A Little Bit of Sunshine Goes a Long Way

We often get so busy with schedules and daily tasks that we forget to pause and take in the beauty of God’s precious creation. The soul nourishment provided by the sunshine, a breeze, or the twinkling stars exceeds any caffeinated beverage or energy drink available. Starting today, I vow to spend a few minutes each morning and every evening taking in the glorious energy available to us every day.

I am certain that it will provide the sense of calm and balance necessary to accomplish the tasks of daily life. Will you join me?

🌸Reclaiming Femininity With Reconstruction; Hope and Healing in Sight🌸

Yesterday was finally the day. I arrived at the hospital for DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction. For this procedure, fat is taken from the belly and used to make breast mounds. It took about 4 hours, thanks to my awesome doctor who works with a partner. Many of these procedures take 10-12 hours as the doctor chooses to work alone. When I had a mastectomy for breast cancer 5 years ago, my surgeon was able to keep my existing implants, which allowed me to take my time healing after treatment before deciding to have reconstruction. After surgery yesterday, I found out that one of those had bursted, therefore causing a very uneven set of “foobs” (term for fake boobs in the bc community). When I woke up, I could not wait to see the results. The first thing I noticed was that my chemo port was gone. I’d had to leave it in for this long “just in case the aggressive cancer returned”. For the past 4 years, I’ve had to return to the Cancer center once every six weeks to have it flushed. Talk about a constant reminder. I’m so very thankful that thing is gone! While I’ll never forget the experience of having breast cancer, I am now able to appreciate the changes that it has made in me, and move forward, using the strength and faith I’ve gained along this journey.

The next thing I noticed when I looked down was that I have CLEAVAGE! Then, further down, I saw a COMPLETELY FLAT BELLY! Wow!!! I am so very grateful to overcome this final hurdle. I can’t even begin to fathom what it will be like to go shopping for clothes after spending the past 4 years trying to cover up in oversized, flowy tops!

I was required to stay in bed for the remainder of the day & overnight. Today, I’ll be getting up and walking a few times & sitting in a chair. The only pain I feel so far is some pretty intense burning sensations at the hip-to-hip incision site, and a bit more of the same on my upper incision sites. Hoping that today, pain will be kept to a minimum.

One of the first thoughts I had was “why did I put this off so much longer than necessary?” Then, I was immediately able to reflect on the gratitude I feel for every step of the journey. Because I was able to accept my body, although it was quite disfigured for the past few years, I now have a deeper sense of self-love and compassion than I had ever thought possible. I now realize that the delay was necessary for me to learn to love myself, and confirm that although my body is not the same as it was when we began dating, my dear husband truly loves me for me. What better gift could I have received?

Wishing you all a beautiful day that’s filled with gratitude,acceptance, and the hope of a life that’s peaceful ahead.

A Poem of Gratitude

Today, I am grateful…

For a sun that shines,

The peaceful times,

And a heart that knows.

Today, I am thankful…

For a partner in life,

Strength in the strife,

And a soul that grows.

Today, I appreciate…

Friends and family who care,

And that I can be there,

When life deals it’s blows.

Today, I remember…

The challenges faced,

The heart that raced,

And the power that rose.

Today, I look forward…

To chapters anew,

A story that’s true,

With hope that glows.

Today, I am prayerful…

That you find your peace,

With comfort and ease,

Painful chapters to close.

Today, I praise God…

Each day a new day,

Our hurt goes away,

Because His Son arose.

🌸Not Unnoticed🌸

I hope you know just how much I see

What you sacrifice daily for our family.

The continuous acts of kindness you willingly share

Don’t go unnoticed; you’re always there.

To help and encourage every step of the way.

And remind us “today is a brand new day”.

The selfless ways you show your heart,

Have blessed me from the very start.

A thankless job, sometimes it may be.

But those who know you can always see.

Though life gets hard and takes a toll,

Your strength has been your constant role.

The hardships of care-taking, not for the weak.

Sometimes the near future can seem quite bleak.

The load I see you carry each day

Would cause so many to run away.

But you soldier on, asking God to guide

Your steps forward along the ride.

However difficult it proves to be,

You keep on loving and guiding our family.

Today, I say a prayer of thanks and hope you know,

I’m grateful for your love and your beautiful soul.

Happy Easter, Momma.

Love you dearly.

💖Pink Does Not Represent Cancer!💜

Most days, I’m able to focus on how grateful I am. Being diagnosed 5 years ago now with breast cancer, successfully completing treatment, and about to embark upon the last leg of this treatment journey by undergoing reconstruction surgery, I am usually able to focus on my blessings. However, because of the challenges I faced while receiving treatment, the empathy for others experiencing a cancer diagnosis and treatment occasionally permeates by being.

Today is one of those days. I picked up my phone this morning and the first thing that popped up was an obituary for and old friend who’d spent the last eight years battling brain cancer. I do not pretend to fathom the pain, discomfort, and struggles he faced throughout that time. But I do know that more than anything, he was fighting with all that he had to make it until his son graduated from high school…that didn’t happen.

I lost a dear friend to cancer over 10 years ago. What started as pain in her arm quickly became a nightmare of chemo attempts, reactions, and complications. She was so full of life and ready to embark on new journeys, but her adventure was cut short, another life ending entirely too soon.

I lost another friend from high school a couple of years ago. Because I’d fought breast cancer, she thought our battles were the same, and that she just needed to stay positive. She was fighting brain cancer that had progressed to the point that she was suffering severe symptoms at diagnosis. Her body was only able to withstand one round of chemo. She only lived a few more months. She was so brave.

My sweet Daddy was diagnosed three years ago with Stage 4 Lung Cancer, with metastasis to the brain. He passed peacefully 11 days later, with the assistance of hospice. Although the physical process was deeply maddening to watch, I never left his side. The beauty of those eleven days with him tops my list of precious spiritual experiences on this earth.

What I went through with breast cancer was not anything I would wish on one more human being. However, there is no comparison to the bravery and grace displayed by each of these precious souls who ultimately lost the battle against the enemy that is cancer.

This is why I reject the term “Survivor”, as it somehow indicates that I did something right or better than those we’ve lost. I was lucky that my body could withstand the toxic treatment. We are all warriors, fighting similar, yet such uniquely different battles.

The fact that we have a Pink month dedicated specifically to breast cancer makes me sick. I would love to see the start of an #antipink movement, and recognize that cancer is the enemy, in every form and at every stage. Regardless of the treatment, side effects, and end result, pieces of our lives are being stolen. After all, statistics dictate that we will all know someone who is affected by this disease at some point in our lifetime. It is our responsibility to hold one another up, walk arm in arm, and love one other through every stage of the process. Hope and peace do not discriminate, neither should we in our support of one another.

🙏🏻💜 peacefulahead.blog