Like everything precious, before a given diagnosis
Or a recovering moment we hide behind forged smiles,
fancy garments, flawless makeup,
Isn’t it more valuable when shared?
Like every common miracle
Made of the effects of stars.
We must let the light shine
And then watch out for it falling too
On each other’s faces
During trials and triumphant
So, count the beams, yeah catch them
Reflect upon them
See the HOPE, live the promise.
Never hide your face in a setback
Keep looking up child,
Never hide your fear in silence.
Listen to those you cherish,
Hold them in your arms,
Let them hear your heartbeat
Tell your truth with tears
Tell your story with laughter
Tell your love with joy
Show the world, You are still greater than cancer!
Excerpt from upcoming book,
fighting cancer with a story line
Its OCTOBER, cancer awareness month! Be a movement for awareness in your community!
Let’s continue to empower cancer survivors, encourage early detection/treatment, comfort families of those who lost the fight, but won the battle and count down to Team #GreaterThanCancer – OCT 26th Soup’s On Cancer Fundraising Dinner and ‘Relay for Life’ – American Cancer Society Cancer Awareness Walk on OCT 27th in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Yours in HOPE,
Be encouraged as I share ‘Lauren Daigle’s ‘Look Up Child’
Today is World Cancer Day, a day that unites us all by recognizing the impact that cancer has on the worldwide community and our role in taking action to finish the fight.
This year’s World Cancer Day theme, “We can. I can,” encourages us all to explore what we can do – individually and collectively – to reduce the global burden of cancer.
In 2012, over 1.6 million women worldwide were estimated to be diagnosed with new cases of cancer according to the American Cancer Society’s Global Cancer Facts and Figures, 3rd Edition. That statistic shows how critically important it is for us to rally together to ensure that no one will ever have to face this disease alone.
My hope is that, even as you read this, you will consider taking time to reach out and encourage, uplift or show your support the best way you can.
And after today, when tomorrow comes, My hope is that you still consider reaching out to those closest to you that have been touched by cancer, and celebrate their life and the dedication you have to ensure no one else is touched by this disease or left alone.
Whether it is someone who was recently diagnosed, someone who has been a survivor for decades, or someone who has lost a loved one to cancer, it is important to let them know that on World Cancer Day, your thoughts are with them.
A young vibrant guy who conducted an interview with me on Cancer Awareness stepped back, arms akimbo, with an exaggerated comical look and blotted out “No Way Ma! ah,’You are too young and fine to have cancer! How can?Oh please be serious! – Oh yes! I smiled back at him. “Forget the stage make up, the girlish attitude and the glamorous accessories you see, “Yeah! ‘This girl is a survivor” and for the next 5 minutes, everything became still and silent, we became deep in thoughts, hands clutched together like a praying mantis as he began praising God.
October is national breast cancer awareness month. It is one of those months that challenges me to sit up and be proactive in the campaign for raising awareness about the importance of early detection and treatment. Not necessarily because I am a cancer survivor, but more so, it is a season for me to reflect on the peaceful acceptance of finally stepping away from my confinement.
When we hear the word “PRISON or CONFINEMENT”, many times we get cold feet, we tremble and begin to panic. Our imagination begins to run wild and far, flashes of hardened looking incarcerated criminals in jumpsuits, locked up behind metal bars, dangling and clanging of handcuffs, organized and monitored scheduled visits with restrictions as prison security officers stand by with un-assuming looks tough enough to crush a wandering cockroach! But, that’s just the physical aspect of the lockup, and with time upon release or admonishment life goes on.
But really, our emotional state of mind (feelings) is actually one of the most dangerous and poisonous prison we have created for ourselves, without even knowing. It is our man-made confinement. An habitual lockup. A casual second skin jail. A renowned penitentiary that usually needs no administrative admittance. We casually stroll in and out of it without realizing it or knowing the damages it’s capable of. Hmmm.
There are many emotions that cause us to slump and become crippled emotionally. Worry wears us down. Regret ruins our confidence. Hatred hardens our hearts. Unforgiveness stains our souls. Bitterness binds our hearts. Insecurity incapacitates our capabilities.
