My name is Geri Maroney, and I am a cancer survivor.
When I heard the words “you have cancer”, I was terrified and unsure of where to turn. Things happened so fast in those first days and weeks, and although my patient navigator was helpful in explaining the medical procedures that would happen, I was left floundering with how to manage the severe emotional impacts of my diagnosis.
It is because of my personal experience, that I set out to solve this problem.
Healing the emotional wounds from a cancer diagnosis is nearly as difficult as healing the physical wounds, and I learned that identifying the emotions of fear, anger, and acceptance were critical to healing my mind, body, and spirit. I have become an Advocate for Hope and a Champion for Courage as I support other women as they work through these difficult steps.
Cancer is just a chapter in our lives, it is NOT our whole story.
When I was little, my Mom would tell me that God never gave us more than we could handle. During my cancer journey, I called BS on this saying. I had a lot of anger around the “why”. Why did I have to endure cancer? Why did God always pick on me? What had I done wrong to deserve this?
I knew better, but I was really mad at God. I was mad and I was scared. I was afraid that if he knew I was so mad, that he might whip up some new burden for me to bear. I was afraid to ask for his help. I felt abandoned and alone.
After much studying and self-reflection, I learned that God does not distribute wrath, instead he forgives our sins and does not send punishment.
I realized then that God did not give me cancer. God gave the strength to survive cancer. God gave me the personal determination, the people I needed, and the words of strength they shared, as a way to help me through my cancer storm.
This lesson helped me see things differently.
I realized that if I could look at cancer “from the other direction”, I could find lots of examples of how I WAS STRONG enough to conquer this monster.
I WAS STONG!! I could do it.
This realization gave me “superpowers” in my fight against cancer. I felt strong enough to handle whatever was coming my way. It wouldn’t be easy, but I would get through it.
You can do it too!
None of us did anything wrong to receive a cancer diagnosis.
Yes, it sucks. Yes, it’s not fair. But we must focus our attention on being positive so that our bodies stay strong in our fight. We must find the inner strength we need to BE STRONG. Try looking at it “from the other direction”. You have the inner strength within you, I promise you do. You have the courage and strength that you need.
While writing this blog, my sister sent me a note saying that a particular Instagram post reminded her of me and my life. It was a black and white picture of a beautiful women with the words:
“Strong women aren’t born. They are forged in the fires they have had to walk through. They are warriors with hearts of gold”