In the12 months from February 2014 – February 2015 I faced four major life challenges:
- Diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Stage 1
- Cyst on my pituitary gland that put undue pressure on my optic nerve resulting in a loss of my eye site.
- Move into a new Home
- Loss of financial standing due to layoff
And if that wasn’t enough, I bought a condo, walked a 5k in Kona Hawaii and bought a car. One can not say I didn’t live a full and exciting life. Nothing about me is boring!
I remember lying in my bed the morning of the Napa earthquake, August 24, 2014, about 3:20 am. It was during the final week of my medical leave after my brain surgery in July. The ceiling fan was on. I felt a jolt and opened my eyes to see the fan swinging. I lay in bed, watching the fan sway back and forth with only one thought in my mind, “Really God? You brought me through Cancer and brain surgery only to chop off my head?” I just lay there. I could have rolled under the bed. But in those few seconds, I affirmed my destiny and simply waited my fate.
There are more article, books and movies on survival than one could care to imagine. Survival is the daily act we practice to continue living. The degree to which we survive is a combination of many things, some of which include determination, resilience, and access to resources, genetics, nature, nurture and skills. I’m sure there are others, but you get the drift. The attributes to survival are varied and which are necessary to ensure survival I think vary dependent upon the situation. But there are some basics necessary to exist, notwithstanding one of the most powerful being resilience – having a positive attitude, optimism, ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback (www.psychologytoday.com).
Once as a young woman i asked my Mom why she gave more attention to my brothers. To me she appeared to nurture them more. Being the resident Princess, I wanted to know, “Why not me?” She looked me in the face and very calmly said, “Cause I knew that whatever crack you got your tail in, you would get out!”
I didn’t understand it then. I’m not sure she fully did either, at least not the full technical term (Mom didn’t like Psychology). Obviously Mom recognized that God had blessed me with a huge dose of resilience. Not to minimize my brothers, but she recognized it in me early on.
People often told me that I didn’t look like I had battled cancer, brain surgery, the move, the Napa earthquake and loss of financial standing. The answer to my survival was and is always the same: It is God within.
- I was blessed with an overdose of resilience
- I was blessed with loving family and friends that supported me every step of the way
- I was blessed with great team of doctors that understood their roles as instruments of God
- I did not lean to my own understanding, but meditated day and night on the Word of God about spiritual healing.
There were other steps I took to ensure success:
- I followed the doctors treatment plan,
- I changed my diet – more organic food, filtered water, less sugar,
- I eliminated negative influences from my house – no news, no violent movies or other forms of violent media,
- I sought peace, love and a heavy dose of laughter, and
- I took naps as necessary,
Finally, and I believe more importantly, I did not believe that I was going to die. I affirmed that my work on this planet was not complete, every day. I believed that God had a plan for my life and this was just the beginning of my transformation.