Cancer is something that has effected every single person who will lay eyes on this piece and MOMentous Monday is an opportunity to realize you are not alone.
Momentous Monday may even give you the opportunity to glean some wisdom from women who have already walked the path ahead of you.
My heart is for moms to never feel isolated in their struggles, but I only have so many of my own life experiences to share… so I have to call in some help. On MOMentous Mondays I hand over the mic to other beautiful mamas who have stories and experiences beyond my own.
Today I am sharing this space with Penny Navarro. She is a dear friend of the family and one of the most optimistic people I have ever met (as you will discover while reading this piece.) I love her story because it’s over a decade and a half old. It is well-seasoned, well-processed, and life giving.
Penny, thank you for sharing your story. I know that breast cancer is something we can all relate to, whether directly or indirectly. My prayer is that this post would give hope those going through the battle, encourage the rest of us to better support those women, and also remind us to take great care of the “temple God has given (us).”
It was the last thing I expected to hear.
I just had the mammogram as part of a series of tests to get done before my long-awaited hysterectomy. Now I was going to have to wait a bit longer. Oh yes, and those wonderful hormones that were keeping me from hurting my children as I was pushed into early menopause in the hope the fibroids would shrink (they didn’t), I couldn’t take even one more!
I had participated in breast cancer walks before to support a friend of a friend and all of the other people dealing with this scourge. But to be walking on my own behalf, I would have never ever considered it in a million years!
There was no history of breast cancer in my family. But there I was and I’m happy to say I was joined by very supportive friends, family and a slew of strangers who found themselves touched by breast cancer as well.
I was diagnosed with DCIS and the good news was I would only need a lumpectomy, as an out-patient, and six weeks of radiation. My surgeon was a lovely woman who answered all of my questions and concerns and was happy to include my two other pairs of “listening ears” at my initial consultation.
The surgery went smoothly as did my radiation treatments. Everyone I came into contact with was very helpful and compassionate. I was one of the lucky ones. I just celebrated my 14th year of survivorship on September 11th, 2015. ☺
It sounds like a walk in the park but it wasn’t at times.
I spent hours contemplating my own mortality even though I had a great prognosis.
I became depressed thinking about the fact that both my son and daughter now had a history of breast cancer in their family.
I urged my sisters to get mammograms if it wasn’t already part of their health schedule. I urged my friends, men & woman alike, to do the same.
This interloper had come out of left field and the old adage rang true, if it can happen to me, it can happen to you! “Be proactive, as early detection could keep breast cancer from being a death sentence,” became my new mantra.
Be kind to the temple that God has given you.
Yes, He was a very integral part of this journey.
I had experienced several major losses in my life up to that point and He had seen me through every single one. I knew this passage would be no different, so much so that I don’t remember fear being around much.
Worry popped up every now and again, but a feeling of calm was more prevalent. I went to the appointments and treatments because I knew in my head, it was necessary. But I have to admit, I had given my life over to God a long time ago and I knew whatever direction I ended up traveling, He would be right there beside me and the outcome would be what it was supposed to be.
So here I am a 60 year old mother of two, grandmother of one (soon to be two!) and a member of Team Survivor San Diego Sea Dragons! Who would have thunk it??
TSSD Sea Dragons is a group of women who have all experienced a cancer diagnosis and who choose to not only to live life but to thrive! We paddle in 10-person and 20-person dragon boats at weekly practices, travel to festivals in different states and different countries to compete against other cancer survivors in an atmosphere of love, friendship and camaraderie.
What unbelievable experiences I have lived and continue to live! He led me here and my love for Him grows with each passing day because of it.
I give thanks every day for my wonderful life and know to the depths of my heart and soul, He is the reason I survived breast cancer. AMEN!
Do you have a story worth sharing? I would love to feature you on a MOMentous Monday? Not comfortable with writing? Just send me the rough draft… we will work together to make it post worthy!
Don’t let your struggle go to waste… turn that trial in to triumph!
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