Eighteen months ago I saved a life. It was not an easy task and I had to call on all my skills and knowledge to make it happen. Faced with the serious situation I found that I was calm and very focused and strong. Where all that came from, I’ve no idea except to say that what I have learned about myself has been both humbling and powerful. No, I am not a hero, you see the life I saved is my own.
It was just before the Lenten season that I made the decision to do something about my life. I gave up sugar and carbs, so no cakes, biscuits, chips or chocolate. I was going to eat clean food.
In the past, after a couple of days I would have been angry, in fact, The Dieter From Hell!! I would have fallen at the first hurdle and headed for the bicky barrel. This time for some reason the mindset kicked in. I became totally focused and strong.
I actually enjoyed the challenge. I said “NO!”out loud when faced with a temptation. At this point in my story I have to say that prayer was a powerful tool for me. I prayed often, sometimes out loud. By August the weight was falling off and as I had more energy I was able to start exercising.
Two things happened at this time that really changed my life. I turned 80 and I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Now THERE was a hurdle and there was not a bicky barrel in sight!! The party plans were all in hand, a weekend of celebrations with family and friends. What to do??? Party on and deal with IT later on.
It was about that time that my journey of discovery began. You would think that by the age of 80 I would know all there was to know about myself.
What a wonderful revelation and how fortunate that I was open to these new findings.
I was able to draw on the inner strength when it came time to tell my husband and family that I had cancer and it had to be dealt with. There were lots of tests and appointments and meetings with the medical team in the lead up to the surgery. All that time I was never alone. I was really supported by my husband and family, and God.
We didn’t tell anyone outside the family until after the party and the surgery. I needed all my energy and strength to deal with things. Everything went well although at times it was a bit hairy. But I have an incredible team supporting me and I have to say that I feel very loved and cared for.
Throughout this journey I have taken to writing down each new experience. I have used humour, writing about missing my bosom buddy!! I have been very positive right from the start. Negative thoughts are disempowering and have no good outcome. I do have an awareness of the fragility of life, especially with the people I have met who are going on the same journey and I marvel and feel very humbled by their strength and attitude.
One friend who is doing it tough always says, “Ellie, it is what it is, just get on with it.” I also realise the importance of having value in a day and I give thanks for each day.
So here I am, 81 years young, cancer free, 40 kgs lighter and saved!!!
Physically I feel better than I have for a long time. I am motivated, energetic and feel powerful. Mentally I am clear-headed, alert and raring to go. Spiritually I am strong and I do truly believe that God is walking with me. I have peace in my heart and I love where I am.
Ellie W., Australia
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