Facing Cancer Is Scary. With eight cancers being diagnosed in my immediate family alone, my own melanoma included, and witnessing its ravages most especially with my mother who lost her battle, I don’t take the threat or diagnosis lightly.
Banking On Hope Was The Right Answer But Not Always Easy. Twelve times a year for every diagnostic surveillance test, the heart fluttering, stomach bubbling fear of the words “you have cancer” was my reality. Down to four checks a year now; what a difference. Rising above that fear takes great courage, especially when sometimes hope was illusive.
Recovery From Trauma Requires Immense Energy. In order to extend the quality of my life living with a BRCA2 mutation, I’ve had three major invasive surgeries over the past nine months. Others have battled illnesses, lost jobs, lost family/friends, ended relationships, were seriously injured. This wasn’t my first time having surgeries, and I’m not alone in having needed to call up all the positive life force energy I could muster in order to prepare and recover mentally and physically for surgeries that would not only be invasive, they would have lasting side effects. Not to mention, have energy for my work and my family business and even launching I Married Me, a new brand and product, at the same time. And doing all of this without falling into a trap of self-pity (except on occasion, I am still human!) but instead, attempt to bring forth an indomitable spirit and brightness.
Trauma Can Be A Very Lonely Place. I don’t for one second discount the love of family and out-pouring of support from so many near and far. It has lifted me on tough days and helped cheerlead me through the adversity. But trauma is also quite isolating because no one but you can create the necessary functions for healing. Sometimes, too, others are struck consciously or unconsciously by fear and are absent from your experience–and recognizing that their paralysis is not about you can be quite difficult.
Transparency Can Be Both Liberating And Controversial. I’ve chosen to make my experience public and that’s opened me to beautiful connections with people I would have never otherwise met. It’s also helped me become even more aware of my body and also shed some body self-consciousness; it’s strengthened my ability to share and be empathetic of others. It’s also made me vulnerable to attacks about my choices. And perhaps, for some it’s been TMI fatigue.
There’s No Time To Waste on Anything But Love and Happiness. It’s not always easy. And in our process of launching our Self-Wedding In-A-Box kit, we researched the field of positive psychology and learned a lot about the power of a positivity practice. Like any new skill, the more you do it, the better at it you become and the more naturally you are able to tap into it. I’m still learning–from my successes and my failures and continue using our affirmations daily to keep me on my path.
When things get challenging I don’t always have access to the tools I need to respond in the most appropriate way and each day brings me new lessons and understandings about the human capacity to overcome and thrive. I remind myself this is my truth. And when it gets really tough, I put on my headphones, get my groove on and “walk around like I’m bigger than Prince.”
Posted on April 27, 2014 by Bonnie Powers
BRCA2: IN THIS TOGETHER