“Play the hand you are dealt in life, seriously”
“Even the smallest victory is never to be taken for granted. Victory must be applauded because it is so easy not too battled at all, to accept and call that acceptance inevitable.” – Andre Lorde, writer/poet
This quote has inspired me to rise above any challenge, take hold of a life changing experience and be empowered by it.
During the summer of 1970 on my way home from work, as I had done numerous times before, my life was dramatically changed forever. In an instant, I was involved in a devastating car accident. After the wreck, I was rushed to Yale New Haven Hospital where I later regained consciousness only to learn I had sustained six broken bones in my right leg and three broken bones in my left. My injuries were extremely severe, so I was told by doctors that I would never walk again. Nevertheless, through rigorous therapy, sheer will power, and by the grace of God, I regained the use of my legs and ability to walk.
After surviving this trying ordeal, I was convinced that the hand dealt me in 1970 was as bleak as it gets for one in this lifetime. However, thirteen years later my faith would be severely tested again. In April 1983, the battle of my life was just beginning. Breast Cancer was trying to seal my faith, to take my life, but I was not done living. Yes, after enduring two (2) biopsies, a mastectomy, and radiation therapy while under the excellent care of Saint Raphael Hospital, I found the courage to approach the battle for my life with a positive attitude. With an individual care plan, special treatment, and the thoughtfulness of my physicians, Dr. Job and Dr. Amodeo, I received the medical expertise and support which helped me claim victory. Most of all, I found comfort and strength in my family, the soil from which I grew, to which I returned for the nourishment of my roots.
Today, I’m proud to say that after nearly a quarter of a century (more than 24 years) with God beneath my wings, I am Cancer Free.
TO THE READERS: Play the hand you are dealt in life, seriously. The 1st Card: Make sure you take the time for monthly self-breast exams (the buddy system). The 2nd Card: Should your results come back not so good follow through, whether it is surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or other treatments. Just follow through! The 3rd Card: Stay positive (lean on your faith). The 4th Card: Educate yourself, close friends and family. The 5th Card: “Living and Dying is not the big issue. The big issue is what you’re going to do with your time while you’re here.”