In breast cancer circles, courageous stories of inspiration are plentiful and precious. We love them. We need them. After all, about one in eight American women will develop invasive breast cancer and their journeys offer hope and courage. I am a storyteller. And this blog is a piece of my story.
I am actually laying in bed in a hotel room, at the moment. I have come home to California for an Alumni Reunion in Perris. I am a graduate of the class of 81. It is 3:15am and leg and foot cramps woke me. And now my sleep time has obviously ended.
I’m not good at being still and doing nothing. I hate just sitting around doing nothing at all. So…I pulled out the phone and started writing this blog.
The ability to stay calm during a high-stress and scary situation is extremely difficult. After being diagnosed with cancer, it feels like everything changes. Sanity goes out the window and gets replaced with nerves, fears and a sense of hopelessness. You know that if you could only find a way to stay calm, you would be able to think more clearly. But where do you even start?
It’s been 3 year 3 months and 16 days since ugly nasty crappy cancer stole my Boobies. I felt guilty every time I had to have surgery and then sit in the recliner while my husband takes care of his job, our family, household chores and meals (take-out). I wanted for everything to just be over,
I’ve always been one with high energy. I liked to keep busy. I was an active wife, Mom and Oma. I run a grand child to school, pick two up from school on dance day, and try to get exercise in at least three days a week. Plus I held a full time job.
We live in a world of faster and more. We’re of a generation that stands in front of a microwave telling it to hurry! Our computer never seems to work fast enough. All of us are attached at the wrist with a tiny computer we call our phones…but they are really more than just a phone…they are our cameras, photo albums, calendar, alarm clocks, and more. And we want the latest, newest one!
It’s been difficult for me to slow down. Cancer changes you pace of life. Some days are great and normal. Others are slow due to bone and muscle pain or fatigue because of lack of sleep.
Every time I had surgery, I would get bored sitting in this recliner listening to the clocks tick. I didn’t even have the energy to Bible journal, read a book, work on a puzzle. I would forget I wasn’t supposed to move my arms much, until I did. That was when I was reminded that ugly nasty crappy cancer took sentinel nodes from my pits! Then There was the weekly injections for the tissue expanders, which hurt like hell. Next, the removal of tissue expanders and insert implants. Third surgery to remove an implant and put in a different one. OUCH!
I told myself that perfection is over rated. And perfect is not my forte, but I strived for perfection. I’m blessed to have a hubby that loves me enough to do his chores AND mine so I can recover. He is waiting on me hand and foot!
Many consider “grace” to be an energy or spiritual force that comes from a divine source. Others believe it to be an internal emotion. Whatever your belief may be, I found out that this ‘higher power’ is available for you to tap into when you’re face-to-face with cancer if you look for it.
Wherever you are on your path, what you choose to call it is left to your discretion. The important point is to be aware of its presence. This magnificent energy is available to every one of us. Once you acknowledge the existence of this divine intelligence in your life, you will become more graceful and in turn, more calm. This awareness opens up your mind as you learn to deal with cancer and how it is affecting you or someone you love.
Speaking from my own experience, grace became very apparent to me during my journey and recovery. Even 3 years later as a proud cancer survivor, I can recall moments when I relied on grace to help me get through tough moments. Whenever I received good news that a scan, test, or chemo session went well, I was so grateful and appreciative of being receptive to my divine guidance. It is so important to listen, pay attention, and take action. When you allow grace to illuminate your own cancer path it will guide you. It is there for you, so use it wisely.
God filled my cup to overflowing with the blessings I’ve experienced so far from this ugly nasty crappy cancer. Who woulda thunk it?
I’m in a place of reflection, prayer and meditation. After all, I’ve got the time! So, I blog. I pray my journey will inspire other women to take care of your bodies, feel the twins once a month and know that you do not fight ugly nasty crappy cancer alone.
John 16:33 – “Take heart for I have overcome the world. ”
Did that clock just stop ticking?