Finding Fuel For My Inner Fire After My Breast Cancer Scare

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“It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder.  We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” -Frederick Douglass

Sometimes we’re forced into darkness not to find light but find fuel for our inner fire.  My light went out about two months ago when I woke and found on my inner right breast.  At first, I wasn’t overly concerned about it.  I thought it might have been more a bump caused by the bra had worn and accidentally fell asleep in.  I did start to worry when said lump doubled in size and started to be very painful and tender to the touch.
The first thing that came to my mind was, “Could I have breast cancer?”  No, I wasn’t going from 0 to 100 real quick.  Breast cancer is very prevalent/common in my family on both sides.  In fact, my paternal grandmother wasn’t much older than me when she found out that she had breast cancer.  My dad and some of his siblings were Moo and JJ’s age when she lost her battle with breast cancer.
So, I had to be realistic with myself and prepare myself to hear some not so good news.  Now, I wasn’t naming and claiming breast cancer, but I didn’t want to be foolish either.  I definitely felt like I was in a storm, a whirlwind, and an earthquake.  However, my fire had been snuffed out.  This is why it’s been so quiet on the blog and my social media pages.
I couldn’t talk about it until I knew for sure I wasn’t next.  And let me tell you guys, the wait seemed like forever.  Thanks to the flu epidemic, it took a while before I was able to get in to see my new doctor.  By that time, fluid had started to build up in and around the lump and it was more painful.  However, after some tests, cancer and anything immediately life-threatening got ruled out!

So where are we now?  Well, I still have the lump and we still don’t know what caused it.  We do know that an infection got to it somewhere along the way and that’s where all the painfulness and fluid came from.  The soft tissue underneath the skin was severely inflamed.  This week I met with my surgeon and they actually made a small incision to take a closer look the inside of the lump and to drain the fluid from it.

I’m currently on some meds to see if we can get the lump to completely go away without having to remove the soft tissue because it is a sizeable area and because of the location of the actual lump, it’s not an ideal place for stitches.  Meanwhile, I’m also focusing on fueling my inner fire again.

How To Fuel Your Inner Fire

I still don’t know how this journey will end but I do know that I’m not going to just sit around like a bump on a log.  I can’t let this situation steal my happiness, my health, my passion for life, my fire.  So here some changes I’m making to fuel my inner fire.

Focusing on the positive |  As my mom would say, “There’s no use in worrying about things you can’t change.”  Although my lump is still here and I’m still in pain, I still have a lot of positive things going for me.  I’m alive, my family has been super supportive, and I have decent health insurance that we can afford!

I can’t get my fire back if I’m constantly drowning myself with negative thoughts.  I refuse to wallow in a “Why Me?” attitude because the truth is why not me?  We all have our burdens and storms to bear.  This one is mine and I’m determined to bear it with grace and positivity!

Staying Hydrated |   Have I ever mentioned that I was almost hospitalized twice for dehydration?!  I don’t mean to get dehydrated but I’m one of those people who needs to set a reminder to take a water break.  I’m a homeschooling mom, a wife, and I work from home.  So it’s easy to forget to take a break to get in another cup of liquids.

However, I’ve been getting better making sure that I stay properly hydrated.  Since I’ve started focusing on making sure that I drink enough during the day, I’ve noticed that one days when I drink more liquids I tend to be more even-tempered.  Hydration affects so much when it comes to our bodies.

So lately one of my favorite ways to stay hydrated has been by enjoying Fuel For Fire Fruit + Protein Smoothies throughout the day.  Not only are they free of artificial ingredients, gluten, soy, nuts, fat, added sugars, GMOs, but they’re made with 100% all-natural fruit puree!  I’ve also learned that what I hydrate my body with is also important.  It feels good to be putting something into my body that is good for it.

I really love that these smoothies come in ready-to-serve packaging.  Because let’s be honest, I’m going to be more motivated to drink something if I don’t have to mess up any dishes to enjoy it!  I can just twist the cap and drink because there’s also a built-in straw!

And while these don’t have to be refrigerated, I highly recommend that you do drink them cool at least.  In my personal opinion, you can really get a taste the flavor better when these are chilled versus room temperature.   Fuel For Fire Fruit + Protein Smoothies come in 5 delicious flavors- Strawberry Banana, Banana Cocoa, Tropical, Sweet Potato Apple, and Coffee.

