I know many strong, fierce women, but my definition of what strong is completely changed when I witnessed one of the most beautiful souls I know fighting for her life. The positive attitude and the mental strength that my sister in law Dixie Bailey has exhibited throughout her cancer diagnosis is unlike anything I have ever witnessed leaving me in awe and inspired like never before. I hope this interview will inspire you. You can also hear Dixie speak about her battle with cancer tomorrow night, October 27 6pm at First United Methodist Church Huntsville, click here for details.
Mentally I became stronger because I learned that a person really can think themselves into things. Everyday I could easily choose pity, but I can mentally choose not to go there.
What inspires you about waking up each morning? The fact that I have life. That I have the morning to wake up to.
How does your family inspire you? During my illness they inspired me everyday because they gave me something to live for. My husband Bob inspires me to continue to get well everyday. It would be so easy to concentrate on how bad I feel, but he encourages me to get up and think about this new life I get to enjoy. My life may be different than it was, but I can make it better today. My kids inspire me by just being kids. With them having school activities, it encourages me to get out and see them accomplishing things. Whether it is eating lunch with them or watching a school function, it gives me something to look forward to.
What is the biggest effect cancer has had on your day to day life? I used to get up and have energy, now I get up and I have arthritis effects from chemo. I used to take the kids to school, go to the gym, and then have activities throughout the day. It has slowed all of that down.
What have you learned about yourself in fighting this disease? I have learned a lot about my faith and about God. My faith is a lot stronger and I have learned to depend on God. I have learned that I can do anything. I know if I can fight cancer, I can do anything.
When you look back, who is the person you are today versus a year ago? How have you changed spiritually and mentally? When I first found out I had cancer, I got very angry. I did not think about God, but I soon learned that the only thing that was going to get me through this was God. God was there. Mentally I became stronger because I learned that a person really can think themselves into things. Everyday I could easily choose pity, but I can mentally choose not to go there. I learned that laughter truly is the best medicine. On days when all I could do was lay and watch TV, I made sure to watch comedies because I knew how important laughing was.
What is your favorite place in the world? Home, that’s where I feel the most comfortable.
What advice would you give women going through life’s trials and tribulations? To believe in yourself and believe you can do it. Don’t let yourself have any other choice. You have to do it.
How do we begin to seek a better life? We can seek a better life through Faith and God.
What did you wear as a child? In 5th grade I remember I loved this jumpsuit, it was white with black poodles all over it and wanted wear it all the time. My mom made a lot of our clothes too. As I got older I wanted to wear Guess and Coca Cola brand!
Advice to women in their 20s. Be patient. Be patient with getting married, with your career, with your future.
Advice to women who face a cancer diagnosis? Be strong, have faith. Don’t let your mind go places it shouldn’t because it will take away your will. Seek support from people who have gone through what you are going through.