Not knowing what our God-given purpose is or suppressing our enthusiasm or pessimism is a form of imprisonment. It is not only when we are locked up or detained physically. Being blessed with a story and not using it wisely for its purpose, is an emotional confinement. Not creating or maintaining a desired platform is a jail term. Our conscience becomes the court of law that requires no physical judge.
Are you crippled emotionally today? Do words from your past tell you “not good enough,” Procrastination and inadequacy were my two close companions. I didn’t like these two lurking shadows, but they followed me everywhere I went. Stalkers, that’s what they were. They stalked me, yelling taunts and accusations that no one heard but me. The more I listened to them, the more emotionally crippled I became. Until I re-branded my passion by turning my pain into someone’s gain.
Are we aware that there is a message for us all during our time of confinement? To be able to declare God’s goodness in our lives. That we are indeed a living testimony irrespective of our past, our shame or our dirt!
As you are reading this today, Ask yourself, what is my prison? Is there something in my life that is crippling my spirit? Pain? Unforgiveness? Bitterness? Resentment? Guilt? Sorrow? Worry? Regret? Comparison? If so, let’s cut it loose with the saber of praise, cast it off, and throw it away. God calls us sheep; and sheep are not pack animals. We are not meant to carry such burdens with these scrawny legs of ours. If we try, we will only bend under the pressure we were never meant to bear.
Get out of your confinement and join me this weekend, as we prepare for the annual MAKING STRIDES FOR CANCER AWARENESS 4k WALK ON Saturday, October 17TH @ 7:30AM, right in front of the PLEASE TOUCH MUSEUM, MEMORIAL HALL, in PHILADELPHIA PA. No more slumping in self-doubt or hunching in half-hearted conviction. But rather LET’S stand up to the full stature of a confident being, equipped by God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and enveloped in Christ.
Yours in HOPE as I share Mary Mary ” Shackles”.
“Set me free from my prison that I might praise your name’ (Psalm 142:7a NIV).
In honor of Pablo Neruda – my favorite poet. Some of the most romantic poems I’ve ever read are written by him. Neruda wrote in a variety of styles such as erotically charged love poems as in his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.” Neruda always wrote in green ink as it was his personal color of hope.
Neruda was hospitalized with CANCER at the time of the Chilean coup d’état led by Augusto Pinochet. Three days after being hospitalized, Neruda died of heart failure. Already a legend in life, Neruda’s death reverberated around the world. Pinochet had denied permission to transform Neruda’s funeral into a public event. However, thousands of grieving Chileans disobeyed the curfew and crowded the streets.
Take bread away from me, if you wish, take air away, but do not take from me your laughter.
Do not take away the rose, the lance flower that you pluck, the water that suddenly bursts forth in joy, the sudden wave of silver born in you.
My struggle is harsh and I come back with eyes tired at times from having seen the unchanging earth, but when your laughter enters it rises to the sky seeking me and it opens for me all the doors of life.
My love, in the darkest hour your laughter opens, and if suddenly you see my blood staining the stones of the street, laugh, because your laughter will be for my hands like a fresh sword.
Next to the sea in the autumn, your laughter must raise its foamy cascade, and in the spring, love, I want your laughter like the flower I was waiting for, the blue flower, the rose of my echoing country.
Laugh at the night, at the day, at the moon, laugh at the twisted streets of the island, laugh at this clumsy boy who loves you, but when I open my eyes and close them, when my steps go, when my steps return, deny me bread, air, light, spring, but never your laughter for I would die.
2010 Susan G Komen Cancer Awareness Walk – Philadelphia Art Museum.
Recently, my older daughter has been so excited since I announced that she was allowed to express her creative side by making her own poster and banner to display her support for awareness and also celebrate survivorship during the upcoming Annual Breast Cancer walk.
This will be my 4th year participating in the cancer awareness walk, which means it is now an accepted period where I get to drag my entire family with me. Come rain or shine! So by now, I’d figured they were used to it and are immune to community-based activities. Well, till now…Hmm!
