“Every heart breaks so it can let more light in.”--Buddha
Just a few years having retired from being a flight attendant for 19 years, I thought to myself, “I couldn’t be happier.” I get to spend time with my husband and our two children, I get to do whatever I wanted to--yoga, painting, and just have my ‘me-time.’ Until that day I was taking a shower, and I felt the lump.
My world froze because it was my greatest fear, as my mom and my grandmother were both breast cancer survivors. It comes in threes, they say, so I grew up praying, “Lord, spare me.” I had the lump checked by my OB GYN, and she asked me to get an ultrasound, after which the radiologist asked me to have it biopsied. I had a lumpectomy and waited--the longest wait of my life--and then, the moment of truth. I’ll never forget that moment, like slow motion in a movie, and I can still hear it echoing in my ear: “It’s carcinoma.” My world crashed.
Why?! Why me? My kids were just 11 and 8, I didn’t want them to grow up without a mom. I
wanted to see them grow up, I wanted to keep bringing them to school, to be there on their
graduation, for their first love and first heartbreak. It was just too painful to even think about it. I
was broken. I said, “ God, You Iiterally broke my heart.”
Cancer is something you wouldn’t wish even on your enemies. Chemo sucks. But it turns out cancer was my salvation, and suffering is my ticket to heaven.
I was determined to fight it for my children. Fast forward at whirlwind speed, I got a
mastectomy, started with my chemo and immunotherapy. I lost a body part, lost my hair,
lost about 20 lbs (yay to that!), and was in and out of the hospital every 3 weeks for a year.
I have been a cancer survivor for two years, and God willing, forever. I believe it’s also from an outpouring of love, support, and prayers of family and friends. Cancer is something you wouldn’t wish even on your enemies. Chemo sucks. But it turns out cancer was my salvation, and suffering is my ticket to heaven.
On the days of isolation during chemo, I got to know God personally. I believe I have always been prayerful but when you reach ground zero and there is nothing and no one, when death is literally knocking on your door, when you surrender everything to Him--then you see and feel Him very clearly, and He becomes your go-to companion, partner, or best friend. He
becomes ever more real.
When you imagine yourself literally dead, and can feel your soul wanting to jump out of your body, you realize, you truly have a soul and this body is really just a box. Life is a gift!
When you imagine yourself literally dead, and can feel your soul wanting to jump out of your body, you realize, you truly have a soul and this body is really just a box. Life is a gift! We are transient and will all someday go home to Him. Every waking moment is a chance to share the gift, which is You.
I am ever so grateful having gone through it because cancer gave me a new pair of eyes to see what really matters in life, to know my place and purpose, and to know I am nothing without God. In the beginning, I asked God, “Why me?” He broke me, because He loves me.
Story of Mina Abarico, mother of 2, yogi, and wife to Grandii