I believe that good is manifested from every experience that comes into our lives. I also believe that there is a purpose for everything, whether we know what it is or not.
A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the moment of this disclosure I was devastated. I did my crying for about 24 hours, and then chose to take as much control of my new situation as I could.
This was a disease that happened to other women, but not to me. I see now how ignorant I was. Since that time I have become more knowledgeable about breast cancer, and I am much more aware. I have a new appreciation for life, a common occurrence when cancer strikes.
Maybe it was my wake-up call to smell the roses. Maybe it was what I needed to become more motivated, to go after goals and to accomplish long-thought dreams.
Since I was a child I wanted to be a published author. A desire burned deep inside me to write and to see my words in print. It was my fantasy, one I suppressed because I lacked self-confidence.
As I went through my mastectomy, chemotherapy treatment and later reconstruction surgery, I wrote almost daily letters to my best friend of over 30 years. She is on the other side of the country and writing has been our main means of communication. We often joke that our letters were our therapy as life brought us new and sometimes difficult challenges. My diagnosis was my toughest challenge to date, and she was there with me every step of the way, giving me constant love and support.
Just before I was diagnosed I purchased a home computer. Naturally I used it to write my letters to her. A couple months into the breast cancer experience, I realized that my letters to Rita could be a book. As a self-imposed therapy, while undergoing chemo, I compiled my letters.
Seven months from my diagnosis of breast cancer, my half-completed manuscript was sold. I have since completed it and I am thrilled to say that my first book, Courage and Cancer, A Breast Cancer Diary: A Journey from Cancer to Cure will be published in October 1996.
Yet, there still remained some self-doubt in me regarding my ability to write. I had put together a book of prose almost 16 years ago when I was agoraphobic. It was for my eyes only and I had never dared to let anyone else read it. To prove to myself whether the breast cancer book was a fluke or not, I sent a copy of the prose book to my new publisher. I was amazed when the publisher sent me a contract for that one, too entitled Breast Cancer Sisters, 1998.
I was on a roll and I had no intention of stopping. In less than a year I have sold three books for publication. I have two or more manuscripts out for review. And, of course, I have started yet another one.
My breast cancer diagnosis gave me a new life. I would never have consciously asked for this disease, but I am grateful that it has helped me fulfill my dreams.
Marilyn R. Moody
From Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul
by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Patty Aubery
and Nancy Mitchell, R.N. copyright 1996 Canfield, Hansen,
Aubery and Mitchell
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