Life. Death. Breast Cancer.

Life. Death. Breast Cancer. I have no clever first-line hook for this post. And it won’t be neat and tidy with a beginning, middle and end. If you’ve spent any time here at all, you know I am not shy about sharing when life gets messy – though never for drama’s sake. God knows we all have our tribulations and don’t need another magnifier in the world.
A wise woman recently said it perfectly. If I am going to share the heavy stuff with you, it will be to build your muscle – not sink you.
When I posted about the only New Year's resolution you'll ever need back in January, I had no idea the hurricane that was mounting at sea or that there would be no stopping it when it hit shore. I also didn’t know how challenged I would be to catch my breath, let alone post anything in the messy room. I figured, when I could show back up here, I’d post about my beloved’s battle with a cancer found too late (that had metastasized throughout his body) and all the stuff you witness to in that agonizing race to buy time – at least enough time to digest the news. But then he died. Just 50 days after diagnosis. So, I figured I’d make my way back here and blog about death and grief and how precious life is and the things we say “Yes” and “No” to and all the silly stuff that captures our attention while the really important stuff gets lost in the hooplahah. But now I find myself in a most bizarre overlap. The cancer train has not yet left the station. It seems that I have breast cancer. That the lump they told me was benign in January, before the hurricane hit shore, is not benign now. It has grown and gotten greedy and is invasively feeding off healthy breast tissue. Another intimate life-long partner, challenged. Were it not for my journaling, my morning quiet time spent with God and His divine messengers, and the tribe of wise souls circling around me, I would have washed out to sea before the third tidal wave hit me. But I’m not drowning. I’m here. And I’m back. And I’m writing. My walk with life, death and cancer continues. And I have messy stuff I want to say. I awake with grief and grace, daily, in a scavenger hunt for gratitude and understanding. I am not in resistance – but am in persistence – as I prepare for this next round. It would appear that my life is in what marathoners call a “split run race.” (That’s when you run faster in the second half than the first.) By divine design no doubt. A sacred overlap, perhaps, with my beloved who is now assisting from the other side. I am the stuff of stars. Not cancer. And I will find out what this old girl is made of as I work to reconstruct my life in this next most curious chapter. So, get ready to build some muscle with me or unsubscribe – cause the messy room just got messier. Thanks for listening.

37 thoughts on “Life. Death. Breast Cancer.

  • July 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm
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    Love you, Bernadette! Healing energy, prayers and love coming your way.

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    • July 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm
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      Wow! You got here fast, Diane! Thank you, honey. I will put them to good use. XO

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  • July 2, 2017 at 2:11 pm
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    So much love to you my dear!
    You are facing your challenges and growing- it is unbelievable… YES!!!
    YOU are the devine one! My heart is with you!
    <3

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    • July 2, 2017 at 2:20 pm
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      Thank you, Kirsten, my sweet Gemini friend across the ocean. Who knew, when we were moondancing together, what was just around the corner, eh? Love to you! XO

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  • July 2, 2017 at 2:12 pm
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    Beautiful words, as always, in your own special voice. Love you so much.

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  • July 2, 2017 at 2:37 pm
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    You are made of the same stuff as the stars. You shine for all of us. Thank you for being you. <3 No way will I jump ship when things get complicated… or simplified?

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    • July 2, 2017 at 3:35 pm
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      Diving deep into the light … just like you, hon. We’ve come this far … why stop now? XO

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  • July 2, 2017 at 2:43 pm
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    Prayers for healing and strength in the waiting and in the process. You light the way for so many. Thank you for being real and for sharing your journey. A burden shared is a burden lightened. May you walk as lightly as a feather today, dear friend.

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    • July 2, 2017 at 3:41 pm
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      Jan, I am so grateful that Ray “brought us together.” I am warmed and strengthened by what you shared at his celebration of life… and what you share now. May we both be blessed on this journey. Your light shines bright, my friend! XO

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  • July 2, 2017 at 3:44 pm
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    Bernadette, you are an Angel assigned to Earth to help and guide. You and your beloved reminded me years ago “the lesson may not be for us but for someone else”. You give and share so much of you. The area where cancer manifests itself tells much of what we’ve dealt and hid. Louise Hay’s book helped me realized the colon cancer I had was anger. Breast cancer stems usually in area of love and nurturing. You’ve given so much of that. We are here for you. I hope your journey down this scary road comes to a happier and brighter space in life. Love you , Bernadette. You’ve had to deal with so much lately. You need a break, Earth Angel.

