My Solo Journey With Breast Cancer
On a sunny August afternoon in 2003, as I made my way back to NYC after visiting Savannah, GA, thoughts of my impending chemotherapy filled my mind. The doctors had recommended this treatment as a precautionary measure, and initially, I had worried about the side effects, including hair loss. However, during my trip, I had come to accept everything that lay ahead.
While driving, I played India Arie's CD Journey to India, and one particular song, God is Real, struck a chord within me. The lyrics resonated deeply, and I felt a profound understanding of the power of God. It was a life-changing moment. Memories of my three-day stay at a bed-and-breakfast in Georgia flooded my mind.
I remembered the peace I had felt as I floated on a raft in the pool. With soft jazz music playing in the background and the soothing sounds of nature surrounding me, I experienced a sense of serenity. Basking in the warmth of the sun, I immersed my feet in the sunlit water and embraced the solace of being alone. With the other guests having checked out, I had the entire place to myself. It felt as if God's presence enveloped me, and I found myself praying for the strength to face the journey ahead.
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Although I couldn't swim due to lingering pain from my mastectomy and the numbness in my arm from the removal of lymph nodes, I still immersed myself partially in the water. The pain gradually subsided, and I found clarity in nature's gifts – the water, the birds, and the sun. Memories of cherished moments flashed before me – my daughter's dance recital, dancing to house music at the park, and brunches shared with friends.
Under the warm sun, I felt no sweat, but tears of gratitude streamed down my face. Despite the unexplainable changes in my life and the multitude of emotions and questions, I had learned to cherish every breath. I understood how blessed I was to still be alive. I knew that God was guiding me on an unplanned journey and I needed to have faith and trust in the process. Moving forward was the only way.
If you want to connect with other breast cancer survivors, I invite you to join our Breast Cancer Facebook Support Group.