I want to tell you about an extraordinary woman named Bonnie Works Rodgers, who tells the story of how cancer changes you. She’s a bubbly, cheerful, loving, not to mention gorgeous gal who credits her cancer for changing her life — for the better. I feel so blessed to share her story. May she be an inspiration to you.
Bonnie is a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor who finished chemo and radiation almost two years ago. This last November she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and underwent a hysterectomy to eliminate the tumor, sparing the non-cancerous ovary. Today she’s a healthy, spunky MudRun enthusiast, jogging 7 miles up and down gnarly hills throughout sunny Southern California every day to train for her half marathon in a few months.
“I’m doing things for ME now. Everything used to be for everyone else, and I was on the back burner.”
Although this beautiful, full-of-energy woman is an inspiration to cancer patients and survivors alike, she wasn’t always this enlightened. “Before I was diagnosed I wasn’t happy; my marriage was falling apart, and I didn’t have a good relationship with my step children. I was bitter. All I thought about was work work work, and bitch bitch bitch.”
Today she recalls her lowest moments, as she reads from her journal from the time she was most sick during treatment. “Lord please give me peace and comfort for tomorrow so it may be a better day. And watch over my family.” A few lines later she apologizes to her son for not being strong. “It was a goodbye letter,” she says solemnly. “I was scared I was going to die.”
They say change doesn’t happen until you hit rock bottom, and cancer definitely is that — the bottom that makes you evaluate everything.
“This battle we fight will push you to evolve into someone else,” says Bonnie. “Cancer = evolving. You discover yourself. You change. You put your priorities straight. Some people realize their marriage, job, friendship or whatever no longer serves them, and they divorce and now they’re the happiest person ever.”
Cancer, of course is horrible to be diagnosed with, but it’s all in what you do with it. It humbled Bonnie, made her realize she needed to mend things, to start the healing process, and not to wait for next year, because there might not be one.
“I don’t feel sorry that I had cancer, because I love who I am today. I’ve let go of the old Bonnie, and stepped into the new.”
“If you love yourself, it’s amazing how many doors open up for you.”
Now that Bonnie has recovered from her treatment, she realizes her purpose is to inspire hope in others. People ask her if there is life after cancer. “There is, but it’s up to you,” she says. “Your hair does grow back, you have all new cells, and you take better care of yourself. Love your life, live it to the fullest. And don’t do it for anyone else. Do it for you. Once you’re done with treatment, you’re fearless. If you can go through all that, you can do anything.”
Want to know how Bonnie feels about LumpyCards? See her short testimonial HERE.