Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU BY SYNDI POWELL



WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU BY SYNDI POWELL

We've all heard the phrase "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." When the doctor says the word "cancer" though, you start to question the truth of that. Or at least I did.I figured there was no way that fighting and surviving that dreaded disease could bring anything but disaster and sorrow. I'm happy to say that I was wrong.


I learned a lot about myself and life because of cancer. I discovered that I'm stronger than I give myself credit for. That washing your hair can be a gift.  That I took my body and all it can do for granted. That friends who volunteered to help and actually showed up were rare and precious. That faith isn't just something you believe, but something you have to do. That good doctors who fight for their patients should be given medals, but rarely do.


In my new series, the Hope Center Stories, I tell the stories of three women who learn lessons from their bouts with cancer as well. They might have planned their lives to go a certain way, but all those plans go by the wayside when cancer enters the picture. It affects not only them, but their families and friends around them. Friendships are tested. Priorities are questioned. And life in all its abundance is found.


I know that I had my life pictured one way, but the cancer diagnosis brought about a catharsis that refined me and gave birth to a new vision of who I am and what I want. Have you ever had a situation that changed who you were? Did something happen to you that might have meant to harm you, but brought you something good instead? Please share your story here.





30 comments:

  1. I've lost a close family member and friends to cancer, but I can't begin to imagine what it is like to receive the diagnosis about yourself. From what I have observed and sense, you handled it with incredible grace, dignity and courage.

    In terms of some good coming out of it, I expect that your books will make a difference and give hope to others battling this horrific disease.

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    1. Thank you, Kate. I've also lost family members and friends to cancer, so I empathize with your loss.

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  2. I was very moved by your post, Syndi, for its open and frank reflection on what was a life-changing experience for you and your family. Like Kate, I have lost family members and a friend to cancer and also have friends who are cancer survivors. We all need books like yours so that we can have some insight into how people can surmount these challenges. I'm sure your positive and determined attitude played a big part, too. Thank you for this inspiring post.

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    1. Thank you, Janice. When I got diagnosed, I searched out books (especially fiction) that dealt with breast cancer. I wrote these stories in hopes that women who get diagnosed won't feel so alone.

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  3. I think your books will be helpful and enlightening. Losing my mom young certainly changed who I became. I thought it very ironic that the title of my first book ended up being Wanted: The Perfect Mom. Best of luck with your series.

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    1. Thank you, T.R. I'm sorry for the loss of your mom. The loss of a parent is always tough.

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  4. I have very close friends who are cancer survivors (including breast cancer) and I'm always in awe of their strength and, to quote Kate above, their 'grace, dignity and courage'. You have all that too and you're an inspiration. I so look forward to reading your series and know I'll learn how to be there for friends battling cancer...and how to find inner strength if I'm ever faced with the disease myself.

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    1. Thank you, Rula. At the time of my treatment, I don't think I'd describe myself as being strong or having grace and courage. I probably would have said I was a mess, but I wasn't going to give up! LOL

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  5. Syndi, what you survived is monumental. There are many of us who are cancer survivors and I'm one as well. I have lost far too many in my family and the last was my husband to cancer. Just last night another friend was told she was stage 4 pancreatic. Your courage and strength are admirable and I can't imagine the bravery it took to write about your journey. You are most correct. Your experience, valor and triumph is exactly the kind of story that needs to be told. All of us can find hope when others are willing to talk about the experience. There is something here in your book for everyone. God bless for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Catherine! There were times during the writing of this first book that I had to walk away and weep. There are little details that I put in that were a part of my own journey (I have the bright orange hoodie that Sherri wears). My mom said it was difficult to read certain things because it brought back those memories to her as well.

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  6. Syndi, thanks for sharing this. I know your books will bless others who face this horrible disease. Your story gives us hope and courage.

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    1. Thank you, Sandra. My hope is that these stories will bless and encourage others.

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  7. Very moving post--and the comments, too. I don't know anyone whose life hasn't been touched by the disease and it ended up a theme in one of my earlier novels, too, simply because of what I'd learned. My mother was able to thrive for another 25 years after her bout with breast cancer. I was always so grateful for that. In my nonfiction writer life I've written reams about cancer from all angles, from the science of it to post-survival life and I believe in this series, Syndi. It's a real gift to women of all ages. I think some of the most powerful and inspiring words can come through fiction. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you, Virginia. And you're right - most of us have had a brush with cancer whether through a family member or ourselves. It's sad to say that it's almost commonplace. Bless you for sharing all you've learned in your books as well.

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  8. Syndi, it's so wonderful and brave of you to use your experience as inspiration for you fiction. The most life-changing experience for me was my husband's cancer diagnosis. Treatment worked and he's cancer free. I'm grateful every day for the time we have together. Everything you said about appreciating those simple things in life is so very true!

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    1. Thank you, Carol. A big whoop whoop to your husband for being cancer free!

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  9. Syndi, your post and your book are an honest, in-depth revelation about your emotional and physical journey. I just pray in my lifetime someone finds the cure for all forms of cancer.

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    1. Thank you, Roz. From your lips to God's ears!!!!

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  10. Syndi, you are such an inspiration and to use your talent to help others is such a reflection on who you are. I've lost friends to cancer but I also have friends who are cancer free after five, twenty, and even 50+ years. Looking forward to what you do next!

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    1. Thank you, Patricia! I hope to be in that second group!

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  11. I don't have a story about how a great harm turned into something good, or at least, nothing I recognize as one! Your detail about washing hair struck home. My sister was able to stave off the spread of cancer--it had metastasized to her lungs--through therapies other than chemotherapy. When that was used as her last ditch option, her disappearing hair seemed to drain her will to live. I am also happy to say that I have friends who kicked cancer to the curb. Bless your courage and wisdom, Syndi, to turn your hard-fought victory into stories that will last forever.

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    1. Thank you, M.K. I'm sorry about your sister. It's so hard to see someone we love going through something and feel helpless.

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  12. I haven't had a situation that scary yet. I'm sure I will at some point--none of us get away unscathed, right? But you're very inspiring to have allowed it to refine you like that. The book sounds wonderful!

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    1. Thank you, Patricia! Going through the fire definitely burns away what isn't important and turns us into something shiny.

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  13. You've been an inspiration since the beginning of your battle (I followed it on FB). And I think it's so wonderful and brave to use your experience as inspiration for your books.

    About 15 years ago, doctors thought my husband had leukemia . It was the worst time of my life. Thankfully he didn't have it, but it made me realize how precious time spent with those we love really is, even if we are still relatively young. I try not to take those times for granted. Ask my husband. I smother that poor man to death. ( :

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    1. Thank you, Laurie. I know you love on that husband of yours! And you're right - never take memories with your loved ones for granted.

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  14. Like everyone else, I've had losses to cancer. I never fail to be amazed at the courage of its survivors. Thanks for sharing with us.

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    1. Thank you, Liz. I bet if you'd ask those survivors, they don't see themselves as courageous. It's just something we had to go through. But we are stronger when we get to the other side.

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  15. Syndi, I've had friends go through this, but reading this book make me better understand how hard it must have been for them. So glad you can share your experience with others.

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  16. Like Beth, I've had friends go through this. Also, family members. You've reminded me that I need to be the friend who "does" show up. Looking forward to reading your new book :)

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