On April 8th, 2013, I heard the words you never want to hear, “You have cancer.”
My life was never the same from that day on. Fortunately for me the mass in my sigmoid colon was operable. They found what was causing my grief and it was going to be removed. This was my FIRST Silver Linings moment.
What’s A Silver Linings Moment?
The easiest way to explain a Silver Linings is when people are put into difficult situations, they need to look past the hardships and find the light at the end of the tunnel. Its about turning their negative situations into positive ones, finding their inner peace and the “will power” to overcome anything.
When handed lemons, make lemonade! Cheesy, but you know it’s a great analogy, and true.
The first Silver Linings prepared me for surgery. The mass was removed and surgery was a success…unfortunately, there were some lymph nodes affected. I had Stage 3 cancer. Doctors advised chemo. At only 38, I was young and healthy so no reason not to do chemo. The odds of it coming back were 50/50, and those weren’t odds I liked.
Vanessa and Cory Glew met in high school, and Vanessa’s huge crush paid off. Cory and Vanessa were happily married and raising three amazing children – Sierra, Ryken and Teryn. They tenaciously battled as a family for over four years against cancer. Vanessa was devoted to living, even in hospice care. When I met with their family to pray and offer support she inspired me with her Silver Linings story. Vanessa passed away on February 12, 2018. Please read her story and pray for her cherished family.
Anniversary Cake And Chemo
July 2, 2013, a day after my 13th wedding anniversary I headed for chemo. Life was crazy and chemo SUCKED. I got through seven of my twelve rounds…then things went from tolerable to worse. I was rushed to hospital on Thanksgiving weekend – my birthday. Septic shock set in from a small tear in my colon from the first surgery plus chemo knocking down my immune system. I couldn’t fight off the infection.
Things were not good the first few days. What little bits and pieces I remember I’m just glad to be here and appreciate just how short life truly can be. Never take things for granted. You just never know God’s mysterious plans.
I bet you are asking what is the Silver Lining after all of that in only six months? How does one get through it and find a light at the end of the tunnel and keep on going?
It was hard – I’m not going to sugar coat it. I kept telling myself to think of it as a new lease on life. And I was determined to appreciate my time with my family and friends more. So we started to live and make memories, in even the smallest ways possible.
Make Memories – Our Motto
On April 30th, a year after my first diagnosis, I went in to have my ileostomy bag removed, thinking “This is the light in those dark clouds, the end of the storm.”
Little did I know…
October of 2014 I was rushed to hospital with severe abdominal and back pain. The cancer had returned and was now a large mass attached to my ovary. My fourth surgery was a full hysterectomy. One would think “that’s it” because there is no way it’s coming back again.
But in early 2015, I was diagnosed with liver cancer. More surgery. Major surgery. My fifth surgery.
That was one of the toughest recoveries I’ve had to go through. And 2015 did not get any easier. Later in the year they found more cancer, and I was scheduled for surgery again that fall.
My Fight Song
Since then, I have been through more surgeries, scans, chemo, tests, and “it’s cancer” moments.
Finding a Silver Lining isn’t always easy, but it kept me going. I’m still here, and I’m determined!
Please leave a comment for Vanessa’s family. Read stories and share a story of your own on the Silverlinings. blogsite
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Love love and more love for Vanessa, her family and friends. So beautiful inside and out! An inspiration♥ XO. Anna Dawson
Vanessa your a beautiful person. I admire your strength. I put all the Love and Prayers out to you and your family xoxo
Love & prayers Vanessa from your hockey family You were one of our greatest cheerleaders in the stands last season. Missing that feisty spirit at the hockey arena.
All the very best to you & your family
Norma, Brian & Nathan Kennedy
Much love Vanessa to you and Cory and your wonderful children. You are all in my prayers. xoxo. Aunt Sharon and Robert.
What a awe inspiring and uplifting story. I admire your spirit and fortitude and such a great vision.
Vanessa, u r so strong…I admire ur will and strength! Such a beautiful person inside and out!! prayers for u and ur amazing family!
I was very fortunate to have met Vanessa and her family during this past month and a half. They became a silver lining for me everyday when I went to work. God Bless them all
So sorry for your loss, she was a wonderful soul. Cherish the memories and stay strong.
Vanessa Glew was a beautiful woman, an angel, an enlightened soul. We met in NYC’s Central Park while she and her husband and me and my friend Christina were having lunch on a beautiful sunny afternoon in Central Park. Her husband spilled a glass of wine on my white cap and he/they were so apologetic and sweet so we started to talk. I was so taken by Vanessa’s joie de vive, her smile and her overall joyful spirit. We became fast friends, texting, calling offering each other support through our troubles an ear and guidance. I was intoxicated by her infectious positive, optimistic strength….She touched my life and I’m forever grateful to have been honored by her friendship and love. My heart goes out to Cory and their children. She was a wonderful wife and Mom who was loved by her large extended family. She will be missed, but not forgotten. We had plans to meet in NYC…she fell madly in love with the energy and sites…I know she will be by my side as an angel always guiding and showing me my silver lining. May you Rest In Peace my dear friend ..Godspeed and until we meet again. …You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! Gigi..Forever Your New York City friend ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Thank you Gigi for sharing your story about Vanessa. I will make sure the family sees your words. God bless you.