One of the most difficult phases of my diagnosis was standing in line to get an ID in the hospital. The diagnosis had been devastating and my mind was still playing games trying to cope with what it had recently learned. All of me was still clinging to anything that could deny the horror.
Most of who I am and who I have become has been my choice. I am a mother of two, a runner, a writer. But there, standing in line my identity had another title associated with it, the blue plastic card confirmed the undeniable truth, I was a cancer patient. Engraved in those letters was the unspoken statement that my life had changed forever.
I had other cards that had marked changes in my life. I had a green card that identified me as an immigrant and a legal resident of the United States. Its possession made me legit and brought happiness and excitement to me and my family when granted.
Not the blue card.
The blue card was the start of a long and harsh road ahead of me. There was no excitement, there were only tears and fear.
I tried to remain composed while I completed the paperwork and signed the health care proxy and living will. I tried to gain strength from the people who seemed confident and…healthy. I wondered if I would ever feel that way.
It was a long way to regain my health. It was harsh and it was uncertain.
Time after time I produced the card when I went for my appointments. The blue card remained in my wallet next to my other forms of identification long after it had been abolished by the hospital.
My life changed indeed. The fear subsided somewhat, and one day, grateful, my status changed from patient to survivor.
There is no card in my wallet that identifies me anymore. There is no need. Time can not be turned back once those words have been heard. A diagnosis changes a person forever and life will never be the same.
Life will be different for it will be now a life full of gratitude and wonder with a new perspective that makes even the worst days worth living. There will be a hunger for simple things, and you will embrace and be thankful for every person and every thing that is in your life.
For me, I'm going to believe in miracles, celebrate life, rejoice in the views of eternity, and hope my choices will create a positive ripple effect in the lives of others. This is my choice." Mike Ericksen