Editor’s Note: This piece was submitted by a contributing writer and does not represent the views of CURE Media Group.
Without questioning, going through a serious illness you learn to know what true beauty really is, as well as true love. Who's truly there, at this most critical time of your life. I know this all too well, because I've experience a lot in my life, many trials and tribulations. One particular trial was having to raise my child alone after a broken marriage. For a while, you feel as if you did something wrong and that your life is over, no one will ever want you again. But thanks to my child, I found the strength, picked myself up and kept it moving. Life was rough and very hard and at times, I didn't think I would make it, but for the unconditional love of my child, I made it. To look and see the joy and smiles she brought to my life each and everyday, I knew I had a purpose. Through our lives together, I gain my strength and am more confident about myself; my self-esteem came back with full force and I was loving myself all over again. I had a new beginning all on my own.
But later in life, things turned around yet again, in a negative way. In a way like no other. I had a head-on collision with not only breast cancer, but colon cancer as well, and it changed my entire outlook on life. I thought I had it rough years before, but going through cancer is the tip of the iceberg. There's nothing like it. Yet through my tragedies and all that I had to endure, it all became “an awakening” for me, where I received all the strength and encouragement from and through my daughter, as well as my grandchildren. Their love was the greatest purpose thrown at me to fight cancer and live. Through it all, I found what true beauty really was, through all the chemo, radiation, the pain I endured, I still felt beautiful. I would look in the mirror even more during this time, because I thought that it would change me drastically, but instead I gained even more beauty, because this time the beauty was authentic. It showed me that even going through it all, I could still look and feel beautiful, and it shines brighter. Each day after yesterday got even brighter, because I was able to see it. Yes, at times, I would look at the surgery areas of my body, and how it was transformed and it bothered me, but I would look past it, because those areas could be covered up. True beauty is within, and when you feel beautiful within, it shows clearly on the outside.
Honestly, I could not have done or felt the way I did, and still do, without my children. I feel within my heart that I survived cancer both times to be able to share my life with and through my children while sharing my story with others. I share my story with others, hoping to make a positive impact on someone who's ill or otherwise, where they can proceed life in a while new way and still feel beautiful along the way. I must say, from the beginning, I thought right away that my cancer diagnose was truly a “death sentence.” I found out later that it was truly an awakening. I also realized that I was about to face a new beginning, new hope, do and see more with a whole new prospective on life.
I'm still among the living, and through it all I'm still beautiful, so who am I to complain. I truly believe when you survive a horrific tragedy or a horrible disease such as cancer, it's for a reason, you have a purpose, and through that purpose, true beauty is born.