By Yonna Pasch, Director of Student Activities, Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Sleigh bells, eggnog, holidays and most of all, presents. Who doesn’t love presents? I certainly do; however on a quiet day at my home I received a present that would change my life forever. I received a call from my doctor that the lump I found, was cancer. I was now part of that statistic, I was that 1 woman of 8 that was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
My family and I were devastated. We went through all the stages of grief. We were shocked, angry, sad, depressed at times, then positive feelings came over us due to one solitary thing. The gift of family. I had such amazing support from everyone, from co-workers, to church members, to strangers to friends. All of the support that we received was remarkable.
As I mentioned earlier, I received a present from my doctor. Most people would think that receiving such terrible news couldn’t possibly be a gift. Well, I’m the glass is half full kind of girl. When life hands you lemons, make pink lemonade. You never know what impact you make on someone’s life until your life is challenged. I took this as an opportunity to continue to live my life to the fullest and also share my experiences with others. I wanted to show the world that regardless of what you may be facing, with the right attitude and determination, anything is possible. I opened up my cancer journey to anyone. I answered questions, I educated students about early detection, and I even started a blog to connect to people on a broader stage. My hope was to educate and enlighten people who may think they can’t fight.
So yes, I may be slightly crazy to think that cancer news would be a gift, however, it has opened my eyes, heart and mind to another world. A world were ordinary people make extraordinary and challenging decisions, a world where “I can’t” doesn’t exist. We are all fighters of something, I was able to find out what I could do with a deadly disease…kick it to the curb!
I am very blessed to continue to have the support of so many. Everyday I see something, hear something or see someone that inspired me through my cancer journey and all I can do is smile. We all make a lot of decisions in life, I chose to be positive, I chose to share my journey, and I chose to fight!
October is a month that I will forever keep dear to my heart. Do you dare to wear pink? Do you fight for something?