– Cancer IS a Gift!

I believe that everything happens for a reason.
People change so that you can learn to let go,
things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right,
you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself,
and sometimes good things fall apart
so better things can fall together.
― Marilyn Monroe

Some people say that cancer is a gift. Others respond vehemently that it most certainly is not a gift… that a gift is something you would give to someone else and that we wouldn’t wish this on anybody.

For me, cancer has been a gift. First of all, if I don’t see it that way, I can’t get through the day(s). This better damn well have some good come from it, right? So maybe I’m just rationalizing it. But my life view is that life is a gift and that every experience we have is to be savored and learned from… even, and perhaps especially, death.

It is so tempting to think that everything happens for a reason. I believe it does. That doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a mono-deity calling all the shots, planning every little thing. What it means to me is that when something happens to me, I’m going to MAKE it mean something. God helps those who help themselves, right? I’m going to learn whatever that experience offers. I’m going to make lemonade when life gives me lemons. And then it will be a good thing… I will have made it so.

One gift that cancer has given me is that I now know that I am a badass… with reservoirs of strength that I could never have imagined I had. Another gift is the revelation that more people than I could ever have possibly imagined love me… with an unbelievable intensity. And the knowledge that love is the most powerful force in the universe.

Perhaps the most important gift is that I have found my voice. All my life I just wanted to be understood. It’s what we all want, isn’t it? And through blogging and posting, I’ve been able to reason out and articulate my feelings so that I could understand myself and all of you have been so instrumental in that quest by providing your own insights, feedback, support, and love. Not only do I feel loved, I feel understood… for the first time in my life.

Perhaps the greatest test for whether I feel cancer is a gift came when a friend posed the question… “If you had the chance to go back to pre-diagnosis, and not have the cancer, certainly you’d choose that?” I was amazed as the realization dawned upon me and I answered, “No, I wouldn’t choose to not have had cancer”. Knowing what I know now and having made it through the darkness several times, I can’t imagine going back to the person that I was then. What a ditzy airhead that woman seems compared to me… the fire walker. I wouldn’t choose to go through it again (although, being stage 4, I most likely will go through it again). But I wouldn’t now choose a different path to be where I am now. I want to be who I am now. Even if it means I am dead soon. Crazy? Obviously, I’m not looking forward to the day that it comes back and the gates of hell open once more but, hey, denial has gotten me this far.

How about you? Imagine the worst thing that happened to you, even if it wasn’t cancer. How did it shape you? Do you appreciate the part of you that came out of the darkness? If not, maybe you didn’t learn the right lesson? Maybe this is a realization we can all apply to help us have no regrets. To help us accept and love who we are, warts and all, and to harvest the good out of every experience. I mean, we’re here now, why not make it count?

I’ve lived an amazingly wonderful life. And I’m kinda excited about what’s next. Because my healing journey has opened my eyes and heart to a spiritual awareness of the simultaneous permanence and impermanence of things. Life as we know it is impermanent but the atoms that combine in so many different ways to create the hologram of our perceived existence, are the same atoms that were created in the Big Bang and will recycle to create another hologram.

The only reason I am fighting so hard to buy some time in this incarnation is for my son. I’m not ready to stop nagging him yet. Hahahaa. No, seriously, my love for him will not die when I disincorporate but there is still so much love to lavish on him here. And how cool would it be to sing a grandchild to sleep in my arms? And how much cooler of a mother and a grandmother will I be because I’ve been on this journey with cancer?

I am deeply reminded that our life’s journey is a gift,
not a given, and that we can never truly know
how long the journey will last. All we can do is decide
how the journey unfolds

– Sonia Choquette





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  1. Bette

    Kai, I certainly agree with you. I never understood why people would say” what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” I certainly found that out having had the surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

    I also became very aware of what was most important in my “new life” and that the how trivial some of the other parts were. Family became more important. Nature certainly seemed to be more beautiful.

    Love you,


  2. Christine Garrott

    Dear Kai,
    There have been so, so many times that I have expressed similar sentiments to friends and family, only to get those blank “are you KIDDING??” looks. I have to admit that having metastatic breast cancer certainly has a lot of suckage attached to it, but on the other hand…it has re-opened my spiritual life, driven me to make choices I would have been too afraid to consider in the past, allowed me to reach beyond my boundaries, and given me opportunities that never would have happened if I had never been diagnosed. I have met extraordinary women and men who are on this journey with me, many of whom I am now blessed to call my METsisters and METbrothers.

    This week marks 2 years since my MBC diagnosis. Although I have no idea where this journey will be taking me, or how long I will have before I’m called Home, I DO know that the mission is not yet over, and I am secure in the fact that I will continue to have joyful moments along the way to creating a legacy that is both meaningful and memorable.

