“My Voice” by Cheryl Molle’

Cheryl and her son

My life is a blessing, and I am lucky enough to realize it. Most people go through life not knowing how fragile life is, they don’t know what a gift they have been given, until it is almost taken away.

I have always known my life is a gift.

My name is Cheryl Molle’, I am 45. I have been married for nearly 24 years, our son is 23, another miracle in my life.

I have had some tough challenges, obstacles really to get through. When I was pregnant with our son, I got very sick. I had a blood clot in my lung, pulmonary embolism to be exact. We were told that neither of us would likely make it, but well, we sure fooled everyone. Our son was born very healthy. We were unable to have anymore children, I had a number of miscarriages and was warned not to get pregnant again. We felt that we were lucky to have had one, so we didn’t dwell on that issue, although we wanted more children, it was just not in the cards.

About 15 years ago, I to hear more bad news, after dealing with health issues for a while, I was diagnosed with MS. We had some good days and some bad days. But after many years of dealing with it, I started to feel better. I felt great, as a matter of fact. It finally seemed that things might start going good for us, until about two years ago. I went to the doctor with a lump in my breast. They told me it was probably nothing, but sent me for tests. After a mammogram and an ultrasound, I was referred to a surgeon, still all the while being told it was nothing, they thought maybe it best that they remove the lump.

Even after the lump was removed, they still told me it was nothing. I went back to my usual routine and didn’t worry about it. A few days later the call came from the doctor’s office telling me that I had cancer. My life changed in that moment.

I was now faced with numerous surgeries, treatments, oncologists and choices that I was not prepared to make. I had a partial mastectomy followed by a couple of other surgeries.

I had a hard time dealing with the diagnosis, until I sat down with my son one day, he looked at me and said, “Mom, you have been thru so much already, look how tough you are. Just do what you have to do.”

Such simple advice, yet the best thing I could have been told. I took each day as it came, and didn’t worry about the next day. Recently my doctors found a spot on my lung, I go in next week for testing on that, but I know whatever comes of it, I can deal with it all.

I am a survivor………but I have learned from the illness, my life is worth fighting for. I appreciate all the small things that come my way. I am always in the moment. I have been given a gift, a gift of knowing that my life could be taken away in the blink of an eye, so I need to love where I am. I will always do what I have to, because I want to be here to see my son achieve his dreams, I want to see him walk down the isle some day and have kids. I was blessed to have him and I want to be around for many years to be sure he knows it.

A friend sent me this quote after my diagnosis, it is by Maya Angelou it is one of the most inspiring and appropriate quotes for myself or anyone that faces any sort of challenge.

By Maya Angelou:
“I can be changed by what happens to me.
I refuse to be reduced by it.”

I have not been reduced by cancer, nor have I become, “that person with cancer.” I am still ME, a wife, mother, daughter and friend.

Don’t underestimate yourself in your battles, there is always a reason why we are chosen to fight them. The path you take is up to you, but remember, whichever road you take, your friends and family will be walking right beside you, reminding you to breathe.