No Christmas Tree for Christmas

Mom and Me~ Christmas 2011
I realize that Christmas has come and gone and that we are well into the new year, but I wanted to share a guest post I wrote for my friend Jason Bournesm's blog.

No Christmas Tree for Christmas

Three years ago I was shocked beyond belief when my doctor gave me a cancer diagnosis.  That particular moment is vivid in my mind, but the moments after the words “You have stage IIB cervical cancer” are a blur.  It was mid November of 2008, right before the holidays, Thanksgiving,  Christmas and New Year’s.
Needless to say after receiving such a diagnosis, I wasn’t in the spirit for any of the holidays. At the time everything went dark. I thought, Thanksgiving??? What do I have to give thanks for? For having cancer? I was forgetting the rest of my blessings around me. I was only focused on the words that I had just heard. I was giving up, before I even started to fight back. For me, it was the beginning of the end.

The Family~Christmas 2011
I went into a cocoon, asking myself over and over, “What did I do wrong to deserve this?” I didn't want to see anyone, no family, no friends. That year there was no giving thanks on Thanksgiving, no Christmas tree or gifts for Christmas, no party or champagne cheers for the new year. What was the sense of doing all that if I felt uncertain about my life. I was facing my own mortality.

It took a while to gather my strength to get ready to fight back. I was fighting for my life.  It was a difficult journey, but I won the battle. God gave me a second shot at life.

Now, I give thanks every day like if it was Thanksgiving. I celebrate and see every day as a gift giving to me like if it was Christmas, and I live every day like if it was a New Year’s day. There is so much I want to do, and I don’t take anything for granted anymore. I see life differently now, and what seemed like a big thing before is not so big now. Life is good!!

~ You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do.  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Wishing Everyone a Very Healthy New Year!!

1 comment:

  1. Rosie Hernandez FelicienJanuary 11, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Patti, I am so proud of your determination in life. Your story is a true inspiration and one that teaches many lessons. For one, it's being aware of the disease and another, is to persevere. Life has many faces and it's up to an individual to recognize what approach to take when confronted with a situation like yours. You are clearly a blessing. Your attitude set the foundation for your triumph. Sometimes things happen to us and we ask many questions, don't quite understand as to why or even become bitter.... That's just us as humans. On the other hand, God is an awesome God. He sees us through when we are faithful to him. At times, HE has to break us down to build us back up so that we are humbled and make HIM our priority in life. I truly believe God had a calling for you throughout your medical ordeal. HE made you aware of a disease that could've taken your life... HE cured you!...awesome God, raised awareness in you so that you could further impact lives... What a Testimony! I, myself have a similar story to yours. Not as serious but truly crippling. After Cathedral, I went to school for Criminal Justice. When I was done, worked as a probation officer but it wasn't long before I took a civil service job and did my time, relocated to Florida and went on to work in other fields. I was a personal trainer, helped many but it wasn't long before I was feeling physically different. As days, weeks and months went by, I was losing overall physical strength coupled with metabolic disorders and many more symptoms as well. Up to now, doctors really cannot pinpoint what I have. It's a muscle as well as nerve disorder. When I was told, I could not conceive of the thought that I wouldn't be able to work anymore, workout as that is my passion and many other things that affect me. I just couldn't understand why God would let this happen. I interpreted my whole ordeal as God telling me to regroup and prioritize. Well, I did. I put HIM first in my life and everything follows. I took a whole new approach to life that has made me so empathetic of mankind. It made me aware of how delicate and precious life is. I've taken control of my illness which tries to cripple me and I refuse to let it control me. Yes, I hurt 24/7... 365 days, but it's about Perspective and Attitude. So, sometimes we are afflicted with certains things so that we can raise awareness and minister to those that are in need. It so beautiful that you are cured of cervical cancer and are able to impact lives in the way that you do. The Lord has truly blessed you cause HE knows your heart. You will single-handedly leave a legacy to be most proud of. Continue to do what God has called you to do cause you are a true disciple of the Lord. God Bless You each and every day, I am so moved by you. Love you, your former Cathedralite, Rosie