Tag Archives: cancer

Mary Celebrates Sarcoma

​Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.

Psalm 103: 1, Christian Bible, New International Version

 

Mary Connolly shares from her heart her journey through a devastating cancer diagnosis to celebrating sarcoma with a thankful heart.

At age 21, while still a college student, synovial sarcoma was found in her leg. Meanwhile, her sister was undergoing gamma knife surgery for a brain tumor.

Mary had surgery that left her unable to lift her right foot upward. She had to get her car modified with a left foot pedal. Away went all her beautiful, beloved shoes. That was just one of numerous challenges she faced, including in her relationships with family, friends, and potential boyfriends.

Mary turned these challenges into opportunities. Now when people ask about her foot brace, she uses that as an opening to raise awareness about sarcoma.

Mary’s faith played a huge role in her healing journey. Her book, Celebrate Sarcoma, is filled with her prayers and Bible verses reflecting her struggles with her understanding of God.

Eventually she came through to the other side of depression. Mary wrote, “I decided that I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. Something that would not just benefit my family and close friends, but an even wider circle of people. I decided that I could be nothing but thankful for how the cancer brought about positive change in my life…. God has blessed me with a maturity and insight that many don’t have even after experiencing successful careers. For this I am grateful.”

Reflecting back on her experience, she writes, “As much as I have despised cancer for the havoc it has wreaked on me, I have reached a place where I can’t imagine my life without this experience and the journey on which it has set me. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned, the relationships I have built, the experiences I have had—some that have brought tears of sadness or joy, others that have brought laughter or mourning.”

Through it all, Mary has reached a place where she can celebrate sarcoma. She looks forward to working with young adult cancer survivors.

 

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

The sale of Mary’s book will benefit orthopedic cancer research at The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio. The book is available athttp://www.amazon.com/Celebrate-Sarcoma-Mary-Connolly-ebook/dp/B00Q9X5EHG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449889641&sr=8-1&keywords=celebrate+sarcoma .

Thriver Soup Article: Mary Celebrates Sarcoma, by Heidi Bright

Patricia’s Journey with the Purple Dragon

Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back.

John O’Donohue

The soul of Patricia Moreira-Cali has been stirred into full life by a purple dragon known as leiomyosarcoma. It is a rare and aggressive form of cancer, and for women it usually starts in the uterus.

On April 23, 2013, Patricia’s uterine “fibroids” were found to be cancerous, and she began a perilous journey that continues today. She bravely talks about her first year after the diagnosis in her book, My Journey with the Purple Dragon. She goes into vulnerable detail about her emotional experiences and her search for a cure.

“Friends and family are not with you at all times of the day and night,” she wrote. “You are alone when the tears seem endless, when the sorrow is so painful that it’s hard to breathe, when the grief cuts through your core, when you long for the freedom to feel healthy, and when you are introduced to death, and somehow you befriend it.”

She experiments with a variety of complementary treatments while doing conventional chemotherapy. “I have no doubt that the treatment of cancer, and many other chronic diseases, requires a holistic approach,” she wrote. Among her choices were to visit John of God in Brazil, and she describes her experiences there.

Gradually, the reader witnesses Patricia’s inner transformation. “A new me is emerging, growing and flourishing, somehow,” she writes.

When she reaches the end of her first year of treatment, she finds an enviable place of serenity. “I have detached from much illusion, and I feel mostly at peace within.”

The book is self-published and could benefit from professional editing, yet overall it is a moving story of courage and a roadmap for others on the journey with cancer.

 

Thriver Soup Ingredient:

Profits from Patricia’s book sales go to leiomyosarcoma research and to support a poor child with cancer through her non-profit Helping Children Heal (HCH). Her book can be ordered at http://www.purpledragonjourney.com/order-now/

 

Sources:

Patricia Moreira-Cali, My Journey with the Purple Dragon: Living with a Rare and Aggressive Cancer. Bloomington, IN: Balboa Press, 2014:78,100, 105.

Thriver Soup Article: Patricia’s Journey with the Purple Dragon by Heidi Bright