By Karen Rice
Without question, going through a life threatening illness is a teachable moment. It let’s us know what true beauty is, as well as true love during the most critical time our lives.
I know this all too well as I’ve experienced a lot in my life. For one, having to raise my child alone after a broken marriage.
For a while, I felt as if I did something wrong, and that my life was over. I thought that no one would ever want me again. But thanks to my child, I found the strength to pick myself up and keep going. Her unconditional love made me realize that going through such an ordeal, only made me stronger.
To see the joy and smiles she brought to my life each and everyday, I knew I had purpose. Our life together gave me the strength to feel more and more confident about myself. My self esteem climbed to its highest and I began loving myself all over again.
But later in life things turned around yet again, in a negative way. In a way like no other. I ran into a medical head-on collision not only with breast cancer, but colon cancer. Being ill with two life threatening illnesses changed my entire outlook on life. I thought I had it rough before, but going through cancer was just the tip of the iceberg.
Going through my cancer ordeal and all of what I had to endure, my experience became what I’d like to call “an awakening.”
My daughter and my grandchildren gave me all of their strength and encouragement to fight cancer. They were there with me through it all, chemo, radiation, and pain. Through their love, I found out the true meaning of beauty. I would look in the mirror even more during this time, looking for a drastic change, but instead I saw myself as more beautiful. I began to see clearly that authentic beauty shines brighter when you see life.
Although, there were times when I could see how surgery transformed different parts of my body, and it bothered me, but I would just look past it because I came to the realization that true beauty comes from within.
Honestly, I could not have gone through this, or felt this confidently after battling two illnesses without my children. I feel within my heart that I survived cancer both times and I’m able to share my story with others because of the love of my children.
I want to share my story with others, hoping to make a positive impact on someone who’s battling an illness, to help them see beauty along the way.
I must admit, from the beginning I immediately thought that my cancer diagnosis was a “death sentence.” I found out later that it was truly an awakening.
I truly believe when you survive a horrific tragedy or a horrible disease such as cancer, it’s for a reason. My children showed me that through having a purpose, true beauty is born.
Karen Rice/x2 Cancer Survivor
Photo’s courtesy of Karen Rice.