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As I sat writing my story, I asked myself two questions. "Why am I writing this and whom am I writing this for?" Actually, there are many reasons. For me it was cathartic and helped me heal and realize my life was worth something. I hope that those dealing with any form of cancer will find my story helpful and family members and friends will become more aware of the difficulties we face during our fight for survival. For most of us it is a long, arduous, and painful journey. I found there were many pitfalls along the road I traveled and I pray no one else makes the same mistakes I made. I found that courage, determination, and persistence were all very important in the battle waged against… me as I journeyed towards survival. During those years after cancer I became very aware that nearly every family in this country has been touched by cancer in one way or another and if by writing my story I could help even one person then I had achieved my goal.In my selfishness I asked 'why me?' Later I was able to answer that question with 'why not me? Why am I so special that I should not have adversary in my life?'When cancer struck it almost took everything from me. I can only say how grateful I am that God needed me for something and laugh as I recall what a good friend said during those dark and frightening days."God will punish us and leave her with us!" she laughed as tears poured down her face.Thank goodness He listened to her. Up to this moment I have not figured out why I am needed or what He needs me to do. However, I do know that He is in my life, guides me, and will continue to be there as I move forward.This story is about survival, a story with stories interwoven. It is also a story about lessons; lessons learnt and taught through a devastating disease. This disease destroys the body and, only if we allow it, weakens the mind. It is a story about love and kindness, anger and forgiveness, the audacity to beat the odds, and is a story about faith and the courage to look for and hold onto that faith. I put my faith in God first and placed my life in the hands of my doctors for better or worse. But ultimately this is a story about perseverance and triumph.I am a wife, mother, friend, physical educator, published writer, and coach. On the outside I am like any other person that you know. The difference between most people and me is that I am a survivor. I am someone who fought the odds and persisted through a traumatic ordeal. There are many survivors in this world and we all deal with our hardships differently, but strangely enough there are similarities in those differences.Love, faith, and forgiveness are very important in my life. Love is a great healer and God's children who are in pain can cope if there is love. Love is friendship, affection, kindness, and ultimately encompasses forgiveness. Love overcomes anger which can consume us, as it did me. Anger is a worthless emotion and why I held on to it like a load of "baggage," I'll never know. My strength and faith help me deal with adversity I face and show me how to deal with whatever life throws my way. You see, I know who I truly am, I know me, and what I am about. My loves are varied - from the people in my life, to my animals, my garden, and writing.