Contact Information

Buy Gift Certificate Now


Harriet Ling, LMBT


email me

Office Location
205 Lloyd St., Suite 203
Carrboro, NC  27510

I also work on location - your office or home.





Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.

"You have your whole life ahead of you..."


"You have your whole life ahead of you..."

To a 37-year-old mother of two who had just looked death in the eye, the impact of these words was huge.  When my doctor spoke them to me, the room stopped spinning for the first time since he’d told me I had breast cancer.

Today, as a massage therapist, I often work with cancer patients at many stages of their treatments and healing. I have found that the transition points beyond initial treatment can be overwhelming.

There is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” “Race for the Cure,” “Save the Ta-Tas,” “Rockers for Knockers,” Pink Ribbon this and Pink Ribbon that. Literally, at our fingertips, we learn to realize the importance of early detection. Some of us are informed of a positive diagnosis, followed by treatment options, and some (but far from all) of what to expect with each one.  We hear that new treatments are being discovered every day, that the diagnosis is not a death sentence; that there is plenty of reason to hope for and expect a cure.  We work with our doctors to formulate a battle plan, and we endure the ensuing series of progress and setbacks and the changes to our bodies. Eventually, we find ourselves at the other end of this particular journey.

When we complete the physically and emotionally intense treatment process, be it surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or all of it...our friends and family are overjoyed. They all take a deep breath and celebrate the end of the nightmare. They may not realize how terrifying it can be for the patient to be suddenly released from the constant monitoring, thoughts, prayers, comforting shoulders, and the ever-present ears that listen to our fears.  This can be a very lonely time, and a bit of an unexpected free-fall.  In spite of our relief to have endured everything thus far, we may be surprised to find ourselves fearful, lonely, and sometimes depressed while we make this transition. 

Soon, we experience new anxieties over the additional physical and logistical after-effects of our treatments: lymph edema, peripheral neuropathy, scarring, radiation-induced tissue changes, hot flashes, and learning to shop for clothes that minimize our asymmetric shapes. We adjust. We accept. We move into yet another phase.  

Having been faced with the reality of our own mortality, we are more fragile.  Yet we are stronger.  Better. Wiser. More grateful. More hopeful.  We are ourselves again. Gradually being a Cancer Survivor ceases to define us and we realize... we made it.

I made it. 

“You’ve got your whole life ahead of you.”

Cancer patients need a tangible vision of what can “be.”  A real vision of hope. Something to strive for. Something to believe in.  And I believe - this positive outlook can improve the quality of their journey and possibly even their outcome.  Life after cancer is a concept whose time has come. 

My name is Harriet Dwight Ling and I am free! Cancer free. Twenty-three years and counting! 




References (7)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    I ink Yue Xian Zong is a "Pope door, your * * ruined my method, the king should take the initiative to refining jade to curry favor with you? Me not so * *." If the leaf Mo began a few words were polite, but when it comes to the back, ...
  • Response
    go here for the greatest porsche cayman s for sale anywhere
  • Response
    Response: PinelandParc
    I don�t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren�t already Cheers!
  • Response
    Response: 840琉璃瓦机
    ,深喉冲床; 当前位置 / 数控止水钢板机 全自动天沟压型机 深喉冲床 数控钢板止水钢板机 ...
  • Response
    quality ribbons call 0935824515
  • Response
    To Get carpet protection tape contact now on 01268 768 768
  • Response
    Response: blog
    5656 S Staples St, Ste 114, Corpus Christi, TX 78411, Contact (361) 866-9076

Reader Comments (2)

This is so beautiful...the picture, the writing, the thoughts. I am proud of you.

November 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris Clark

You are truly one of a kind and I am glad to call you my friend

November 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLorraine

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>