ABOUT ONE PERCENT PODCAST
The One Percent Podcast was created to share the authentic stories of cancer warriors, survivors and caregivers. Each week you will hear a message that will give you a new perspective on navigating the cancer journey. Every story will inspire you to look for the moment or collection of specific moments in your own life where you can intentionally change your outlook from negative to positive.
We will give you perspectives from all angles on how to move away from anxiety and fear and move towards truth and hope. Be sure to subscribe, share and listen to each episode and join us in overcoming cancer.
MEET THE HOST
In June of 2012, I heard those three words no one ever wants to hear, “you have cancer”. Completely shocked and in utter disbelief I panicked. Fear and anxiety ripped through my mind. I was numb and confused. How could I have cancer? I’ve never even had a cavity. Was I going to die? Apparently for about two years prior to my diagnosis, a tumor had been forming in my descending colon. The tumor had gotten so large my doctor couldn’t get the scope past it during my colonoscopy. A few weeks later I had a colon resection where a foot of my colon was removed. With this came even more bad news. It had spread to three of the twelve lymph nodes they removed. I was then diagnosed with stage 3c colon cancer.
At thirty one years old, you don’t expect to hear the “C” word anytime soon. Especially for me, someone who was the picture of perfect health. Life was great and I was looking forward to a successful career I had started a few years prior. But then,……cancer.
Soon after my surgery, I started on the first of twelve rounds of Folfox. After the 6th round I was to have twenty five radiation treatments due to the location of my tumor. Three days after my first treatment I looked up from the table I was sitting at and said, “if it’s going to be this bad each time, I don’t think I can do this”. As treatments progressed and radiation started the daily struggle of side effects became overwhelming. I would look at myself in the mirror and barely recognize the person I had become. I remember many times I would write myself notes on the glass in the shower, “You’re going to be okay” just so they would appear the next day as a reminder.
Throughout my journey there were a collection of small moments and a few large ones that dramatically changed my perception and gave me hope. The phone calls, text messages and social media posts of encouragement always seemed to come at just the right time. I feel these were divine and ordained to remind me who was in control of life. One moment in particular happened on a Saturday night. After another round I chemo, I was looking at the pump of five FU that was attached to my port in the mirror. I had lost almost twenty pounds and was so weak I couldn’t even carry my groceries up the stairs. I was miserable from being up all night thinking about dying and leaving my family as well as all of the things I would never get to accomplish. I took my face and put it as close to the mirror as I could. I wanted to have a real moment and look into my own soul and see if I was still there. As I began to look deep into my own eyes, I told myself I would overcome this. As I reached down my hand landed on a piece of paper that was wet and wrinkled. On that piece of paper was a very specific verse my mother had written out for me at the beginning of my treatment. Psalm 118:17. “I will not die; instead I will live to tell what the Lord has done.” That moment for me was confirmation that my biggest fear wouldn’t come true. I wouldn’t die from this and I would have the opportunity to tell everyone what God has done for me. That moment I became an overcomer.
For the remainder of my treatment I had a renewed perspective. Even though it got harder and more painful physically, I had a hope and direction in my life that would overshadow all of the pain. After my 10th treatment, I became allergic to the chemo and my doctor and I decided to end treatment. At that moment I knew I was done and it was time to recover. One day at I time I began to get physically stronger and over the next several months my health was restored.
This year I celebrate six years of being cancer free. I’m so blessed and love the calling on my life to share my story and the stories of other cancer warriors, survivors and caregivers. Cancer requires community and I hope this podcast can be a piece of that community for you or someone you know.