Saturday, August 21, 2004
Wake up Sleepy Jean(a)
There is something special in the sunrise. Watching the world wake as the veil of darkness lifts is astounding. It is as if you can see the leaves unfurling from sleep and the flowers turning to the sun to soak in the warmth of the gentle morning rays. Since I have been going through treatment I have found this time of day to be the most peaceful, most rejuvenating moments I experience each day. On the days when I feel good, I rise early and I, too, go out to unfurl my leaves and soak in the gentle rays.

This has been quite a week. I think I have experienced more emotions and feelings this week than in any week since beginning this journey. And oddly enough, the one thing I thought I was most prepared for was the one thing that brought me to my knees. I think I have found an understanding for some significant pieces of this breast cancer puzzle.

Breast cancer and its treatment have an impact on the feminine aspects of a woman, though it doesn’t attack her womanhood. What is an outwardly physical sign that I am a woman? Is it my breasts? My softly curled flowing locks of hair? Is it my soft skin and nicely shaped fingernails? If my breasts are damaged, my hair erased, my nails and skin dry and flaking, am I still a woman? Of course, but do I feel feminine and prepared to face the world? As the Italians would say, do I possess “La Bella Figura” – the certain image of putting my best foot forward?

It has taken me a few days to redefine what putting my best foot forward means to me. When I am blessed by the morning’s first rays of light, everything seems to fall into perspective. When I can begin the day by thanking God for the gift of life today, there is nothing the day can give me that won’t be a blessing, even if it is a lesson I need to learn. If today I can joyfully say, “I feel good,” what is more important? While the physical changes are significant, they are nothing compared to the spiritual and emotional changes taking place. And though I may not be grateful for the physical changes that have taken place (and those to come), I am eternally grateful for everything else.

Thank you to each and every one of my family members, friends, co-workers, and extended family of supporters for walking with me on this journey. You bless me in so many countless ways and give me the strength to take each new step.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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