(Reposted from original at: http://www.bubblews.com/news/1587121-eighteen-months-ago-today)
It was 18 months ago today that I heard the words, “I am sorry to tell you that you have Stage IV Carcinoid Cancer.”
I cannot even begin to tell you just what that does to a person. Each of us has our own reactions, I suppose, and they are all so different, based upon our experiences. And the roller-coaster ride I thought I had been on earlier took on a meaning that I had not yet experienced.
I lost four people in less than four years prior to my diagnosis and that had seemed to be like an old E-ticket ride at Disneyland.
Though not to cancer, I had lost my mother 11 months earlier. Five months before she passed away, my friend, Jeff, had died at the age of 31 from esophageal cancer. Kim, one of my dearest friends in life, died eight months before that in May 2010. She was just shy of 42 when breast cancer that metastasized to her brain took her from all who loved her. And July 2009 marked the month that 33-year-old Sharlona White was murdered senselessly by someone who claimed to have loved her.
Based on what was presented to me (and how it was presented), I was next. It saddened me to think that my family and friends were on the short path to having to experience loss. It frightened me to have to endure the pain that I had seen each of these others go through toward their end of life.
Eighteen months ago tonight, I was in shock. I shed many tears. I sat down and wrote out one of the hardest letters I had ever written to my friends and family.
In the past year and a half, I have shared many details about what I have felt and been through. I have written many personal letters, social media postings, blog entries, and here (for the past six months) at Bubblews.
I have learned to be much more disclosing and less fearful as I shared stories, such as “Suicide: The Night I Took My Life…” (http://www.bubblews.com/news/575917-suicide-the-night-i-took-my-life).
From what some people have shared with me, I also understand that there are times that people do not know how to handle my directness, whether it be my personality alone, or in what I share so openly. There are many times over the years that I would hold back (despite what others may think) the genuine me, giving a version of me that I thought was acceptable to those around me.
In the past 18 months, what you see is what you get. I can be nothing other than who I am. That is not always pretty. Nor is it well-received, accepted, or tolerated. It does not always come easily, nor is the outcome always easy to accept.
I have dealt with anger, judgement, criticism and rejection from others, just as I have–we all have–throughout my years. But I have to admit that it is much easier to bear when I am living with authenticity. That is a freedom that I have begun to experience, as never before.
I am sure the roller-coaster ride is not yet over. And I look forward to the adventures yet to experience along the way.
To learn more about Carcinoid Cancer, visit: “What do you know about NET cancer?” http://www.bubblews.com/news/1548610-what-do-you-know-about-net-cancer
Copyright © 2013 Coral Levang