Love and Peace Wellness
Written by: Elizabeth Rapagna
Monday, September 14, 2020
On September 3rd I decided to go public with my cancer struggle over the past year and eight months. It was the anniversary of a very intense surgery that took place one year earlier and I posted to Facebook and Instagram to commemorate the occasion.
The feedback I received was amazing and positive. But I want to share now how I actually felt once I hit “post” on my social media accounts…
I immediately felt exposed and vulnerable. Although I know I wanted to share the experience and I understand at a deep level that when we share our struggles we actually empower ourselves and those who are going through similar challenges, it still felt highly anxiety provoking.
My work through “Love and Peace Wellness” is all about empowerment. About creating happiness, contentment and joy even in difficult circumstance. Owning our truth and growing through it. That is what I work with my clients to achieve. Honest and real dialogue. But that isn’t easy. I’m practicing all the time and that’s what I had to do after posting on September 3rd.
It felt like I had let out a big secret! It wasn’t a secret, but I didn’t let everyone know initially and because I looked well, people had no idea that I had been diagnosed with a Stage 4 cancer that originated in my appendix (LAMN: Low grade appendiceal mucinous neoplasm).
I felt as though now everyone would refer to me as the woman who had cancer. That somehow they’d be checking to see if I look good, tired, worried…they’d be searching for clues…”How are you?”
I also thought OMG I’ve let every man out there know that I’m a cancer survivor and being single and hoping to one day find love again, I wondered have I just squashed any chance at that love. Would a man actually take a chance on me, knowing my health history? There are no certainties in this life, but do you want to take a chance when the deck has been stacked in a particular way. Regardless of the fact that I’ve been given a clean bill of health, this played on my conscious as well.
I know the answers...
Cancer is part of my story now. A part of who I am. It has given me a deep appreciation for the profound emotional roller coaster that people get on when they are told “you have cancer”.
Honesty leads to shared experiences, community and kindness.
Sharing is caring and my ability to share this story is my way of sending loving compassion to those going through a struggle. It’s me saying I care. It’s me saying you’re not alone. It’s me saying it’s ok to be vulnerable. It’s me saying it’s ok to be scared. It’s me saying there is HOPE.
And I know that there is someone out there who will love me again…I know that I have many who love me now and I love them and I’m content with that.
Our circumstance is ever changing. Our lives are always in flux. But, our ability to work through these events is what creates the most inner growth. When we face them from a place of LOVE we create PEACE in our hearts and then no matter what happens there is an ease and flow to our existence. It may not be easy. It may not be all happy, but we can move through these challenges with fortitude and strength.
So let’s be honest with each other. Let’s show each other kindness and caring. Let’s be there for one another. Let’s be a comfort in someone’s life. Let’s create a warm protective circle of LOVE and PEACE around everyone that we encounter!