Down but Not Defeated

when she stood, she stood tall….
words and image by sandie rossini


Life has been good to me and I try not to complain- in fact I actually feel blessed that it’s been just about 7 1/2 years since the brain surgery that saved my life. Every time I get a “good” MRI scan (meaning there’s no “new” cancer) my family and I are so grateful. I have been feeling pretty good in fact my doctors appointments were actually reduced and in July my doctor and I celebrated 7 years! Then everything suddenly changed…the cancer had returned. Words I never wanted to hear. As my doctor spoke I tried really hard to listen, to focus on the words he was saying… ”same side of your brain…but on the bottom half this time…surgery..radiation…” Needless to say my head was spinning. I decided that I would need to just try to be patient and positive while I awaited my doctor to call with a treatment plan. A few days later we received a phone call with more news- oh good-the plan? No, in fact a closer look at the scan revealed “something” else in a different area. It was too much for me- I had to walk away and take a breath.

Throughout my cancer journey thus far I have learned many things. A great lesson that I’ve learned along the way- if it all feels like too much, it’s ok to step away to take a deep breath. Panicking and worrying does not help so I know that I need to do certain things to calm myself down. Learning that after 7 years my brain cancer had returned was just too overwhelming. Stepping away from the situation to take a deep breath was how I dealt with this news. I am extremely lucky that I have a partner that can hold me up, hold me steady in times like these. I know not everyone has someone like that. In fact I see those people at the hospital who are alone and it breaks my heart. It makes me appreciate my amazing and strong husband.

New rules- facing it alone. This time things would be different. Due to the terrible pandemic facing our country the hospital was forced to create new and strict guidelines- which includes no visitors. So that meant this time around I would be flying solo. The idea of doing this on my own seemed almost impossible and daunting but I had a choice. I could either get up and fight for my life once again or I could back away from the challenge and die- did that sound blunt? Well that’s because it is. It’s life or death and I choose life. I will always choose life.

So, a new challenge. I must be brave- braver than I ever have before. I would fight to live, again. I’m going to fight for my husband, my loving family & friends, for my daughters- I am so desperate to see them to grow up. There are so many things to live for- I would give absolutely anything to live. I am grateful for what I have now, right now- but man do I want a future. I will go through all the painful treatments, I will walk into the hospital alone, but tall, with my held high and walk out alone into the arms of my loved ones. I would walk through fire to save my life. Just watch. Hey cancer- I’m coming for you.

8 thoughts on “Down but Not Defeated

  1. Melissa says:

    Sandie you’re so inspiring. I’m not sure you realize how many people you are giving hope through your journey. Thank you for writing this. I’m praying for you tonight. ❤️


  2. Ryan Oconnor says:

    Sandie I’m so sorry to hear this! We are keeping you in our thoughts and Prayers and you got this!! You have enough love around you To guide you thru this awful news. Stay strong , you got this! ❤️😘


  3. Linda Fogel says:

    Dear Sandi,
    Jill forwarded your post…you are a brave and inspiring women! Please know that you will be in my prayers for a successful surgery and recovery.
    Sending love and best wishes to you and your family.

    Linda Fogel


  4. Marta says:

    Sandi, you are an inspiration! Keep your faith and strive forward. I will continue to keep you in my prayers beautiful. God will hear our prayers. You will live a long life. That is my faith. And know that you are loved! Lifting you up to the throne for healing.


  5. Desiree says:

    Hi Sandie, I didn’t know this news yesterday when I texted you about your awesome Xmas decorations. And I didn’t know what you’d been through when we met trick-or-treating at your haunted home Halloween night 7 years ago. You clearly had been through something and yet had such a warm and welcoming smile. I knew instantly I wanted to be your friend and we were connected beyond our addresses 🙂 rock on mama, you always have that smile, you’re amazing, you are always in my thoughts.


  6. Michele Doucette says:

    I don’t know why but tonight I was thinking of you out of the blue. In fact, I kept thinking about you and thought it was strange. So I thought maybe I should visit your page. I read your post and felt I was sent a message. I’ve told you this before and I’ll tell you again… even though we don’t know each other (just crossed paths in the industry) you’ve always been a huge inspiration to me! I so envy your strength, admire your creativity, and think you’re incredible. Sandie, if anyone has the power to beat this YOU DO. Please keep us updated, hopeful, and inspired, and remember to reach out if you need anything. xo


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