The phone call I received December 16th, 2015 completely turned my life upside down. A lot of scary, and painful, but along with that a whole lot of good. Weighing heavy on my heart recently has been the complete change in my view of life. Whether big or small, I see all things in a different light. All of the things that seemed so big have very quickly become small, and all of the things that took a ‘back seat’ have moved up front in a hurry. Before my diagnoses I took a lot for granted. This simplest of things. I hated my hair and how long it took to dry in the morning, or the fact that I could never get my hair to look perfect like in the magazine. Now, I am so stinking excited for the duck fuzz I’m growing! I won’t lie and say that I am completely comfortable in the skin I’m in, but I’m getting closer each day. Sunday, we road the Harley and I let my hair flow in the wind wild and free. I had a lot of emotions around that. I was completely  comfortable sitting across from my husband lost in conversation unaware of my very short hair until I would catch a stare. In that moment I would feel so small, and scared. I felt like I was completely out of place and should be at home where I am safe. When I would make eye contact I would think I wonder if they knew that I had cancer and everything I went through, they would look at me a little kinder, and maybe even shoot me a smile instead of looking at me like I had 12 heads. It made me realize a few things. One sure thing I want to confidently gain by the end of all of this is complete confidence in my overall being.  I know, I know, in all honesty what woman does? Whether a size 22, or a size 0 every single one of us has insecurities and fears in our bodies. I’ve gained 20 pounds from chemo, lost my hair, lost my breasts, and have gained plenty of battle wounds. Each day, gaining more confidence, but still have miles to go. I’ve mentioned before the desire to “just be” like my boys. No inhibitions, no fears, no worries in the world about what anyone thinks of their choice in cowboy boots, shorts, and a mismatched shirt, or their little pot bellies. You would think with the fight I’ve been fighting I would be there, but I’m not quiet. Yet. I am much more aware of how I treat other people, and make others feel. I make sure in my daily life, to shut down any judgement that begins to cross my mind. We all do it, intentional or not. We may look at someone a little sideways and wonder to ourselves why they chose their hairstyle,  their clothes, or did their makeup a certain way. But for me, while people sit across the restaurant and look me up and down and can so easily rip down my walls, I’ve found myself smiling at others more, and loving with an open heart. We are all so different and that is what is great.Beauty is not the same for everyone, but beauty is as diverse as each snowflake that falls from the sky. I love watching the snow fall and unless you catch a handful and look at each individual flake, they all look the same and light up the sky with the same beauty. I’ve also changed my perspective on what is important in life. In my realization of how fragile life is, how quickly it can be taken away, I’ve learned to pick my battles and look at the bigger picture. I’ve become much better focusing on what really matters. My prognosis is good, but I find myself making decisions and choices as if I could be gone next week. What are the things that will matter? What are the memories I want to leave the boys and my husband with? It’s not being stressed about making people happy that will never be,  or worrying about things I cannot control. I have learned the hard way lately how terrible people truly can be. I’ve cried a lot of tears and felt a lot of heartbreak. Wondering why people treat others so awful, why people hurt others on purpose? But, I’m all done worrying about others. I have realized there is nothing I control about how others act and the decisions they make. I can only hope to be a shining light and influence others when I can. “Someday everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.” My reasons for my diagnosis become more and more clear each day. I have goals a mile long, and I cannot wait to meet them all. I will be completely confident in my own skin ( + or – 20 pounds, hair or not, breasts or not, scars, rashes, blemishes or not), my heart and soul still shine the same no matter the appearance of my outsides, I will choose my battles, let go of what is not important, love freely, hold my head high, make memories for a lifetime, speak with gentle and kind words, forgive, and live each day not looking back.

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