by Karen Rice (Texas, USA)
Without questioning, when going through a serious illness, you learn to know what faith truly is, along with finding the true meaning of beauty and how you really feel about yourself. I know this all too well, because I’ve experienced many trials and tribulations in my life. Through it all, I gain strength that I never knew I had, and much more confidence in myself, and I was loving myself all over again. I had a new beginning, all on my own.
After going through so much in my life, things were looking up until it happened. I had a head-on collision with not only breast cancer, but colon cancer as well, and it changed my entire outlook on life. I thought I had it rough years before, but going through cancer was the rest of the iceberg. There’s nothing like it. You wonder, what in life had you done so wrong to have this placed upon you. You began asking God, why me, and look for an answer. Yet through my tragedies and all that I had to endure, it all became an awakening for me, in which I received and gain all the strength and encouragement I needed to conquer. Through it all, not only did I find the true meaning of life, I found the true meaning of beauty. Through all the chemo, radiation, the pain I endured, I still felt beautiful. I found myself looking in the mirror even more during this time, because I thought that what I was dealing with would change me drastically, but as I saw the imperfections I now have to live with, over time it got better, and instead of feeling sorry for myself, I embrace it all, I’m still among the living, who am I to complain.
Whether we’re dealing with an illnesses or any other negative feelings about ourselves, our lives and our bodies, we need to be our on cheering section. Through all my mishaps, I still feel beautiful and it’s real. I didn’t allow my illness to stop me from keeping up with my beauty regiment nor my appearance. I was doing it before cancer, so I’m going to continue it during and after cancer as well. We all know that there’s a lot in this world to enhance our beauty, but we also need to feel beautiful and proud of who we are without the enhancements. I’ve come to realize that even going through such a dark time in my life, I still have a life to be lived, and I’m going to live it to the fullest. When I think about the individuals that are no longer among us due to such a horrific disease, I’m truly grateful, and I will no longer take my life for granted, by stepping all over it. When I think of the “gift of life” that was given to me twice over, I knew I didn’t have a moment to waste. I would never say having or going through cancer is a gift, surviving it, receiving a second and third chance at life, is the gift. Yet, through it all, I’m still me, I didn’t allow the disease to take away who I am, or what I stand for. I’m a survivor, as well as an example to show that my small mishaps are just that, and I can go on and still look and feel beautiful, inside and out, and it shines brighter. Each new day I’m allowed to open my eyes, the days are brighter, because I’m able to see and appreciate it that much more.
Thou each day, that I view the scars, that are attached to many areas on my body, a constant reminder, I had cancer, and at times, it still bothers me, I’m human; but within a moment I would look past it, because those areas could be covered up. True beauty is within and when you feel beautiful on the inside, it shows so clearly on the outside. Just because I had cancer, doesn’t mean cancer had me. We as women should never allow anything, or any circumstance to steal our joy, nor our self-esteem. And I know with cancer, many times you will be too weak to even think about, how you look, because you’re not feeling your best, believe me, I know, but sometimes, you have to try and fight it, and keep on living. Through any tragedy, we are and always will be beautiful and unique! Women, we all know that our bodies takes a licking, yet keep on ticking.
When I look back now, I must say, from the beginning I thought right away that my cancer diagnose was truly a death sentence, because you’re not sure if you’re going to make it or not. My entire life, all I ever heard about cancer, was someone dying from it. But I found out later that it was truly an awakening for me. I also realized that I was about to face a new beginning, new hope, do and see more with a whole new prospective on life. I share my story with others hoping to make a positive impact on someone who’s ill or otherwise, where they can proceed life in a whole new way. I’m 62yrs of age now, I’m cherishing each day, yet through it all, I feel that I’m still at my best, very confident, as well as grateful. I’m starting over, doing things I should have done before the diagnose of cancer.
One day, I experienced something so real, so peaceful, something of a miracle, during one of the few surgeries I endured during my breast cancer period, that I had to write it down. I turned that experience into a poem and I called it “Peace”. I took that poem, along with many others I had written, and I placed them into book form, and I was blessed enough to have that book of poems published; writing had become therapy for me. I’m hoping that anyone who has the opportunity to read my poems, get out of them, what I placed in all of them. My poems are from the heart, as real as any could be. I later had another inspirational children book published, and I’m working on my third. I’m not saying I’m in the running for best selling author, because I’m a long way from that. I’m just a regular everyday woman, who have overcome many obstacles that took me to writing. I would have never become a writer, producing inspirational stories, if I hadn’t gone through all that I did. I never anticipated becoming a writer, I just became one.
I’m a true example that you can survive cancer, not once, but twice, providing you get to it in time. I’m not saying all will be easy, I’m not saying all will survive it, I’m just saying, have faith, fight with all you have, then hold on. I truly believe when and if you survive a horrific tragedy or a horrible disease such as cancer, it’s for a reason. You have a purpose, and through that purpose, faith, compassion, strength, and true beauty is born.
Karen Rice/x2 Cancer Survivor/Author
I began floating downwards, slowly into the waters,
not knowing why or what was happening to me,
I saw my love one reaching out for me,
as I slowly drift away,
still not knowing why or what;
The feeling during the flow
was the most breathe taking feeling
I’ve ever felt in my life time,
But I couldn’t understand why I was handed
such a feeling of a divine revelation,
still not knowing why or where I was headed;
I felt beauty, peace and tranquility,
I was going through a transition like no other,
I felt so overwhelmed
with the presence of an unnatural,
but I still couldn’t understand what, why;
I tried so hard to ease the pain
that I viewed in my love one’s face,
to let them know that it was OK, you can let go
At the same time I can still feel the greatness,
a comfort, a wonder of a feeling like no other;
As I were devouring that great feeling,
at the same time I was floating towards
the brightest blinding light that I’ve ever witness,
but I still didn’t understand,
Why or what was happening;
Then suddenly the light was gone
and I was floating back towards the top of the waters,
back towards my love one,
At that moment I then knew what had just happened;
I had experience a moment of Peace,
the feeling of Peace,
One like no other,
a feeling from the other side.
Written by Karen Rice