Backhand Stories: The Creative Writing Blog

My heart would not have migrated so deeply within me if it had not been for my breast cancer. The experience of having gone through a mastectomy and breast reconstruction shaped me in ways that would change my life forever more. My heart fell into a free fall much like an autumn leaf that is released from the branch it had grown upon after my initial diagnosis. The leaf descends to the ground graciously and without much effort. My heart’s perspective twirled and changed colors in its descent moving more deeply into my true heart where the deepest gift of heart lives resoundingly by the strong presence of my tenacious spirit. I discovered many inner treasures yet to be revealed. The two-fold passage of having breast cancer affected me both physically and spiritually. My spiritual journey became part of my healing in the aftermath of my physical recovery.

I would spend well over a year healing from my breast reconstruction surgery. During this time I continued working on my journal I had been keeping since my diagnosis. I found myself settling into the experience as time gradually progressed over the ensuing months. I could sense my vulnerable edges still, but as I wrote the pages in my journal about the tumultuous time of dealing with breast cancer, it also lent to me a rite of passage to go more deeply within and to grapple the reins to not only my heart but the true defining force of my life giving spirit. The entries I wrote became my voice in finding the strength of my spirit. And yes, I did run the emotional gamut of disbelief, anger, denial, sadness and eventual heartfelt acceptance that anyone encounters when diagnosed with any type of illness.

The journey of breast cancer becomes a reckoning between the self and the soul. My sensation of spirit became my fortitude and hope. I could sense the presence of my soul more keenly as my heart opened into the unspoken calm of my vast spiritual ocean that awaited me. Calling me home to look inside and drift within and feel the various tides ebbing and flowing as I weighed the emotional ups and downs as I progressed on my voyage with cancer. My greatest revelation was to become my thanks for having breast cancer. For had I not withstood the anxiety and fears, alongside the hope and faith of unforeseen circumstances, I would not come to see the gift I was learning from it. We are taught to fear cancer and that it is something that does not promote positive change. In the end, it is the leverage that is creating the need for change itself.