I’m Baaack!

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.”

17 thoughts on “I’m Baaack!

  1. Angela, Such a beautiful attitude. You are such a strong, amazing young woman. Thank you for sharing your feelings.

    Love, Pat Lee


  2. You are amazing! Thank you for the update. I was planning to reach out and see how you were doing today. You are an great example for us all on how to rejoice in everything. I hope you can feel the virtual hug I am sending. Continued prayers. XOXO


  3. Thank you for keeping us updated. It can be so hard to accept help, love and support from others. I am so glad you have been able to do this with such grace and let others bless you with their love and caring like you have done for so many others before. Sending much love your way….


  4. You, my friend, are such an inspiration! You have been in my prayers and I am thankful that you are healing from your surgery and are in good spirits. I love the attitude you are taking. Sending prayers, good vibes, and a big hug across the miles! Love ya, Tresy


  5. Angela, I am so inspired!! This blog entry has brought me to tears because I can actually hear these words coming from your mouth. A beautifully honest blog. Keep healing, smiling, and trusting in our Lord and Savior!😘😘


  6. We have been praying for you and your family! I am in awe of your amazing attitude and thoughtful approach to all that you are going through. We’re only a text (and a few doors) away if there is ever anything we can do!


  7. I am so glad you are doing so well emotionally, physically, & spiritually. God is Good! Yes we have challenges in life, but with God by our side we can do anything & be challenged by any disease, divorce, or despair. I wish I could be there to help you out like I did for your Aunt Carolyn. Prayers continue for you my strong cousin, child of God!


  8. Ang!! I JUST found out about your diagnosis and journey and as you can imagine I am heartbroken that this stupid disease decided to find residence in the home of one of the most incredible women I know and love. However, based on your own touching and encouraging words I KNOW you will beat this monster and life will get back to a new normal soon. Being a survivor myself there is no doubt that a profound change takes place within us that then shows us how to look at life through a more positive lens and to truly make the most of each day with those you love. Even though we have not seen each other or talked in way too long you are and always will be a huge part of my heart and a best friend for life. I am heading out of town Friday for 10 days but when I get back I would LOVE to come and see you…if thats ok? I love you so much and pray that your recovery is quick and as pain free as possible. I am here for you always and hope to see you soon. 515-710-5218


  9. Angela, I am so inspired by your words! You are an amazing woman! I hope you can feel the hug I’m sending you!!! Love you!!! Xoxoxoxo


  10. Angela, you are an amazing, strong woman! I’m so happy to hear you are in good spirits. Your faith is inspiring! You will continue to be in my prayers. Sending love and hugs!


  11. Angela, although we have not seen each other in 25 years, Steph Harville posted your news story on FB and I wanted to reach out to you and let you know I was thinking of you. You are in my prayers. Stay strong and know you have a lot if support out there!


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