Actually, to be more specific, I have cancer again.
I was first diagnosed in 2015. At that time, I didn’t want anyone to know. It felt like I had failed or lost. It was a weakness. I was even afraid some people might be happy that it was happening to me. Ultimately, when I was finally cancer-free in 2017, I didn’t want to tell anyone because it was nice to pretend it never happened.
I’ll be honest, I was especially fearful of sharing my diagnosis with my blog followers. Over the years I’ve received countless messages from anonymous people wishing cancer on myself and my family. I thought those same people would celebrate that I had cancer and somehow weaponize it against me.
A lot has changed since that initial diagnosis. I’ve changed. I’m stronger than I was before. I’m also more compassionate and empathetic. I understand the importance of supporting and lifting up the people around me. I don’t take anything for granted. I try to live in the moment, enjoy where I’m at, and appreciate all the blessings in my life. I’m definitely a better person.
By hiding my story and hiding my experience, I haven’t let people see the best parts of me. I also haven’t allowed the people in my life show the best of themselves.
Toward the end of that journey in 2017, I (literally) ran into a slogan. Be brave. It didn’t feel like a coincidence. So I latched onto it, even when I didn’t feel it. But since then, it’s become my personal motto. It’s how I evaluate big decisions. I don’t live in fear, I make choices from a position of strength. No matter what life throws at me I’ll face it with bravery, not fear.
It takes a lot of bravery to share any of this, but right now I need it. Because I have cancer again. A few weeks ago I underwent a major surgery to remove it. I’m recovering well. But now I need further treatment to make sure it never comes back again.
I can’t begin to tell you how incredibly hard it’s been to go through this during a global pandemic. No one can come to my doctor’s appointments. Mom was allowed to see me for 10 minutes after surgery (not that I remember the encounter). I then spent four days in the hospital alone. To keep us all safe, I had to stay apart from the people who loved me through the first time.
But that experience made me realize that hiding this journey from everyone was unnecessary and, quite frankly, a bit absurd. I wholeheartedly believe most people are good. There’s nothing more encouraging than seeing how selfless and kind people are. And, honestly, the more love and support I receive the better I can handle it.
I also know that cancer can feel incredibly isolating, even when your family and friends shower you with love and support. So if sharing my story reaches even one person going through this, or even something else, then it’s worth it. You are not alone.
Oh, by the way, if you’re the type of vile, disgusting person that would use a cancer diagnosis against someone, I pity you. Because I can’t imagine living life without the love and kindness that stops you from delighting in other people’s difficulties. Love, compassion, and empathy make for a rich and rewarding life.
I’m not ready to share all the gory details yet (quite frankly, I’ll probably never be ready). But this time, no matter what happens, I’m going to be brave enough to let people in. I’m going to share this journey with my readers. I’m going to soak in all the prayers and love and support. And in a few months I’m going to share the victory of free-from disease with you, too.
Most importantly, through all of it, I’m going to Be Brave.
Cecelia webb says
Sending all my love and prayers to you❤️ If you are ever near NC please know you and your family are always welcome. Cecelia webb (Hunt family)
We are praying for you and your family! ❤?
I know how you feel as I went through cancer too. It sucks but you can do it again! Be Brave and know you have prayers coming from me.
Ken Ostrander says
Your bravery in sharing this is so amazing. A true testament of the human spirit. It always hits others as a surprise or shock but nothing about cancer should be. It is so random and seems to hit all ages and lifestyles. You have a lot going for you… you got this. You have reached out to so many people through your blog so there won’t be any shortage of prayers, mine included. You have nothing to fear with that kind of bravery! Keep up your blogging if you feel up to it. We all look forward to them!
Lori M says
Thank you for sharing your journey! I too have had cancer twice in the last handful of years and it has forever changed me. You are braver and stronger than this disease. Lean into all your loved ones and they will lift you up as you continue on your journey. Life is beautiful and we all have so much to he grateful for, when your health gets ticked, you need to focus on all the good around you and fight for it! You got this!
Henry Keck says
Prayers sent wishing you the best. Hang tough.?
Linda McMillan says
We will keep you in our prayers. You are strong and brave. Good luck. Keep your chin up and love on your pup! She will bring you peace too. Keep strong!
All the best to you in this difficult time. My mom is 20 years now cancer free after 2 boughts of breast cancer. I hope 20 years from now you are saying the same thing. Thoughts and prayers for you and your family in this difficult time
Laurie Isley says
Praying for complete healing as you go through this trial. Thank you for sharing your heart. Your bravery shines though every word.
Donna Vaughan says
Dear Amanda. It was very brave of you to let us into your new reality (albeit a returning theme). Cancer comes in many ways, phases, and strengths. Only we who have it can decide how to fight it in the best way for ourselves. You are strong, faithful, determined, and resilient. You have already proven all that. This time, you may have to draw on some more qualities you may not have known you even had. But I know in my heart, that you will again persevere, and give this fight everything you have. I personally have known many people who have not only won their fight, but came out stronger and more determined to make life everything it can be. I see you as one of these people. God bless you on your journey. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Kristy White says
My prayers are with and your family, I e enjoyed you Ag support and opinions they the users, as I am embarking on a journey to keep our family farm running into the next generation and as a woman on top of that, your articles have touched in so many road blocks us Midwest farmers face.. so thank you for being so open and putting it all out there… BE STRONG !!!! YOU ARE STRONG!!!
