Cracking Open to Your Success

The Crack That Opened Me Up…..My Breast Cancer Journey

Sitting in that familiar chair just like many November weekend days, watching football, snacks at the table beside me, I moved up and down while the games played. A fan since I was a little girl.

Not this day.

This day I was in the same brown leather recliner, not comfortable and not up and down as I wanted.

Not this day.

This day bandages covered my breasts, covered the drains coming out of the sides of my chest and just below where my belly button used to be. Where my belly used to be. Where my breasts used to be. I was seated. Looking up at the  bright blue sky outside, not feeling normal. Nothing was normal and would never be again.

Not this day.

How did this all happen to me?

Runner, healthy woman, successful….friendly, creative, expressive.

Not this day.

Tears still run down my face as I think about that moment. Sitting, all bandaged up, tired, but not sleepy, hurting but feeling pain I never imagined. My body was so healthy and strong.

Not this day.

No…..not this day or any day since.

They used to call it a radical double mastectomy when I was in nursing school.

Women damaged forever and lives spiraling down the drain as a woman is disfigured…both breasts removed.

I am stunned every time I look in the mirror and…every time I think of it.

I was training for the Marine Corp Marathon with my little sister. We were strong and focused. I had just landed an exciting job. I was 2 months into the job and one month from the marathon.

You have cancer. Both breasts. You have options, but……..

I didn’t hear much more. I lived in shock for weeks. No one outside my family could tell.

Boarding a business trip on a major airline in October the Breast Cancer promotion kept screaming the obvious to me.

Breast cancer was my new reality and I had to get a plan and take care of it.

The marathon was epic….greeting my family in Washington D.C. days before the run seemed like a slow walk of final goodbyes. My father, the strong man, the judge, the executive, asked,

“Why did this happen to YOU?”

We weren’t comfortable crying…but I had to.

“I don’t know,” the tears flowed and I choked them back.

The journey of facing one’s mortality is never welcome, but usually seen as a gift to those of us who survive to tell.

This was the crack that opened me….forever.

It broke my heart and opened my soul.

FOREVER.

Changed my soul.

Opened my eyes.

I returned to work a different woman.

A survivor….I brought all of me.

A survivor….I stopped holding back.

I brought my Soul to WORK!

Each day…the scars in the mirror healed a bit more.

Each day…I opened myself more to my team and corporation.

Bringing my soul to work…. I was more because I was cracked open.

Forever!

Believing I could be me was the beginning. Knowing that the more I let go of limiting beliefs, the more I would be happy being me. The more I was me, the more impact I would have.

There I was…sitting in the same chair…this time with bandages and drains and I made a pact with myself to be more ME!

Time was short.

I had to be ME.

I brought my soul to work each day…more ME.

SO, on this occasion of my cracking open….I say to you;

Let the difficulties open you up.

Allow yourself to be cracked open….let go of what’s been holding you back.

Bring Your Soul to Work and to your LIFE!

Your life will feel freer and your happiness will soar!

  • Ludmila Clifton Battista

    Thanks for sharing…..inspiring, amazing, and honest. I really appreciate you.