Letters to the Editor

A little note of thanks

Friday, January 18, 2019

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Dear Editor,

My battle with the “Big C” has reached a significant milestone, that of the phase of active treatment being over. I am now at another stage of this battle, that of recurrence prevention and monitoring; but, oh, what a ride the last 15 months have been, and for the majority of those months many of you, complete strangers, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues held my hand in one way or another.

There is much to reflect on, but foremost for me is recognising the tremendous support I have had throughout my fight. The publication regarding my diagnosis with an aggressive form of breast cancer, on December 20, 2017, in the Jamaica Observer, brought a continuous flow of positive thought and energy, and much prayers for my healing and strength. I am thankful.

There are so many people I could single out for their unique way of being there for me. I dare not attempt that in this forum; know that just as how you uniquely helped me I am uniquely thanking you and I will never forget you being there. I also will have never-ending gratitude to the outstandingly skilled medical professionals who saw to my care; I will not name names for obvious reasons, but my oncologist who guided me firmly and surely, my surgeons and anaesthetist who cared in totality, my radiologists and nurses who went above and beyond. Not only was I a colleague being cared for, but genuine compassion was conveyed and professionalism at the utmost best. My loved ones and family, you are my reason. My creator, you are the master builder.

Truthfully speaking, the purpose of me going public with my diagnosis was to say, “Hey, take heed, this can happen to you too,” find the time to take the steps to prevent, check, early detect, and treat effectively if needed. Ironically, what was meant to be helpful to others was actually very helpful to me, as it was greatly therapeutic to know that my message was well received and effective to many; it helped my state of mind to know that others were benefiting from this personal crisis. It helped my healing.

There is much to be said about my journey, but right now it is about life and living, appreciating each moment as one I could not have had, and recognising that the next is still not sure. I have learned that especially when life seems to be spiralling out of control, this is when we most need to find the resolve to take back that control and press hard forward with the objective to win within ourselves in focused view.

Yes, life does throw curved balls, but if you line it up right and smack that ball with the meat of that bat you could hit that curved ball for a magnificent and memorable six runs!

When life give you limes, make some limeade, then share that limeade. Thank you for being my company in having a cool drink. Cheers to good limeade, cheers to more life!

Saphire Longmore


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