From Diagnosis to Survivor

Week two…

It has only been one week since I learned I have breast cancer.

And it’s been a lifetime.  breast-

Immediately following the dreaded doctors visit, I jumped on a plane with my middle son Bode, and we headed off to Fort Worth Texas for the NCAA Gymnastics National Championships.  We spent time surrounded by inspirational athletes, coaches, families and fans.  We cheered our team on to a second place nail-biter finish, and watched tearfully as Georgia Dabritz got two perfect 10s on bars, and won the national uneven bars title.  What a weekend it was, and a welcome distraction.

I have learned three valuable lessons in this first week.

1) I couldn’t help but look around at the crowds, in the airport, at the events, on the streets, and wonder who else had just received life-changing news.  Who was just diagnosed, who just learned that they were being laid off, who just lost a loved one, who just won a competition, who just found out they were pregnant?  We are so complex, and so good at hiding what is going on inside.  In this first week, looking through these new lenses, I’m seeing everyone as the stories and experiences they hold.  I’m seeing the world through lenses of love and compassion.

2) I learned that I take those lenses off when I’m home and feel safe.  After a week of wearing my game face, it was shockingly easy for me to be short and defensive with my husband, over the smallest things.  That is NOT who I want to be through this.  I know that part of this journey is about teaching me to love more deeply, to pull in and love those closest to me, fiercely and authentically.  Lenses on.  Love and compassion.

3) I’m learning how I want to show up when I hear someone else sharing their story of grief, or fear, or loss.  It has been so healing for me to be asked about my experience, and to be listened to.  It is therapeutic to talk about the details and the possibilities, and I love that there are people in my life who are not afraid to hear them.  I want to be that moving forward.

 

 

 

 

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    About Denise Druce

    Comments

    1. Diane Spransy says:

      Denise,
      First of all, I love you. You have been my hero for many years.
      Secondly, you will make it through this. Time moves quickly and soon this will be a memory, though now it is fresh and unknown.
      Lastly, have patience and love and a sense of gratefulness of everyone and everything around you. You do this so magnificently already. So many prayers and good vibes are being sent your way. Soak them up!
      This is scary but not impossible. Breathe, relax, rest.
      Please let me know when you begin treatment. I would love to be thinking of you at that time.
      You can do this!!!
      Love,
      Diane Spransy

    2. Insightful, raw, relatable and deep… what we always get from you. You have a community’s support. This is just a hurdle to jump, not the end of the race. Sending you love and healing.. Xo

    3. You’ve always known how to meet life head-on! You are so strong and have such a strength and passion for others. I’m excited to walk with you in a few weeks in the” Race for the Cure”!
      I love you! You’ll conquer this just like you’ve conquered everything else!

      Margie

    4. Ashlee Yoder says:

      Denise, I have known you for several years now but am just starting to really know you. I have sen you settle into your authentic self over the last year or two. I am so proud to say I have had the chance to see the person you are becoming. I understand that your current circumstance might make it easy to forget some of the lessons you have learned but I can see you are shining brighter than ever. I would be so honored to help you now. I have been on this road with friends. I am good with coffee, lunch, rides to the clinic or whatever. I will think of you often.

    5. Jim Byrne says:

      Denise
      I missed your email about your diagnosis and Betsy just told me about it. I know of no one with a stronger will to defeat this than you. Mary Nichols is one of my heroes, and I send you every possible positive vibe for an outcome equal to hers.
      And thanks for all that you do.
      Jim

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