So, to my utmost surprise the other day, my 8-year-old-son asked ‘Mommy, why do you walk?You don’t have cancer anymore! It was like a light bulb flickered on in my head! I needed to get my facts right to be able to convince and inspire this young man so he can continue to carry the torch of selflessness in service and spirit of humanitarianism, even when I am long gone…
I looked at him, went down to his level and held his hands “I walk and raise money because I believe that I am supporting an organization that helped save your mom because of their awareness campaign, commitment to fund community education and early diagnosis.
I walk because I have encountered the success of early detection, I walk because I have been on both receiving ends of a diagnosis.
I walk because I feel the pain a family goes through when they are informed about a diagnosis of cancer. I will continue to walk to honor and fight for the people who have died from cancer, or un-aware of how to go about receiving treatment, I will continue to walk to support cancer awareness, treatment and research.
During the WALK, hidden away from everyone around me, I usually get all teary but inspired by the end of the line, I get to meet over 1000 people cheering me on and I get to feel like a celebrity. Awesome!! As I walk through the finish line wearing my survivor medal (which my daughter made for me). Random people hug me, but most importantly – the finish line symbolizes a closure to pain and the beginning of a new life which is my contribution to getting closer to abolishing cancer – in all its forms.
As we get closer to the WALK day, I pray someone will seize the opportunity to find a reason to put everything on hold and join the WALK to support and raise a platform of awareness. To WALK not for recognition and not to make light of the disease, the struggle, or the loss. But to celebrate life and have people express their joy in surviving and living.
And as we all come together to WALK, let’s have in mind that we are making a HUGE difference in the one way we can. In the end, we feel like one community that is doing something extra ordinary. The experience of seeing the survivors walk into the closing ceremonies and the power and strength of those people is a life-altering moment and I feel blessed to be able to be a part of it – every year.
Written for: American Cancer Society.
Written for: TUMBLR Book Club – ‘Real Life Conversation with Yinka.
The last time I checked for the definition of survivor in the dictionary, I was really amazed to know that it signifies left-over, remainder or residue. Did you just raise your eye brows in surprise like I did? That is rather crude, right? How can? After that rough journey, that’s it? ‘Someone is labeled a residue? Hmmm.
According to www.thesaurus.com the term survivor means “one who outlives another,” from survive. Meaning “one who has a knack for pulling through adversity” Okay, now I like this better!
I remember the year after my cancer surgery, I was not very comfortable when Susan G Komen sent me the 3 day walk participation paperwork and addressed me as Survivor Yinka! I had to go back memory lane to reconnect the link to the date of the diagnosis and then, oooh! That’s true – I did survive the 12-hour-marathon-cancer surgery. Oh, yes, I am actually a survivor, and then a certain kind of boldness, calmness and grace empowered me to be an advocate for the cause! – I then eased into the program and was ready to carry on proudly with my survival-ship story. Yes! I did survive Medullary Thyroid Cancer!
So, for every one of us that knows someone who’s overcome or still battling one kind of challenge in life (not necessarily cancer) either a fatal accident, relationship breakdown, a certain illness, the loss of a loved one, an addiction, a broken heart, job loss, divorce, rejection or depression. The moment we are able to acknowledge that there is a problem, face the solution boldly, we are able to move on into another sphere of productive lifestyle – we have automatically also become Survivors! Even embracing someone close to you and helping them deal with the situation qualifies you as a survivor. Why? Because you connected one-on-one to help ease the much needed transition. Yes, you did!
As we approach National Cancer Awareness month,’hoping someone will look at the term “survivor” in a more approachable way as opposed to seeing it as “residue or remnants’. To embrace the term like a soldier at the war front with one thing in mind: Victory by all means! To connect with a cause that celebrates survivorship and be a blessing unto others. Only those deeply and personally touched can understand the impact of a tragedy, which I think can classify anyone with a close encounter to be nominated as a survivor. I see survivorship as a legacy to behold, a surplus in life, beauty for ashes and finally – a proof that there’s really a God that works miracles in us and changes our tests into testimonies! I am a living example!
May God help us all.
American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk event on OCT 17th.