No it wasn’t a diamond necklace or a new pair of shoes. All though those are great gifts too. 😉
The greatest gift I ever received was a book, 4 years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer.
I had just gone through several biopsies that doctors diagnosed as suspicious. I told my mom and little did I know at the time, she told our entire family and we’re Hispanic so you know we have a BIG family but I digress, more on that later.
I was in denial and didn’t want to believe the results would come back as cancer but they did and I was devastated. I don’t even remember driving home from the doctors that night. I was confused, terrified, and so angry.
I walked up to my house emotionally exhausted and saw a package on my porch and saw that it was from one of my cousins in Miami. I brought it inside and put it on my nightstand, curled up in my bed and went to sleep.
I woke up the next morning hoping it was all just a bad dream. All I could think was, the wild butterfly, free spirited girl I was the day before was gone and she was never coming back and I grieved for her, HARD.
What I couldn’t see then is the woman I would become, the woman I am today.
I was too enthralled in my devastation to see anything other than the two surgeries and radiation therapy that awaited me.
Then came the anger. I was reckless and out of control, heavily drinking to numb my fears. My behavior was having a negative impact on my kids even though I never talked about the cancer with them. They knew something was wrong with their mommy. So one night I was tucking them in bed and my 5-year-old son asked, “Mommy do you need me to kiss your owie so you won’t be sad anymore?”
And I broke.
I kissed him goodnight and went to my room and fell to my knees and sobbed for the first time. I begged and pleaded for peace of mind, some reassurance that everything would be okay.
And as I “ugly cried” like Kim Kardashian, I noticed that package on my nightstand that I never opened. I saw that it was from one of my cousins that my mom had told about the biopsy, she didn’t know I had cancer just that I had a biopsy but yet that package arrived on my door step the very night I was officially diagnosed with cancer, it had been sitting there unopened for weeks.
It was my divine intervention and somehow I instinctively knew that.
I ripped it open like a kid rips open presents on Christmas morning with just as much anticipation and excitement. The title was, Crazy, Sexy, Cancer Survivor by Kris Carr.
I dove into that book like diving into your favorite dessert (cheesecake) and devoured every single word and before I knew it the sun was coming up.
And just as the sun came up something shifted in me. For the first time since being diagnosed with cancer, I finally felt at peace. I saw the sunrise that morning, not for the first time but for the first time its beauty was breathtaking to me.
I went on to subscribe to Kris Carr’s email list and came across one of her emails promoting Marie Forleo so I watched one of her episodes and instantaneously fell in love with her, I vibed with her on a level that only Oprah can do for me.
So when Marie Forleo’s B-School (training on how to build an online business) came out I knew I had to enroll. I was on medical leave for 4 months so I had plenty of time on my hands to do the training and it was during that time that I discovered my passion of empowering women and building an online business. It was during this most vulnerable time in my life that I dreamt up Crowned for Success.
Look, cancer is never easy and no one knows how they’re going to get through it when diagnosed or how they should grieve the person they were before cancer, that is their own personal journey to discover.
What I do know is we all have a choice to make when faced with trials and tribulations, you can either let them make you or break you. You can’t always choose what’s happens to you but you can choose how you decide to handle it. As for me?
Cancer shook me awake and I could finally see.
I saw life and love in the most vibrant colors you could ever imagine. I saw it in the trees, in the mountains, in the flowers, in my dreams, in my children’s eyes and most of all, I finally saw it in ME.
It was everywhere, all around me, all the time. But it always was, I just wasn’t awake to see.
And for that, I can find gratitude in my journey with cancer.
Today, I am cancer free.