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  • Writer's pictureSandy

This Don’t Stop Believin’ Journey

I recently celebrated my 55th birthday. It’s hard for me to think I was diagnosed at age 53 and have now had 2 more birthdays since then. Last year’s birthday I was going through chemo, this year’s birthday I am happy to report I still am in remission. It still feels somewhat like a dream.

In honor of my birthday, one of my favorite Journey songs, Don’t Stop Believin’ comes to mind. The words DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ are so important to someone’s life with cancer.

“Just a small-town girl, living in a lonely world, she took the midnight train going anywhere.” When I was diagnosed with cancer, I definitely felt I was, at first, living in a lonely world, and believe me, if I could have hopped on a train to anywhere but that diagnosis, I would have taken it. But rather quickly I learned I was not alone. People who were on their own cancer journey took the time to reach out to me and share their strength and encouragement. I believed in them, which helped me believe in myself, and I was not living in a lonely world.

Don’t stop believin’…. to place one’s trust in God. It’s the first thing to do when receiving this type of diagnosis, it brought instant peace to me. Many things happened during this journey I believe were reminders of his presence. I remember one day I was at work. I work at a hospital and there was an elderly lady who was with her daughter, who was there for a procedure. I had shown her to the waiting area and went about my work. At the time I was going through chemo, I had lost all my hair so I had a scarf on my head. When I went in to check on her, she said, pointing to my head, “what’s with the scarf?” I smiled (not many people were that upfront with me) and said I had Ovarian Cancer and was currently going through chemo. She said “I had that, at least 11 years ago, I’m doing so great that they don’t even draw an ovarian cancer marker (blood test) anymore.” What are the chances this lady from three hours away would take the time to connect with me? It was like I was given the proof I need to see that day! DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ YOU CAN DO THIS!

Don’t let fear stop you. There are going to be good days on a cancer journey and there are going to be bad days on this journey, but don’t let into the fear the bad will outweigh the good. Don’t stop believin’ in the good days. Stay focus on what’s ahead, even what you are looking forward to in the future. That believin’ in hope is something to focus on day after day. It wouldn’t be life if we didn’t experience bad days, they say that’s what makes us appreciate the good!

Acceptance of what is. We can’t change it, but we can become better because of it. “Payin anything to roll the dice just one more time” WE are given the dice, so shake it up and roll them and see what happens. Get over the negative thinking in your head, don’t worry about the “what ifs.” Who knows what you will get the next time you give the dice a roll? Leaving the dice sit in the cup isn’t an option. Get up every day and roll your dice. You are here for a reason, get out there and do things, cancer or not.

Keep trying

Keep moving

Keep inspiring

Keep helping

Keep loving

Keep dreaming

Keep hoping


Choose life over cancer. You can’t close the door on cancer, but you CAN put it in the corner. It can be in the room, but not the first thing you see when you walk in. You come first, ALWAYS.

“Oh the movie never ends it goes on and on and on and on” so…“Don’t Stop Believin’, Hold on to the feelin’,” yes, hold on to the feeling of believing because it’s what can get us through this journey called life.

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1 Comment

Denise Louwagie
Denise Louwagie
Jun 29, 2020

Great blog! Too bad we didn’t get a Journey concert in this spring! Hopefully they will be back in Sioux Falls next year! Happiest of birthdays! You make 55 look great!

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