The Starting Line ~ Life Beyond Breast Cancer
Have you ever been in a place in your life when you finally felt like everything was in place you understood and were grateful for having enough? Times when you thought, “I am blessed and content” and “Life is good.” Then BAM! Out of nowhere the rug is ripped right out from under you, turning your life upside down and inside out. Whether it’s illness, loss, financial crisis or simply unexpected change, your spirits are crushed, hopes dashed and faith shaken. Well, I’ve been there, and as I look back, I assure you—there’s a reason for it all. You will get through it: standing taller, feeling stronger. Breast cancer was my “shot,” and it is was a massive wake-up call!
Having cancer is a transformative experience for many and leaves most survivors asking, “Now what?” As a survivor, I understand firsthand what it is like to come face to face with the enemy, a terrifying disease that demands every ounce of our strength to fight its threat on our life. Too many cancer survivors emerge from the life changing experience of cancer without the ability to move forward in life. Our experiences are each unique. For me, I found the “after” to be tougher than “treatment” for the cancer; there was a plan for that journey: a start and finish. I assumed that the happy ending is life returning to normal.
Turns out, the norm is not possible. I am no longer the same person and it was impossible to return to my old life, nothing about it is the same. Fortunately, we are not alone in this world and every set back we have, eventually grants us the opportunity to grow and learn with greater aspiration.
I now need to inspire all survivors to pick themselves up off the floor, quiet their mind, find their balance and allow themselves to be guided in finding peace.
Cancer can simply be an accepted condition. Others thankfully recover, but still fear it reoccurring. Again, too many feel an exhausting blend of confusion, anger, guilt, resentment and overwhelming uneasiness of fearing the unknown. We suddenly experience a lack of control over our own bodies and our lives, often feeling alone and isolated. We desperately try to cope with the emotional and physical aftermath of facing our own mortality and linger in the grips of uncertainty.We all have the power to heal ourselves; to achieve a sense of renewal, purpose, joy and genuine balance again. Life can be simple and straightforward. Note, I said, simple, not easy.
In order for our lives to really change, something deeper, more life changing has to take place within us. Together we need to work on our thoughts, language and core beliefs and discover what’s working and what’s not. Together, we need to take stock of where we are in our life now, where we want to be, and use simple processes to move in that direction. My journey continues and I welcome holding every survivors hand in looking ahead and living the beautiful life that we’ve earned: the extraordinary gift we’ve been granted.