'Natasha, you have leukemia'. Words I never thought I would hear. But the reality was those were the words playing over and over in my ear while on the phone to my doctor. I was in such disbelief that this could be happening to me, my world didn't feel real anymore.
Having to go home and share this news to my husband was unfathomable.
To know we had built this beautiful life together with our nearly 2 year old son & pregnant with our second; I could not help but focus (and be frightened) of our now unknown future.
Wow! Was this really happening?
The toughest thing for me about having a life threatening illness was having to tell my loved ones. Knowing that you are going to break hearts and see their devastated faces was waaaaaaay too much for me to grasp. As hard as this was for my husband Steve, together we decided that It would be best to tell our family and close friends only. We sent messages and told our family over the phone. Watching my husbands face when I told him was more than I could handle; as selfish and disrespectful as this may seem I had to do it this way. I honestly couldn't deal with doing it myself and I am eternally grateful for such a supportive husband who took that one for the team.
Two years into this journey, today my focus is not the diagnosis but rather the shift that has taken place. In the practice of transforming my mind, thoughts enter and I am learning to let them go. I had to conquer this fear as the uncertainty of the future was all too consuming. Thoughts of me, of my family, the 'what ifs?' haunted me and continued to do so for some time, like a black cloud hanging over me until we had more answers.
I'm not going to lie. The negative thoughts try and sneak into my head most days. Thoughts of what the future could hold and what I could miss, but I choose to let them go and I focus on looking forward to what the future holds for me and my family. It's a perspective.
Now I'm choosing everyday to not dwell in sadness and to be thankful to God for the clouds in the sky, the smell of the ocean, the flowers I walk by, the people around me, my husband and my kids. This situation made me realise every thought is a choice, a decision to be grateful and to not sit in a dark hole of sadness but to enjoy life and what I have.
Trust me I didn't write this for any type of sympathy as I know how blessed I am. I am writing this to say everyone has some battle in their lives whether an Illness, finances, relationships, family or work.
I wrote this so you can read about how I am learning to 'Be Grateful' for life's experiences and perhaps encourage you to learn from them, be thankful for the hard times, and not let them hold you back in life. Choose those holes in the road to push you forward, achieve your dreams, be thankful for what you have and where you are in life. Be thankful for the little things in life and don't drown yourself in the negative banter inside your head .
For me, I was grateful through the experience knowing what it is like to be loved, to be a mother, to have children, to experience the amazing body changing through pregnancy, feeling little shoulder barges and legs kicking out of my stomach and savouring every moment.
I am very thankful
What can you be thankful for?
As they say (whoever they may be) 'Its about the journey, not the destination'.