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Connie's Story

Posts: 262
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi to all:
I came across the most inspiring personal story on the Komen Talk Back web site the other day and e-mailed the author to get her permission to share her story with all of you--I believe you will enjoy her ability to count her blessings--especially you who have young children. Sincerely, Brenda

This was written by Connie Verbruggen from Wisconsin on 4/26/01:

"I wrote this story the day after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I'd like to share it with you:
'Today is Tuesday. Early, early Tuesday. And again, on this day, like so many days before, I am woken too early---with a small arm slapping my face on the left. To my right, a tiny voice is saying, "mommy, I can't sleep. Can you tell me a story to help me sleep?" His little legs wrap over and around me and once again, I think he's ready to crawl back in--back into the womb which bore him, and I know he has suddenly climbed back in--into my heart. I gently rub his head with the 'mommy's special touch', and tell him the story of the beautiful rainbow fish. The rainbow fish who wondered why, though he was beautiful, why the other fish didn't play with him. And as I recited the story, the little arm to the right wrapped around me and a gentle, child-like sigh of rest, peace, and comfort touched my cheek. To the south, a large, furry child rolled toward me, taking but the last inch of bed space I had left. Yet, on this day, I didn't worry about losing precious moments of sleep that I may need to get me through the executive meetings I had, to allow quick thought, rested thoughts, to fill my head and thus, my meeting room later. No, not today. I wasn't angry at being cramped, at having no room to wiggle, at the fact that my right hand was tingling for lack of blood flow. No, not today. Instead, I looked up to the ceiling and beyond to the heavens, and said...."Thank you God, I am truly blessed. Thank you for giving me these wonderful bed partners to share my beautiful rainbow scales with." and with another tear rolling down my cheek, I said, "Lord, we don't know your plan, and I ask you for strength to understand it. But mostly, Lord, I thank you for all the beauty and all the treasures I've been given throughout my life. Thank you for my charmed life, my family, my husband.....who, I am sure is somewhere beyond this mass and mess of little arms, legs and paws...Thank you for my parents, my friends, my coworkers, my talents, my accomplishments, my life."

As the sun peaked up, I noticed a white blanket of new snow on the deck. But on this day, instead of cursing the cold, the April snow, I thanked God for the surprise of it all. I smiled at how yesterday this all would have been perhaps the biggest trial of my life, and the only thing that mattered....was no sleep, a sore neck, cold weather; bah-humbug. But no,...No, not today. For a moment I layed in wonder and awe of the beauty surrounding me and even choking me. How blessed can one person be? I said a prayer for tomorrow and a thank you for yesterday and today. I rolled out of bed, or rather, I carefully, gently crawled through the maize of limbs and turned off the alarm clock, whose hour had not yet come. I looked back at my bed of treasures....my whole life and its meaning lay there; snug, warm, comfy and peaceful. Though the snow provided a chilly backdrop, there was so much grace and warmth in my bed.
"Thank you God", I said.

As was my morning ritual,I stepped quietly to the kitchen to make the coffee. I'm sure on this day, my husband wont much care that I could never make a half a pot....never could get that receipe right. A whole pot, 1/2 gone(1/2 full??)...this was his morning ritual---to dump the other 1/2 and perhaps curse me for not learning. But somehow, I doubt....No, not today, I thought. I carried a huge cup up to the computer in the play room---might as well check the net; get ready for work, plan my day. In the darkness, with just a tiny beam of sunlight, I walked down the hall--stepping on the lego's as I so often did. I swear my feet had 8 little round ridges permanently etched in them--I lifted my foot, picking up the lego with it that was stuck to its bottom side, and removed the red, rectangular 8 holed critter--which I normally throw across the room toward the box as I knit my brow-----But no, not today. As I entered the room and threw on the switch, there were hundreds more critters scattered across the floor. How lucky I am, as I kneel down to pick them all up and gently place these colorful pegged treasures in their box. How blest I am. Yes, yes today. Even today."

I was diagnosed with cancer on this day...one year ago (4/11/00). Since then, I've had 8 rounds of chemotherapy, and 6-1/2 weeks of radiation therapy. My diagnosis: Lobular Invasive Breast Cancer - Grade 4, STage 3; surgery needed on 4-19-00. But I am a SURVIVOR! Connie"

Posts: 1416
Joined: Mar 2001

Thanks for Connie's story. Her story sounds so much like so many of ours. Simplicity and Simple Abundance seems to be a key ingredient for so many.
Thanks agian,

Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

What can I say? I was sitting down to read the days posts with fear in my belly because I am so scared of getting my cat scan results, but the quiet fortitude of Connies story set my heart at ease and lightened my shoulders. I know that later tonight I will probably have a good cry and for the rest of the week will be freaking out, but for this small moment, peace of mind is welcome.
I am going to call my oncology nurse tomorrow to see if she can give me some tentative results over the phone rather than waiting until Monday, at least if it is bad news I can deal with it at home on my own turf, then come Monday have a clear mind to absorb what the onco has to say. I will update you all as soon as I have anything.
Take care y'all
hugs from Tiger

Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hey Rosa! Try not to think of the bad stuff that could be on the CAT scan. There are possibilities of good things too! I'll keep my fingers crossed and say some x-tra prayers for you this week. Relax if you can. Keep us posted.((HUGS!!)) Cathy

Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2000

Tiger - My prayers are with you.
God Bless - Lucy

Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2000

Good Luck Tiger. I'll be praying for you.

Posts: 17
Joined: Nov 2000

Thanks for the story. Sometimes we forget just how blessed we are.

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