Today is Cancer Survivors Day honoring those who are battling cancer and those who have beaten cancer. As a cancer survivor, I celebrate the gift of a second life from the medical professionals. I look towards other cancer patients and survivors for hope and encouragement. My friends, family, and our faith provide me with the strength, grace, determination, and inspiration needed to Keep Pounding.
For anyone new to the blog, I adopted Keep Pounding as my motto after how Sam Mills battled cancer. Sam Mills was a linebacker and coach for the Carolina Panthers. In 2003 during preseason, doctors diagnosed him with cancer and only gave him three months to live. In a speech to the team, Mills said:
“When I found out I had cancer, there were two things I could do: quit or keep pounding. I’m a fighter. I kept pounding. You’re fighters, too. Keep Pounding!”Sam Mills
He was an inspiration to the team, the Charlotte community, and cancer patients. He continued to coach that year as the Panthers went to the Super Bowl. He coached the next year as well before he passed away in 2005.
A year ago, I was recovering from a stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma. On the last day in May, my hematologist gave me medical clearance to exercise. It was taking me 40 minutes to walk a mile. Now, I am able to walk a 5k in that time. Each day my goal is to become a little stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually in my journey as a cancer survivor. Each day requires me to Keep Pounding.
The journey with cancer is challenging, I am still battling side effects like neuropathy, fatigue, and occasional nauseousness from my maintenance chemotherapy. The Keep Pounding mentality is necessary for me daily. I draw strength from fellow cancer fighters, my friends and family, my medical team, and faith. Cancer requires us to Keep Pounding everyday. I hope and pray for a day where no one has to suffer from cancer. Until then we need celebrate each other as we battle cancer together.