The SundaySeries (Updated), with Mark Brodinsky

Fight. Hit back. Overcome.  When you feel like giving up, when it seems you are in your darkest place, that's the time to grab a-hold of everything inside you, because it is inside each and every one of us, the power of resiliency. We may all be different on the outside, but parts of us are all the same on the inside, and those parts are the ones that when given life - can truly help you to live, to survive, to thrive - to be who you are supposed to be.

"I did it before and I'll do it again..."

These are the words you are about to read in a Facebook post from Maria Dennis just days ago. I first shared Maria's story on The Sunday Series, exactly 15 months ago, February 1st 2015. So why revisit? Because Maria's words in her post define the core of resiliency. In her own description of what is occurring she simply and boldly expresses her turning point, and defines the characteristics of every one my Sunday Series subjects - courage, hope and inspiration.

In gratitude and respect for Maria, and I asked her permission to do so, here now is a re-post of her own words from her Facebook post, one which as soon as I read it inspired me - and the original Sunday Series post on Maria's journey just below.

Remember, everyone has a story.

I am Mark Brodinsky and this is The Sunday Series.

The Sunday Series: Kicking Cancer's Ass

Dateline April 29, 2016, from Maria Dennis (Facebook),

"I wasn't at work today. I was at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins hospital. See, I've been getting headaches...severe at times. Every single day for about two weeks. I saw my doc on Tuesday and he said he was concerned. "Concerned". He said that with my type of leukemia, if I relapse, it would come back in my brain. In the fluid around my brain to be exact. Headaches are certainly a sign of that. Of course there could be other reasons for the headaches but we had to get to the bottom of it. He had me go for an MRI of my brain that night, which I did. He also needed to test my spinal fluid for signs of leukemia.

I was scheduled for that lumbar puncture today (for the doc to get spinal fluid to test) and for chemo to be shot directly to my brain...again. I have to say that I had a breakdown on Tuesday. I was crying and muttering "why me"? I honestly had never done that before despite all I have been through. But, you know what? I was DONE! I'm over this shit! I hate it! I hate that I have to worry about every little thing and wonder if I've relapsed. It's truly not fair.

But you know what, my inner warrior came out again. After all that on Tuesday I switched gears. I really did. I told myself that it is what it is. I'll deal with whatever the outcome. I did it before and I'll do it again. I got mad and just wanted to get today over with.

So, my husband and I marched into Hopkins this morning and got it done. I had blood work at 9:30am then waited 3 hours for the procedure. It was terrible. Really nerve-wracking and painful. I had to be awake for it because you have to be able to communicate with the nurses during the procedure. It was a six-inch needle going directly into my spine to extract spinal fluid.... and a lot of it. It took about 30 minutes.

My doctor told me it would take 12 hours to get the results. I was bracing for the worst. I asked on Tuesday what the treatment would be if the tests came out positive...he told me. Massive doses of chemotherapy directly to my brain. That's if I can even tolerate it. Also, the drugs are pretty new, but have seen "some" good results. Ugh! I was sure I'd have to wait until Monday to get all my results back.
Well, I just got word from my doctor. My spinal fluid showed "no signs of leukemia"! My MRI was clean. I'm OK. I'm still OK. Thank God! My doc thinks my headaches are from my oral chemo so he's going to cut back the dose for a couple of weeks.

I know I'm being spared for a reason. Maybe it's to tell you to be grateful for what you have. Maybe to let you know that you can overcome things in your life that seem hopeless. I'm living testament to that. Please take my story and try to remember to just live in the moment. Be present for your friends and family while you still can. Life is not a's truly a privilege. I'm so thankful for all the wonderful people in my life. Thank you for being there.


the girl who continues to kick cancer's ass.

Here now the original Sunday Series on Maria Dennis from February 1, 2015:

Until next time  thanks for taking the time,

Author: The #1 Amazon Best Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse's Story