Lesson 4- Fight Back

I got a new shirt today. You may have seen them around; it is brown and says “Fight Like a Girl” in pink letters with a pink breast cancer ribbon on it. It does not matter that I had uterine and ovarian rather than breast cancer, because to me cancer is cancer. It is a battle no matter where it is in your body. It requires the strength of a warrior to overcome it.
Have you ever seen girls fight? It is fierce. There is slapping, punching, clawing, hair pulling, and biting. Whatever it takes. So the fighting like a girl message is simple. Fight the disease with everything you have in you. Do not back down. Do not give up. Do not let it beat you. What does it look like to fight like that you wonder? It is when you have to look your children in the eyes and tell them you might die, but still have hope that you won’t. It is when you realize, as the hair falls, that hair is not that important anyway. It is when they try to stick a needle in your vein ten times and you offer them your arm again…or your hand…or your ankle. It is when you cannot breathe to walk across the room, so you ask for help and let someone bring you a chair. It is when they come to rip the foam out of your incision and you open the door to let them in. It is when you feel terrible, but you stop by another chemo chair to encourage someone who has it worse than you do. It is when you go for a ride in the car with the windows down and the wind blowing over your bald head instead of staying in bed all day. It is when you send your kids out of the house so they will not have to hear you scream when the nurse comes to change your bandages. Fighting like a girl means you take whatever steps necessary to save your life. It means you endure hardship; you get by one breath at a time. It means you stay positive when the numbers don’t look so good, and keep fighting until the doctor says those wonderful words…cancer free.
During my workout one day recently, I heard clearly “fight back.” If you have ever seen jazzercise you know there are many different kinds of punches that are a part of the routines. We do uppercuts, jabs, hooks…you name it. I had this feeling of being a warrior as we punched that day. I told the Lord, I did fight back. I am cancer free for three years now. He said, “Fight back for your life. Take your life back.” Bing. The light bulb went off in my head. I got it. For me fight like a girl has another meaning now. Not just fight the disease, but fight for life. They may seem the same, but they are not. In fighting the disease, the goal is for it to go away. In fighting for life, the goal is to be healthy enough to be able to live fully. I am in the process of making the shift from fighting the disease to fighting for life. The question I am asking myself is this…Am I willing to fight as hard for my life as I did to beat cancer? Kinda brings a whole new perspective and motivation to fitness if you know what I mean. Slowly, ever so slightly my viewpoint is changing from one of dreading pushing myself to work hard, to embracing it. I am realizing that my body wants health as much as I do. As I make this shift I am getting stronger, and thinner, but those are simply outward byproducts of a change internally. It is not outward appearance, but a change of heart. The warrior in me is rising up to fight back….like a girl.

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