Maria Sandow says
God bless you, fellow cancer warrior! Cancer sucks! No better way to describe it. As you know from your first battle, it is not easy but when I kept my eye on the end goal of being cancer free I could handle the surgery, the chemo, the radiation, the isolation and yuckiness because I knew it was one step closer to the prize of the finish line of being cancer free. I am willing you great strength from afar. May God bless you and the medical staff treating you.
Kim Gonzales says
Oh honey, I cried reading your post. You are not alone. I, too, have cancer. Breast. I totally understand being alone. I was in the hopt for 4 days, alone, too. I had a double mastectomy with a sentinel node removal. I had an arterial bleed that caused a hematoma. I was essentially bleeding to death. My bp dropped to 70! THANKING THE DEAR LORD, and my surgeon, I got a second chance. It was super lonely not having any family around. It a nasty disease. It effects everything in your body and mind. You are going to be fine. Please, don’t feel alone. I know we don’t know each other, but you can call or text me anytime. I know what you’re feeling. Only someone who has been through this truly understands. I can’t imagine anyone wishing cancer on you. You have to let that poison go. That is unbelievably evil. That is not going to help you heal. Positive thoughts all the time. That was so hard for me to do. Still is. Always find one thing to be grateful for. This week I have rehabilitation for my surgery, and radiation. The fun never stops. Please know, you’re not alone. This is a journey, not one we would ever pick, but a journey. God has a reason for this. You are in a position to reach others. Your story touched my heart. Always Be Brave❤?..never give up. ??♀️Sending you a big hug. Chin up, girl. We’ve got this.
Mark Seitz says
I too was diagnosed with cancer (2017) and after 42 doses of radiation and 58 days at MGH in Boston I am cancer free today. But with the never ending reality that the type of cancer I have (chordoma) is incurable and could come back at any time. Six month MRI and CT scans are my new normal.
Every person handles this differently but in today’s social media world I have found my chordoma community has been the best source of inspiration, support and encouragement anyone could have. I know people with very similar circumstances to mine and it helps to reach out to them when the pain (aftershocks!!) from surgery flare up or your mind starts to wallow in the ‘why me…’ moments that are unavoidable.
I work for NC Cooperative Extension and I have also realized the farmers are work with are also incredibly supportive. Lean on Agriculture. They keep you energized, engaged and best of all – fed. 🙂
Best of luck.
Pam Miller says
After I went through surgery for colon cancer someone commented on how “brave” I was through it all. I was surprised at that, because I had just been “myself” through it. Being strong and tough and brave, I realized, isn’t posturing and flexing muscles. It’s putting your chin down and getting to work and not wasting your time and energy feeling sorry for yourself.
If you’re bothered by nasty, spiteful jerks through this, just feel sorry for their families. Imagine living with someone that is so narcissistic and mean that they intentionally go out of their way to try to wound a sick stranger that they disagree with about something.
Julie V. says
Wishing you the best & good luck on this journey! Share away and do what is best to give strength to you and yours! Blessings & healing to you!
Eric Bjerregaard says
Hey, hang in there kiddo. I hope you recover well. Spend a lot of time with Mischa. That may assist you as much as the meds. I have canceled my Michigan trip for this summer. But will
bring you a a couple of pineapples next time.
I’m going to hold you to that!
Lisa Ohlund says
Praying for you Amanda – and by the way, I can’t imagine a Farmer’s Daughter being anything but brave. I enjoy your common sense, your love for your family and heritage and your writing. Be well, stay brave. From Lisa in San Juan Capistrano, California
Dan Lefever says
I would suggest that you explore the web series “Healing from glyphosate and GMO’s” from Institute for Responsible Technology. And They could be helpful for your healing.
Come on, dude. You should watch this.
I’m 10yrs. cancer free. I’m 44. It sucks but you’ll get through it! If you need to do chemo consider edibles to help with nausea, appetite and trouble sleeping. Fight….it’s worth it?
Lesley Opie says
Lots of love hugs and prayer sent to you Amanda via cyberspace from Downunder here in New Zealand. You are an inspiration to so many. Thank you for sharing this very difficult personal part of your life with us.
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.” ’
Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)
Jack DeWitt says
So sorry to hear your news. Farmers are used to tough battles, but this is the worst. I know you will put up a fight, and there are lots of people pulling for you. Keep writing, you do such a good job spreading the truth. I especially like your AGDAILY articles.
Stephen Wolf says
I am a minister of the Gospel as well as an agricultural scientist (Entomologist). I want you to know that I appreciate your work as an advocate for farmers. I am praying for a full recovery. I also pray that you may experience peace and EVEN joy through this ordeal and trial, knowing that our Lord is always by your side.