I read a quote recently by Winston Churchill, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” I like this quote because it describes where I am at this point of my journey. I’m preparing for a surgery that will forever alter my physical self, and also challenge my spirit. But, really, what other choice is there, other than to keep going?
For me, there is no other choice. I know that life is worth living, regardless of the physical and mental challenges that lie ahead. There is more joy to experience, more good times to be had, and more love to give and receive. These are the things that keep me going.
God has communicated to me in very blantant ways recently. Everywhere I look, there are people who have triumphed over tragedies far more devastating than my own experience. Just this evening I watched a news program that highlighted two stories that put my own in perspective. One, a soldier, who lost both his legs in battle. Another, a couple who lost their 10 year old daughter in a shooting. If these people can survive, so can I.
My surgery is tomorrow. Everyone asks if I’m nervous, and honestly, I’m not. I’m anxious to get it over with and move forward. The surgery is not going to eliminate cancer from my life, but it will, at least, remove the original source of the disease. Oddly enough, this is comforting to me. I’m not sure why. I think my biggest fear is that the surgery is going to finally make me feel like a cancer patient. Up to this point, physically, I’ve felt great. Completely normal. Even through radiation, I never really felt like a cancer patient. I’ve had little to no pain, but I know that’s all about to change. I worry that perhaps I will never be pain free again. It’s funny how the unknown can be so frightening. Again, all I can do is keep going.
People ask if I’m worried about losing my breasts. While it’s never something I would do voluntarily, they are not necessary body parts. I would much rather lose my breasts than my hands, legs, etc. My identity and my womanhood, are not tied to my breasts. I think younger women often have a hard time with this concept, but I have long ago learned that we are not what is on the outside. I’ve spent very little time mourning the loss of body parts that hold a life threatening disease. I believe, in fact, I know, I will be better off without them.
Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow. I will update everyone as soon as I can. Love to all my friends and family!