The first time I heard the words, "I'm sorry. You have cancer," all I could do was moan "Oh, no," and slowly let my body and soul absorb the words. It was a few days before I was able to ask questions and truly listen to the statistics, treatment plan and prognosis. I do not remember crying that often for the week I was in the hospital recovering from my debunking surgery. I had already cried for two weeks out of fear of the unknown. Instead I concentrated on the ways I had dealt with other challenges: sexual abuse, divorce, alcoholic parents, and untimely deaths.
I had learned from my grandmother and an adopted aunt the following healthy ways to face any fear, illness or tragedy:
*and most important, a faith in God.
By the time I was home from the hospital I had come to terms with "I have cancer," and tried to live each day with a determination that I would live it fully, healthily, and joyfully. In my book, Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir, I explain in more detail how I used each of the above mentioned coping methods.
Today I want to focus on my faith in God, because it is the foundation of everything else. Without God, I am lost; an empty shell. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross once said, "People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
My light is knowing and accepting God's love for me. The cover of my book exemplifies God's light and my shining through challenges, even cancer.
Faith does not mean cure. Faith for me means trusting God will give me strength, courage, and resolve; that I will still live my life in love, forgiveness, and generosity for however long I live.
Is your light shining? Do you let fear control you? Are you giving your physical body the nutrition and exercise it needs? Do you laugh, giggle, find humor in everyday things? Are you holding on to grudges, jealousies, hatred, or anger? Thank you for sharing.
- Karen Ingalls
- Ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in 1 of 72 women; 14,000 will die. Please know the symptoms and risk factors: read Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir. Books at www.amazon.com. ALL PROCEEDS GO TO GYNECOLOGIC CANCER RESEARCH. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writer's International Society of Authors, and Patient Leadership Council for Tesaro, Inc. I WILL NOT USE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE THAN CONTACTING YOU DIRECTLY. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2018.