Saturday, October 8, 2016

Finding HOPE

It was just an ordinary day in my ordinary life.  I will always remember sitting in that small waiting room thumbing through a magazine.  I found myself reading an article about six ladies who had gone through breast cancer.  They all shared how their experience had made them stronger.  They appreciated life more and began to make a difference in their own unique way. They started their own businesses, wrote a book, and created handmade turbans for chemo patients.   I remember thinking how weird it was that such an awful experience could  help someone to "find" themselves and their purpose in life.  "That's all very nice",  I remember saying to myself, "but that's something I will never have to deal with."

They were calling my name.  I laid the magazine on the table and went into the exam room. It was time for that infamous February mammogram.  What I did not know or understand  was that the next few minutes would change me and my life forever.

Weeks later, I found myself returning to that small waiting room.  I was searching for the magazine that I had so leisurely thumbed through. I was searching for HOPE.  HOPE that my life still had meaning, that I would be "okay" as I journeyed through unknown territory.  The magazine was nowhere to be found.  I would have to find my HOPE somewhere else,  somewhere deep inside, somewhere I had never been before.

It's been six years now.  In some ways, it almost seems as if it were a dream.  Or perhaps, it happened to someone else.  In a sense, it did happen to someone else.  There has never been a single incident in my life that so drastically changed me.    It was a nightmare of making decisions and undergoing treatments.  It was a defining time when I realized who my family and friends were.  I was surprised, hurt, and shocked by people who had been a part of my life for a long time.  Many of them had no idea what to say or what to they did nothing.

I tried to be strong.  I only cried a few times because I was afraid it would make me weak.  I didn't want to worry the people closest to me so I kept my innermost fears and pain inside.   Some nights I would wake up shaken with fear and fright.  I learned to talk myself through the anxiety and I learned to make peace with death.   I learned to understand that people could hold my hand, but at the end of the day, this was a journey that I had to walk alone.

I learned more about breast cancer than I ever thought I would know.  I learned about my body and my limitations.  I tested myself more than I should have just because I had to prove to myself that I was stronger than I ever dreamed possible.   I learned that as long as we have HOPE, then we never really lose.  I learned to always believe in myself and that its really alright to cry.   I learned that all those "bad things" don't just happen to other people and there are no absolutes in life.  And, through it all, I learned  I was blessed beyond measure.

Most importantly, I learned about the power of prayer.  I learned  I never walk alone...and that will never change.  I learned that life will always bring trials and tribulations but I must walk in FAITH and not by sight.   So, in the end, I suppose as bad as it was, breast cancer did bless me.   I found my HOPE, my FAITH, and my PEACE.


  1. Even though I don't know you personally, you have inspired & motivated me to find more of my own strength to fight my own battle. Thank you

    1. Thank you Penny. Today when I wrote this I felt as if I was writing it for someone else. Perhaps you were that "someone".