It was a day of twisted contradictions… to begin to feel better in my skin, my soul coming back from the outer fringes of my being and settling into this here body. Energy is returning and life is resuming BUT there is a heavy truth inside, a knowing of how easily it could all be taken away. The weight of it is crushing, threatening to swallow my small happiness with its immense blackness.
Today a family friend, a woman who has been putting up a fight longer than I, has lost her battle with cancer. The chemo was too much for her heart. She was undone by the same red devil that I had endured. I found out another woman, only 26, recently passed. My husband played music at her benefit only 2 months ago. My friend lost her husband to cancer a month ago. Another friend very recently lost her sister. I hear of babies and children plucked before their lives even had a chance to really take root. It’s all just too much awfulness to bear.
Today I get to live. This is my big second chance. Sometimes I feel like shouting from the roof top in celebration of my returning health, but then I see a dark cloud approaching -I dare not speak too loudly and make myself known for it may find me and swallow me whole.
Published by Melissa Eppard
I am a professionally trained and certified Life Coach with personal experience overcoming cancer as a mom in my mid-30's. After a diagnosis in 2014 I began blogging as a way to communicate with my family and friends, but it soon became much more than that. Writing was my lifeboat and connection with the outside world while immune compromised and healing from surgery.
Now I’m using my personal and professional experiences and living my dream of supporting others as a Healing Hope Cancer Coach. I help my clients understand their options, develop the best care team and a supportive network. Together we unpack the experience of having a cancer diagnosis, processing the emotional impact of a cancer. I offer stress reduction techniques to help manage fear and uncertainty, and coaching to support healing on all dimensions. After treatment ends, I help people find their personal roadmap through the pain and uncertainty, to a life fueled by clarity, personal strength and a connection to their unique life purpose. From diagnosis, through treatment and recovery, no one should go it alone!
I draw upon 10+ years of work immersed in holistic health and wellness. I was born and raised in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York and live there still with my husband and son. My survivorship blog Melissashealinghope.com chronicles my healing journey. You can learn more about my work as a coach at MelissaEppardCoaching.com.
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3 thoughts on “not for the faint of heart”
Oh, Melissa, my heart aches for you. My husband and I were at that benefit Joey played at BSP a couple of months ago. He played unbelievably that night–we could tell how significant the gig was for him. I’m so sorry for these losses, these fears. Us survivors of BC only have the moment, the present. We don’t know what lies ahead. We only know what is now. This moment. We’re living. We’re breathing, even crying or afraid. We’re alive. Who knows when that dark cloud will reach us or what it is. It might be a cloud of butterflies…
I love that image… Thank you.
In death, I take some comfort in the artists and poets of the past. I’m partial to the “Dance of Death” prints of Hans Holbein the Younger. William Dunbar’s “Lament for the Makars” is also a poignant poem on the beauty and brevity of life.
But these are elegies to long dead people and eras. Eternal beauty is something we have to find somewhere in our own lives.