Discovering Faith, True Love, Beauty And Confidence During And After Cancer

By Karen R. • April 2, 2018

Without questioning, when going through a serious illness, you learn to know what real love, faith and true beauty really is. You find out who's there at this most critical time of your life, as well as how you really feel about yourself.

I know this all too well, because I've experienced many trials and tribulations in my life. One particular trial was having to raise my child alone after a broken marriage. For a while, you feel as if you did something wrong and that your life is over, because when that door closes, you can't see far enough to see another one opening. You feel as if the world you know, is ending. But thanks to my child, I found the strength, picked myself up and kept it moving. Life was rough and very hard, at times, I didn't think we would make it, but because of the unconditional love of my child, the strength and fight I developed going through so much, I made it. I could have the worst day, and then I see the joy and smiles on my child's face, it's like all the bad erases, and things just don't seem that bad anymore, and I knew I had a purpose to go on. Through it all I gain my strength and more confidence in myself. My self-esteem came back with full force and I was loving myself all over again. I had a new beginning, all on my own.

But later in life, things turned around yet again in a negative way, in a way like no other. 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. Why were you given this? Yet through my tragedies and all that I had to endure, it all became an awakening for me, in which I received all the strength and encouragement from and through the life I had with my daughter, and now my grandchildren. Their love was the greatest purpose to fight cancer and live. Through it all, not only did I find what life truly means, but I found what true beauty really is. Through all the chemo, radiation, the pain I endured, I still felt beautiful.

Whether we're dealing with an illnesses or any other negative feelings about ourselves, our lives or our bodies, we need to be our own cheering section. Through all my mishaps, I still feel beautiful and it's real. Yes, there's a lot of things out in the 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. I also realized that I was about to face a new beginning, new hope, do and see more with a while new perspective on life. 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 not take my life for granted. When I think of the “gift of life” that was given to me twice over, I knew that I would develop and gain strength through all my experiences. And I would never say having or going through cancer was a gift, surviving it, receiving a second and third chance on life, is the gift. Yet, through it all, I'm still me, and 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 passing day I'm allowed to open my eyes, the days are brighter, because I'm able to see and appreciate it that much more.

Still today, I would look at the areas of my body where surgeries were performed, and how different it is, and it still bothers me. 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. Honestly, I could not have done or felt the way I did and still do, without my children. I feel within my heart that I survived cancer both times, to share my life with and through them, while sharing my story with others. 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 and still feel beautiful along the way. We as women should never allow anything, or any circumstance to steal our joy, nor our self-esteem. Through any tragedy, we are and always will be beautiful and unique! 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. But I found out later that it was truly an awakening. 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. At the age of 62, I'm hopefully headed for a better life, one I'm cherishing each day, yet through it all, I feel that I'm still at my best, I'm very confident, as well as grateful, so who am I to complain? I truly believe when 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, compassion, strength, faith and true beauty is born.

Thank You,

Karen Rice /x2 Cancer Survivor/

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