Hello lovely people of blog world, and welcome to my first post! The idea of this blog comes from a place of new beginnings – so I suppose that is where I should start, from the very beginning. But first! A quote that will set the mood of my entire blog space, a quote that has resinated within me ever since I read it two months ago, and a quote that I have thought about everyday since then… “There is nothing like ADVERSITY or misfortune to really show us our blessings”.
For my 27th birthday, I was given the most unexpected and life changing gift I could ever have imagined – the gift of adversity. Well, actually it was a cancer diagnosis. Stage IIb Hodgkin’s Lymphoma to be exact. There HAD to be a mistake though! I generally made quite healthy decisions, ate my leafy greens, raised my heart rate for an hour at least three times a week, AND I was positive that those small lumps in the left side of my neck were from an allergic reaction to the cats we had living in our basement suite. These silly doctors must not have calibrated their equipment properly! They don’t know that I am actually a very healthy person! However, trying to convince my doctor that I was ACTUALLY healthy didn’t change the diagnosis. It didn’t change the fact that I had mutated cells residing within my neck and chest , and it didn’t change the fact that these mutated cells would continue to replicate that thrive within other parts of my body if changes weren’t made.
My mind set shifted from denial to acceptance very quickly. I was sent home from my doctors office with the promise of a referral to the cancer clinic, an abundance of baseline testing, and at least six months worth of chemotherapy treatment to look forward to. But wait!!! Will I loose my HAIR!?!?!
When me and my now husband, Travis, got home after that doctors visit, it was as if we were stepping into an entirely new house. Everything seemed different. It was no longer Travis, myself and our cattle dog, Rosco, living in our house, there was now a new presence as well. The diagnosis, and the fact that at age 27 I was head-on facing a health crisis. At this point there was only one thing to do that could facilitate the shift from this new and unfamiliar environment back to our comfortable and safe place – proper introductions, of course.
We were actually encouraged by my doctor to turn to the world of google for answers and information. And as with anything, there was a plethora of information to be found on my cancer. I read people’s stories – both good and bad, happy and sad. There was no room to sensitize information here. After many of the toughest research hours of my entire life, it was clear, I knew exactly what I had to do. I had to be the unicorn. I had to be one of the happy, feel good stories I had just finished reading about. I had to do this for myself, for Travis, for the sake of our wedding that was planned to take place in two months! I had to do this for my family and friends, and I knew I had to do it so I could be one of the feel good stories for people of the future that were just like me in this moment, searching for a beacon of hope while staring at a seemingly unsurmountable feat, head on.
I know now how fortunate I was to have read those survivors’ words at the beginning of my journey, and to have had the ability to believe that I could do it, too. A lot of things have happened in the past four months since my diagnosis; I have gotten married, started a direct sales business, been there to welcome my first niece into the world and discovered a whole new side to nutrition, to name a few. But that’s not all! I have also gained perspective to the point where I feel as though I have been granted a new set of eye balls at times! I can recognize my bodies needs and I truly understand what abundance feels like. I understand now that to realize our fullest potential, we must be forced out of our comfort zones, as it is here that we will truely find growth and nourishment for our mind, body and soul. So, you may say “cancer”, but I say “adversity”.