Traveling Daisy
Lisa Marie's Journey

Excerpts from my book

I’m the fifth generation of cancer. The first time I dealt with cancer was when my grandma was diagnosed right before I turned sixteen. The second time came when I was thirty-two and my mom was told she had ocular melanoma. My third, and hopefully final time, came when I was thirty-six and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I wasn’t yet born when my great-grandpa and great-great grandma died of colon and breast cancer. The fact that I have a daughter and a direct lineage of disease scares me. So I’ve gathered tips on how to avoid cancer, if possible. I had decided to write this book when my mom died, to share her story and one year later, I was shocked when I was told that I personally share her legacy.


Cancer has a way of scattering people. Your core group of friends and family might be different on the other side of cancer. For example, my six-year old little girl definitely pulled away from me when there was a chance I would die. I didn’t tell her that I could, but she could see it and feel it. She protected herself from the pain, by letting me go of a little bit of me in life. As soon as I got healthy, she returned full force. I didn’t get angry that she treated me a bit rough while I was sick, I tried to understand what everyone else goes through when disease is involved. I lost some friends. There are some people that need the spotlight and if they weren’t lucky enough to get an attention-getting disease, then they’re out. I had some of those closest to me not know what to say or do, so they stayed away while I was in the hospital. It’s easy to judge when you think you are going to soon be sharing air space with God, but try to be understanding of the fact that your friends and family are all processing your disease differently.

There were a few weeks that I thought I had a terminal disease (thanks to a doctor who misdiagnosed my cancer) and I decided that I would spend my remaining time traveling. I learned from watching my mom deal with her disease, that sometimes the fight is futile, when the disease has metastasized and there are no cures. She had melanoma which is one of the hardest kinds of cancer to treat, as they haven’t yet found a reliable chemo. Thankfully, I just had a rare mix of the two good kinds of cancer (ironically titled) and I’m going to be fine. So because of that lesson learned, I suggest getting second opinions. In case you missed that, GET SECOND OPINIONS.


I knew of my mom's past and what about it had made her the person that she was. I decided to examine my past as well, to get to the age-old question, “Did I cause my cancer?” I looked deep inside myself, my experiences, and my decisions and I’m pretty sure I have a good answer to that. I invite you to look through my past (and yours) and answer that for yourself. It might help you with determining which side of the dis-ease fence you’re on. While you have cancer, it’s very offensive to be told you caused this huge, awful, draining situation yourself. So to those who want us to take responsibility for our own health problems, I ask, “Is it healthy to blame yourself while you’re fighting for your life?” And I would like to add a, “Na-na, na-na, boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo.”


First Edition 2016
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