07 Oct Blind Faith
Small town Ohio, March of 1987, married with two sons and working as an elementary school counselor. I felt the lump as I showered. Mastectomy and 7 mo. of chemotherapy. –tried desperately to keep working but lacked physical strength and stamina. Chemo had messed with my brain and I had trouble remembering what needed to be remembered. I was 46. Ultimately disability retirement claimed my career.
October of 1987. “This morning I realized that at a meeting I attended last night, not one person said, ‘How are you?’ For eight months, I have struggled with an answer to that question because, for eight months, I haven’t known how I am. I called my doctor and asked, ‘How am I?’ ‘You’re not sick anymore!’ His response freed me – freed me to be well.”
For months I wandered aimlessly. Poetry and art were my outlet and I self-published Journey Unknown. No longer working in the schools I was left with volunteering as my energy permitted. Depression took over. I looked in the wrong place for comfort. Within several years my marriage ended.
The following year I married my masseur, a guy blind since age 10. We moved to Arizona where the warmth and blue skies cancelled my need for anti-depressants and reduced arthritis pain. Twenty – two years have passed with no further diagnoses of cancer. I am grateful.
In 2012 I had a 2nd Edition of Journey Unknown, Focusing on the Emotional Aspects of Cancer, Mastectomy and Chemotherapy published. It is now going viral in social media. My ‘Words of Inspiration’ won me the title ‘Face/Words of Inspiration’ for 2014 by American Breast Care of Atlanta.
“I’ll accept what is. I’ll live for today. I’ll walk through the rainbow and add color wherever I can.”
Quotations are from Journey Unknown.
Margaret Phalor Barnhart