There are several quotes that I can live by; one is “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.” My dad gave me that one; that’s the one he lives by. My most favorite is, “If you ever reach the end of your rope, just tie a knot and hold on.” That one that has made the biggest impact in my life. It symbolizes what I went through the last few years. At that point I had definitely hit the bottom of my rope, but with the help of my family and friends, I just tied the knot and held on. This quote could also help other people because there are so many people struggling with depression in our time. They could use this philosophy to help them hold on through their struggle, knowing that things will be better. During the fall last year, usually the perfect time of year for me because I am an avid hunter and enjoy watching the leaves turn as I spend lazy afternoons on my couch, I learned that I had an inoperable brain tumor. All I could really do was just hold on until it was over. I went through six chemotherapy sessions and six weeks of radiation. The first three chemo sessions were extremely rough and knocked me way down, and that was when I definitely found myself at the bottom of my rope. I managed to hold on during this time, but only through the outpouring of love and support from my family and friends. The doctors finally found a medicine that worked for me, and if it wasn’t for this change in medicine, it would’ve been a whole lot harder to pull through. The radiation was also rough, and I kept getting dehydrated and was having to get fluids once a week at least. The doctors came to my rescue by continually working to find the exact drug that I needed to balance the side effects of chemo, which made the radiation a whole lot easier to take. I am much better now; I’ve finished treatment, and I’m in remission. My battle with cancer wasn’t as bad as most people may think, but it still wasn’t fun. I believe that it wouldn’t have been as easy to endure all of the pain, sickness, and treatments if it were not for the love and support of my family and friends. I am thrilled that I am in remission and done with treatment, but I will live with the fear of it coming back for the rest of my life. The doctors feel pretty confident that they got it the first time. If the cancer does return, however, I’ll just grit my teeth and hold on until my treatment is over. I know that my family and friends will be there for me and will help me tie the knot in my rope once again. I believe that God has a plan for everyone. People just need to stop getting caught up in the small issues in life and look at the bigger picture. Hanging there at the end of my rope, I could see the entire world, and I learned to appreciate the view more than most people. I keep a small knotted piece of rope hanging on my bedpost now to remind me of that view and the precious people in my life who helped me tie that knot and hang on. Life lived; lessons learned; may they continue so.

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