Today marks one week since my bilateral mastectomy. There have been easier days than others. I spent the first night in the hospital and that was rather difficult because I was on a lot of medication and psychologically, I knew my body would never look the same. The body I have lived with for 43 years was so healthy, and now, it is changed forever. I have four draining tubes, stitches, bruising and swelling, but it didn’t take away my spirit!
I would say I have stayed positive through most everything, I have received encouraging cards from some of the classmates at my children’s school, St. Michael’s. There is a rosary said for me every Monday asking that I heal and feel loved. I have had caretakers, help with carpools, and meals delivered to help me do the many things that I can’t do for myself or my kids at this time.
My chair is next to my Christmas tree, and I have had so much time to really look at each memorable ornament on my tree and think about how we have accumulated so many over the years. I have enjoyed rearranging the nativity scene that sits in our living room, just because I can! I have relished in the hugs, kisses, cards, messages and love my children and friends have shown me. I have this amazing, beautiful group of friends that have washed my hair, called, sent text messages, given me my medications and encouraged me when I was feeling a little dependent and sad. This is all God, working each and every day, letting me know I am important to Him. I am loved by Him and neither the cancer, nor the divorce will weaken me, but strengthen me into a better friend, mother, daughter and cancer survivor.
What a blessing! I haven’t felt overwhelmed by all the usual holiday shopping, crowded parking lots, grocery lists, decorating and menu decisions. I have had friends praying for my recovery, doctors checking up on me, and little gifts to tell me I mean so much to each of them.
I have received a few pairs of “notes to self” socks. Today I am wearing a pair that says, “I am Strong.” I love them! I look down at them when my feet are propped up, and it makes me smile. This Advent season has truly been filled with peace while we wait for the birth of Christ. I am reassured that I will make it. Although breast cancer was nothing I signed up for, it is something that will make me a more patient, loving, caring, stronger, and faithful person. I will pay it forward one day! I will never be the person I was before, but a better version of myself. I am eternally blessed for everything that has been given to me, and at times, I am humbled and brought to tears by how cared for I am.
In all my life, I have never felt so much hope in the midst of such a scary diagnosis. The truth is, I could be resentful but instead, I have chosen gratitude. I have chosen to live in abundance with all the glory that surrounds me. Hope is stronger than fear, even after hearing the diagnosis of cancer. I don’t believe God ever said we would not have pain, despair, or suffering however, if we choose to lean on Him, He will help us carry the burden of our cross. I believe, out of all of this, I have seen how much God loves me and how much He is with me. He is helping me use healthy coping mechanisms such as prayer, meditation, journaling, music, and sitting in the power of silence to assure me, that with gratitude, there is no room for resentment.
This passage is taken from Courage to Change
“Even the darkest of moments can be faced with a grateful heart, if not for the crisis itself, at least for the growth it can evolve with the help of God.”