Saturday, April 21, 2012

Self-image after cancer

From time to time, years after my cancer diagnosis, I still struggle with my body image.  Maybe I should be fine by now but, I don't think there's a statue of limitations on getting your self esteem back after the trauma of cancer.  Sure, there are days when I am confident, I feel good about myself and I'm okay for a little while but,  when I see a dress I know should be able to wear or a nice pair of jeans or slacks that in order for me to wear them I have to make accommodations for my deformed stomach, it brings on the insecurities again.

I should be grateful, the doctors did emergency surgery and saved my life! How dare I sound so bitter that doctors saved my life! I use to feel that the doctors cut me open and then sewed me back up without any concern about how they put me back together nor how it would effect my mental state.  In 2010, I had an opportunity that changed my life and changed my view of my scar.  I was privileged to be selected as 1 of 12 Colondar Models of young adult colon cancer survivors diagnosed under the age of 50.  That photo shoot forced me to face and acknowledge my fears of ever being seen as physically beautiful, acceptance of myself and realize that I was not cursed or alone in this world.  Sure, my family and friends were supportive and listened to me cry but, I felt they could not relate to the feelings I faced everyday.  I showed my scar to the world and became liberated, I felt like my secret was out and now I could stop hiding.  I was so concerned about how others would think about me in my new physical state that I simply forgot the blessing in this whole thing...I'M ALIVE!

Now, I wear my scar like a badge of honor! That badge says "Survivor" and it means I am not alone and neither are you!

If you would like to find out more about my journey, go to:  While your there, check out the amazing stories from the amazing men and women who bare their scars in the name of colon cancer awareness.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

If you could just get up!

Every now and then my chronic aches and pains takes it toll on my body and forces me to lay down and it's so hard to get back up that I wind up being in the bed for a couple of days. When I feel like that, I often recall a memory of me laying in my bed and my youngest daughter who was four at the time, came in my room and asked me if I was dying. I fought back tears because what did she know? I looked so much different from when I left home 12 days prior and it was obvious the girls were discussing this amongst themselves and had concerns. I was bandaged from my pelvis to my ribs, I slept all day, had to have help being washed up and changed, family and friends coming over taking care of them and me, what were they suppose to think. My response to her was "not today baby". I was lying slightly on my side and was able to kiss her forehead, she walked out and I burst into tears. After some time had past, I layed there thinking "if I could just get up, the kids would feel better" and I was motivated to move because my children needed me too....I needed me too. What I did after I got up is crazy but, I just want to end it with this thought: When life has you down, just say "if I could just get up, things can get better"! God will help with the rest but, you got to get up!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Here it goes!

Ok, after a lot of thought, I decided to blog because I do have a lot say about life after colon cancer and living. So much has changed since being diagnosed that I felt it necessary to write my thoughts out loud in the hopes that it helps someone!

I started "living my life on purpose and everyone in my life has a purpose". When your life is crowded with a lot of people, you tend to group them all together and you can't determine who's for you or who's against you. But, when God adds a purpose to your existence, people will start separating themselves from you because they can't relate to your change. I realized that God doesn't want any distractions for my purpose "given" life. I struggled to understand why I survived colon cancer when I'd lost so many friends (who I felt deserved to live more than me)to this disease and to be honest, I'm afraid to ask God why but, I know "to whom much is given, much is required".

I'm broke, I live from paycheck to paycheck, I have a whole lot of, (5 natural and 5 God given) I lost so much and went through so much fighting cancer so why should I live my life on purpose? Because God took my old life and gave me a new one with a purpose.