Towdah: A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope

By Sheryl Holmes

“Jumping up and jumping down, screaming NO(!) inside my heart,…atoms crashing one by one, frozen in the moment; releasing — rushing — over the cliff…. Let this not be true oh God, Let this not be true!”
These are excerpts of word phrases from the lyrics of a song I wrote in attempt to describe the nauseating and shocking state of being when I was given the diagnosis of cancer.
Universal to all are the emotions and the bewilderment.  The anger and the fear.  Is there anyone who does not shake their fist at God for a moment and demand to know, “WHY ME?”  I sure did.  Even after following the Lord for twenty-plus years, I stood indignant before God.
Weeping an gnashing my teeth, I drooled on my pillow as I bit it in frustration — silently wailing and heaving.  Voiceless cries filled the night.  I wrestled with God.
In the morning, I was weary; weariness gave up the weeping and the gnashing and the cries. Through the gentle reminder of a friend, came my answer to my prideful questioning of the Lord.  I was asking the wrong question….not “why me?” — but I should’ve been asking “Why not me.”
Jesus had already done everything for me — “…while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8b
“Towdah: A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope” is my book.  It is filled with hard questions like, “Why Me?” — “Is Salvation enough?” — “Would God stand by me? — by His promises? — Would He spare me of stage three cancer?” — “Am I going to die?”  I weave these hard grappling’s throughout my book and sprinkle in childhood reminiscing, humor, and poignant studies on life as I have experienced it as a home schooling mother of nine children and a wife of 27 years.
Treatment was harsh and my body produced every side effect that was predicted: mouth sores, fevers, aches in the joints and muscles, nerve issues that even plagued me today 24/7.  Radiation annihilated my feminine parts and forced me right through menopause reeking havoc on my relationship with my husband.
Yet, God’s mercy came in abundance.  His grace and compassion came in various forms of support.
Treatment ended.  My cancer is nonexistent at this time.  One year out of treatment I struggle with what I am calling the second phase of recovery: grieving loss.  I have been internalizing my losses – loss of who I was before I had cancer.  I am not the same person physically, emotionally, or spiritually.  I have a “new normal” and I do not really  like it… depression lurks in the doorway of my life.
So where do I  go now?
In the scriptures, Paul tells us:  “Whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord….”   My profits, who I was and what I had accomplished before are now lost.  But, in giving the old me up, I am able to draw closer to my Lord and rely on Him for filling my losses with the gains of knowing Him deeper and deeper. The eyes of my heart have been opened.  My reaction is thanksgiving and praise for who God is.  I look to see His grace poured into my day — every day.  He IS there!  I call these God Sparkles and I share them often on my Face Book page and in my blog writings.
Fellow survivor of this difficult life – come join me in resting in HOPE; no matter your circumstance there is always a song of hope to sing!  Check me out at: alwaysasongofhope.com — signup to receive my blog postings and LIKE me!
I also have been nominated on Yahoo’s online magazine as “A Woman Who Shines” — please vote for me by Oct 26th at:bit.ly/SherylHolmes and I will have the chance at winning a sweet prize and have a featured  article spot in their magazine(!).


My book:  “Towdah: A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope” is available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble online for a mere $3.99 for ebook and $9.99 for paperbacks.  Though my story is of my battle with cancer, it has a universal message of striving and persevering in HOPE through the pains and agony of life and all the trials we face in this world.
May Grace and Peace abound to dear reader friend.  What God has done for me — He will do for you in a way that is unique to your being and life.
He’s just THAT kind of God!

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WF: More Beautiful You

I’ve heard this song several times, but when I heard it recently thinking about our survivor series for this month I thought it would be more than fitting. Although I believe Jonny Diaz directed this song to teenagers with self image issues, the issues may start there but stay with women way longer.

It can be hard for a cancer patient can feel insecure about their worth, not only for the long days of feeling sick, but also for the toll that treatment can physically take on their bodies.

It’s also misplacement of value that causes abuse.The abuser doesn’t see the value of the person they are mistreating and the abused doesn’t seem to recognize their real value.

