The call came in on a Tuesday morning somewhere around 9:12 a.m. My surgeon was on the line and his first words to me were, “this isn’t the report I wanted to be giving you – you have cancer. But, this is exactly why we do lumpectomy surgeries.” He said the words that would change me forever. “You have cancer.” My heart just sunk deep into my chest and physically I began to feel panic take over my body and tears started falling.
I had a notebook and pen and was trying to take notes as he explained what kind of cancer they found and what the path would look like over the next several months and what my next steps were. I was having extreme physical panic and trying to keep my head in a place to logically think through what I needed to ask and understand.
I hung up the phone and was trying to take several deep breaths and talk myself through the news I had just received. That’s when I heard what seemed like an audible voice say…..YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO BE GRATEFUL FOR. With pen still in my hand – I turned the page of my notebook and began listing the things I was grateful for in that moment.
- I caught it early
- I have a strong faith in God
- I have the best partner/husband in the world to walk through this with me
- I have praying friends
- I have health insurance
- I have a great surgeon that does this every day
- I have a great team at work that will be able to handle everything at the office
As I was writing, a sense of peace and calm came over me. My mental state immediately changed. I had had about two and half weeks to process the possibility of this reality unfolding and knew that my battle would be a mental one. So that is where I begin my journey – with perspective and what makes me brave.
I didn’t really feel that brave that day I received the call until my perspective changed. When I started getting scripture texted to me, friends telling me they were praying for me, emails from clients and business associates, flowers, cards and people reaching out to say they were there for me….that is when I realized I could handle whatever came my way.
What makes me brave is when I let go of the fear and gave it all to God. What makes me brave is the perspective I am given every day. There has literally not been one day that has gone by that I do not get perspective and think – wow – there are people who would trade places with me in a heartbeat. There was the mother that lost her son in a senseless fight, a dear friend that was watching her mother die from an extremely aggressive lung cancer, the family that had lost three people within three weeks.
Then today, I was given what may be the biggest perspective yet. I was at a pre-op appointment at my surgeon’s office. The RN asked how I was doing with everything. I told her I was good – that I felt blessed in so many ways and that I was grateful for so many things in my life right now.
She looked at me with a funny look and said “Wow, that is a first. So many people we see everyday are bitter and angry. They do not have a positive attitude and it makes for a not so pleasant day. And we are just trying to help them.” She thanked me for being a refreshing moment in her day.
I left the office and didn’t think much about that until later on in the evening – then it hit me. I have been given an opportunity to bless others and be a light in their day when most of what they are experiencing are bitter, angry people that haven’t recognized what they have to be grateful for. I will see that RN every week for 16 weeks – at least. What an opportunity I have been given to be a blessing to her and the office staff who give so much to so many.
I hope that by writing this it will be the audible to someone that “ they have so much to be grateful for”.
So what are you waiting for – make your “grateful” list now!
Annette White – Klososky is an Oklahoma native, originally from Hooker, OK, but now resides in Edmond, OK. She is a wife, mom, and a partner at Future Point of View, a technology and consulting firm. Annette is a sought-after consultant and executive coach in all facets of organizational culture and leadership development. She is known for helping organizations cut through the issues and learn to communicate effectively within teams. She is also known for making THE BEST gluten free chocolate chip cookies ever, being the best mom to her spoiled rotten dogs, cheering loudly and being a loyal OU fan, and also keeping Starbucks in business (she loves her trenta iced green teas).