When I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years back, I reacted like most who receive a cancer diagnosis; first thing came to mind was a “death sentence.” However, I found out later that it was truly “an awakening” for me. I began questioning God, why would you do this to me? What had I done in life so bad to have this placed upon me? But instead of bemoaning my fate, I decided to look for the positive side of it. There has to be a reason for it all.
I also realized that I was about to face a new beginning, new hope, do and see more with a whole new prospective on life. When I think of the “gift of life” that was given to me, I know that I will develop and gain strength from all my experiences. After going through all that I did during my breast cancer period, I was left with, what the MD’s called “Neuropatic Pain;” a severe nerve damage diagnosis. The pain is usually with you all day; and at times is worse than others. Later I was diagnosed with “Lymphedema.” Of course I just kept smiling and saying to myself, “Oh lucky me.” For a while, I wasn’t happy with the way I looked around my breast area after my first surgery, nor the pain I had to endure each day, but I decided to snap out of it. Even after being diagnosed with another cancer (colon) a few years later, which totally took me by surprise, I had already had my time with cancer. I thought to myself, why another one? I even make jokes at times, while crying inside asking, “what am I,” the cancer carrier? But even with the pain I have to endure through each diagnose, and all the struggles I’ve dealt with all my life, I still feel truly blessed. I think about the individuals that are no longer among us. I also realized that there will always be someone worse off than I am. I reminded myself, that I “still have my life,” and who am I to complain?
One day during one of my surgeries, I experienced something of a miracle and felt the compulsion to write it down. I turned that experience into a poem and I called it “Peace.” Writing had become therapy for me. I took that poem, along with many others I had composed during my breast cancer period, and placed them into book form. I was blessed enough to have that book published and it’s titled, True Simple Poems of Life, Faith and Survival. I later had another inspirational children’s book published, and I’m working on my third. I’m hoping that anyone who has the opportunity to read my poems get out of them what I placed in all of them. My poems are from the heart, as real as any could ever be. With the words and phrases of each poem of statement, I wish to make a positive impact on someone who’s ill or otherwise, where they could develop the strength to embrace life in a whole new way. I never anticipated becoming a writer, I just became one. I truly believe when you survive a horrific tragedy or a horrible disease as cancer, it’s for a reason, “you have a purpose” and I want to live to find out exactly what that is for me.
That’s what I’m all about now, inspiration. I would have never become a writer, producing inspirational poems and stories, if I had not gone through all that I did. I’m a true example that you can survive cancer not once, but twice, providing you catch it in time, have faith and allow that faith to direct your path. I’m not saying all will be easy, but you must believe.
Written by Karen Rice
x2 Cancer Survivor/Author
Michelle Minero, the Co-Founder of this blog and the overarching Love Warrior Community published her book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works. You can buy her book online or at stores in Petaluma, Sonoma and Healdsburg, California. For upcoming events and book signings, visit Michelle’s Events page.