It takes a village to raise a child.
This is how the proverb goes. Well, it also takes a village to tackle cancer. In my own fight I encountered at least one individual (so there must be more) who did most of her cancer fighting alone. Some of her stories shocked me. She would drive to treatment alone, come home alone, climb the stairs alone, and sit through agonizing pain in the darkness, alone.
I did not fight cancer alone. I had a village and I could not have succeeded with anything less.
Here comes the Oscar drum roll…
My oncologist drafted the treatment plan but I don’t think she actually did that much. Still, I’m thankful for what she did, and she was positive, which always helps.
Numerous nurses, probably fifteen or so, helped set my IV and guide me through twelve weeks of intensive chemotherapy.
My family and friends stood by me without question. They waited by my side, talked to me, listened, fed me, treated me, cared for me.
My colleagues called, wrote, and sent gifts that made me feel appreciated.
My Peace Corps family visited, called, wrote, and also sent gifts.
I don’t know how many people underwent clinical trials before it was determined that the treatment I received was my best option.
Strangers wrote blogs and commented on mine. By sharing their experiences and emotions they let me know that I was not alone.
An Imerman Angels mentor guided me through the entire process, helping me feel comfortable.
My running mentor told me it was ok to go slower (so long as I went).
I don’t know where all these people came from or why they were so kind. I really don’t. But they all provided different pieces to a vicious reaction to the cancer in my body, and together, they emerged victorious.