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    • July 4, 2017 at 2:54 pm
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      You are right on target, wise friend, in bringing Louis Hay’s “Heal Your Body” up. Yes. I sensed, when it started growing and my breast started disappearing, that my body was responding to a deep grief held much too long in this arena. I will always nurture. It is what I came here to express … but to learn to receive, in the moment, has not been so easy. I am accustomed to putting off my own body nurturing and placing it on the back burner. Seems easy to do because I live so much of my life in my mind and in spirit… and forget I have a body. 😉 Not gonna happen now. Love you! XO

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  • July 2, 2017 at 5:09 pm
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    My Bernadette,
    I was brought to you in “the messy room”
    very first inspiring online light…

    you are a significant soul…

    and I have felt a connection to you that is of a timeless,
    & true touching~

    yes ~ Love You…

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    • July 4, 2017 at 2:56 pm
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      And so it is. We share significant souls in this walk, sweet Leora. Love you, too.

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  • July 2, 2017 at 5:56 pm
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    Oh, dear Bernadette, how I wish it was otherwise, but remember that we are destined to meet. Remember how much you are loved sweet heart. xxx

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  • July 2, 2017 at 7:22 pm
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    Oh Dear Sister. . You have my Love, and Whatever Healing Energy I can send you.

    May The Light of GOD heal you, and calm you, during this wave… Amen
    ????

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    • July 4, 2017 at 2:58 pm
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      Thank you, hon. I receive, gratefully, whatever light you send. I am at peace with this but do need to learn how to surf when not diving deep. 😉

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  • July 2, 2017 at 8:01 pm
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    Having just gone thru this with my “sister”-in-law makes my prayers for you even stronger! You are strong and with a dear friend like Debra Gamble, this journey will be easier. Fight a good fight.

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    • July 4, 2017 at 3:02 pm
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      Thank you, Lynn. And I believe in the strength of your prayers magnified by your experience. Debra has always been a significant angel in my life and I can feel the air move whenever her wings are near. 😉

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  • July 2, 2017 at 9:59 pm
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    My first thought was ” oh hell no…” But you are Light and Love and a beacon to so many… building muscle indeed! I’ll be helping to steer the ship with tons of prayers and Light flowing to you… and any physical help you need!! ?

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    • July 4, 2017 at 3:03 pm
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      Thank you, honey. We may not have it together … but together we have it all. Remember that. 😉 XO

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  • July 3, 2017 at 6:34 am
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    Bernadette …I admire your strength because I don’t know how I would handle knowing that I have Cancer. I had a scare last year when I thought it was possible that I could get cervical cancer with high risk cells. I had a procedure done to get rid of them. My next exam was good. The whole time my thoughts were I never thought this could happen to me. I and the other wonderful people will be here for you on your journey. Please take care of yourself ?

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    • July 4, 2017 at 3:12 pm
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      Thank you, Karen and for sharing your experience here. We do find ourselves in strange and unexpected stories at times. I will hold you in my best thoughts … that you need not fear. A friend recently shared with me this Buddhist saying that “Whatever has the nature of arising has the nature of ceasing.” I am making it one of my mantras as I navigate the waters ahead. Will share it with you. XO

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  • July 3, 2017 at 8:15 am
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    There are no words that I can summon from within that would adequately express my love for you and and appreciation for your light and courage during this time. I will instead, find them along the way and send them all as they arrive – like tiny moonbeams to light the dark, where I can and how I can. Hopefully, they will serve you well. Here is one – We don’t know how this will look for you in the coming weeks. You always remind me that “time is not”, so I’m handing that one back over to you now 🙂 but only in the most gentle fashion, not as an old used tissue, but as a brand new scarf to wrap around you and hopefully offer you some style and some comfort! Time is NOT. Ray knows this already. He will guide you. I am here. I will help you in any way I can. Love always, J.

