As I hit summer every year since 2016 when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer I always reflect. It’s hard not to. I survived ovarian cancer. I feel as if I have been through the ringer but then I sit back & I pay attention to those around me. Those suffering either aloud or silently through their ‘Job’ like circumstances. I see mothers that have lost newly born babies, wives that have lost husbands. Poverty & hatred. I remind myself that I am not alone. I am blessed to have been given the Christian perspective. Not many have God raising them up. Blessed in my life that God has chosen to provide me with.

I think that is how I mentally beat the cancer game. Cancer sucked the life out of me as it does to so many people but it also gave me a new life in a weird way. A real bittersweet awareness breaks the surface & its hard to ignore it or let it go. It’s not that we are broken, its that we are weathered with wisdom from that experience.

Cancer for me was my life moment. Diagnosis was self-made. No one pre-checked me & found it, I found it. I have always been self-aware of my body since I suffered from endometriosis & ovarian cysts. This was a bit different than a typical cyst for me though. It was painful yes, but it came with a slew of different symptoms that I was not used to having. Sleep was non-existent, I was never hungry & when I did eat I was full quickly. Constantly shivering & nauseated at night. Bizarre issues were occurring to me & I wanted answers. So I Googled. Yes, I am that girl & its okay to be that girl sometimes. I ended up getting ovarian cancer every time as a match. I knew that was probably it. DING! DING! DING! Except I hadn’t won a prize. My life would sure be changing if I was right but it wouldn’t be for the better or would it? God knew what He was doing from the very get go with me.

I go to the Dr. having this feeling that I have cancer but being told by everyone that I don’t & that if I have faith I will be fine. But, what if God wants me to have it? What if He needed me to have it to be an example for others? To work vicariously through me to reach the hearts of those straddling the line between good & evil, right & wrong?

And, just like that I have cancer. The Dr. delivers the news to my Mother and I. Instantly, I feel a flurry of feelings: relief, sadness, scared, anxious, nervous, mad etc. It’s an overwhelming rush & I can hear words continue to be said but they sound as if I am underwater & I can’t understand or make out the jargon. I remember looking at my Mother right after it was said & I could see her heart break so vividly & in a blink of an eye she was right back to be my motivator. However, I was able to catch a glimpse of her raw emotion unfiltered for the very first time from my strong, devout Catholic Mother. She told the Dr., “God has her, she will be fine”. I remember after that appointment having to tell my Husband via phone in the car. He was frantic, devastated & almost hysterical. My very engineer, practical & realistic Husband had lost his sense of self during that call. I am sure in that moment it changed him too. My Father well I could see the sadness & emotion in his eyes as I broke it to him. He hugged me and wept a little & I looked at him and remember saying, “If he was going to pick anyone, it would be me because I can handle it. My family is strong, my faith even stronger. I will be okay Dad.” I had to be okay for my 3 ½ year old & 9 month old. They needed me after all.

I am 3 ½ years post chemotherapy, full hysterotomy, paired with the removal of both my appendix & gall-bladder. I am alive & a living testament to Gods word & His good will. I have had moments of weakness. Moments in which I was fetal position on my bathroom floor crying because feelings of death were surrounding me. The devil trying constantly to manipulate my mind in to thinking God didn’t care but he did. He sent his own Mother to watch over me one night as I lay weak & very ill. As I prayed the rosary over and over with my son in bed with me I cried because I couldn’t even move & I was alone with my 2 small kids. Mother Mary, please intercede for me. Please tell God to wash over me, to relieve me of this pain, weakness & inability to think anything but negative thoughts. I prayed with a bleeding heart as if God himself was before me & then I felt a calmness. My whole body felt as if it was floating, no ailments, no aching. It was all gone. In a mere moment God had placed his hands over my body & healed me. I will never forget that feeling of both the mixture of pain & relief. The deepest gratitude & love was felt right in that moment.

Do you ever wonder why God chose you? Why God created you to be a part of his creation? I do. There has to be a reason! There is, in the end we just are not divine enough to understand it. So there it is. God created me to do something & I don’t know exactly what that something is but I do feel strongly that it is to speak from my heart about His grace, love & foregiveness to others through my experiences.