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Discovering Faith, Beauty and Confidence
‘Why me?’ I couldn’t help but ask. What had I done so wrong in life to deserve to be diagnosed with both breast cancer and bowel cancer?
Yet through my treatments, my tragedies, and all I had to endure, I discovered the true worth of three important things: faith, beauty and confidence.
I gained strength I never knew I had and learnt to love myself all over again, creating a new beginning.
During treatment, I found myself looking in the mirror even more. I was expecting my appearance to change drastically. When these changes arrived, they became a constant reminder of my cancer. Even now at times it still bothers me... I'm human after all.
But instead of feeling sorry for myself and embracing negative feelings, I try to become my own cheerleader. Within a moment or two, I look past the physical imperfections – the areas that can be covered up. I remember that true beauty is within and when you feel beautiful on the inside, it shows so clearly on the outside.
With cancer, many times you're too weak to even think about your looks. You’re not always feeling your best. But by the simple act of carrying on living each day, we all know this is beautiful and unique in itself.
Just because I had cancer, doesn't mean cancer had me. We should never allow anything to steal our joy, nor our self-esteem. Cancer has taught me not to blink twice at life, my eyes are wide open, living life to the fullest.
While I would never say that cancer was a gift, I do think that life is – and I’ve been given the gift of life twice over. I know I don’t have a moment to waste. I’ve tried not to allow the disease to take away who I am, or what I stand for. I'm a survivor: an example that surviving two cancers can happen, and that I can go on and look and feel just as beautiful, inside and out. My scars are symbols for someone else's hope.
Faith in Life
One day during my breast cancer treatment, I can remember as if it was yesterday. I experienced a strange peacefulness that I look back on as something of a miracle. During the moment, I wrote down what I was feeling, which soon turned into a poem. I called it “Peace”.
I took that poem, along with many others I had written, and I placed them into a book, which I was blessed enough to have published. Here is is:
I began floating downwards, slowly into the waters,
not knowing why or what was happening to me,
I saw my loved ones reaching out to me,
as I slowly drift away,
still not knowing why or what.
The feeling during the flow
was the most breath-taking feeling,
I've ever felt in my lifetime,
but I still couldn't understand,
why I was handed such a feeling
of a divine revelation,
still not knowing, what or where
I was headed.
I felt beauty, peace and tranquillity.
I was going through a transition like no other.
I felt so overwhelmed with the presence
of an unnatural,
but I'm still not understanding
I tried so hard to ease the pain
that I viewed in my love one's face,
to let them know that it was OK,
you can let go.
At the same time,
I can still feel the greatness,
a comfort, a wonder of a feeling
like no other;
As I'm devouring such a feeling of mystery,
at the same time, I was floating towards
the brightest blinding light
that I've ever witnessed,
but I'm still not understanding,
why or what was happening.
Writing has become therapy for me, but so has the act of sharing. Now, I share my story to show that fresh starts are possible. I'm 63 now, and I'm cherishing each day, each moment, and through it all, I feel that I'm still at my best. I'm confident with myself, as well as grateful. I'm starting over, doing things I should have done before cancer.
Through purpose, faith, compassion and strength, I’ve found true beauty is born.
Born in Houston, Texas, I was the seventh child growing up in a very large family. Even with so many around, I always found a way to sneak a little time for myself in a hide-away space to dream. I grew up in church, as my father was a Baptist minister. While in high school, I had my life all planned out by becoming a model/actress, and I worked at it, while also working at other jobs to raise my child alone after a broken marriage. Later in life I had a head-on-collision with not only breast cancer, but colon cancer as well, and it changed my entire outlook on life. Through my tragedies and all I had to endure, it became an "awakening" for me, where I received all the strength and encouragement to write down my thoughts to share with others.
I'm hoping that anyone who has the opportunity to read my poems will get out of them what I placed in all of them. My poems are from the heart, as real as any could be. Later, I had a children’s book published, and a further book, ‘Cancer, Yet Cancer Again, but I will not Die, before I'm Dead’.
I'm not saying I'm in the running for a best-selling author, I'm far from that. I'm just a regular everyday woman, who have overcome many obstacles, which took me to writing. I would have never become a writer, if I hadn't gone through all that I did. I truly feel that you shouldn't stop living, because you have cancer.
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