When I think of the word cancer, a knot immediately forms in my throat and in the pit of my gut…it feels like someone is taking a dagger straight through my heart.
I lost my wonderful father to cancer and I’ve also lost many, many family members to this dreadful illness.
Cancer is so rooted in my family, that I’ve come to believe that for me it’s not if I get it, but when I get it. Sure, that may sound melodramatic but life has always thrown me curve balls and I’ve learned to brace myself for the best and the worst.
A few months ago, I found a lump on one of my breasts. My superwoman persona nervously laughed it off as, “Oh, it’s nothing!” But as the weeks passed, the lump got larger…so did the knot in my gut.
It had been a while since I’ve been so scared in my life. It had also been a while since I had stopped and reexamined where and what my energy was being focused on.
You see, life happens to all of us and yet when we are forced to stop, many different aspects of the life we thought we were living, take on different perspectives.
The monkeys in my head started playing a sick negative talk game. Those closest to me know that for the last month, I’ve been a complete shitfest.
I’ve loved and hated them all for giving a crap. In reality, I am blessed to be surrounded by such a supportive group of colleagues, family and friends.
So here are 3 BIG lessons I’ve reflected on over the past few weeks:
- Family and friends are absolutely everything. They love you at your best and specially at your worst. Trying to control what is out of my control, I gave some people hell through the process. I’ve never kept tabs on any kind of relationship but this experience has made my bond with certain people a heck of a lot stronger. For that I am grateful beyond measure.
- Give up on your innate need to control. Uncertainty eats away at your soul but the truth is that the only thing we have for certain is the present moment. Embrace it. Live in the now. While I still plan on undergoing surgery, I know I dodged a bullet. Life will continue to throw you curve balls and giving today your 360% is really all you can do.
- Everyone benefits from your self-care. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s an act of self-love. I’ve been on a self-improvement and self-care kick for years, I am specially caring of my emotional well-being. While I still have kinks in my process, if I didn’t have the spiritual connection I have to my Source (God), I don’t think I would’ve handled this as
ungracefullygracefully as I did.
Yesterday, I finally received the final results from a battery of tests I underwent over the past few weeks and I am still seeing a surgeon this week. I know for many the outcome isn’t as bright as mine.
I will not take for granted that today I am smiling a little brighter, holding my children tighter, kissing my husband longer and that I am present -as present as I can be- wherever I am. I’ve found myself being kinder, more understanding and forgiving of myself and others.
In the end, today is all we have for certain.