Courage Through a Cancer Scare

I listened to a TED talk this week…, which is not new, and you have all probably heard Brene Brown discuss vulnerability and shame. But, alas, I live in mommy world where no one watches the news and I have almost no idea if it is 70 degrees or 20 degrees until I open the door to the garage thus why I have on polar gear and others are in flip flops. Gracious…I need to look at the weather app.

I digress….Brene’s talk was to put it mildly…riveting. She talks about shame and vulnerability from a ‘secular’ place (I hate this word but because she isn’t mentioning Jesus that’s all I know to call it), but it is 100% true and regardless of the secular nature of the talk…I am convinced Jesus himself could teach the same thing from a hill in Galilee.

So….bottom line you need to listen and this is what I took away.

TED Talk- Brené Brown on Vulnerability

TED Talk- Brené Brown on Shame

Courage she says comes from the Latin word for ‘cour’ that means heart and the original definition was to ‘tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.’  Oh yes…that is so it. I spend my life trying to get women to believe this everywhere I go because of the power of the Holy Spirit in them. Yes…I get this and then I have a scare that feels risky and there is too much at stake for me to share my ‘scare’ except with the ‘safe’ ones who live out of town or who wouldn’t be responsible for me if something was truly wrong. Hello shame, worry, and fear…not so nice to see you.

So..here it is. I had my annual GYN visit this year and every year that goes by my ‘vulnerability tolerance’ for my cancer risk and my worry have increased. My mom had cancer (she’s doing amazing 13 years later) and because of that fact my sister became a certified raw food consultant and well…I lost two husbands and was just trying to survive. But..in the back of my mind, it lurked and deep fear called to deep fear because that is what fear does especially when your life is marred with the death of two husbands and the thought of leaving your children behind. So, I have had my mammograms for the last four years and every time they came back clear I celebrated one more year of life. I didn’t dwell on it until this past year…because someone else, my husband as of this year, was going to be affected by this sickening plague of ADAM called cancer if that mammogram was bad.

Linear Acceleratar Room

So I proceed to get the best of the best…Breast Care Specialists who do it all with no waiting. Yes…..it will be quick and over in three hours with no agonizing for results. That is the ticket for me. I went two weeks ago..below the radar…only Rod knew. I had it all done including the ultrasound. Waited for my sweet doctor and her Nurse Prac comes in and says, ‘Well the good news is that your mammo was clear, but in your ultrasound we found a place that we need to BIOPSY.’ Nausea, sweaty, bullet train of fear in me welled up. Bottom line, I had the biopsy and found out this past Tuesday that I have nothing but a lot of fibroid cysts that are just tricky. I’ll take it.

‘To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. But, I’m learning that recognizing and leaning into the discomfort of vulnerability teaches us how to live with joy, gratitude and grace.’ Brene Brown

I have not felt such grace, joy, and gratitude in the release of the bondage of fear from illness (that I didn’t have) in a long while. I confidently say that it has robbed me of days and possibly months of my life in the past six months.

Why I am telling you this?

Because fear is squashed in the light of day and in the discomfort of being vulnerable.

And when you squash it….celebrate a fleeting moment in time just because you can. Just go on and do whatever you know you need to do….apologize, tell your husband something he longs to hear but you are withholding and you don’t know why, call your mom, tell your stepmom that you are grateful for how she loves your dad, truly forgive, give your kids the joy of knowing that they are loved not because of anything they do or don’t do. Ahhhh…..what a difference a little vulnerability could make. You have nothing to lose but fear….so worth it.

Do you struggle with fear?

Have you felt courageous lately?



Similar Posts

One Comment

  1. you’re awesome sweet girl. crazy thing…my friend told me just this week, that i need to read brene browns book. i had never heard of her until sunday.
    i have walked that exact walk. not this christmas but last, i dealt with several months of “you need more tests” which landed me at BCS. biopsy scheduled and waited weeks for teh results. christmas was during that time & the office was closed.
    its all clear.
    i am behind in rescheduling. oops.
    and i live in load of fear regarding health issues.
    youre words are so true and so powerful.
    love you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.