Things could be worse. I could have cancer.
That was always my go-to, my retort and my refrain when I got bad news. When I found out my boyfriend was cheating on me. When I found out I was broke and my checking account was overdrawn. Even when I found out I had lupus.
But on January 24, 2020, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I had no mantra to make me feel better.
No, I hadn’t found a lump in my breast because I hadn’t been looking for one. In my mind, breast cancer wasn’t something I needed to worry about until I turned 40. And besides, I already had lupus. There was no way God would let me have two life-threatening illnesses, right?
The mammogram I got earlier that month was meant to just be a baseline, something I did just because my doctor thought I should. But that mammogram led to another one which led to an ultrasound, which led to a biopsy, which led to a doctor telling me that I have cancer.
“I know this feels like Mount Everest,” the doctor said. “But it’s not Mount Everest; it’s Oak Mountain.”
That’s a reference only Birmingham residents will understand but with those words I had my new mantra.
I typed those words in the Notes app of my phone as soon as I could. I repeat them daily like a prayer.
And I pray that words will get me through this. Words can get me through anything. They always have. They always will.
This is why I write.
I often say that we have the power to write our way to the life of our dreams. I believe I did exactly that when I used writing to build a business and become my own boss.
But now I’m about to find out if I can write my way through my worst nightmare, too.
Praying My Way Through Cancer
I’d be lying if I said this diagnosis didn’t test my faith. It came during my church’s 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. I was fasting sweets, chips, Cheez-Its, and alcohol. I’d been going to church at 6 am every single weekday, 9 am every Saturday and 8 am every Sunday to pray. And God rewards me with cancer.
Oh, yeah, and let’s add car trouble, my mother being hospitalized, and a global pandemic!
But soon I found yet another mantra: God didn’t do this, but God is going to use this.
I’m holding on to Genesis 50:20 — “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Cancer is now a part of my story, but it won’t be the end of my story. This will just be another way for me to empower women.
Writeous Babe Returns
To get through this, to write my way through this, I’m resurrecting my personal blog, WriteousBabe.com. I’ll be documenting my cancer journey there. I thought about reviving the Writeous Babe Instagram account as well. But ain’t nobody got time to write, blog, run a business, beat cancer, and run two Instagram accounts. So, continue to follow me @seejavaciawrite.
What This Means for See Jane Write
The show must go on. For as long as I am able to do so, I will continue to write. I will continue to curate content for Reckon Women. I will continue to serve my coaching clients. I will continue to offer value to the women who are a part of my paid membership program, the See Jane Write Collective (enrollment reopens next month!). I will continue to build community in my free Facebook group, the See Jane Write Network.
I will continue.