Staring Down Cancer

The risk I couldn’t afford not to take

Wooden floor & white gray wall as empty room background

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve spent this week in Cleveland helping my parents pack up my childhood home. I'm sure my doctor won’t be thrilled to learn I made the trek, but it was a trip I felt that I needed to take. My dad bought the house 52 years ago— so many memories. It's hard to believe I’ll never again sleep in the bedroom I shared with my sister until I left for college.  

We moved my parents into a so-called independent living home, which will become an assisted living home. Needless to say, moving from a five-bedroom house and adapting to 1,000 square feet took a toll on my parents. It’s like the end of an era.

The change has been especially hard on my mom. Leaving that house meant giving up her home— and her neighborhood since kindergarten. She’s also leaving her church, where she and all of her nine children were married.

Transitions are difficult, whether it's adjusting to a move, getting a divorce, or facing an illness— be it your own or that of a loved one.

This week I will have a CT scan, and I will find out if my white count has come up. I hope it has. Two weeks ago, it was below a 1, meaning critically low. Having a low white count adds to the fatigue of chemotherapy and, of course, opens you to contracting germs.  

Despite my doctor's advice, visiting my parents in Cleveland was a risk I couldn’t afford not to take. After all, it's my choice to continue living my life— regardless of risk. That mentality has worked for me for the past 10 years, so I'm sticking to it. As the saying goes, I’m gonna keep on keepin' on.

I am boarding the plane now to head back to Los Angeles. Keep the faith! Remember: Where there is life, there is hope! Take good care of the ones you love.

Noreen Fraser is living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is the Founder and CEO of the Noreen Fraser Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to funding groundbreaking women's cancer research. To stay in touch with Noreen, please 'LIKE' The Noreen Fraser Foundation on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.  Noreen can be contacted via email at noreen@noreenfraserfoundation.org.