Do you remember Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz? On her journey she meets three characters: Scarecrow, searching for a brain; the Tin Man with no heart; and a Cowardly Lion in search of courage. The three decide to accompany Dorothy to the Wizard in hopes of obtaining their desires.
The journey with chemo is not much different. I remember when I was first diagnosed with cancer. I was told early on that my treatment plan would include chemotherapy and radiation. Oh, I was terrified.
I had seen all the movies that showed patients sprawled out on the bathroom floor; sick as a dog. Hair loss, loss of appetite and weight loss. Oh, I was ready. I knew just what to expect, based on television … the worst.
So there I am after my first treatment, praying that I wouldn’t be too sick, but smart enough to know to set up the bathroom with extra blankets, pillows and the softest towels. I knew that I was going to be camping out in the bathroom.
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Why do we always expect the worst? What if we went into every challenge that life throws us with the expectation that we will make it through? No complaining, no fear, just the assurance that we have within us what it takes to make it through the toughest situations?
Remember, the Cowardly Lion wasn’t a coward at all. He was strong and courageous. The Tin Man with no heart was the most kind and sympathetic person you could meet. The Scarecrow, in search of a brain actually had some good ideas.
So, after a few treatments I decided to get up off the floor and get on with my life. I had to stop assuming that I didn’t have what it would take to survive chemo. I decided that for me chemo was mind over matter. I didn’t need to be scared. Chemo was not going to tear me down. I was convinced that only the strong survive and in my heart I knew this was the approach I would take from this moment on. Yes, my brain was working. I had a thought process that made sense to me.
So there I was skipping along the yellow brick road, just wanting to get back to where I was before I heard those dreadful words, “Mrs. Nix, you have cancer!”
With my ruby red slippers and a view of the rainbow, I know that I made the right choices for me. Unlike the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, I knew what I was made of. Sometimes the thing that you’re searching for, you already have.
Just imagine if we knew that there’s a pair of Prada shoes waiting on us. Wouldn’t we get on up and get busy? Well of course we would. Tell a woman that shoes are involved and we can move mountains. And, it truly doesn’t matter if they are from The Shoe Warehouse or Rodeo Drive. The same applies to chemo. We can move mountains once we believe in our inner strength. Besides, once you begin chemo, there’s some really cool shopping involved. You’ll need wigs (and I must say more than one), new clothes (yes, you’ll lose some weight -- mostly from worrying) and of course shoes for skipping down your yellow brick road.
Remember, the yellow brick road is already paved with all that you need to get through the toughest journeys.