a lesson in courage

Today, after reaching a pivotal moment in my own personal development, I received…as a gift…my greatest lesson in life.  After having discovered a small lump in my breast, I went to the doctor to have it checked out.  I wasn’t really worried about it as Cancer does not run in my family.  However, having watched my friend slowly deteriorate and pass away a year ago from this horrible disease, the image is still very fresh in my mind.

I went to the doctor and sure enough he felt the lump.  He immediately sent me to ultrasound. Sitting there, on a cold padded bench wearing a paper smock, the technician began to take images of the suspicious lump.  Sure enough there it was…on screen. At first she took the image from above and I was eyeing her screen closely to see what she was seeing.  As I suspected, it was only about 1.5 centimeters in diameter.  Then she moved that seriously uncomfortable wand, which could have only been invented by a man (sorry guys), to get a side angle view.  At this point all the colour in my skin vanished and my heart jumped into my throat, as I stared in horror at the almost 4 centimeter mass extending inward to the center of my chest.  Then she checked my other breast and found another small shadow off to the side. I immediately thought the worst.  Then as soon as she finished, I quickly got dressed and ran back up to the doctor’s office.  As soon as he saw my face and new exactly what I was thinking.  He told me to have a seat and that he himself would go get the results and come back to talk to me.

As I sat in the office chair, waiting for what seemed like an eternity, all I could think to myself was “No! Not yet! I haven’t fulfilled my purpose!”  I knew in my heart there was more I needed to do.  Funny enough, the second thing I thought of was that if I do find out that this is what I think it is, the first thing I’m going to do is schedule three day long date with a certain someone who caught my eye recently, so that I can put these babies to good use before they get cut-off.  Which by the way, I know now that I would do without any hesitation if it meant my health and my life.

Finally the doctor came back and gave me the best news ever!! Nothing in them! Benign as they say!!  That was the single greatest sigh of relief I ever had. Obviously he would keep an eye on them and check them again, but that was good enough for me.  In fact, the first thing I did when I got home was tell my breasts how much I love them!! lol

But today I left that doctor’s office a new woman.  It wasn’t just the relief of the good news but the lesson that came with the whole experience.  The lesson was that in life, there is really very little to be afraid of.  The greatest fear in life should be that our time runs out before we get to do all that we want to do with it. The greatest fear should be that when we are face to face with death, that we will look back on our lives and wish that we had found the courage to follow our hearts.  There is no regret in trying and failing at something.  Regret only comes from those things which we did or did not do out of fear.

In short, find the courage to live your life the way you WANT to and not the way that you (or others) think you SHOULD. You never know when your time will come so all you can do is live and love each day as though it were the last.

The fear that I faced lasted only a few hours. This by far, pales in comparison to the fear that others experience who do not get the same good news from their doctor. That’s why I would like to give a special shout out to all of the woman who have found the courage to face this disease and survive, and those who found the courage to face their defeat.  Most of all, a very special shout out to my dear and long-time friend Cecilia, who lost the battle one year ago.

I love you C and I think of you always.  You were my greatest inspiration.  Even though you knew your time was quickly running out, you lived each of your last days in love, happiness, and gratitude. Ciao ciao xoxo

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About the writer

So yes, you've guessed it...I am in the process of getting divorced. Now surely I've had many challenges along the way, but I can honestly say that it has truly been the most eye opening experience of my life. Although it's never what you plan or hope for and it can be truly devastating when you realize it's happening, but it can also have a silver lining if you look for it...once you get through the guilt, anger, self-loathing, several pints of Haagen Dazs and a crate or two of wine of course. My divorce not only got me out of a very unhealthy relationship, but it also opened the door for me to reshape my entire life. So after a year of loafing, I am getting my ass off my couch and into gear to transform everything that I know has not been doing me any justice in my life. I went from trying to be the perfect daughter to trying to be the perfect wife, constantly accepting that which was imposed on me and living my life on auto pilot. Well, all that is about to change. 2012 is finally over and the new year is here, and this will be the year that I change my life and make it what I want it to be. This blog will document my experiences and hopefully help other men and women in the same boat to find some sort of inspiration. I would also like to hear from those of you who have some tips, advice or inspiring stories of your own to share. For many of us, just knowing that there are others who have lived to tell their stories with somewhat of a happy ending, is inspiration enough. Happy New Year!!!

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