I’m here to tell you not what I have to say but what the word of God says, that you should know that this is you: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

Be Blessed

WF: Worship Friday

 

clip_image002This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending.” MaryAnne Benedetto

I look forward to more from this author.Rev

With the ever-constant presence of her closest friend, Aimee, Desiree slowly makes her way to God and learns the greatness of His power andlove. Cynthia

From Honeymooner to Survivor

Today at The Rising Muse we have the story of author and breast cancer survivor Katherine Bown. Katherine found out that out that she had breast cancer during her honeymoon. Let’s read her story:

In December 2008 I got married when my life was great; I had a brilliant job as a Marketing Communications Manager, I ran website, I had a busy social life – basically I thrived off being under pressure.

Ten days later on my honeymoon I found a lump on my breast, then got diagnosed with an aggressive (grade 3) tumor ( breast cancer). I then spent the 1st year of my marriage going through 18 weeks of chemotherapy and 3 weeks radiotherapy.

When I finished treatment I went back to work but I wasn’t the same person as I previously was, I lasted a year at work and then I took VR – pretty much to search for ‘my purpose in life’ (I’d literally scour the net for ideas; going to change my job, looking at doing charity treks, how I could raise breast cancer awareness, fundraising – pretty much I did anything I could to change my life and give meaning to why the cancer didn’t take me!)

Cancer was a big surprise to me. There’s no history of breast cancer or any cancer in my family whatsoever. I was the first person to go through this journey.

It took 5 months of soul-searching when a friend suggested I set up my own marketing consultancy which I did and has been going great for a year.

I always wanted to write a book, but never knew what kind of book to write. A few months I finally figured it out. I could use my life experience to help family and friends of breast cancer sufferers; explaining in ‘my language’ all of the medical terms, how the breast cancer patient will react in certain situations, the side affects of treatment, how they can help along the way.

I have found my purpose in life, I want to help Mums, Sisters, Best Friend’s, Husbands and caretakers of those dealing with breast cancer. I want to share how important they are to those of us, whom they love, and have been diagnosed with breast cancer, after all I’ve got 1st hand experience at it!

Wow, Katherine! What a story! Thanks for sharing it with us.

If you want to read more about Katherine’s journey and would like more to get her book ‘Your Guide Through Her Breast Cancer Journey’

Her book is on Amazon for just $0.99 and the profits from her sales until 12/31/12 will go towards Breast Cancer Care. I think we can all spare to help.

 

 

 

More about Katherine BownKatherine Formosa Bown

Katherine was born Cardiff, South Wales, UK. She has worked in the marketing field for over 15 years. She was diagnosed at 33 years old with Stage 1, Grade 3 breast cancer in February 2009, after finding a lump in her breast while on honeymoon. She had 18 weeks of FEC chemotherapy, 3 weeks of Radiotherapy and is currently still taking Tamoxifen.Since completing treatment, she has given a lot of her time to supporting and fundraising for cancer research and breast cancer charities. Connect with Katherine on Twitter or Facebook

October is Survivor’s Month

October has been nominated the awareness month for two great causes: Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence. These causes affect mostly women, although it can affect men as well. More and more we discover that men are victims of domestic violence in the same way and intensity that women are and they are even more afraid of getting help due to fear of ridicule by society. To my ignorance, I discovered that men are also sufferers of male breast cancer, so this is for all of you too.

Today I want to give you some sources to obtain help. There’s no shame in seeking assistance with your issues. With cancer there’s nothing you did to cause this, it’s a disease and feelings of despair and frustration after being diagnosed and during treatment are totally normal and there is help out there for you.

If you are in a domestic violence situation, know that this,also,  is not your fault. Nobody deserves to be mistreated in a relationship. Also know, that because you don’t have bruises does not mean that it’s not domestic violence. If you are being controlled, threatened, or humiliated, know that is not God’s plan for your life and you deserve so much more.

Breast Cancer

Domestic Violence

Please be safe and get help.

The Road Home Cover (1)If you want to share your survivor story with us (even anonymously) please send us an email at  therisingmuse@gmail.com If your story is chosen to be featured you will receive a copy of my new book The Road Home.  If you are currently enduring these situations and need prayer, do not hesitate to send us an email and we’ll pray for you.

Be blessed and be safe