As I reflect on the concept of time and what it means to me, the first thing that comes to mind is how much of it I have probably wasted throughout my life. And, I’d be willing to bet that most people who have been diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness probably feel the same way. It isn’t until our time on this earth is suddenly limited in some way that we are able to see clearly how valuable our time becomes. 16 months ago, when I was diagnosed with stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer, I was suddenly transformed into a person who was always putting things off into a person who is now getting up every day with a new mission… to live fully! This didn’t happen quickly, however. It was a long journey for me before I was able to make peace with my diagnosis and find the strength and courage to live again.
When I was first diagnosed, my world came crashing down around me. The only thing I could think about or see was death. In my mind, my life was ending. I fell into a dark place of sadness and depression. I became desperate, angry and afraid of facing the unknown future that lied ahead for me. Treatments, side effects, pain… there couldn’t possibly be anything positive for me to look forward too in the years that lie ahead. I remember thinking to myself that there was no way I would ever be able to accept this diagnosis. I felt that here was no hope for me to ever find happiness and joy again. I felt like a robot just going through the motions of life, but not really seeing the point in participating. When you feel like your life is over it’s hard to know how to take the next step. For me, time had suddenly run out.
Luckily, I am surrounded by so many beautiful people who stepped into my life as soon as they found out about my cancer. They gave me the time I needed to grieve. They listened to my fears, supported me, cried with me and held me up. Eventually I began to slowly reach inside myself and find the strength to finally get up on my own. I began to hold on to those little bits of courage and use them as my fuel to get up and face life one step and one day at a time. I am forever grateful for the people who were there and are still there for me each and every day.
It didn’t take long for me to begin to reach out to other women like me who are also getting up every day and trying to live despite a terminal diagnosis. The more I listened to their stories, the more alive I began to feel. It was through their stories and how they embraced me with support that I began to see that there was indeed plenty of life for me to live. If they could do it, so could I.
Continue reading Kathy’s full story at http://avoiceformbc.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-power-of-time.html