When you are taught to live differently

We are all given just one chance to live and we try to use it as much as possible, and life seems so long in the beginning… When I was a child, adults above 30 seemed old, now I think that life only starts after 30 and only now I have learnt to live truly and differently than I did the first 30 years of my life.

Four years ago, in a beautiful and sunny May my family doctor referred me to the oncologist and said: “I hope it is nothing bad, but you should have it checked…” Before that I had never heard of melanoma, I did not know that birthmarks can be “bad”. Before the appointment with the oncologist I had researched internet looking for answers what melanoma is and why I have a referral to the oncologist. I lived in fear for two weeks. I was lucky because I did not have to wait for the consultation for months. After the appointment, the oncologist referred me to a surgery, however, it was not yet clear, whether the birthmark was malignant or benign. I had surgery in the end of May. My leg hurt terribly because the birthmark had to be removed as deep as possible, reaching the bone membrane. Now, I have big scar on the leg.

Waiting after the surgery was even more agonising. After two weeks, I had to make a call to find out my test results. I called and there was a silence on the other end and then: “You should come to the hospital to get the test results.” I already knew it was not good. It was true, I was diagnosed stage I melanoma. I was going home and cried. It was difficult to share these news with people, I told only three people, my little brother, my friend and my husband. To the others I said the results were good. I was ashamed I had cancer.

I was crying from morning to evening, as I thought I was going to die soon. I was afraid about my children and who would take care of them. I was praying God to give me time to raise my children. I was depressed all summer long waiting for my last breath. At some point, however, I pulled myself together and understood that I was not dying. My hair was not falling out, I did not have any radiation therapy, I was going through virotherapy session, and my test results improved every month, metastases did not appear anywhere.

I cheered up and felt that I was not yet needed up there, I had to accomplish something important here, on the Earth. I started perceiving things and places differently and I started living differently, with a sense of purpose, rather than with the attitude that I can skip it today as I still have tomorrow… I do not know when I might not have tomorrow.

After the virotherapy session my daughter was born, although doctors were concerned about it. I took a risk and they allowed me to take it. In autumn, she will turn 3. Before the diagnosis, I was raising my two children alone, but now I got married. Now, we have a house on a river bank. Cancer made me start doing things I like. I have opened a store for cute things for babies; I have a line of clothes and accessories “With Latvia in our hearts”. Going to work is a pleasure, I do what I like and I see my children growing.

I do not ask for things I cannot have or things that others have. I am looking for peace and comfort in my heart. Those are the things cancer taught me: to perceive life differently, more intensively and efficiently. Before, I was yelling and asking “why”, why me, I am young, I have children, why those who steal, kill, do drugs, and drink do not experience anything like this, but I do? Now, I can thank for this twist of faith because it made me start living differently, the way I like it, and to enjoy my life. I hope that God will allow me to stay here for a while and allow me to achieve things I want. I hope that our views with God are similar as to this question.