ma sk18I have always believed the toughest love is people parting with their money, their time, and service when they have a loved one fighting for their life with stage 4 cancer.

It seems to be the end of the road. The oncologist says to a cancer warrior after a long hard battle, “There is nothing left we can do for you!”. They are in shock; they go home feeling scared and tell those who they trust that their oncologist said, and that it’s over. It’s normal to break down and go through a period of defeat. Sometimes, that’s all it is, ” a moment”, perhaps a long moment until suddenly they feel a surge of will to fight. They don’t want to give up! They have faith in God or sheer will and do not see the expiration date stamped on their foot! They had heard of miracle stories, where success had happened even when all seemed lost! The thought is like a power surge through their mind, their soul, and body” What if I can be that miracle too! It’s a long shot, but, “What if”?

It’s convenient for friends or family to say “It’s time for you to understand you are in denial.” Is it worth it to “invest money in false hope”? “You’re so desperate you can’t even see or recognize a scam and how alternative doctors are just out for any money you have left! Why take from your children’s college fund? It’s desperate and in the end selfish! Is it worth all the effort of fundraising, what about our friends and family, do we burden them AGAIN this second time around?

I had a second time with cancer. I heard a few things that were discouraging. Let me tell you, I am glad I didn’t give up! My friends allowed me to be that burden, and it was so humbling. I was afraid the entire time! I felt so scared of wasting their time and money but also made a promise to help others should I live! It’s easier sometimes to try and convince the loved one with cancer to just give up, to believe what the doctor said, to offer and help “Get their affairs in order” because after all, their doctor said it’s time! ” It’s convenient yes, but to choose to listen to the doctor and their limitations and ignore the will of another human being’s will to fight is cruel! It is wrong to persuade them to give up if they feel there is any hope left within them!

I am proof; as well as many others that we are all a possibility for a miracle! Thank you for all who believed in my will to to keep up the fight when my UCLA doctor ran out of options. I never did chemotherapy because I had pneumonia and staph infection in my lungs. The breast cancer spread to my lungs and bones and he did all he was allowed to do. He did his best! However, it did not prove to be the best in the world for “me”! I never gave up. When you walk out of that office you are changed.

To me, after the shock wore off and some deep personal introspection. It meant don’t give up! It meant, find another possibility. So I did. I didn’t waste time with anger about my insurance not covering treatment in a Mexican hospital. I never even asked for a success rate because all my life I fought for individuality growing up as a twin. People always said. You two are identical and I knew they were wrong and how unique I was. I don’t know anyone with my personality, my soul or body. We have a chance at a miracle. We are not clones.

So, I guess getting our affairs in order could mean anything really. For me, it meant fundraising and getting ready for plan B, “Mexico”! I went in never asking for a guarantee or my money back. This is a battle WE FIGHT! Those who are in it know what I mean. It doesn’t matter what they tell us. Not even when we are pregnant. Look at all the different women and their stories about how their child came into the world. Some had a successful pregnancy, hardly ever an exact due date, maybe an absence of birth defects, multiple births etc. There are no guarantees in this life. So, how can anyone give up when someone has fight left to try and live?

Tough love is where your loved ones roll up their sleeves and say,” really? The doctor said there is nothing else to be done?!” You want to keep trying? I believe we fight than! I will fight with you and since you are the weaker one, tired and scared I will get a team together and we will raise the money for you. It is a passionate mission for the one we love, our sister, brother, friend, whoever’s life has value to you. It is a statement that says I stand beside you! It is work when someone is tired.

It is not gossip. People actually are that bad and it is sad to hurt them when they are already down. Do not ever say it is someone’s time to go to another person if they are raising money. They are not “tired and wishing to die” They said they want to live and do not feel well. So If you love them, love them all the way. Don’t give them a piece of paper with an organization to email or call. They are wiped out! They are emotionally worn! Love them big and great. Do right by them and contact them. Find someone to build a website for them. I have an example on my Angels for Shannon page.

Tough love is when you are giving money to someone you love for the treatment that might save their life which has “no guarantee”! It has worked for others and has no promise to give. That’s hard to accept and real honest! If they have faith in the treatment because it is a stone left unturned and they feel it must be tried then it is worth the effort regardless of the outcome. (Please do not torture them by asking them what the success rate is of where they want to go?) No one knows the reality and there are too many variables especially with prior treatment. My type of cancer only had a 1% success rate. I am alive! I was the 1 % and I am paying it forward. There is value! It was worth the fight.

If someone has a battle left in them and you, know it do what you can if they are a loved one! Even if it’s a trip to Rome for Holy water. Faith is the biggest part of their battle and if they ever need it, now is that time more than ever! Without your faith and support, trust me you will feel it later on in life the closer you are to them. It will hurt you.


Shannon Knight