What Will You Fight For?


My brother in Afghanistan (far left): one of the many people I would fight for, sacrificing for his family and this country.

Last night, I read a very self-aware, probing article on Huffington Post, “The Most Important Question You Can Ask Yourself Today.”  Please go read it.  It is a good progression from my post about our holes.   The article poses the question, “What are you willing to struggle for?”  “What are you willing to experience pain for?”

I love this.  We all want happiness, health, wealth, a good job, great family…but are you willing to truly fight for it?  Will you make the tough sacrifices to achieve them?  That’s the dividing line.  If you’re not willing to sweat and diet, you’re not going to get the enviable body.  If you don’t put in the long, grueling hours, you won’t make it to the top of your profession.  So, what are you willing to struggle for?

For those of us that are parents, we sacrifice for our children.  Our bodies are not only stretched to all creation and back during pregnancy, but afterwards, we are kicked, poked, pulled, scratched, tugged, hit, slapped…all in the name of keeping our children happy.  We give up our own lives and goals to help them achieve theirs.  And we do it gladly.  This is the easy answer to the question posed.  But what else?  What means so much to us that we fight?

With BRCA and HBOC, every decision is hard-fought.  We willing experience the pain to survive.  Clinical trials, surgeries, chemo, radiation, experimental drugs…we do these things to live…for ourselves, our children, our families.  We do it to fight for the future and to help others.  We struggle for the chance to breathe each breath.

Cancer changes you.  It brings your life into sharp focus.  Since stepping into this world of cancer, my answers to these questions are different than they would have been before.  That doesn’t mean my answers are more noble or important now, they are just different.  Priorities change when you see your mortality in the mirror each morning.  Frankly, I miss the woman, who would have answered those questions confidently and without hesitation — I would have given you a numbered, color-coded list of my pain-worthy goals.  There would have been many of them.  Now?  Not so much.  My list is small, comprised more of faces than items.  I would give any body part, walk though fire, sacrifice everything for their happiness.  I would, gladly, struggle each day to find a cure for cancer because my son and nieces depend upon it.  These are my answers now.  These are the things that matter to me now.

So, why do you fight?  What is worth the pain to you?


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