THIS is where you, my brothers and sisters around the world who are living with cancer, share your stories, photos, tips on coping with the challenges incumbent in cancer recovery.

This is YOUR PAGE. YOUR opportunity to bless everyone who visits HCRH.

LIKE THE WORKER BEES who bring pollen back to the hive, or tend to the colony or the babies being born and raised within the hive, you participate in the production of the HEALING honey.

Each one of you will bless the others, the WHOLE!

So, welcome, welcome, welcome! Know that what you share can help save someone’s life. On a day when they feel like giving up, can’t sleep at night because they are so frightened, sit in that infusion chair feeling lonely, fragile, and overwhelmed, have anxiety about test results, your story, your share will inspire them, and give them the courage to boldly move forward.

What you share will also give us the opportunity to cry and laugh with each other, and feel the warmth of a virtual hug – that blesses body, mind, emotions and spirit. THIS EXPERIENCE OF SHARING will be like a bright Light in a dark room – casting out FEAR, releasing endorphins, empowering our immune systems to destroy cancer cells and eliminate them from our bodies. WE UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER. We are on this cancer journey together and together we are stronger and no longer alone.

“Realizing each person is a divine being, just as I am, helps me see past our differences and realize we are members of the same human family with many common goals. I hold a vision that others will join me in this outlook. Everything we say and all we do will be gifts we give to the world.” (a quote from Daily Word, November 16, 2023)

I am providing a variety of opportunities where you can share: The Comments Box

E-mail Submission Link for sharing your story, photo or tip

Featuring your story as our “Special Guest”

Adding your name to our “PRAYER LIST” – where I and other volunteer prayer warriors will pray for you. I firmly believe that I am alive today because of all the people who prayed for me. You can also call Silent Unity (1-816-969-2000) and their prayer warriors will pray for you 24/7 (for free).

For our Inaugural first issue, I am honored to present our Special Guest, Fiona Ray.

My Story

“It was August 13th, 2021. We’d just returned from a two week, magical Costa Rican vacation with some of our nearest and dearest. We visited the small surf town of Tamarindo and stayed in a gorgeous home in Playa Langosta. We played, we swam, we surfed, we atv’d, we ziplined, we sailed, we laughed and we enjoyed every single moment of it. And underneath all the sun-kissed joy, I knew something wasn’t quite right.

It had been six months of symptoms, multiple doctor visits, unfamiliar and uncontrollable symptoms, Google deep dives, ultrasounds, and scans until one day I was driving to work and I looked in my rear view mirror and my eyes were yellow. Chris said, “enough is enough, I’m taking you to the emergency room.” We found ourselves at UCLA Westwood in the midst of a COVID surge only to be told I was not acute enough with the recommendation of an appointment with my internist. Part of me wanted to believe the doctor who was visibly exhausted, hair disheveled and on the front lines of an ER well beyond its capacity. Because I really didn’t want to know. But I knew. And Chris was angry. We went home and phoned a friend. We were directed to UCLA Santa Monica who 24 hours prior had changed their visitor policy adapting to the surge. Chris wasn’t allowed in with me. He waited as they wheeled me back.

I’ll never forget the doctor’s face when I recounted the last six months and all the accompanying symptoms. I saw five different doctors, three of which were endocrinologists who told me my symptoms were related to hyperthyroidism. He shook his head. They medicated me and sent me for an MRI.

It was midnight. Friday the 13th. I have always been mildly superstitious but this cemented it for me. The doctor entered the room. Fluorescent light overhead. In a hospital gown with a heated blanket gone cold. “We’ve found a mass on your pancreas,” he said.

My mind and body went numb. My vision started to blur and all I could hear was a soft yet deafening throb. I’m not sure how long this lasted but I know I came out of it with a gut wrenching, jaw clenching sorrowing. But what about my kids. My sweet, innocent, loving, curious kids with a whole bunch of life ahead of them. Young kids. Kids who need their mom. What did this mean? How was this possible? I didn’t want to die. I don’t want to die. This is not my time. This cannot be their story. My story.

I was by myself in that room. I sobbed and sobbed. And sobbed. I pleaded. I pleaded with them. I pleaded with God. I begged them to let Chris in. I felt raw, terrified, vulnerable, angry, and confused. The wind knocked out of me; I could hardly breathe. My mind was racing. I was furiously searching the internet. If there’s one thing I wish I’d never done, it was search the internet. Most of what I read painted a bleak picture with little chance of survival. And so I sat. I wailed in anguish until they finally let Chris in – he’d slept in the parking lot. And then we wailed, together. We clutched each other while we felt like we were drowning in our own tears.

Soon thereafter, we met with my brilliant surgeon, Dr Joe Hines. He told me we had two options, operate now or proceed with chemo first and then surgery. He said if he was thinking like a scientist, he would say chemo first. I remember trying to get a read on him. I was a mess in his office and I almost felt like it bothered him. I later learned, he’s a man of few words, intensely composed and brilliant. Nevertheless, we took his advice and made an appointment with Dr Lee Rosen, a seasoned oncologist, who he felt would be a good fit. I am so grateful to have been paired with Dr Rosen who knows how to reach me and more specifically talks me off the ledge when I can’t see my way through.

I started chemo, September 2, 2021. I was in front of six months of Folfirinox, a very aggressive treatment option.

Along the way, I had really great support with close friends and family. I chose to be very private about my journey. It was a mixture of ego and the fear of vulnerability. I was quiet about it at work though I’m sure people sensed something. I was lucky not to lose all my hair as I’d started with a lion’s mane. But the treatment cycles were challenging on multiple levels both physically and emotionally. I remember feeling isolated and lonely. And despite being accompanied to most appointments and infusions, I couldn’t shake the feeling that no one could really understand what I was experiencing. It wasn’t until I was connected with other survivors that flickers of hope turned into bright lights. And with each treatment, I got closer to the operating room.

In March of 2022, I was cleared for surgery. I was grateful to be in the hands of Dr Hines and his team at UCLA. They performed a meticulous Whipple procedure and I was out of the hospital in six days. The days that followed were filled with gratitude and crippling fear. What if it came back? How do I keep it at bay? I was paralyzed in many ways and at the same time, I was so deeply appreciative of every breath I took, every moment I locked eyes with my children, every sweet embrace with my husband, the blue in the sky, the green on the grass – every single second, I didn’t and don’t take for granted.

The cancer journey has been a call to action; a deepening of my spiritual connection and radical acceptance. With diagnosis came exploration of all the ways I had abandoned myself and the path back to who I wanted to be as a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend and an employee. I learned quickly that I am not my diagnosis nor am I a statistic. Blending eastern and western medicinal philosophies helped me address the whole person. I have been blessed with incredible support with my family, my friends, co-workers and most importantly God.

It’s my relationship with God that’s carried me through the twists and turns of this journey. In March of 2023, they discovered a recurrence. While I’ve undergone another surgery, radiation and more treatment, I’m in more faith than I’ve ever been. The healing path is not linear, I’ve learned. I am healing and I know I will watch my kids grow up, by the grace of God.”

Email your story to [email protected]

Prayer Request Form

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