Ronda Walker Weaver, LBBC‘s newest blog contributor and soon to be regular contributor, shares her story about her diagnosis and how it made her step outside of her comfort zone and learn to accept the new changes in her life.
I am 54; I teach writing at our local university and I work for an education company in my spare time. I am the proud grandmother of 16 grandchildren! I found a lump in my breast on Thursday Aug. 30, 2012, and by the following Wednesday I had a diagnosis of cancer and surgery the following Wednesday – Stage 1 Grade 3 Invasive Ductile Carcinoma, Triple Negative. Twelve days from finding to removing (nothing in the nodes or surrounding tissue). I was told I’d need 8 biweekly chemotherapy treatments and then 35 radiation treatments. No one in my family has had cancer; cancer has never ever been in my vocabulary. I knew I could not go on this journey alone, and so I invited friends and family to join me. I figured the prayers and positive thoughts would be enough to bear me up. I learned my life was out of my control, and I had to live moment by moment, not only trusting others, but actually needing others to care for me. No plans – just prayers.
I’m not one to run away – I am not one to live in fear – I will walk away from anger, hurt, betrayal, poison, but I prefer negotiating, talking things through, working things out, coming to some sort of compromise. I believe in education, intuition, and inspiration.
Yet I’m not really a risk-taker, unless a risk is defined as driving down a road without a map, or pushing myself at the gym. I won’t put my physical self in any place that might be risky – I don’t like heights, I’m not a great swimmer, I’m probably not going to sky dive anytime soon. I like intellectual risks though – what a rush it is to learn, to discover, and to know I can learn – bring it on!
I prefer “looking forward to,” over “surprise.” I love adventure, but I want to know a little about what I am embarking on. Over our back door we have the phrase, “Go out for adventure, come home for love.” I like planning, that’s part of the adventure, part of the journey – it’s like receiving a gift card for Christmas, and then using it, 2 gifts for the price of 1!
And here stands cancer. A risk, a surprise, and certainly an adventure. However – fear, get thee away. I will learn what I can, listen to my own body, and pray for inspiration – it is already arriving.
What I’m learning:
1. Acknowledge it – Breast Cancer
2. Don’t blame – it’s not heredity, not second hand smoke, not diet. It just is. Why me? Why not me.
3. Listen to myself – I was told “something” was coming my way, here it is.
4. Time – a dear friend of mine taught me, “Give it time, the answer will manifest itself.” Reminds me of the tune, “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Time is of the essence, but all I have is time.
5. Get out of my comfort zone – My comfort zone is this, do, do, do, busy, help, seek, find, do, do, do. Now I will learn to be still – again.
Ronda is 54 years old, she eats right, exercises daily, and there is no history of cancer in her family, yet she was diagnosed with breast cancer on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. She teaches folklore and writing at Utah Valley University and works for an online education company, LearningU. She loves reading, listening to music, gardening, walking and riding her bike, traveling, and spending time with her grandchildren, children, and her dear husband – who has been her pillar of strength through her journey. She also writes her own blog called Folklady’s Adventures.