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I Am Not Waiting for Cancer

Living with Cancer
Brenda Vester
Written by Brenda Vester

Cancer can be a great healer in so many ways. And yet, compassion, peace, kindness, love, community support, gratefulness, faith, and every other possible outcome of cancer is available to us right now.

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Too often we don’t embrace all that life can be until tragedy or sickness invade our world. Let’s not wait. Can we be the change now?


DSCN0839There is so much energy around cancer. I remember watching Terms of Endearment years ago and the scene where Debra Winger calls everyone out, “It’s Cancer, you can say it!”
I cried so hard watching that movie.  I tear up just thinking about the scene in the hospital where Shirley McLain loses her shit because her daughter needs her medicine!

It was a profound movie on many levels.  But now, it seems we are all connected in some way to cancer. I now see facebook posts and the sharing of chemo and radiation journeys.  I have a friend that has really taken it to the next level and is kicking cancers ass one dance at a time – Funky Col Madeya.  There are others who decide to do all the things on their bucket lists.  They challenge any belief or thought that held them back. They fight for life; literally.

There are walks, runs, foundations, wigs, support all around us to help with the journey through this disease that is truly an epidemic of our time.

I have someone who is very close to me going through chemo right now.  It’s hard to watch, they are lethargic, they have no life other than the process of getting the chemo, managing their symptoms, watching their bowel movements; is it time for the softener or the immodium?

Her hair has all fallen out. That was hard to see, but there are these great wigs from locks of love and people who help with your makeup to best showcase your face in spite of the bald head.  Her sister takes the time to take her and carefully select the right products.  The workers and volunteers often times have gone through chemo too.  The compassion is overwhelming.  Her neighbor sends healthy shakes over for her every week.  Her kids visit more and look for ways to make her laugh.

This particular woman’s husband is a bit rough around the edges, however now that cancer has moved in with them, he has devoted his time to taking her to chemo, making sure she eats well and stays by her side in the event he is needed.   He is not perfect, but a kinder, gentler man has emerged. Cancer has somehow brought gratefulness, reflection and appreciation to their relationship.

The woman herself has a new view of life.  Is death closer? Maybe, but just in case, she has resolved to be in this life; she is not ready to go yet.  She has daughters, and grandchildren who make her smile and she wants to be a part of their lives.   She has always been a more passive, gentle,  kind person, but cancer has had the ability to create a firm resolve within her.  Her daily mantra now, “I am getting stronger everyday”.  It’s a belief and a knowing that is in her eyes that makes you believe this woman means it.

Cancer can be a great healer in so many ways. And yet, compassion, peace, kindness, love, community support, gratefulness, faith, and every other possible outcome of cancer is available to us right now.  Why do we start living AFTER cancer?

Why do we wait?

Why not start your bucket list and begin living the life you want?  Be who you want to be today; it’s a decision you make, and only you.  The world is crying out for us to change our ways and stop the attacking,  the violence, the drama, the abuse.

So, to honor anyone who is faced with cancer or any other sickness, I will do my very best to live my truth, be my fullest self and embrace all that cancer can bring: faith, love, hope, kindness, courage, joy, gratefulness and appreciation for the beautiful people around me.

You don’t have to wait for cancer.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

That people you love will not always be well. You cannot control the health and wellbeing of those you love, but have to just be there, to supper them.

What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

Physically I am always impressed that my muscles have a good memory and can bounce back when I work out.  Still working to appreciate they way that I work, in spurts of energy, up and down!  I have this image of consistency that I want to be, and frankly will never be! So I am still working on that.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

Really proud of my daughter.. she is doing so well and I love watching her grow.

I have a never ending supply of goals and dreams; my next is to be a best selling author.

We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

If i move too quickly, my sense of humor can be interpreted as harsh.  Not my intention ever, but just depends on the audience.

“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?

I love my evolution of learning. It’s never ending.

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About the author

Brenda Vester

Brenda Vester

I am passionate about raising awareness for women’s equality & empowerment in the areas of careers, self-development, leadership and parenting. I believe we all have the power to design our lives creating the best environment to become who we want to be.

Professionally, I have spent the past 20 years working in sales, human resources, consulting & speaking within many industries; Retail, Airlines, Public Relations, Energy & Gas, Leadership Development & Career Management. (more detail at linkedin.com\brenda vester)

I also manage a small business, Kabina Publishing. This work encompasses my personal views, creative expression and research around the intersection of work/life and how to design a life you love. My favorite project has been completing my book, Capture Your Power, published in 2009.