The silver lining...oh "look for the silver lining" so many say. What does the silver lining even mean? The Urban Dictionary says..."a phrase used to tell someone that there is a brighter side to the problem they are facing. The phrase comes from the fact that, every dark rain cloud has a silver edge, or lining." Can the lining of Metastatic Breast Cancer really be silver?
Three years ago, when I was first diagnosed with MBC, I was certain that nothing good was going to come of this. I had found many blessings in disguise when diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, but this was different...very different. While I am a glass is half-full kind of girl, my first unpleasant thoughts left me drowning, wondering is there a silver lining to this? Sickness, pain and death? The lining look dingy brown.
As time moved forward, slowly, so did I. Thanks to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, eight months later, I found myself in the MBC advocacy world. Over the past three years, I have been to three MBC conferences and several other forums where I have met some of the most amazing women. Many of whom became dear friends.
Was this a silver lining? Yes! I love these women, and I have learned so much from them about strength, and perseverance. But then the silver lost some of it's luster because I started losing these friends...painfully one by one. But as I sit here and think about it, the women that have passed were such blessings in my life. And my friends with MBC who are still with me in this crazy journey? I have no idea what life would be like without them.
I can see their beautiful reflections in my silver lining.
MBC has brought a wealth of experiences for me. I have helped organize women's breast health events, participated in discussion panels, and had several speaking opportunities to share my story. I was once the young student who prayed I would not have to read out loud in class. I was the speech student who struggled to get a good grade because I was so nervous. Five years ago, if you asked me to speak in front of others, my stomach turned. To my surprise, MBC has given me a voice to share...a voice I didn't know that I had.
About two months ago, a friend in advocacy asked me to share my story with a group of 600+ people in Orlando. Whoa! What?!? And even though in my mind, I was asking myself, "Can I do this? My voice said, "Of course, I would love to!" And so I did! An empty stage, no podium, just me, my head mic and a teleprompter remote. For whatever reason, I did not feel nervous. I made people laugh, and I made people cry. Thirty minutes later, it was over, and I couldn't believe I did it. I am not sure what kind of impact I had on the 600+ people in the room, but it felt good. I was helping to educate, advocate, and raise awareness and empathy.
More beautiful reflections in my silver lining.
And so I leave you with this... "I still continue to look for and find silver linings every day. Silver linings do not negate catastrophic circumstances and the feelings of sadness or anger that can follow. What they do is provide is balance and perspective." ~Hollye Jacobs
Is the lining always silver? I think it is all about the perspective you take. Do you even look at the silver lining? Take a moment...think about your silver linings....remember your blessings!