10/10/2012 02:25 pm ET Updated Dec 10, 2012

You Cannot Do It Alone

It seems as though the strength of a thousand people cannot lift you from the despair. And yet, when your family rallies around you, you do find the resources within. On the one hand, you face it all with gusto. You immediately realize what your life means and you want to fight. I've always hated that word. But I understand it now. You want to fight and you do. It takes all of your strength. And when you have conquered each hurdle, you feel stronger. But no, you cannot do it alone. Whoever those family members are, they are precious. They are there for you. They tell you that you can do it. They pray for you. Your friends want so much to make it go away. They send food. And they pray. All of the prayers add up. You need every one.

I've never liked the word "fight" because it sounds so mean. But this cancer thing is not to be fooled with. And fight you will. It is a test of endurance over a long period of time. You find a place in your soul you never knew was there. You face your darkest thoughts. You consider your most precious moments. Sometimes it is hard to have the strength to even think at all. You cannot believe this is you. The person who is so self-sufficient. So able to do whatever needs doing. Now, you need people. You need enormous amounts of comfort -- not pity. No. Just the comfort of knowing that positive energy surrounds you. Nothing else matters.

The battle never ends. You learn that you will always look over your shoulder. But you also decide what each day can be for you. As your hair returns and the color in your cheeks improves, you live again. You decide what you wish to do. The small moments become lessons. You observe. You feel. Yes, you did that before, but now, it is deeper. Scarier, but also gentler.

One day, I hope to celebrate the many years that have unfolded behind me. I must see my children grow into adults. I want to hold a grandchild. I want to do many things.

For now, caring people in my life hold me up. They have created a circle of love around me and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to express what it has meant for me. The amount of courage I have had to summon is only equal to the amount of love and support I have received. The two are intertwined. You cannot do it alone. You cannot and should not hide. You must reach out and receive those prayers.