"I have known cancer since I was a child. Do not waste life "- Rea's message

It was 2017, on the day of her birthday, when she was first diagnosed with cancer. "I have known cancer well since I can remember"

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It was 2017, on the day of her birthday, when she was first diagnosed with cancer. "I have known cancer well since I can remember," he wrote. "Other members of my family have also been diagnosed with cancer, including my mother Maro. "My mom has been fighting her own battle for 30 years."

Tribute from the online SigmaLive

Rea Papageorgiou, a woman, dynamic and brave, has been fighting cancer for years and on the occasion of World Cancer Day, she gives a message of hope to all people, young or old - all who have been or are in her position: “Do not waste life! Spend your time on people and activities that please you and make you happy. Do not waste life! Nothing else".

In the company of cancer

"I have known cancer since I was a child, since I can remember. It has always been part of my daily life, my psychosynthesis, my concern. Other members of my family have also been diagnosed with cancer, including my mother Maro. "My mom has been fighting her own battle for 30 years," she describes.

Her own personal coexistence with the disease began in 2017, exactly on her birthday. "I was in my 40s when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at a fairly advanced stage. Last night I went out with friends to celebrate and, I remember, I told them that the next day I had a routine appointment with my gynecologist. In fact, I told them that my mom had cultivated a positive attitude towards the all-time gynecological examinations. And since I was very skeptical about cancer, I knew that many forms of it were inherited. So is ours. This is a genetic mutation that has a very high chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer. "A simple blood test at the Institute of Genetics can enlighten any family."

I shouted such a heartbreaking "why"

"That day I went to the gynecologist alone, like any woman. As soon as the beloved doctor uttered the phrase "what I see is suspicious, we must investigate it further", that second, he stopped every function of my body, my heart, my breath, my movement. "I shouted such a heartbreaking 'why' that two other doctors entered the examination room and something else that happened to be outside," she described her first reaction.

However, "it was all unnecessary, because immediately after, I realized that it was my turn to give my own battle", he explained to me.

"With tears in my eyes, more than the tension, not the grief, I called my own people, my husband Antonis and my father George. And all together, my husband, my two boys, Stefanos and Paris who were then 12 and 9 years old, my mom, my dad and my sister Agni, we started a common path towards the treatment of cancer. Ten-hour surgeries, examinations, axial, countless blood tests, months of hospitalization in Germany, drugs and other drugs and… of course, long, painful, devastating chemotherapy. Chemotherapies that kill you, dissolve you as a human organism, devour your whole being, body, soul and spirit ".

How did you deal with it I asked her. "As we must face every misery, every evil, every hardship. By creation! And I will explain to you in a little while. At first, my psychological state was extremely difficult. The fact that I lost my hair also made me feel even worse. (Now that I think about it, I laugh at this stupid thought, because it's hair and literally and figuratively). I did not want to talk, I did not want to see anyone, I did not want to exist. What struck me most was the misery I thought I had caused to my own people, my family and my friends. And one day in chemotherapy, as I was lying in those "smart" medical chairs of the Bank of Cyprus Oncology, trying to watch Friends on my laptop to feel better, an idea came to my mind like a spade. "But why sit here idle and miserable, these 8 hours of chemotherapy and not do something useful?", I wondered. That day, I said to end misery and misery. I searched inside to find what pleases me and I like to do. And I found it. I decided to create my own website, in which I will create and post FREE educational material - I am a teacher, to help my colleagues in their homework and parents who support their children at home. So, with the help of Agni and my friend George, I created Reoulita.com, a website that I maintain to this day, which has huge traffic and is very popular in teacher circles, not only in Cyprus but also in Greece and in other Greek-learning countries, such as England and Australia. "Many of the posts on Reoulita.com were made either by the hospital in Germany or by the Oncology Center on Nikis Avenue in Nicosia."

Cancer changed my worldview

Rhea is a teacher by profession, cancer has changed many things in her daily life. "The appearance of cancer on me changed my worldview. It changed the way I perceived reality. My priorities have changed. I realized that life is not a given, that the time we have at our disposal to work, to spend it with people we love, to create, to leave our own mark in this world is not abundant, it is not unlimited. That's why I had to hurry. I remember something my grandmother once said to me, "Your life begins the day you realize you have no second life." At that time, I did not understand much, he wanted to tell me. Now I know very well. I now had to act as if there was no tomorrow. In this context, I realized the value of being a teacher and that being able to teach is a gift of life, because you are given the opportunity to offer. Thus, I increased my pace, became more active, more active, more involved and more efficient. At times the mind wanted but the body did not follow. But with patience and perseverance, I taught my body to obey me and to support my thinking. "

Cancer knocked on her door two more times from 2017 until today, she was diagnosed with cancer a total of three times. "It simply came to our notice then. Even today we are talking about chemotherapy. But nothing has changed. We all fight it together every day, with the same vigor and always with a smile and hope. The way I deal with it has not changed. I do not hide it from you, there are times when the side effects of drugs are intense, when the pain is unbearable, when I drown in despair. But as time goes on, they become less and less. I have decided that it is just a different way of life, a different daily life, another routine. There is no reason to waste time on bad thoughts and negativity. A! There is something different from the past. I no longer allow anything or anyone to affect my life and my way of thinking. I decide what and how I will think and what I will do in the end and I do not care about the imposition of anyone ".

It is not an "incurable disease"

Commenting on reports that it is an incurable disease, he clarified, "but it is not".

"Do you know what the trick is that succeeds? Frequent examination and prevention. It is important not to be afraid of medical examinations. Because science has come a long way. Revolutionary methods have been discovered. Highly effective drugs and procedures that effectively treat cancer have been invented. And there are excellent scientists both in Cyprus and abroad. Therefore, cancer is not incurable. It is enough to catch him. Another thing that is good to explore is our genetic background. As I mentioned above, many cancers, like other diseases, are inherited. This can be diagnosed by the Institute of Genetics in Nicosia with a simple blood test. It's not bad to know if we have a predisposition. Nor does it mean that if we have a predisposition, then we will get sick. However, we will be a little more careful and we will probably prevent very unpleasant situations. Still, it is very important to know what we inherit from our children. For how to name it… does not matter. Let each one say as he chooses. "Personally, the word 'cancer' does not bother me at all."

The message

Rhea sent her own message on the day of World Cancer Day, "The message I want to send, not only to young people but also to all people who are or will be faced with cancer, is this: Do not you despair. It is not just a hard and painful cause of a difficult disease. This is a life invitation. For an opportunity to redefine ourselves. And the difficult times, sooner or later, will pass. There will come a time when you will not remember the pain. You will try to remember him but you will not have memories. And do not isolate yourself. Spend time with positive people who make you laugh! And gain as many life experiences as you can. Things that please you. And above all, never feel guilty under any circumstances.

I want to give a piece of advice… Do not waste life! Spend your time on people and activities that please you and make you happy. Do not waste life! Nothing else".

Source: SigmaLive