Two years ago this month I discovered a lump in my left breast. My life changed, time marched on, and I’ve moved forward. The discovery of my breast cancer moved me through chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and finally into survivorship. The year 2020 took me on a journey I didn’t ask for, wouldn’t have chosen, and do not want to repeat. And yet, the woman I am today is thankful.
One year ago I began the process of learning how to look beyond what was past and figure out the purpose God had for allowing it in my life. I spent extra time reading His word, looking for keys to unlock the secrets to making each day better, understanding who I am, and how to reach others who moved into survivorship with unanswered questions.
In my book, Cancer Courage Christ: A Devotional for Breast Cancer Survivors, I shared my journey, as well as that of other survivors. I was unaware of a phase called survivorship at that time. Once I entered that phase, it became extremely important to me to know how to live in it. After all, this part of my cancer journey is forever as long as I’m here on earth. I have been making notes and asking questions, trying to make sense of things connected with survivorship. My hope is to write a follow up book to share with others on what this phase is all about and how I found myself in it. One basic thing I learned is that when you complete your active treatments and enter survivorship, you become the initiator of discovering how to move forward with your life.
The medical team you were surrounded with and grew to love, must graduate you, to free themselves to take on patients just beginning their treatment. They still care about you and will answer questions you may have, but you will have to initiate the call. I decided to put on my “big girl panties” and plunge in to find my new normal. The normal I will function in from this point on.
My next cancer book, as yet unnamed, will tell my survivorship story. I will outline my four point plan as I explored how I found my new normal, my tribe, my outreach, and my in-reach. God has always shown Himself faithful as I approached a new writing project. He is the One who prompted my quest down this path, so I’m expecting no less from Him now. I must depend on God daily because He is my strength. The effects of my 2020 treatments didn’t stop when I was graduated into survivorship. I have residual pain, chronic fatigue, insomnia, and a host of other issues. As I take on each of these and try to manage them, God infuses me with His power each day, one day at a time. As a result, I have joy, hope, laughter, and love, in my life. You can too! Let’s travel this journey together.