A SILVER LINING STORY by Kimberly L-K
It has been said before and is so very true; the only thing in life that is certain is change. It’s quite a paradox; one that I have learned to deal with over the last few years. My life seemed picture perfect not so long ago. I was a homemaker and active community volunteer married to a kind man, with a sweet daughter and son, and an adorable dog. We had a nice home in a quiet neighborhood. All seemed well. But suddenly the winds of change carried me away.
Thus began a series of life challenges. My husband of twenty years and I separated and eventually divorced. In a short period of time I experienced several health issues: benign ovarian cysts which had to be surgically removed, precancerous cervical cells, and the scariest of all, breast cancer. I endured five breast cancer related surgeries (two lumpectomies, a mastectomy with reconstruction, and two revisions). I lost my first paying job in years due to time off needed for necessary medical care. My mom was diagnosed with and treated for thyroid cancer. My dad lost his three year battle with a rare form of gastro-intestinal cancer. Needless to say, these were difficult times.
So, where is the silver lining? A dear friend of mine helped me through my trials; this is the man to whom I am now happily married. Several wonderful organizations, including United Breast Cancer Foundation, gave grants to help me. UBCF assisted me tremendously throughout my breast cancer ordeal. Through the Holistic Care Grant, I benefitted greatly from acupuncture, massage and similar services. These services helped relieve stress for me during the most challenging time of my life. I know they helped me to recover more quickly from my mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction. I would not have been able to afford these services without this grant. Through the Individual Grant Program, UBCF helped by paying for 4 months of my health insurance premiums. UBCF has helped me physically, emotionally and financially and I am extremely grateful for this support. Everyone I have dealt with at UBCF has been caring, polite, pleasant and professional. There are so many kind hearted people who offer help to those in need; that’s something to smile about!
All along I have had family and friends by my side. I have made wonderful new friends along the way. I have gotten back on my feet in a new position as a Catering Sales Representative, a career I have very much enjoyed. I’ve received medical care from some of the most compassionate people I have ever met. I try to relax more and have become a certified Reiki Healer. I’ve researched and embraced the holistic health philosophy. It’s amazing what we find ourselves doing when faced with trying circumstances!
I have grown and learned that, through God’s grace, I’m stronger than I ever dreamed I could be. I have no idea what’s around the corner, but feel confident that I can handle whatever comes my way. And if I feel overwhelmed, I know there are people and resources to help me through; a shoulder to lean on when needed. For this I am grateful.
When faced with our darkest days, we need to have faith, smile, maybe even laugh, and ah…yes…breathe. We can embrace each challenge, dance with it, and let our spirits soar…there is something to be gained through every trial; that silver lining within the cloud. And when all else fails, remember, change is inevitable. Therefore, this too shall pass.