Debbie Swanson

First post: 10/4/2016 Latest post: 12/10/2016
Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I'm using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. Your support and words of hope and encouragement are truly appreciated!

2015 was a year to remember, a year of overcoming extreme challenge. A job lost in December 2014 that took 50 weeks to   overcome with a new job. A nasty accident that destroyed my left knee while helping the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. In November, I had gotten to the point that I can start walking and noticed a pain in my right shoulder. And then there was this annoying cough that I had since January that everyone attributed to allergies - in December I found that it is lung cancer. The pain in my right shoulder was a metastasized tumor. Not only that, but it was in my right 4th rib as well. . . . Metastasized cancer is always Stage 4 cancer. While not good, there are several things that made it not as dire as it sounds. It is a non-small cell cancer, with a genetic tag that certain medicines recognize and kill without taking out a bunch of good cells in the process. It means I will have fewer side effects and a better response from treatment. However, I will never be cured of this cancer. But I can expect a longer life than most other cancer patients. Without giving any specific odds, the doc put it most simply: My life expectancy will be shorter than it would have been without cancer, but it isn't to
say I will be gone in a few months, a year, or even five years.

There is hope! I believe in the power of others' positive thoughts, and the good vibes of the universe can change things. Some call  this prayer. Others meditate to achieve the positive place. Still others it is their own personal practice to achieve a better place. I call it all three, and I practice all three. I saw it heal my busted knee earlier this year. I really want to be positive and already see great things happening. This will transform whatever   journey I will be on. It doesn't have to be a miserable time, and I can choose just how miserable I want to be.

 But believe me, this can't happen in a vacuum. I need others around me who are like minded and can model that positive energy. I'm looking for those who have a sick sense of humor about this whole thing, who can keep me light and be light. I like to think of everything as an adventure. I've also believed for most my life that quality of life is better than quantity. It's been my hope that my demise would be more dramatic and quick - like going out in a firey motorcycle crash. I'd be smiling the whole way because I know I was having fun when it'd happen. I think I can do the same with this whole cancer thing! So, for a person who loves riding motorcycles and scooters and have taken many adventures on my own with these two-wheelers, who has run all her life and taken on marathons and the Pikes Peak Ascent, who has dived into new job situations with very little support only to create success in record time, I am ready to take on this beast!

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