My Journey Through Cancer - Behind the Mask 2

There are over 100 different cancers (  Cancer is normally named for the location it's attacking. They're also named by the type of cell formed. Mine is squamous cell cancer.  I've watched cancer patients walk in and out of treatments and appointments, sometimes wondering the names/locations of their cancer.  The American Cancer Society estimated over 1,685,210 new cancer cases would arise in 2016. Then, I realized that you are a part of that estimated count of 1,685,210 and 595,690 of us are not expected to make it. In addition to wondering their type of cancer, I wonder about their life expectancy, their side effects, how long they've been in treatment, and how many treatments they have left. Also, where is their strength coming from? Mine has been God, my family and friends, my medical support group, and one of my new theme song "This Means War" by Charles Jenkins. Last week, I met a woman that has been an inspiration for me. Both of us shared the same struggles behind the mask and in that struggle we both found strength. Like I, she'd been sexually assaulted and being pinned down behind that mask stirred up those hidden demons. We were not crazy for the emotions we felt behind that mask. We'd been forced to face those hidden demons. In that darkness and vulnerability we'd been forced to trust and survive or run away and die. Occasionally, one of us sends the other a inspirational text to get us through the day or through our daily treatment.

Prayer, strength, and inspiration are needed more than ever. Today, marks my 3rd week of radiation.  I'm no longer praying to survive my moments behind the mask. Now, I face the side effects of radiation: partially white tongue (thrush), pain, and loss of taste and appetite. Now, I pray to get through the pain. My loss of taste and appetite resulted in weight loss last week. My doctor informed me that I cannot lose any more weight. I need to lose about 10 lbs but the doc said this wasn't a weight lose program…lol. I figured I could get something out of this ordeal. But, apparently the weight loss slows the healing process down.  I was informed at the beginning of this journey that I'd be in a great deal of pain by the end of my treatments. Well, it has begun and if it gets worse than this...umm yea, moving on. I've been given a prescription to cure the thrush, which is somehow related to the pain. This is the reason poor lil babies cry, relentlessly, when they have thrush. The pain can be vicious. I can crawl into a fetal position and cry. I can vent about the pain or I suffer in silence. But, I cannot and will not let this break me. And if you find yourself struggling with adversity you cannot let it break you!



September 01, 2016 @08:46 pm
Tonika I'm praying for your strength. You're such an inspiration to others who is fighting this war and to those of us who's cheering you on. God is setting you up for greatness! Sending warm hugs and a forehead kiss. Love you girl ❤. #cancersucks #yougotthis #GodsFavor Avis Terrell
September 01, 2016 @03:50 pm
You can always judge a person by their character and will. It doesn't define you but it can tell you a lot about a person. Toni, your will and positive attitude will help and motivate you and others to keep going in hard times. Stay prayed up and I(we) will have your back in prayer too. You can do all things through Christ that strengthens you. He will not put nothing on you that you can't handle. Love you and stay strong!!! Tory Smith
August 31, 2016 @04:09 am
You Tonika, are inspiration to ME! You are a survivor. A Survivor with a profound voice. You are Victory! The strength you have shown the world speaks volumes to the multitude of followers you have. I found the courage through Damaged face my past and seek healing. I see you pushing past "what they did" turning the pain into recovery. I see you growing and nurturing us along the way. I found my voice through you and I Thank God for YOU. You are not in this alone. You have our support and love! Now hurry up and recover I have a full length movie I can't wait to see! Darci LeCounte
August 30, 2016 @07:12 pm
We have been friends since the 1st grade and we will be friends when we shed this form for our next. However... That time is not now! For now we rejoice and say Amen for my GOD Is a healing GOD! Chris Johnson
August 30, 2016 @07:09 pm
Hey cousin I Love You and know You will get they are a strong black woman...praying with you and for you...Love You Wanda Williams
August 30, 2016 @01:44 pm
You are such an inspiration. Tonika. This too shall pass. Im praying for you daily. Tameka Rucker
August 30, 2016 @09:55 am
Continue to be strong and remain faithful old friend.This will one day be a portion of your testimony. Armon Hill
August 30, 2016 @06:25 am
You are so awesome! After reading this you helped me understand what life is really about. You can go through all of this and still be positive and lift other people. There is no excuse for me to complain about anything. You have been an inspiration in my life and I love you with all of my heart! Sonja DeBose
August 29, 2016 @08:38 pm
You are such an inspiration even with everything you have going on in your life you still manage to lift and inspire others. You are such a strong woman and I adore you. All the little things I complain about and the other trails and tribulations I've been through you have been that rock that hold me and you may not even know that but knowing what you are going through and have been through has inspired me so much. You are my idol and I love you with all that's in me. Continue to write and give God the glory so then they all will know your story. God is preparing you for a great testimony... I love you! Cindee Johnson Pencheon

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