Finding Beauty in the Ordinary
Life can be tough. Everyone struggles and has pain in their lives. Physically, mentally and emotionally we can be challenged, and sometimes, it can be to the breaking point.
I have been there. Presently I am being treated for breast cancer. In addition to this, for ten years, I have had a chronic condition (a growth on my spine) that has altered my life. To top it all off, at various times, depression has knocked the legs out from me with thoughts of hopelessness and desperation.
Let Me Be Brave is where I reveal my story and the steps I took, and continue to take, to reclaim my life. In dealing with the uncertainty that life presents, I have found keys to help me live a productive and happy life.  I share to bring  Light to chronic conditions, as well as Love to help in the healing (living) process. 

I knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but it happened today. Being mentally prepared, is one thing, but physically holding clumps of your hair in your hand is another story.

During my recovery from breast cancer surgery, I wanted to begin a new section of my blog called Let Me Be Brave, but didn’t know how to start it.  Today’s fallout (literally!!) provided the impetus.

Despite cutting my hair short, to help me with the chemotherapy hair loss transition, I stood in the shower and cried. Handful after handful stuck to my hands, my body and the sides of the shower. Even in the midst of this tear duct and follicle release, I kept thinking, “Make sure this doesn’t go down the drain and clog up the pipes!”

I finally stepped out of the shower but was conscious enough to remind myself to be kind and nurturing to myself. I knew this was a traumatic event for me as I was emotionally and mentally vulnerable for a part of my femininity washed away. With that said, nurturing came to me in many forms. Thankfully, my nausea from smells had subsided, so along with lotion to soothe my body, I put on my favorite Jo Malone perfume. Secondly, I hadn’t gotten the courage to collect the hair that had covered the opening to the drain and the bottom of the shower stall, but Suheel came home and gently collected my hair. Thirdly, I put make up on. As strange as this may seem, putting makeup on has been a way that I have always dealt with not feeling well. To me, it was an act of of self-care and preservation, because whenever I looked in the mirror, and didn’t feel well, I still thought to myself, “You look good! You got this!” And then finally, an earth angel named Vanessa, came over to my house, despite this being this Hair Salon owner’s day off, and cut the remainder of my hair off.  When I stood in the shower, an hour earlier, I said to myself, “I don’t want to go through this again. It will be too hard.” So, I texted her, and she responded without hesitation. Despite buzzing my hair right down, she helped me feel stronger. What a gift.

With this strength, I went to the pharmacy. I needed to pick up a few things because I was experiencing various effects from chemotherapy. I went with a head covering, but didn’t wear it as I felt solid. As I was backing up out of my driveway, another earth angel caught my eye and stopped my car. Hand delivered, via breast cancer survivor Dorothy Baker’s mom, with a smile and kind words, was a Chemo Chick Head Henna kit. Little did she know what perfect timing, physically and emotionally, she had! Once in the pharmacy, I sat down and awaited my prescription to be filled. A stranger looked at me, stopped and sat down in the seating area with me. She asked me how I was. While I waited, we talked about kindness and hope.

I lost it today, but I also gained so much more. So, if you find yourself in a tough situation, allow yourself to feel the pain but remember to nurture yourself. For, I find that when we are open and allow ourselves to be helped, we find that we aren’t alone; angels and blessings come in so many forms.  



08/10/2015 10:10pm

Such a beautiful message. Thank you. <3

Carey Lee
08/11/2015 2:24am

Your words are beautiful and a great reminder to us all. I feel your struggle and sending hugging arms of love.

08/11/2015 7:26am

I admire your strength and commitment to self care! You are an inspiration to many who are struggling with their own illnesses! Please know that many people are wishing you the best!

Tanis Klein
08/12/2015 10:24am

Hello Barbara, I am so happy that you can find comfort in those little things and turn them into big things that shine hope into your heart. I am praying for your ongoing strength.

Rhonda Guay
08/12/2015 6:23pm

Beautiful One: your message really speaks to me, so know hat even in your illness and "loss" you are an angel to others....and your timing is impeccable. 💚

03/19/2016 11:46pm

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03/22/2016 11:34am

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04/16/2016 7:35am

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