Enchanted Evening offers hope, humor for women cancer survivors
Judy Chatigny, administrative director of the Cancer Institute, welcomes the audience to the Enchanted Evening program to raise awareness about women’s cancer issues.
More than 200 women came to the Enchanted Evening cancer awareness program put on by the Loma Linda University Cancer Institute on October 19. The theme of knights in shining armor and elegant ladies of the court was presented in a very light-hearted but beautiful manner and set the tone for a fun evening. Lee Ezell, an author, popular speaker, and breast-cancer survivor, more than followed through on the theme with a presentation busting the myths and fantasies of surviving cancer.
“If you are a cancer survivor, congratulations on realizing you have to take control of your wellness,” smiled Ms. Ezell. “We get to participate in our wellness. We are better for the struggle we’ve been through.
“We’ve mustered a support group around us and realize how important people are to us.”
Ms. Ezell continued on throughout a powerful and poignantly funny presentation tailor made for an audience of cancer survivors.
“We have realized that pain is inevitable, but that misery is optional,” she continued, as she described what she called the Cinderella syndrome. In this, you live in a fantasyland, always thinking that something else, something you don’t have, will bring happiness.
“At what stage, at what point are we women going to be happy?” Ms. Ezell asked. “We can’t say ‘When my energy comes back, when my mouth clears up, when my hair grows back....’
“No more waiting for a prince, for people to change,” she admonished. “All too often we have all our happiness wrapped up in a person who won’t cooperate.”
After such a reality check
of an introduction, Ms. Ezell told those present that each one held the key to their
own happiness. She would show how to turn those keys to finding happiness in the past, present, and future.
For finding happiness about the past, she named forgiveness as the key.
“How many times does God get blamed for what he never did?” she asked. “You can’t change the past, that’s history. We must forgive in order to set ourselves free. In your life it doesn’t matter how you begin, but what you become.”
For the present, Ms. Ezell stated freedom was the key to happiness. But not just any type of freedom. Freedom from guilt and responsibility for other people.
She emphasized two points on this subject. One, “If you have no control, you have no responsibility.” And two, “You’re responsible to people, not for people.”
As for the future, the key she offered was one of faith. Decide what you believe and why.
“I’m choosing life every day of my life,” Ms. Ezell concluded, as she encouraged every survivor to do the same.
More information about Lee Ezell can be found at <www.leeezell.com>.