It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.


February 18, 2011

And So Another Chapter Nears its End... The Chapter NOT the Story...

Have you ever had a "wow" moment? You know - one of those unexpected times in your life where you are really touched? Let me explain...

I'm nearing the end of radiation treatment. Started out with having 33 and am now down to 4. Four more to go and I'm finally done with treatment. Wow. It's been a long stretch...

My life changed late last June... Having been diagnosed with Early Stage Triple Negative breast cancer I had no idea I was in for the ride of my life... Thankfully I caught it early - but it was the start of a journey I never dreamed I would be a part of. (But then again who does?)

I attended a "Look Good Feel Beautiful" Class held by the American Cancer Association (one I highly recommend).  I went the day before my lumpectomy surgery was scheduled.  There I was, one of only three women attending a session on how you could make yourself look good - hence, feel good while undergoing treatment.  I was the youngest woman there, there was a woman from England (Dana-Farber is world wide reknown with women from all walks of life coming for treatment).  There was a woman from China there and then there was me.  These women had obviously gone through surgery, and chemotherapy as they were completely bald and without eyelashes.  I felt a little awkward being the only one there who hadn't begun.  But they were so kind.  Looking at me compassionately and encouraging ME. Telling me I was going to do fine!  There I sat with my curls down my shoulders, everything on me intact and THEY were encouraging ME.  One of the leaders of the Class reached into her purse and handed me an embroidered cross that someone had made. Encouraging me and letting me know that God was with me. (The picture is below):
An embroidered cross given to me at the start of my breast cancer journey...

I've carried it around with me for the last 7 months in my purse. Looking at it as a reminder of Who I belong to. Who is the Author and Finisher of my faith - no matter what spiritual stage I am at in my life.

Seven months later, I'm at the end of my treatment journey. Only four more radiation treatments to go.  There I am in my hospital gown, sitting in the waiting room with four other women also waiting to go through their daily radiation treatment. We've gotten to know each other a bit. There are those that are there for different types of cancer treatment - not all are there for breast cancer.  An older woman sits with her daughter - I've seen them coming in for about two weeks now.  They are Cape Verdean (Portuguese) like me. Only my family is American Cape Verdean.  The mother must be in her eighties.  Doesn't speak any english.  Her neck is all red from radiation.  She smiles warmly at each of us every time she comes in.  Her daughter, grown obviously taking her there each day does speak English.  Her mother is there for esophageal cancer.  She is undergoing radiation.  Today is her last day.  We all rejoice with her mom.  There is a bond that only those of us who know what she has been through share.  I get choked up.  I congratulate her and in true  Portuguese fashion give her a warm and gentle hug.  Her daughter and I exchange contact information and then her daughter reaches into her purse, and hands me something so precious and beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.  You see, she lives in Oklahoma. She hands me this beautiful detailed rock that is in the shape of a rose. I look at it astonished. It's beautiful. She hands me a little card with the rose shaped rock that reads like this:

Barite Rose
Official State Rock of Oklahoma
"The rose-like appearance is due to the intergrowth of barite crystals (barium sulfate) formed during the Permian Age of geologic history (250 million years ago).  The rose-like concretions incorporate the iron-stained quartz sand grains giving the "roses" a reddish hue."

This is what she gave me (I took the picture with my cell phone - notice the intricate details on the rock).
Barite Rose Rock
Official State Rock of Oklahoma

Look how beautiful it is? Look at the detail etched into it - not by man but by God!  If God cares so much about the detail of a little stone - how much more so does he care about the details of our lives? I don't feel as though the gesture of her giving this to me, was of her but of God.  I needed to feel special again. I needed to know that I know that I know that God loves me. That He cares. It seems real appropriate that in ending my journey - I'm reminded of what I've already known.  That the steps of the righteous are ordained by God.  That It rains on the just and the unjust.  That God is the Author and Finisher of my faith - and that while I am ending treatment - I am not ending learning.  I look back on these 7 months and I see all the changes that I have undergone.  I had begun to take life for granted.  I had been sad and depressed for the last three years of my life.  And in some way - perhaps I had become "full of myself."  The woman I am today - knows what I THOUGHT I had known already - but really hadn't - how precious life is.  That each and every day is a gift.  That I'm stronger than I thought I was. That I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.  That even when I feel like I am alone - I'm NOT.

So this journey - this chapter in my life is almost over. It has changed me. It has made me a better person. It has brought people into my life that I never would have had a chance to meet - had I not gone through breast cancer. But a new one is getting ready to begin... I don't know what it holds for me but I know who it is WHO is holding ME.  And that to me - is the most wonderous thing of all.  Just as I held this precious tiny little rose rock in my hand, I realize that my Father holds ME in the palm of His hands.  Ready Father? Here we goooo...


Cathy said...

Kelly - Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful message. I finished my treatments 3 years ago this coming July. My mantra throughout treatment was "if God takes you to it, He will get you through it". God bless you as you continue your journey with Him.

Love in Christ - Cathy

The Prodigal Daughter said...

Cathy - thank you for your comment and not only are you my sister in Christ but also a Pink sister! Our steps are ordained by Him - things come as a surprise to us, but never to Him! I love your mantra! Thanks for reading my blog. One big hug from one sister to another! God bless you!