Friday, 19 April 2013

" Can I get an Amen"

"In My Life"
There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

The Beatles

Just over a year ago I came too New York with some girl friends. The trip had been booked for quite some time and then my lumpy breast started to be a nuisance. I  decided to postpone my scheduled biopsy and go anyways. I guess I knew in my heart that something was wrong. Really wrong. I remember saying to myself that I would not cancel my trip because I might not get to go anywhere for a long time. My instincts were right within a week or so after returning home from my trip to NYC I found out I had cancer.  I will be eternally grateful that I listened to my instincts.
So here I am just over a year since then back in NYC. Doing exactly what I did last year. Only difference is I am short a couple of boobs. It felt important, especially this year, to come back to New York City. It  Feels like a victory of some sort. New York is one of those cities that reminds you to live. That life continues to happen and if you want you can join in anytime. That the world is bigger than the bubble we sometimes put ourselves in or the cycle of living that takes over our existence at times.
The excitement always begins on the taxi run over the bridge. You can feel the energy as it whips all around you. I seem to look at things a little differently these days and embrace each moment a little tighter. This trip I felt more alive than ever in this city. I enjoyed each moment from riding around in taxi's which was a little like driving with Batman in Gotham City to attending a gospel service in Harlem. If you ever felt you needed to go somewhere to get a sense of belonging it happens at a gospel service. The pastor acknowledged everyone from all over the world who sat in his church. He honoured their presence and you felt honoured to be there. The sermon asked us to look at our own lives and question how we live it. To sow our seeds of what ever that needed to be for others and ourselves. She made us all think that day and reflect on our lives something empowering about that since that is really all we have control of in the end. Our own lives.
Moving on with your life after cancer and treatment may look like an easy thing but it lingers. I think once you embrace your life, living it with abandon, laughing whenever you have the chance, being with people that give you energy rather than steal it helps you live an authentic life.I didn't have to be in NYC to figure this out I am just glad I was. I had had my life ramp up to warp speed just before leaving with an elderly father very sick for many weeks. The day I left for my trip he moved into a seniors home. I knew he did not want me to go away, but I knew I needed to. I needed to put my oxygen mask on first now. Changing your mind set can do wonders.
After a great break we set forth for the airport to return home to our perspective families and lives. My phone rings. I look down and I know its my surgeon calling. I knew we were going to set my date for my next surgery for reconstruction but what are the chances they call me as I am in a cab in New York City. My life's realities once again in front of me. Last time they called me I was in Punta Cana with my family. Seemed to be a trend. As I looked at the number from someone I knew would call, I still felt a sense of panic come over me. This would be my third surgery so why am I feeling this way. Maybe because its my third surgery. Hello!!!! Still suffering from PTSD from the memories of my last one I knew as much as I want this over with the thought still scared me.
I know I look great, sound great these days and I feel great but wading through the shrapnel of the past year still throws you for a loop when things like this happen. Being strong requires reflection from time to time whether that makes you sad or happy.
So what I know is grab the moments, or opportunities to go and and live your life always. It will give you the strength to deal with the rest.

" Sow, Grow, Glow"
" Can I get an amen"
Pastor Curtis
Olivet Baptist Church
Harlem NYC


  1. AMEN!!! So is everything OK? Hope so! And yes I love NYC. It was my first "girl" trip after my breast cancer. Actually we were supposed to go there the spring of my first cancer but my pals wouldn't go without me. We were supposed to go in the fall but then I got diagnosed again! Lucky me -- my pals again postponed our trip. We finally got to go in May 2008 and had an awesome, amazing trip! We gotta keep goin', right Sondria!

    1. Yes Erin gotta keep moving forward. I am good just had more surgery yesterday but resting and recouping today...

  2. Sondria, ma soeur,
    You have endured a lot of trauma emotionally and physically this past year. Yet your vibe still comes off as a warrior to me. "Grabbing the moments", surrounding yourself with positive, vibrant people and seeing, seeing everything everywhere with new eyes, this is life! It was hard for you to leave your dad, even for a few days during his time of illness and transition, however; you needed to put your mask on first. This week, you begin another phase with another surgery and now doubt all of the worries are back, front and centre. There are some things that you don't have control over and here is where a little prayer and AMEN come in. Believing in that higher power, knowing you are loved and cared for is a blessing. We all sow our own seeds, pull out the weeds and watch as life blossoms before our eyes and - yes, little sister, you can get an AMEN! Tourjours avec amour - Geraldine