Taking Chances After Diagnosis

After I found out that I was ALK-positive for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), I decided to take chances because life is too short not to.

I wanted to experience many things while I was still breathing on this place called Earth. So I did.

Having courage and determination

I was diagnosed in November 2014, and I was a CrossFitter. I absolutely loved it, and it became my world.

At the age of 45, I never thought I would be lifting weights as heavy as my teenage sons at that time. But I took that chance and continued it through my journey with lung cancer.

I even decided to open up my own box (gym). I opened up my very own CrossFit box in 2016, and that was a very proud moment for me. I took that chance and did it. But thanks to the pandemic, I had to close it forever in April of 2020.

Then, at the beginning of 2021, the city’s Clerk position became available. That was something different and new for me, and after thinking about it, I decided to give it a shot.

I’m not a political person, but I am a people person, and I knew that I could do that job with integrity, compassion, and trust. It was going to be a special election, and the precinct committee people would be the ones who would vote for the new City Clerk.

I figured I had a chance, not only because I was educated and had a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management. However, I had many years of experience with finance, being a supervisor and advocating. I wasn’t going to let lung cancer put doubt in me, and so I went and filed to run for the city’s Clerk’s position.

Taking a leap of uncertainty

When that day arrived, I was so nervous that I even asked myself, “What the heck are you doing.” Is this really what I want? Do I want and need this stress? Then, in four years or less, I’ll have to run against others in the general election.

I was regretting it. But I stood by my decision to run and gave it my best shot.

When it was time for me to give my speech, I was nervous but confident because I knew my speech was going to be on point. After all the candidates gave their speeches, I must say mine was definitely the best!

Then, it came time for the precinct committee people to vote. Even though I had mixed emotions, a part of me was hoping to win, but the other part wasn’t. I just wasn’t sure if this was what I really wanted.

Once all votes were in, I did not win, and part of me was relieved. Yet I was sad, and it was such an unrecognizable feeling. I didn’t know if I should be happy that I didn’t win or sad.

But at least I can say that I tried something so new to me, and I was happy that I got to experience how elections ran. I realized why I was sad because my husband works for the city and has done so many favors for certain precinct committee people throughout the years, and all I asked for was for their vote, and we didn’t get that support. That’s what made me sad.

I see it as they did me a favor because becoming the city’s Clerk position wasn’t meant for me, but the experience was, and I’m thankful for that.

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Accepting life's challenges

You see, life is too short, and lung cancer shouldn’t hold you back from anything. You’ll never know if you don’t give it a shot.

We all must experience certain things in life to make us who we are today. Thanks to lung cancer, I challenge myself and take chances, and it has shaped me into the woman I am today.

So don’t be afraid to take that chance. You have nothing to lose!

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