Two nights ago we got a call from family - the kind you never want to get. Danny's sister, Laurie, has breast cancer. She's 39, a mother of 7 children, the Stake Young Women's president, and the founder of the Great Artist Program. She very well could be one of the most amazing women you'd ever meet. You'll see why when you read this post. She wanted to record some of her thoughts while the emotions are still so raw. Be prepared to be inspired....
My name is Laurie, I am a 39 year-old wife and mother of 7 awesome kids, and barely 48 hours ago I learned I have Breast Cancer. It may sound strange to say this, but I have had the most amazing two days, especially considering the potential for fear and uncertainty associated with this diagnosis. But instead of fear, I feel full of life, HOPE, love, and gratitude for what is to come.
I have always had an optimistic nature about me, and am an idealist as well as a romantic. But, I know that my ability to look at this trial and challenge with hope and peace is due in part to the lessons I have learned from my little brother and his awesome wife. I feel that I have been prepared for this difficult time. I have had so many insights and “ah-ha” moments in the past few months as I’ve read along with all of you. And I’ve been applying what they share to my day to day “practice trials” which has taught me so much about choosing a better perspective and really living the way we should. I feel in doing so, I’ve come to better know God and His mercies, and I’ve learned to embrace more fully Jesus Christ and his ability not only to save, but to comfort and give us hope.
Everyone keeps asking if I’m OK, and I tell them...I AM GREAT! I feel alive, I feel blessed, I feel happy. Today, there are dozens of people praying and fasting on my behalf, and I FEEL it! I have had so many texts and phone calls from loving friends and family, and could open up a flower shop with all the beautiful bouquets! I am in awe at the love and support from everyone around me. I feel like I am walking on a cloud of hope and love.
I know there will be hard times ahead, things and feelings and hurts that I have never experienced. I know it will be rough, but I look forward to what I will learn from this, and for the personal growth I know will come. I know Danny and Mara have had an influence on many of you, but I feel like what they have been sharing (and what I’ve been applying) has personally been preparing me to fight this battle in a better way. So many of their posts have touched my soul, and since I’m family, I have also had many heart to heart conversations with them, and I've thought long and hard over our topics. I have opened my heart, mind, and soul to their message of CHOOSING hope, love, and faith over their opposites of doubt, anger, and fear. I'm doing that right now, in what is most certainly the biggest trial of my life....and it is making all the difference. A whole different kind of completeness, of peace and love and hope is building up inside of me.
Danny and Mara are sharing a message as old as the world, but they do it in a way many of us are listening to. So, tomorrow as I head to my doctor for my first appointment as a cancer patient, I leave fear behind, and I go with HOPE. I go with peace in my heart and an immense gratitude for all of my many blessings and for all those who love and support me and my precious family.