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It’s in the Small Things

May 17, 2013

Janna Waldher, a 30-year-old breast cancer survivor from Seattle shares her story with Thrive Through Cancer:

Ah, the healing powers of sunshine. The joy of smelling springtime flowers. Relaxing with a glass of wine while listening to your favorite tunes. These are all moments to be savored. Remembered. Repeated. To do this, it requires slowing down. Becoming aware of your surroundings. Inhaling and exhaling, slowly, with purpose. Looking out with your eyes and adjusting your viewpoint to become aware of life’s performance. I remember when my viewpoint broadened. I became much more aware of the life hustling and bustling all around me.

I was sitting in a waiting room. The smell of fear and unsurety were everywhere. I was afraid – the unknown was staring me straight in the face. Now the unknown is tailored to each of us differently, my unknown is not the same as your unknown. But that day my unknown dealt with cancer. Breast cancer. I’d already had a bi-lateral mastectomy and was now preparing to listen to my oncologist review my chemotherapy treatment plan. The unknowns of chemotherapy are scary! Side effects. Effectiveness. Sanity – would my mental where-with-all survive!  I had no idea; no research to pull from, no life experience to compare this with, no nothing. My fears were overwhelming. I could feel despair creeping up me like a twisted vine, tears welled in my eyes.

Yet, in the midst of my emotional turmoil the sun was shining. Literally, that October day the sun was shining; fully, brightly, and with kindness.  I only noticed it because south Lake Union looked bright blue. A blue that invites you to jump right- in and enjoy a lazy swim. I remember thinking how cool, how untroubled, how tranquil the lake looked. And right then I desperately wanted, no needed, that serenity. And as I sat, staring out and yearning for that calm, an intense whirring noise penetrated my bliss. With rapt attention, I watched, mesmerized, as a seaplane gracefully landed on Lake Union. I had never seen a sea plane land; truthfully, I had never even thought about it. But on that day, the simple act of a sea plane landing on a placid, crisp, sky blue lake, took my breath away. I felt my lungs expand and a huge deep sigh of relief released from my body. There are joys in life. There are experiences that must be lived.

Life is about enjoying the small things. Enjoying the simple pleasures that bring happiness and hope.  I did face the unknown. I did not know the future.  But I could choose to face the unknown with a patient determination to seek out the small thing in each day that inspire me to persevere. To move along and to hope for the best. So that day, I choose. I choose to look for the small things that remind me how wonderful life is. To hold on to the enjoyment of life.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mama Wanda permalink
    May 19, 2013 12:30 am

    Lovely, Janna! Now check out the private email I sent you. Have been researching ways to aggressively work on staying healthy!! love you.

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