Below is a reprinted blog post penned by Kylee Webster in September of 2013 on her blog, The Dancing Queen. Over the next few weeks we will be reprinting her posts to highlight the resilience and positive spirit of those facing even the most devastating of life’s challenges.
Happy Anniversary to me!! That’s right. It was two years ago today that the three little words of “you have cancer,” forever changed my life. So today I celebrate!! This statement may confuse you and many of you may be thinking that I have finally lost it. But don’t lose faith in me just yet;)
Last week I received the difficult news that the treatment that I have been on for the past two months isn’t working and that my cancer had progressed. Not exactly the news I was hoping for. Unfortunately this wasn’t the first time that I received news like this. I have had setbacks before. Typically I deal with it in one of two ways. I either shut myself in my room away from everyone and cry until there are no tears left. The longest I ever allowed this to go on was for three days. Then the tears just stop and I come out of it. Ready to rejoin society and ready to rejoin my fight. OR the procrastinator in me comes out and I act like I received no bad news. I guess I just go numb. I act like I am FINE (worst word ever) and figure that i will deal with the bad news later. I am calm. I am rational.
But then it happens. And I have no control over when and where it happens. I explode. Or implode. And breakdown in a mixture of anger and tears. I have my moment of temporary insanity and then as quickly as it happens it is over. And I am back to myself, ready for the next battle. So this past time that I received the bad news I took on the latter role. I did not shed a tear or curse out loud. Instead I got in my car and drove over to see my nephew, whom my mom was baby-sitting that day.
Let me just take a minute to tell you about my nephew. He just recently turned four and is obsessed with superheroes. His smile. His laughter. His hugs and kisses. And even the way that he says my name. All of these things just take all of the bad away. While I am with him there is no cancer. He has been my shining light through all of this and I look forward to the day in which I am able to explain to him how HE was Aunt Kylee’s superhero. So when I arrived to see my nephew, he greeted me with a big smile and hug and the simple words, “Let’s play Aunt Kylee.” A few simple hours with him was just what I needed. But the whole time I could feel the nervous looks from my mother because she knew IT was coming. She knew I was going to breakdown. She just didn’t know when.
And my mother was right (as I have learned that she is always right). IT happened later that night. Complete with an angry outburst of me slamming my fist down on the kitchen table with the tears flowing. But it wasn’t anger. It was fear. Frustration. Now there have been plenty of times throughout this past two years that i have been scared. But for the first time throughout my two years of fighting this beast I was scared that I could possibly be running out of options. And I am not ready to face nor accept that. After my dramatic show I went back to my room. Leaving my family members sitting in the kitchen probably feeling as beaten up as me.
Sometimes I think that my cancer may be harder on them then it is on me. Yes I am the one with the cancer. The one that has to suffer through the physical and emotional effects of it. The one that is constantly faced with my own mortality. But I see my family and friends struggle just as much as me. Because as they have told me they feel helpless. They can’t take the cancer and pain away from me. And I know that at times some of them struggle with what to say or do for me.
But sometimes I feel just as helpless as them. I hate to see them in pain just as much as they hate to see me in pain. Sometimes I don’t know how to make them feel better about my situation. But what I do know is when we are together and having good times when we are laughing and happy I sometimes forget that I am sick. And I hope that they feel the same way. It is these moments that make me stronger and make me fight harder and I hope that maybe they get the same strength from these moments. Back to the other night. So I was going to shut the door, turn out the lights, and crawl into bed but then I thought to myself. I refuse to let this cancer get the best of me. So I went back out to the kitchen, sat back down with my family, discussed my next options and what I wanted and needed to do. Tomorrow was my appointment with my oncologist and I felt ready for it. Ready for the next option or the next step, whatever or wherever that may be.
So back to my celebrating! You may wonder what I am celebrating?? Today I celebrate the fact that I am still here. Living and breathing on this earth. Today I celebrate the fact that despite the horrible odds and statistics that I am faced with I am still here battling this disease one day at a time. Not everyday is an easy or good day but it is still a day that I am HERE and grateful for. So today think of something that you are grateful for and go out and celebrate it!!
Kylee Webster was born on May 15, 1979. Passionate about helping others, Kylee earned both bachelor and master’s degrees in psychology from Towson University, and went on to pursue a career as a drug addiction counselor in Harford County, with focus on adolescent therapies.
Kylee was diagnosed with sarcoma in September 2011. She underwent more than 15 rounds of chemotherapy, more than 30 rounds of radiation and several major surgeries. Throughout her treatment, she amazed every person who knew her or met her. She was brave. She was courageous. She kept a smile on her face and never let her fighting spirit and attitude waver. She began documenting her journey with a blog titled “My Dance Through Cancer” and showed the world that in addition to all of her other talents, she was a fine writer too.
After battling her disease for over two years, Kylee earned her angel wings in October 2013. Kylee’s Dancing Angels was established to give something special to sarcoma patients, while keeping Kylee’s memory and spirit alive.
For more information on Kylee’s life and her Foundation and to donate to their upcoming Fundraiser: Kylee’s Dancing Angels website, Kylee’s Dancing Angels Facebook page, Kylee Webster’s Stories Between page