In her own words:
“I tested positive for BRCA2, a breast cancer gene, then my doctor found a small tumor in my Fallopian tube, hiding quietly. I suddenly felt I was on a speeding train running off the tracks heading directly towards complete disaster.
This was instantly my life’s test, when you’re required to get all your strength together and move forward with courage. This was in my mind logically, brewing, however wishing to remain in time before this day in the doctor’s office. My husband took my hand, told me we will get through this together. I knew this is when I should find an ounce of strength, deep within, needing to prove to him and myself that I could do this, with as much strength and courage as I could possibly pull out of my battered shell of myself.
The next surprise was chemotherapy. Why would I need chemo? Doctors already used a robot to take out everything I had in my abdomen, which all tested negative. But I soon found myself in a recliner with IV’s in my hand, looking around my new room at the hospital, other patients with IV’s and happily snoring. My friends’ sister was in that room, looking terrible, I didn’t have the courage to wake her, to say hello. She didn’t recognize me that day, my hair was gone, my eyebrows, my lashes, my naked pale face remained, unrecognizable. This was my new life, looking different, feeling different, and chemo was my new unwelcomed friend.
I breathed in the clean outside air, very deeply. I found myself often in the backyard gazebo my husband built for me for my recovery. I listened to the singing birds, watched the dancing clouds rearrange their places in the deep blue sky, felt the warm breeze on my very depleted body. This was a gift. I stretched and exercised when I felt well, and ate very healthfully. I enjoyed this new feeling of my muscles working hard and getting strong, my body working efficiently. I had a new appreciation for my body, my body was a gift. And soon I felt as if my body’s motor was running very well for the first time.
My new feelings of exalting beauty was a universe away from the darkness and shadows I visited in my long sickness. I had traveled so far. Beauty was now everywhere, loud and clear, beautiful and scented, colorful and soft, graceful and lovely, strong and brave. Gratitude found me… my new language. I gained a new language that filled my battered body with warmth and love. I felt blessed.”
Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!***