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"In the Boxing Ring with Cancer" By Paula Lindsey

Updated: 4 days ago

I first met my opponent, CANCER, when I was 17. Leukemia took my friend LINDSAY away.


It stole her beautiful long blonde hair… but NOT her laugh…. or Faith in God.

I sobbed uncontrollably at her funeral when Somewhere over the Rainbow from Wizard of OZ played (Our favorite Movie) “She’s in a better place” ….her mom said.

I didn’t “Get it” (she was 16) I was ANGRY….


CANCER… YOU ARE A THIEF !

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I was in my 30’s when DAD put on the gloves and fought prostate cancer... twice.

I was his caregiver with a ringside seat to chemo, radiation and the suffering.

He fought hard... a TRUE CONTENDER (my dad)

DOC said he had about 2 years to “live”… Oh, if only: ….. He was gone 4 months later.

I felt cheated.


CANCER… YOU ARE A LIAR !

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April 2013: I was 52 when I climbed in the ring with my opponent and got the diagnosis:

My Doctor quickly rattles off the words: DUCTAL CARCINOMA IN SITU (DCIS) ER / PR + (That’s fancy jargon for non-invasive Breast Cancer / Hormone Receptor Positive) He somewhat jokingly says & then motions

“JUST A LITTLE BIT OF CANCER ….. HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW “!

********** OUCH, SUCKERPUNCH ******

JUNE 2013: Mastectomy of my Left Breast with immediate reconstruction and I began Hormone Therapy and countless Physical Therapy sessions.

CANCER, YOU ARE A MONSTER !

My husband, son & immediate family were in “my corner” and loved me through it. I went on to……. LIVE… LAUGH...and LOVE my life and my battle cry became ROAR!

2015: I joined a group of HEROES that supported young kids battling cancer.

I morphed into GLINDA THE GOOD WITCH from OZ with pink ball gown and all.

Our ELSA from Frozen was battling breast cancer (my pink sister, Melody).

Cancer is especially brutal on children. It’s painful and confuses them with all the Poking & Prodding and hair loss. It isolates them and takes them away from friends. It tries to steal their JOY.


BACK OFF “BOOGIE-MAN” ! THIS GOOD WITCH will continue to wave her magic-wand, spread love and laughter despite you!


The little warriors and I say….HEAR US ROAR !

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By early 2018 my “ Opponent” had a more sinister title:

CANCER, The ANNIHILATOR:

IT DID NOT DISCRIMINATE … it had “TAKEN” several beautiful warrior CHILDREN …..

April 2016: I watched my FRIENDS’S HUSBAND (my friend) take his last breath…

November: 2016: It “TOOK” our ELSA… MELODY… my pink sister (she was only 40)…….

For years, I had a ring-side seat to the ongoing devastation:

HELPLESS & GRIEVING EACH LOSS.

JUNE 17th 2018 was fast approaching: my 5 year “CANCER-FREE-VERSARY” !

When I would proclaim it was official. You see, I was never one to wave the “cancer free” flag. Up until then...just call me NED (no evidence of disease) as the docs would say. I decided that I deserved to celebrate with a Karaoke Party, Pink feather boas, Eat, drink & be merry...I would shout it to the rooftops...cancer free at last!

But then, my opponent CANCER dealt a CRUEL LOW BLOW when it killed MY DOG, my companion. I watched Bucky suffer until he went “SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW


……….. Just ONE week before my 5 years!!!

I WENT TO A DARK PLACE IN MY MIND: Years of “STUFF”… Began to surface: FORGET THE PARTY, HOW CAN I CELEBRATE?

I WAS ANGRY … I WANTED TO HIT SOMETHING…

(As if cancer had manifested inself into something tangible, REAL and UGLY.)

“GLOVES OFF …..BARE KNUCKLE FIGHT…. COME ON CANCER, LET’S GO !”

A 16 YEAR OLD should pick out a prom dress and NOT her coffin!

WIVES should NOT become widows in their 40’s!

CHILDREN should hug teddy bears and NOT blue barf bags!

PARENTS should NOT bury their children!

MELODY should have been a BRIDE and NOT just a fairytale princess

And damned YOU cancer, NOW you take Bucky? Who loved me unconditionally ALL so innocent …… ALL so senseless JUNE 16t: The night before “my big day” the “Cancer-free-versary” I was still hurting, beaten and bruised emotionally when I attended Curtain Up Cancer Foundation’s production of THE SIX, A Celebration of the Power Within. I laughed & cried but mostly, I was inspired and realized that WE, as SURVIVORS, are all UNIQUE. Doctors give us THE diagnosis but no one gives us an instruction manual on how to Survive cancer. WE LEARN FROM EACH OTHER . One Survivor’s Story in “THE SIX” portrayed how she had MADE PEACE with Cancer. IMAGINE THAT……. I thought to myself. “Imagine that”

JUNE 17TH, 2018: 5 years.

I woke up early, the house was quiet. I looked at my handsome husband, Keith, sleeping next to me and admired “the man” … that had chosen to stay with me through the good times and the bad, sickness and in health and especially over the past 5 years.


I allowed myself to “be still” put myself in a state of Grace and thanked GOD for the gift of life and His abundant blessings.


For all the wonderful people, family and friends who had supported me. For all the NEW friends I had made … IN SPITE OF CANCER!

And in that state of grace, I felt the anger lift from my body, supernaturally.

Just as cancer was surgically removed from my breast 5 years ago to the day… THE ANGER…. (THE POISON) was gone. GOD gave me a beautiful gift that morning.


I didn’t need a Karaoke party with pink feather boas!

As I lay there: I imagined myself … in the boxing ring with my opponent:

CANCER: The THIEF, THE LIAR, THE MONSTER, THE BOOGIE MAN, THE ANNIHILATOR


GOD took my arm raised it high to proclaim: VICTORIOUS! WINNER by A TKO:

(Paula, HEAR ME ROAR, Lindsey)! And so……. in that moment, I BOLDLY accepted that I would forever be FREE of cancer in any WAY, SHAPE or FORM!!

I AM ………. CANCER – FREE !

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