realize that no matter how angry we get or how much we try to change it, we are struggling. We are sad. Very, very sad. So sad that it hurts to breathe. And after a long bout with sadness, anger, and confusion, we take a step into the new day that is acceptance. I think that, while it may fit under the last stage, it is almost important enough that it demands its own stage and process. Part of that last step requires what this quote suggests– feeling what came after the pain of these experiences.

In most instances, running from a problem does nothing to solve it. What we’re running from is something that we have felt similarly before. While it may not be the same pain, it is hurt that we have made our way through. We are not the pain that life brings to us. Each of these individuals cannot be described in one word, let alone a word as trivial as pain.

So to these individuals, and to you, the reader…

Realize all that you are. You are smart, funny, passionate, intelligent, and so much more. One thing that you are not is pain– to yourself or anyone around you. Do not let pain define you. Realize all that you have borne before this and acknowledge that it made you who you are today– A FIGHTER. I stand by all of you as you face this battle. This journey may not be easy, but it is made bearable with good friends.

Love and Light,

Carly

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