As anyone who has undergone a major surgery knows, all things familiar and safe immediately fall away. As the backward countdown begins, you find yourself crossing the threshold into a cold, dark space with room for only one. The clear path forward is to seek out signs pointing in the direction of hope. Once hope becomes the destination, all things are possible.

Emotions were off the charts. Physical abilities were in question. On my 10th day post-op, I successfully swallowed applesauce without choking, and just like that, ready or not, I was approved for discharge. When the cast on my arm was removed…


…I hesitated to take a peek. My eyes followed a long curving row of black stitches, like railroad tracks to an unknown destination. When the deep red hollowed area came into view, I was taken aback with a feeling of disgust.

Turning away in horror, my husband took on the task of dressing my wounds at home. After a few days, I forced the issue. When the shock wore off, I replaced thoughts of succumbing to cancer with thoughts of conquering it. This is me now; I had to own it.

Instead of picturing a dark rugged path to a tragic end, the railroad tracks transformed into a curving string attached to a red balloon. It was a life line lifting me from my despair. I vowed to grab hold of that balloon believing I could rise above like a Phoenix from the ashes. Onwards and upwards, there was no other choice. It was the only direction I could go from where I’d been, a place where survival, hope and endless possibility still existed.

As a Motivational Speaker and Master Storyteller, I’m always looking for new opportunities to share my inspirational messages. Your suggestions are welcome! This is Part 2 of 9 in my soundbite series from a keynote presentation in Brighton, UK.Catch up and view Part 1: Part 1. Part 3 coming soon!


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