Untie the Pink Ribbons


“Life is a gift.

We just have to remember

to untie the ribbons.”
 – Unknown


I was diagnosed on New Year’s Eve of 2001 with breast cancer.  I heralded in 2002 with trepidation, stark fear and a sickening feeling in my stomach as I faced the unknown future.  Due to that diagnosis, I have survived more than 10 surgeries with one more in the future.  I have endured 6 months of chemotherapy, 6 weeks of daily radiation, countless tests and visits to specialists, excruciating pain, sleepless nights, days when my brain just didn’t seem to work, losing my hair, my breasts, my confidence and my life as I knew it.  I have residual problems, testing every 6 months due to complications and I’m never quite far away from that original diagnosis although to meet me you may never know what I’ve endured.

But I’m still here, untying the gift of today…everyday.

It’s a choice my friends.  No matter what you are facing and believe me, I’ve faced so much in my life and not just cancer, it’s a choice to greet the dawn with enthusiasm, patience, love and kindness in your heart.  It’s a choice to think, “Oh God, it’s morning” and groan or to say it with enthusiasm for the gift of today that is yours.  After any illness, tragedy, or hard times, there’s a transitional period to find your new normal.  It will go a lot easier and faster for you if you lean into the idea that change is inevitable and it can be good.

Don’t mistake me, I can still get plenty mad about having breast cancer.  I can stomp my feet with the rest of the marchers and be angry that parts of my life have been taken from me.  I can look at my scarred body with hatred for what has occurred.  However, I choose to look at it with love for having endured so much pain and still be able to house my soul, my heart and my mind.  Sure, there are days when I lament the loss of my figure as it was before cancer and sure, I look at the scars and see the pain, the heartache and feel that I am not  beautiful.

But…I can also look and see how my body has healed herself with my help.  I see how my mind, body and spirit have connected, joined forces, so that the superficiality of life has fallen gently by the wayside and I am freed from conventionality.  I hold dear the knowledge that I find beauty in another soul’s eyes and spirit and pray that there are others out there who feel the same way.

We hold the power to untie those pink ribbons and find beauty, love, light and health in our own lives.  The diagnosis and subsequent treatments hold a turning point in my life.  I cannot say that I am happy I had this illness.  But I will say that I have grown in my own strength, love and health because of it.  I am a different person because I have endured so much and I am grateful for what I have learned about myself.  I found inner strength that I never knew I possessed.  I embrace my spirituality more tenderly than before and I hope that if you are on this journey of breast cancer, that you find peace, love, health and light within you to guide you as we find ourselves on this journey of light.

Shine On!


30 thoughts on “Untie the Pink Ribbons

  1. I believe that those who have struggled the most and yet seem to greet each dawn with optimism and grace are our greastest teachers…and YOU are one!

  2. You’ve endured incredible ordeals and you’re still faithful, thankful and shining – as a star nothing can destroy… I think that’s the real miracle, miracle or… a better word, the best PROOF something wonderful, much greater than our limited lives exists… yes, you are the living proof that faith, generosity and courage are not useless and meaningless words!!! Much love to you! ♥♥♥

    • Oh Frederic, your kind words are a balm to my soul. Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I do try very hard to be ‘the little engine that could’ and keep going so that I can help myself and others. xoxo You are a special friend to me. ♥

  3. “Blessed is he/she who endures under trials. When he/she has proved his/her worth, he/she will win the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

    Yours is a story like that of Job. He endured unbelieveable sufferings at the hand of the devil, yet God would not allow Job’s soul to be touched. I can see your soul is intact.
    God’s blessings,

  4. I think when we are faced with trials and tragedies in life, we lose sight of the gift before us but overtime and through healing, we remind each other that its still there, and like you say Yvonne and know so well, it is a choice not once, but everyday and overtime, we remember to trust again and untie the ribbon and receive the gift. Beautiful post.

  5. You are indeed a blessing to me and to others today – I needed that little pep talk and to bring me back to what is really important and that is rejoicing in all circumstances and trusting God our Father. What is that saying when life throws you lemons, make lemonade, well, I guess I am on my way to make some lemonade!! LOL You are a treasure!

  6. You are an amazing woman Yvonne. Your heart is full of courage, your soul full of love. Thank you for being here in this world and sharing with us. Its so special.

    Val xo

  7. You are beautiful inside and out, and your exceptional spirit has passionately put into words a very personal truth that so many of us who have or have had breast cancer experience. Thank you for sharing with the world! 😀

  8. I give a hug from my heart to yours. There is no way to sugar coat what you’ve been through. You’ve just done it better than many. You saw the gift in the struggle, unwrapped it and cherished it. My illness is not life threatening, just debilitating enough to slow me down and make me pay better attention. I’m grateful everyday for the opportunities it affords me. It’s taken a great deal from me but given so much more in return. I could not have expressed that as well as you just did. Thank you.

    • Marlene, we all endure at different times in different ways. There is no difference as far as I am concerned ~ illness is illness. But you have kept your smile and that is all that matters. xoxo Big hugs to you my friend. ♥

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