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    • July 4, 2017 at 3:17 pm
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      Oh Honey … I just love that “brand new scarf” and all moonbeams you cast to light my way. I am counting on you being you which means I am a beneficiary of your light … always. And, yes, time is NOT for we always have NOW. Hmmm … that might have come from Ray there. He says hello! Always Love You, Aquarius sister! XO

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  • July 3, 2017 at 1:49 pm
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    So many are fighting this war. As cancer does it’s worse people seem to rise to their best; heroes and angels arm and arm, heart to heart carrying the same flag. Any loss our loss. Every victory our victory. Shared stories our stories. Shared hope our hope.

    Lovely Bernadette, thank you for sharing your story.

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    • July 4, 2017 at 3:25 pm
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      Beautifully stated, Garry. So much goodness rises when we remember that we are the stuff of stars … and that we can choose love. I am not finished yet. I have dusted off my blogging megaphone so look out, friend. 😉 Love you and great to see you here. XO

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  • July 3, 2017 at 10:03 pm
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    Dear darling Bernadette,
    Wow. Life is truly messy isn’t it. I’m so sorry to hear of this new news, but I have no doubt that you will fight this battle with the grace and innate strength that you possess. I send you my love, offer you my hand, and I am keeping you in prayers. You are a constant inspiration for me and this blog was written beautifully. xo ella

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    • July 4, 2017 at 7:42 pm
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      Indeed life is a bit messier than imagined. Thank you for your prayers, light and inspiration, my dear. We are “thrivers” each in our own way, are we not? Love you, sweet one. XO

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  • July 3, 2017 at 11:46 pm
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    Oh my word, dear Bernadette,
    Life is so very messy. I to am sorry to hear this news. I know you and I know in my heart of hearts…we build muscle and strength through the mess. I just wish cancer never touched any of us, as it has.
    My heart walks with you, my hand reaches yours to lift you. Sending light , love and prayers.
    Your words touch me deeply. xxx??

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    • July 4, 2017 at 7:46 pm
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      Kerry, you know this walk so well and have risen and thrived through it all. I look to your muscle and am in awe. Every day is a gift … some more poignant than others. Heart to heart are we, hon. Thrive. XO

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  • July 4, 2017 at 11:26 am
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    “Change is in the air, as old patterns fall away and new energies are emerging. Consciously release what needs to be released, and welcome with a full embrace the newness you’ve prayed for and so richly deserve.” Marianne Williamson I know of no one who’s earned it more…

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    • July 4, 2017 at 7:52 pm
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      Change is in the air. Yes. Looking up to the stars while navigating these waters. Never could read a compass very well. Exquisite quote and sentiment, my dear. Thank you. 😉

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  • July 15, 2017 at 6:19 am
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    Sweet Bernadette – You most certainly are the stuff of stars and I would love to build muscles together. Can’t leave the room just because it got messier, just makes me want to stay more. Not cancer for me but a life changing accident which has made me realise ‘I am a warrior’ and so are you. I send healing thoughts and light and love to you, May all our love shelter you and help you to mend. To quote Ram Dass – ‘We are all just walking each other home’ Linking arms with you and many sisters….love and light, dear one… xxx

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    • July 15, 2017 at 11:55 am
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      I see your light and it makes the path brighter for me and all those in your life, Lesley. Building muscle together as I send YOU love, light and strength to continue bringing out the best OF you … for indeed it is OF you and IN you no matter what shows up at your door. That accident may have changed your life but it did not change the essence of who you are. Together we bless this mess as we move beyond it! XO

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  • July 23, 2017 at 7:46 am
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    Oh my dear Bernadette. My heart aches for what you’ve been through, but so So inspired by everything you give testimony to in your writingâ?¦ Your beautiful writing. I’m sending prayers. I’m also sending my gratitude.

    I will always remember your casual yet so-inspired comment to me when I was going through my own heart breakâ?¦ Something about being a beautiful mess. It was just what I needed at that time. And I’ve loved you for it ever since.

    I will be one of the angels on your shoulder. Sending so much love, Margaret XO

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