This entry was written by Tonya Hackney. Tonya admits that when she first received the news of her breast cancer diagnosis she vowed not to share it with anyone but her close family members. But eventually, she decided to share her diagnosis as a way to heal and in return she experienced true blessings that she never expected.
Everything is ALWAYS in divine order.
I say that because when I was asked to blog on a specific topic for LBBC, it was as if the person who assigned me the blog had just listened to a conversation I had with someone less than twenty-four hours ago. I’m almost two years cancer-free and a dear friend of mine just received a diagnosis of breast cancer. Her name is Adrienne and we’ve been friends since she came upstairs to our apartment and baked cakes on my Easy Bake Oven. We were barely out of diapers and our families have been friends since!
I sat recently with her telling her how I handled my breast cancer diagnosis that November day in 2009. Once I received my diagnosis, I swore my sisters, my dad, and my daughter, Tara, to absolute secrecy! This was a covert operation I commanded they all be a part of because this was MY breast cancer and MY business! My daughter, Tara, complained that she felt she was “lying” to her father whenever they spoke because he kept telling her he knew something was wrong – but out of respect for me and my privacy she denied that anything had changed. At work, I kept leaving early and missing days to keep my appointments. That was unusual because I’m a Nurse and I was known for always working over-time. But my mind was still focused on the MY breast cancer, MY diagnosis and MY business syndrome.
For reasons unknown to me at the time, I felt as if breast cancer was something I “caught” because of careless actions I’d done against God in the past. Because of me thinking that I “deserved” such a punishment, I was ashamed to tell others about my diagnosis in fear that they’d think I deserved it too. Eventually, I got tired of pretending. I felt so much additional stress along with the diagnosis because I was holding it all INSIDE. And you know what I did that day?
Something inside me FINALLY said “This has nothing to do with what you may or may not have done. This diagnosis just is!” And after opening up about it to others, I started receiving an abundance of blessings!
I received cards with encouraging words. Every one contained checks, gift cards, and cash. I was off work for over a year and to open up a card with a check for $500 from a nurse that I only knew casually brought me to tears! By that time my savings were depleted and to know someone would do that for me without knowing my circumstances gave me hope. It made me realize you never know who is waiting in the wings but I had to share my story to learn this lesson!
Every day during my journey I had visitors, cards, texts and whatever I was able to eat. To know that people were praying for me, to know that my life mattered to others, to know that YOU have touched a life along the way was only made possible by LETTING GO!
Trust me – this is too big to handle on your own. Allow others in and you’ll be surprised how many are willing to share your load! That old hymn goes…“I feel better, so much better, since I laid my burdens down!”
Were you hesitant to share your diagnosis with others? What were some of the reasons why? Comment here or on our Facebook page.