Relaxing |  Stress is a killer!  It’s a proven fact that too much stress cause serious physical and mental health issues which could eventually be harmful enough to kill you.  According to some of my dad’s older siblings, one of the reasons my grandmother’s breast cancer went unnoticed by her and later advanced so fast was because she didn’t relax enough.

I know a lot of people struggle with knowing when to go sit down somewhere aka relaxing.  Relaxation is often times associated with being lazy, but I want to point out these two are NOT the same thing.  We are not machines.  Our bodies (and minds) need have break or else we risk the chance of doing some serious damage.

I’m not afraid to admit that since the New Year started, I’ve been running myself in the ground a bit.  It was like as soon as I crossed one thing off my to-do list, I found something else to add to it.  And nothing could just wait until tomorrow.  Well, these last few weeks, I’ve been catching up on one of my favorite pastimes- reading.  It feels good y’all to take an hour for myself where I’m relaxing and doing nothing except reading a good book.

Going Out The House |  The first thing I started doing when things went left with this lump on my breast was staying in the house 24/7.  Part of the reason was that I was in pain.  Another reason was that I didn’t want to chance anyone seeing it and asking me about it because it’s in a visible location and I wear a lot of scoop neck and v-neck shirts.  Lastly, I was letting myself get so drowned in my negative thoughts that I was slowly sinking into a depression.

Then, one day Moo said, “Mommy, maybe you’ll feel better if you get out of the house.”  So, I did.  And you know what, she was right.  We only went to the library and I made sure to put on a shirt with the highest neckline that I owned to cover my lump, but it felt so good to have a change of scenery.  It was like my embers were slowly starting catch sparks again.

So now I’m making it a habit to go out the house every day, even if it’s just to walk to mailbox and back.

Working On My Fitness |  Somewhere along the way of moving into our new home, I started emotional eating more than usual.  Listen, moving into a live-in fixer upper will do this to you, especially when you start seeing those estimates and price tags.  Don’t let Chip and Jojo fool y’all, this renovating business is HARD.

But back to my point. I put on 15 extra pounds.  Before my breast cancer scare, I was able to drop 5 of those pounds thanks to getting my dance workout playlist on YouTube.  Then, I fell off the wagon.  Now, I’m in a better place, I’m back to working out to drop these 10 pounds.

And yes, I’m making sure to stay hydrated.  Today, I was finally able to get off house arrest aka bed rest after my procedure on Friday.  So, I grabbed a Tropical (my favorite flavor) Fuel For Fire Smoothie and did a few laps around the house while the kids cheered me on.  It felt good.

Getting More Sleep |  Listen, I’m leaving that whole “I come alive in the nighttime” business for Drake and his homies.  As a busy mom, wife, and businesswoman, I have to start cutting back on my night owl hours.  So, I’m turning down way earlier than I used to.

It’s when we sleep that our body is able to restore itself and when the healing process can be at its most potent.  Just like lack of hydration and change of scenery can have a huge impact on our bodies mentally and physically, so can a lack of sleep.  You can’t light a fire on burned out coals.

If you’re like me and had setback the put out your inner fire, I hope that some of these tips will be the fuel you need to get back blazing.  Remember, it’s a journey and not something that will happen overnight.

Also, if you want to find out more about Fuel For Fire, check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.    And from now until July 31st, you can get 40% off and FREE shipping on any purchase on using the discount code SAVE40.

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  1. Unknown

    May 23, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    This is a great post! I know the feeling of being in a storm and feeling when your fire has gone out due to being scared and in a stressful situation. I'm so glad anything life threatening has been ruled out and I hope the medication helps so you don't have to have surgery!

  2. Blooming Prejippie

    May 23, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    I am glad to hear that you are likely on the mend. Health is one of those things that we have to guard and be thankful for. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  3. Autumn

    May 23, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    You are an inspiration! I admire your strength to keep pushing after something so hard.

  4. Paula @ I'm Busy Being Awesome

    May 23, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, it's so inspiring the see what you are doing

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