What Holds Us Together?

“Maybe as times get worse, we get better. Our pain makes us feel other people’s pain; our fear lets us practice valor; we are tense, and tender. And among the things we can no longer afford are things we never really wanted anyway” ~ Nancy Gibbs


It’s hard to believe a year has passed since my diagnosis with breast cancer. It seems like such a blur. A normal every day shower, a suspicious lump. A clear mammogram, and a doctor who was willing to look further. Ultrasound, biopsy, MRI. A new doctor, this time a surgical oncologist. Sitting in her office…waiting. Door opens, yes you have cancer. Questions, confusing answers. Tears and mascara on my husbands dress shirt. Telling the boys over dinner, seeing a tough teenager cry. A bilateral mastectomy, surgical drains and stitches while teaching at a yoga festival in a baggy shirt so no one would know. So many friends and loved ones visiting, calling, bringing meals. Good friends climbing onto ‘the big bed’ with me while I recovered. Feeling blessed beyond measure. Reconstruction. Everyone’s opinion about size. One nipple pointing west and another pointing south (TMI?)

And by the grace of God, Life Goes On.

Hockey tournaments. Schwinn certifications. Yoga Retreats. Five fabulous groups of yoga teachers certified. Teenagers. Prom. Golf Tournaments. Veterinary appointments. Lessons learned, relationships deepened.

It has been a year for the books and I wouldn’t wish most of it on anyone. But I am going to say the proverbial thing you have to say on the other side of difficulty.

I am better for having gone through that. I am wiser, more loving, more compassionate, more vulnerable and at the same time, stronger. 

So what holds us together? What held me together this year? It was YOU. Hearing your stories of tragedy and triumph. Seeing you go through loss, fear, celebration, joy, change…life. Some say that in difficult times, people think only of themselves. I strongly disagree. I have seen that in times of difficulty, we come together. We get outside of ourselves and become something bigger. Thank you for being with me this year and holding me together. Now let’s go kick the s#*t out of the year ahead. I have some catching up to do!!!

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    About Denise Druce


    1. Awesome and inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

    2. Deb D'Ambrosio says

      Love this post, Denise, as I always love reading your wise words. You’re always inspiring!

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