2020 was supposed to be the year of BIG things for me and my business. I hired a coach to help me map out what I wanted to achieve this year and exactly how I was going to do it. This was also going to be my year for getting back into shape by running and reaching new fitness goals. I was excited and eager for the new year to come.
I am not one for New Years resolutions, I have found over the years that choosing one word to live by for 365 days has made the biggest impact on my life. You see, the word I chose is something I embody every single day. I make choices for myself, my family, and my business from this mindset. After meditating and praying the word hit me like a ton of bricks. FEARLESS! Fearless was my word for 2020. Little did I know at the time this would become more important than ever.
My year kicked off with a bang. I was enjoying spending my time between Los Angeles and Denver with my boyfriend. We were attending as many of the LA Kings games as we could and beautiful dinners out with friends. This allowed me to meet and network with powerful business professionals from many different markets.
I was showing up for myself and my business fearlessly on a consistent basis which reflected it in my sales for quarter one. Everything was on track for me to exceed my goals for this year, then Covid 19 hit. Out of nowhere we were ordered to stay home and shelter in place. Businesses all over the country were forced to shut their doors causing hundreds of thousands of people to lose their jobs. The financial impact has been devastating for many, and just like that I started losing clients.
March 31st was a busy day for me as I had back to back client meetings and a podcast interview scheduled. Turns out, the universe had other plans for me! I woke up that morning in excruciating pain. It was so bad I could hardly get out of bed. As I laid there trying to diagnose myself (eye roll) I was certain it was my appendix rupturing. Keep in mind that by this time the pandemic was well under way and the stay at home order had already been issued. All I could think was crap, I am going to have to go to the emergency room because I can’t take the pain any longer. I knew something was really wrong with me.
Showing up at the hospital was like a scene out of a sci-fi movie. There were barricades in front of the emergency room entrance and arrows directing people to the makeshift triage tents outside. Okay Melissa, we are fearless. Putting on my mask I headed up to the tent door all alone. After going through the clearing process (for covid) I was finally checked in and immediately given medication for the pain.
After several hours and several tests it was determined that I had an 11cm growth on my right ovary. Due to the size of this unknown growth it caused my ovary to flip (ovarian torsion) completely cutting off the blood supply to the fallopian tube and ovary itself. I was rushed in for emergency surgery. Because of the pandemic my daughter and mother were not allowed in the hospital to see me. Several hours later I was released and sent home to recover.
Ten days later my doctor called with the biopsy results. Ovarian cancer…..”OMG WHAT?” To be completely transparent, I don’t remember much more of that conversation. I was told that out of all the different types of cancer, this form was extremely rare and had the most positive outcomes. This news gave me hope! I was sent to see an oncology gynecology specialist for next steps and treatment. As you can imagine my appointment was set immediately. Once again, because of the pandemic, I was unable to take anyone with me to the appointment for support. During this appointment it was determined that I would need another surgery to do full staging of the cancer and chemotherapy.
I left the appointment in complete shock and just sat in my car and cried. Now more than ever I knew I had to be fearless as I had to go home and tell my children what was happening next. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me! First the blow to my business and now this?! Gosh, why me?
May 19th was finally here and I was both anxious and nervous to have the second surgery. The recovery from this one was going to be more difficult and require me to stop working out for a few months. My mom dropped me off at the hospital door as she wasn’t allowed to wait for me inside. Several hours later I was able to go home to recover in my own bed. I had five incisions across my stomach and one in my belly button. The procedure was basically ¾ of a hysterectomy, (leaving only my left ovary hoping to prevent menopause), and tissue sampling all over my abdominal cavity up to my breast bone.
The most difficult part after surgery was waiting on the pathology results. What stage was the cancer? Did it spread? Were they able to get it all? Will I need chemotherapy? The second most difficult part of recovery was not being able to see/hug my girlfriends because of Covid 19. My immune system was shot and I couldn’t risk exposure. Not to mention the stay at home order was still in place.
Pathology results were back and the news was overwhelming! The cancer had in fact spread to my uterus. As scary as this sounds it was okay because my uterus was removed as part of the staging surgery. All of the tissues samples from my abdomen came back clear. CANCER FREE!!! They got it all with surgery and I wouldn’t need to go through chemo.
This year has been a crazy experience and it’s only September. I have had to make changes in my business, I ended my relationship with the man I was dating, I have ended friendships with individuals who didn’t align with my vision, and went through cancer. I can’t even count the number of times this year I have been told, “you can’t catch a break.” I bought into that mindset for a moment (during my cancer diagnosis) and believe me when I say it didn’t feel great.
The truth is WE GET TO CHOOSE our thoughts. If your thoughts are making you feel crappy, change them! Yes, it really is that simple. Things happen for us not to us. What is your lesson and blessings in every situation? I believe I caught the biggest break of my life! I beat ovarian cancer which happens to be one of the deadliest cancers to get because of the often late diagnosis.
Yes, I lost some clients this year due to covid-19. This was actually a huge blessing for me and my business. It allowed the needed time to recover from my surgeries and develop new programs to launch. I was able to take on new clients who were more in alignment with the direction I had been wanting to go in business. I have also been able to reestablish new commitments to my long term goals.
I refuse to buy into the “2020 has been a complete shit show” way of thinking. I will not give my power up that easily!
Always remember, “A miracle is a shift in perception from fear to love.” ~ A Course In Miracles
Are you struggling with disempowering thoughts/mindset? Comment below, How can I help?