Monday, February 16, 2009

A Strong Woman

Two unbelievable months ago all of this started. Since being diagnosed, I've heard a lot of people call me a strong woman. Many people expressed that they don't think they could do what I'm doing. I have to do this, what other choice do I have?

There was a time when it wasn't a black or white choice. In the beginning there was a gray choice. I had options! After my MRI results showed what could possibly be four small areas of cancer in my right breast, and a large portion of the original lump had been left behind in my left breast, I lost the gray. My only choice became black or white: lose the cancer-filled breasts or keep them and let the cancer spread throughout my body. Here I am now, two months later, staring at my chest where my breasts used to be. I had no choice. I have no choice but to keep going through this.

Today was the day the bandages came off. Today I'm back falling apart again. I believed people when they told me I was so strong and confident. It's days like today that make me realize I'm not strong. Being forced down a path that I never wanted to go down isn't an accomplishment. At times, I've walked this journey with my head held high in determination, but there were times I was clawing the ground with my fingernails and begging God to not make me walk any farther.

I'm glad I'm keeping this blog so I can go back and read previous posts. I'm using them as a way to remind me of the blessings that have come about from my cancer. Today I stepped out of the first shower since my mastectomy and I needed those reminders. I was so happy to finally be able to bathe since my surgery, but I wasn't prepared for that first real look at myself in the mirror. I don't know how long I stood there - I think I was in shock. No amount of reading, researching or looking at post surgery pictures of other women could have prepared me for that moment.

After quite awhile, I decided I just couldn't stand looking at myself anymore. It's a weird experience when you are in such a state of shock that you don't realize you had started crying. I was feeling sorry for myself. I hate that. The best thing I could do was just get dressed and try and forget about what I've lost and how I desperately wanted it back.

I'm not strong. I'm doing what I have to do. God didn't give me a choice.

*note: It's almost 4am and I've still not been to bed. I posted this much earlier in the night and I just finished reading it again and trying to save it into something that isn't rambling nonsense. I was going to just delete it and start over tomorrow, but I'm too emotional. Anything else I write right now will probably turn out like this. Let me fight this depression then I'll be back with my usual weird blog posts.

God Bless,


  1. Sheri for the 23 years that I have known you, you have always been so strong. You have survived so many things and you have picked yourself up and kept moving and we will add this to the list. We will not let you slip and fall. I love you and you are a hero to many so put on your super hero outfit and lets fight...If I have to hold you up I will! I will drive to the end of the earth even if it is on the wrong side of the road!!!!

  2. Sheri,
    although I can never imagine what you are feeling, but what you write about sounds all too familiar.. my sister went through what you are going through now.. but she only lost one.. what you think portrays you as a woman is only skin.. your life and your being are more important.. your children need you along with your husband. Whether you believe it or not it does take courage to do what you did.. true you were not given a choice..more like an option.. take them off or let the cancer beat you.. you are an inspiration to many others that are going through this hell.. I pray for you.. I pray that you can find peace and comfort with yourself.. I hope you do not get offended by anything I have said.. my intention was not to upset or offend you..yes, I am in awe of your strength... my heart goes out to you.. stay strong Sheri, and beat this beast...

  3. Hi Sheri,

    My name is Michelle and I found you through Kelly's blog.

    I want you to know that I am praying for you and that when you say you are " doing what you have to do" - that is what being strong is considered.

    I also know how much it sucks to be called strong when you don't feel it lol. But it is true whether you can feel it or believe it at the moment.

    You are beautiful inside and out!!!!


  4. you may not believe it right now, but to the rest of us... we see a strong, beautiful woman. a woman who has courage, faith, & yes femininity. a woman who will not give up, even tho she probably feels like it at times. we see a woman who is loved by her family, & friends, & her online buddies.
    sending up prayers for you, with soft huggies...

  5. Sherri, reaching your blog, I could see and feel the strong woman you are, just take it one day at a time dear. The blog is a great way to look back when you're goiing through anything and see how as time goes on you've become a stronger person. Know this is a tough time dear, my Sis and MIL both are two time breast cancer survivors and my SIL is going through this right now, so understand your thoughts and feelings. Just hang in there, tomorrow will be better day....please feel free to use my persional motto "No One Or Nothing Will Get Me Down", sure works for me. You are loved by so many, we'll all be here for you. Hope you feel the hug I'm sending your way.

  6. True you where not given a choice sweet one, but you have a choice in the road you take from now on. I would say you have done pretty well with that. As women and as mothers we do what we have to do, it's really that simple. But to do it with grace is another thing all together, and you have that grace Sheri. I can see and hear it in your words. Know you are loved and in my thoughts.

  7. sheri,

    i cannot begin to imagine what you are going through. i do know that you have Christ living in you. therefore you have His strength, and His strength is made perfect in weakness... "when I am weak, then I am strong." that is the strength we see in you.

    in spite of all you've been through, beautiful, brave, funny YOU still shines through. i am so glad i get to know you.

    you are always in my prayers.

  8. Sheri I too have said well what choice do I have, I just get out of bed. I think when people say things like that it's almost like oh thank God that didn't happen to me. But in all honesty it is not something anyone can do. Not one of us can get through what you are going through with only ourselves. It's your ability to grab hold of the hand of the Lord that you can get through this. People say God doesn't give you more than you can handle, but in truth God doesn't give you more than you can handle with His help.

    I have heard it said that courage is in doing things that scare you. So no you didn't have a choice about having cancer. Cause really only a nut would choose to have it! lol But your choice is in getting out of bed. It's in finding the beauty in the horror. It's in seeing the blessings from God hidden in the fear and the pain.

    So yes you are a strong woman, it's evident in everything I have read. But true strength does know fear and sadness, it just visits it then moves on. hugs