Last updated on March 27th, 2020 at 05:28 pm
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years back, I reacted like most people who receive a cancer diagnosis; the first thing that came to mind was that I was being handed a “death sentence.” I later discovered my cancer scare would be an “awakening” for me to realize a big dream; even after the second cancer diagnosis.
When I was first told that I had cancer, I questioned my faith in God: Why would you do this to me? What have I done in life so bad to have this placed upon me?
But instead of wallowing in my self-pity, I decided to look for the positive side of dealing with cancer and facing death. I felt there had to be a reason I was going through this experience. Changing the way I viewed cancer was to mark a new beginning in my life where hope and longing to do more lead me to a new dream.
Fighting cancer presented me with the gift of appreciating life and a new-found strength to face any challenge presented to me. I started to listen to my deeper callings. My cancer began to feel like awakening into something more if I would just let go and trust the process.
Even with the complications that cancer brings, and the struggles with the treatments, I began to challenge my fear-based thoughts to feel blessed for the life I was currently living. At first, thinking this way was tough because I wasn’t happy with the way I looked after my surgery. Plus the pain I endured each day often made it challenging to find anything to be grateful for to feel blessed.
I’d quickly stop myself when I started to feel fear and anger rise up and instead reflect upon any family, friends, old classmates, celebrities, etc. who were no longer alive. I’d remind myself that there’s someone in the world going through a worse experience than my cancer treatment. I still had my life. I could still see the sky, breathe fresh air, and hug someone I loved. I had good medical care. There were blessings.
One day in the middle of my treatments, I felt the compulsion to write down my feelings. I ended up enjoying the process so much that I made writing my thoughts become my new emotional therapy. Poetry began to roar out of me. Over time, I created a collection of poems and put them together in a book called, “True Simple Poems of Life, Faith, and Survival.”
When I was first told I had cancer, I didn’t anticipate I’d become a published writer. The poems just insisted that I write them down. I now believe that when you face a horrific tragedy or a disease like cancer, there’s a place where something new can arise. A new calling; a new purpose. Suddenly writing was my new purpose. Being an author became a new dream.
I never thought I’d be someone who creates inspirational poems and stories. If I hadn’t been forced to fight cancer, who knows if I would have tried writing poetry–let along publish it. I’m a shining 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 everything will be easy, but you must believe that your experience is here to teach you something and to use that knowledge to reach out to help others. Have faith that a new dream may be unfolding while you are dealing with the pain, anger, and fear. Be open to the good that surrounds you even when you don’t see it. Look for the silver linings. Believe you are here for something more.
And most of all, be kind to yourself.
Karen Rice was born in Houston, Texas and is a two-time cancer survivor, who shares her experiences fighting cancer, along with her belief in the power of faith through her books available on Amazon.com.
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