Christy Powers is about to go in for her first major surgery since her breast cancer diagnosis. She shares her thoughts and reflects back on her life before cancer.
Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.
I have a bittersweet love for that Beatles’ song. While my future right now feels so scary, I am longing and aching for yesterday. A time when I was trouble-free, naive, and living life carefree. I see photos of myself when I was a little girl and see the hope of life in those eyes of mine. How I wish I had that innocence again. When troubles seemed so far away.
Each person handles cancer differently. I have friends who shared with me that they didn’t tell anyone until heading into surgery. Some didn’t share the news till after they had recovered. I chose to tell everyone when I got diagnosed. My reasoning for this was from several thoughts I had. I hoped that sharing the news would help me find my courage. In my life when I have found the most strength, it was when I had to be there for others, protect someone I loved, or to be there when someone needed me the most. It’s just how I am made.
Knowing I would have to find my courage now from a new source was going to be a challenge for me and I knew I would have to find a way to cope with that. I also told others to validate that this crazy new truth was really happening and wasn’t some sick nightmare I couldn’t just wake up from. I knew that if I shared it with others I would have to accept the truth and learn to take support even when I was scared to do so and especially when I needed it the most. I have never been one to ask for help. So by sharing the news, I would have to deal with it more than if I would have been a silent warrior taking it on all by myself.
In the spirit of thoughtful reflection that comes from going into a surgery soon and what that does to a fragile state of mind, I want to say a few things.
To my amazing friends … I am blown away at what you have done for me. Your generosity, support, and love humble me every day. The kindness you have shown me has given me the ability to have a better future and to be able to survive a major life event with less stress and with the added sense of security that I will be ok. What an amazing gift to receive in life. I may never be able to repay this much generosity, but I will spend my life trying to pay it forward.
To my family … being part of the Powers’ family means just that … powerful. We are powerful in love and support for each other. I thank God every day for being blessed enough to be part of this family. Thank you for showing and teaching me what love is.
To the few men I have loved and all the times I have been a fool for love and been fooled by love, I get it now. I understand all the times I wasn’t the woman I wished I would have been or the one you wished I was. I have let my faults or insecurities get in my way of happiness countless times in life. I have lost faith in myself and the one I loved at times when having faith might have been the one thing that would have made it work. And I have loved someone for years even when they didn’t love me back. These are lessons I am not yet sure made me a better woman or just the woman I am.
To the other women and men facing cancer: I know I have not faced a fraction of the battle so many have faced and won. And that makes my heart ache for you. What cancer puts you and your loved ones through is more than anyone should have to go through. We have to find a way to end all cancer. Life should not end with this much fear, pain, and sadness. We need to find a way to stop this from happening to our souls. I ask for a relentless obsession to find a cure from all the doctors, insurance companies, and politicians. “Are you really doing all you can to beat cancer?” I hope they can answer that question with a clear conscience when they go to bed at night.
To the young girls just learning how to live … I wish I could lie and protect you and tell you fairytales are real and life will treat you fair. The best I can do is tell you to learn to be true to yourself. Do what is right by you because when you don’t you will be haunted with regret in your growing heart. The echoes of the times you put “him” or “them” or “it” first will be the sound you hear at every crossroads you face in your future causing you to doubt your worth. And one day you may wake up and realize you have been in a supporting role and not the leading lady of your own life.
Care about what you think and feel. Love yourself. It’s so important and is the seeds to your confidence, grace, and strength. You are worth so much more than you will give yourself credit for at times; and remember, sacrifice when done for the wrong reasons is useless and self-deprecating. It is so important to understand that you will accept and attract the love you think you deserve.
As I finish my last business trip before the surgery, I am scared of the reality I must now face. It’s my time to be face-to-face with cancer. I’ve never been in a major surgery. And I need to heal quickly to be able to go back to work and take care of myself and my future. That’s a lot of pressure. That’s a lot to feel.
My surgery will be at Littleton Adventist Hospital on March 14th at 9:30 a.m. MT. They tell me it could last around six hours. If you can say some more prayers that day, I would be very grateful for them. I will be in the hospital overnight and, hopefully, if all goes well I will be discharged in the morning.
So, before I go under in a few days, I just want my family and friends to know I love you all so much … as much as one’s heart can. I found my courage through your eyes, my strength through your support, and my faith through your prayers.
Very soon I hope to be cancer free. I know my body will go through a lot these next six weeks of recovery at home but because of all of you my heart will help me get through it because there is so much more I still want to do in life. My bucket list is gratefully full of special moments I want to share yet with all of you. Thank you for being a part of my blessed life.
Listening to the Hunter Hayes song “Where It All Begins” (featuring Lady Antebellum)
[Editor’s Note: Christy needs help affording the treatment she needs, her insurance is only going to go so far, please consider donating money to Christy Powers’ Breast Cancer Fundraiser through GiveForward.]