The C Word

On July 12th, 2012 my life was changed forever. Three days after, I found peace in my heart and strength in my soul. I wrote. This is how I began the journey; how I set the stage to be a CANCER WARRIOR. Smiles, love, faith, and strength...THIS is why I'm right HERE right NOW! 

"Cancer. 

I want to deny. Forced through my lips, the ugliest word. It comes out as a whisper. Voice barely audible. I'm not ready to own, not ready to embrace. 

It's been 3 days. Shock still guarding me, protecting my heart, quieting my mind. 

The diagnoses - cervical cancer. 

It hit me with the weight of a ton of bricks - a voicemail with such concern and urgency that tears and trepidation immediately surfaced. After months of testing from an array of angles, my doctor had found the source. With Mom's hand in mine and the strong, unwavering presence of a very special man, we sat in the doctor's office and heard my reality change. 

Cervical cancer. Minimal chance of a full hysterectomy. Can still carry a baby. Check the lymph nodes. CT scan. Specialist. Blood work. The entirety of the disease is uncertain. Radiation. Cesarean. Chances are good. Survival rate is 99%. Not terminal. Healthy. Young. Surgery. 

The words came flying at me, piling on my shoulders, leaning against my chest, weighing down my heart. Tears and pain filling the room. 

We walked out in a daze, following instructions like robots, made the unavoidable phone calls, and then put it away. 

Exchanging the sorrow for celebration, I've spent the last 72 hours in a place of love and gratitude, enjoying life, indulging in delicious food, sipping strong cocktails, and laughing carelessly. My focus remains on the gifts in my life - the amazing people I call my friends, the incredible family I was born into, the memorable experiences I am treated to, and the love I am surrounded with.       

This is how I tackle challenge. This is how I will tackle cancer and all that may follow. 

Smile. Love. Faith. Strength."