    Much love to you!

  3. Carol Mathis

    Very well written. I’ve said this for a long time, everything happens for a reason. I didn’t cry when I was fired, I realized my brain tumor was groing. Now I’m recovering from 2 craniotomys doing well. Yep, being fired was actually a blessing. Happened for a reason. A sign something was wrong.

  4. debra

    Cancer is a disease that is a result of the fall of man in the garden of Eden. I pray that you read the Bible to have a correct understanding of life and death. You cannot just make up your own belief system without consequences. After death is judgment. Please seek God for understanding.

    1. Kaiulani Facciani

      I am very close to God. We talk every day. God has made it very clear to me that there as many versions of God as there are people. And that people who think they have all the answers are missing opportunities for spiritual growth. I am very grateful for my relationship with God and I would not trade it for yours. Nor should you trade yours for mine. What your relationship looks like is not as important as the fact that you have one. You may not agree with this post, but it’s very clear to me that God does. http://imgonnaliveuntilidie.com/2015/10/doorways-to-the-divine/ Bless you on the path that you choose.

      1. Geri Ann

        Well said! I couldn’t agree more whole-heartedly. A person’s spiritual beliefs and experience are as unique as the individual! Much love and ResGeripect to you Kai!

  5. Evie Fishkin

    I love your vulnerability. You are amazing and I learn a lot from you! I like that you are positive and not taking the victim mentality. I love that you are your own advocate and you do your homework. I love that you love people and are a kind person.

    With that all said, I blog on facebook to friends who know me. Blogging and writing has been therapy for me. When dx with Metastases June 13, 2014 I thought I only had months to live, but against odds I am still here. When I first heard I had early cancer the verse Romans 8:28 came to mind that all things work together for good…so I said, I was going to look for the good in all this. I too have found cancer tough, but a gift. My friends sent me to Israel. Friends from 40 years back heard I had cancer and reconnected with me. I have never felt so loved.

    But…too, I’m not ready to expired because I have 2 kids that are learning to fly. They still need me to push them a bit and just be there for them. I will be relieved when they are married and settled. The mother instinct in me keeps me planted on earth.

    Thank you for all you give. I am happy that I found your blog and fb messages. I’m still working on things…it’s been tough for me lately, and it is hard to get it all together when you don’t feel well. It is difficult trying to take all of the right supplements, and getting my medical card for M oil has been a challenge.


  6. Dorothy Barton-Aly

    I have very much reached many of the same conclusions that you have articulated so well. No one wants to be sick, afraid, or in pain, but my personal growth, and the growth of my little family and friends has been monumental. While I lose friends to this disease, I have had extraordinary opportunities to meet the most amazing human beings that have enriched my life so much. The pain of losing them to this disease is torturous, but I would never give up having them in my life in the first place. This disease saved my marriage. I had no idea how much my husband loved me and he has totally stepped up to the plate to care for me and shows daily how much I mean to him and our boys. Ive learned to speak up for myself and not be victimized. I’ve realized how very smart and capable I am, and that there are many that can’t operate at that level. I’ve learned who really loves me and who are acquaintances and to not give too much energy to those who disappoint me and to most certainly let silly conflicts of minutia roll off my back. One of my greatest desires and missions in my life was to help people and leave this earth a little bit better for my having been here. I was on that path before marriage and once married life just pulled me away. Through MBC I have set up A Happy Place as a place to show and share with other ladies that life continues and there is still joy in the little things, and A Place For Prayer for sharing challenges and asking others for more direct support, and last but not least, I was able to set up with two other metsisters and my son the MBC Assistance Group Inc., a 501c3 charity to help families improve their quality of life and especially assist with some of the financial burdens caused by this disease. This fulfills that wish to help people again that I thought was forever lost. So how could I go back and wish it never happened? I’ve learned and grown and come so far. No evidence of disease or miraculous healing, or someone finding a cure would be great.

  7. Carolyn Barton

    OMG – What a blessing I have just received. Your beautiful writings just appeared before me. The subject is of special interest to me especially right now. I lost my beautiful daughter to metastatic breast cancer on April 17th. I am still searching for answers. As I read your feelings on the subject and how you are able to find a positive side to life with this dread disease, I began to cry, tears rolling down my face as I have not been able to let happen until you shared so beautifully. It has restored my faith. Then I read the responses to Cancer is a Gift. And there was another encounter with my daughter – Dorothy Barton Aly. Thank you for the gift of love.

    1. Kaiulani Facciani

      Thank you for sharing with me that my writing touched you. Dorothy was a bright light for so many and she will not be forgotten. I am so sorry for your loss and I send you a big hug.

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