What is, not what if

If we’re always thinking “what if?” instead of “what is”, then we would live in a continuous state of fear.

Natasha Lugo


How can someone live their life in fear?

Why would they want to worry so much about things that are completely out of control?

They should just let go, and live. Let it be. 

That, however, is very much easier said than done. 

A few days ago, I met someone. A teen girl that has Cystic Fibrosis.

Such an eye opening experience. This girl has this terrible disease. The doctors have told her that she has a very short amount of time to live, yet there she is walking around very friendly and enjoying life. If I didn’t meet her, I would never have thought she is sick.

Meeting this girl, made me realize that I am one of the luckiest people alive. Because although I am considered to be sick, no one is able to tell, and there are no cancerous signs just yet. (thank god)

But hey, that can change in a blink of an eye.

I have Ganglioneuroma. It’s a benign tumor on my spinal cord and although I’m pretty sure I have had it for a very long time, I officially started feeling the symptoms and was diagnosed on January 2011.


No one can imagine the way I felt when I was told that winter afternoon, [in a cold depressing hospital room], that my life was never going to be the same. I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face and to this day, when I think about it, I still get teary eyed.


Many people wonder the reason for my depression, my anger, my frustrations.

So many things factored into my feelings.

Yes, it’s benign, and yes I’m still alive. But no one, (beside my parents), really bothered to investigate what I had. The pain that’s caused by this tumor, is something I am going to have to live with for the rest of my life. On top of that, I have to constantly be going to the doctor because it could turn cancerous at any point in time, and then the one thing that I think scares me the most, is the fact that it is on my spine, if it continuous to grow, I could be left without any feeling on my right leg & arm. Just thinking of all of this, made my waking up something I didn’t want to continue doing. My life was and still will never be the same after the diagnosis.

But even after, I prayed for a cure that wasn’t surgery. It’s not that I didn’t want surgery, the problem was that my doctor’s cancelled out that option. My spine is compressed, and even with surgery, it will never be straight again, and my pain may possibly get worse, plus the possibility of me being paralyzed became greater with surgery.

I thought things really couldn’t get better. Then, a miracle happened. I met a pain management doctor that provided me with an option that could make my life a little better, a pain pump. It was a pretty major surgery, they had to open me up, insert the pump and connect a catheter to my spine. I have to go every year to insert the medicine, but this has literally changed my life.

My scars are there, and they will be there for as long as I live. At first, it terrified me knowing that my stomach, my back, and my side will be marked forever, but I prefer that over the constant suffering. These scars are just a constant reminder, that although I have gone through some pretty terrible things, I am still alive, stronger and healthy. I don’t have pain anymore, and I am as grateful and happy as I’ve ever been.

Although there is one thing that terrifies me to death, and that is the fear of falling in love with someone and them rejecting me because of this or not completely understanding what I have been through. But I know that once I meet the person I am supposed to be with, they will love and accept me, flaws and all.

That is why when I met that girl and saw how happy and full of life she is, (knowing she isn’t going to have much longer to live), I realize that no matter what I should be happy and try not to worry as much. Some days are better than others, but that doesn’t stop me from waking up every morning extremely happy and blessed, not only knowing that I am able to see another day without pain, but that I am alive and loved. Nothing in my life will ever be taken for granted.

Why shouldn’t we wake up in the morning and be happy? We need to stop worrying and complaining about the insignificant. Be compassionate, be welcoming, be friendly. Travel as much as you’re allowed. But most of all love with all that you have!

You only have one life to live, so living it the way you want is the only thing left to do, because, you’re life can change in less than a minute.

Trust me when I say, you don’t want to regret the chances you didn’t take, the places you didn’t visit and the people you didn’t love.



4 thoughts on “What is, not what if

  1. Hi Tasha! Thank you for sharing this. It takes courage and inner strength to open up to others. But this is that I admire about you the most. Keep on smiling and living your best life! You deserve it! ❤️


  2. Hey Tiny Tasha, those last lines brought tears to my eyes. Such a beautiful look at life by someone so young. I am so sorry you have gone through what you went through. You make me look at life in a more positive way. Thank you.



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