Your story is a great story!
Perhaps it's an untold story, but it's an award-winning story! Your story is a page-turner, a chart-topper, an epic tale likely filled with intrigue, adventure, success, disappointment, sadness, happiness, trials, overcoming trials, and everything that makes a best-seller. It is a story worth telling, so why not tell it? That’s what I am doing today. Well, I’m telling a part of it … the cancer part.
Every meaningful story has a conflict, a victory, and the scars of battle to remind us of its value. But it is really in the telling of the story that the story truly becomes meaningful. The story is not meaningful on its own. We give it meaning by the value we place on each memory. After all, we lived it. It’s our story. We can bring the color; we can bring the story to life! For these reasons, I love to tell my story, share my scars (not the literal ones), and show you where I placed the value.
I wish I could share my story in person. I can tell a good story and I have quite a few of them. I tell them with passion, and my passion makes the story believable ... like I lived them ... wait, I did! I can talk about the feelings because I felt them! I can share the highs and the lows because I experienced each one. I asked the questions. I heard the answers. My breast cancer made me “bosom buddies” with women around the world, and though we don’t really know one another, we know one another. Our stories are all different, though similar, and all unique and yet much the same. I chose a radical mastectomy and others chose differently, but we all faced decisions that would change our lives forever.
As a two-time cancer survivor (I joke, saying “I’m hard to kill!”), I talk about living to be 100 years old because each day has more meaning now. Oh, I’m ready to go, but I am going to go kickin’ and screamin.’
Did you know that every month has a cancer to be aware of? Yes, there is an actual Calendar of Cancer Awareness Months (see here: www.choosehope.com)
January and October are my months on the awareness calendar. “Pinktober” is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Some cancers have to share a month with other cancers, but Breast Cancer is one that gets its own month and 30 days of pink ribbons. The Gwinnett Daily Post is printed on pink paper, hockey is played on pink ice, and NFL football players wear pink cleats. I cannot begin to tell you how many gifts I have been given with pink ribbons to remind me (in case I forget) that I am a breast cancer survivor.
I used to not like saying that because the definition of a survivor is “a person who lives after an event in which others have died.” I use the term often now, partially in honor of those whose story didn’t have a happy ending, and partially out of the tremendous gratitude for every moment of every day, but more so out of a responsibility I feel to live well.
Sometimes we need to get out of our own story and into someone else’s to get a better view or a different perspective. Then, while you are there – in their story – maybe they will need to hear yours! We are all survivors in some way – we are still alive – and we can respect those who are no longer alive by choosing to live well.
Every truly great story has some mystery, some romance, some comedy, some suspense, some drama, and some pain.
Even a great story isn’t great throughout the whole story, but stick around. Keep watching. When something bad is going on, it feels like you will always be there – in that bad place – but there is another chapter, another scene, a hero, a fight, a surprise ending. It may feel like the sun is setting, but there is another sunrise! Life goes on. Like a river – you never step into the same water twice.
My Cancer Story is worth telling. People facing cancer often look at me now, 20 healthy years later, and tell me that my story gives them hope. I survived and they can too. I love that about my story. It makes my story valuable (though not yet a best seller).
Our lives are one big united library – all connected somehow; all valuable; all meaningful. In which Volume, in which Book, in which Chapter, on which Page, in which Paragraph, on which Line are you? I leaned on my faith and I encourage you to find what that may be for you, be it spiritual, family and friends, meditation, etc.
So, get out there and tell your story. We can't wait to hear it!
Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– STEPHANIE WOLFE, NBC-HWC