strength

‘Help me, mama. Pleeeease, help me!’ Covered in sweat, he escaped the doctors. That was it! I was DONE.’: Boy beats cancer 3 times, loses vision, ‘he wasn’t supposed to survive his first day’

“The doctor looked me square in the eye. ‘Brain tumor.’ WHAT?! I looked at my baby playing with Tonka trucks. ‘I’m sorry, but I think we both knew it.’ WHAT? Are you freaking kidding? No, I didn’t! I sat in the pre-op area signing consent forms. I wrote in large letters, ‘NO STUDENT OR RESIDENT IS TO TOUCH HIM.’ Never again was I going to just accept what a doctor said without question.”

‘You won’t ‘get over it.’ And you shouldn’t. My grandma still gets choked up about her angel baby.’: Woman suffers twin miscarriage, ‘I talk to our babies every day’

“I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen my grandma emotional. 50 years after she lost her baby, she sat across from her two granddaughters and bravely told the story through teary eyes. Her face was glowing, every emotion so pronounced. 50 years later, and my ferociously strong and stubborn grandma is still grieving. You and I will grieve our babies forever, too.”

‘You will never become anything,’ my doctor said. I was going stone-cold deaf. ‘What now?’: Woman loses hearing to infection, vows ‘deafness will not define me’

“As a young girl, there were signs. I literally danced to my own beat, mispronounced words. I spent years humiliated, called to stand up in front of classmates and speak the language I couldn’t hear. On one test in particular, I completely bombed the oral exam, tears streaming down. ‘I thought you didn’t want to be labeled as different,’ my teacher said. That was the final straw.”

‘You’re getting snipped, right?!’ I told my husband, no more babies. He obliged! The doctor had an emergency.’: After harrowing NICU journey, preterm birth, mom excited for ‘freedom’ husband’s vasectomy would bring to their ‘intimacy’

“My husband told me without hesitation, he’d get a vasectomy. I thought, ‘Yeah sounds good, but we’ll see if he’s really down for the cause when that time comes.’ We prepared for snip snip day by getting him a bag of frozen peas and tight underwear. He was nervous, but ready. My OB knew of our plan, but kept asking, ‘Are you SURE?’”

‘My marriage reared it’s ugly head. I was at a fork in the road. I could leave and save myself heartbreak, or I could stay.’: Woman finds ‘strength’ to divorce abusive husband, admits there’s ‘beauty in vulnerability’

“I never planned on writing my story. While I was more fearful of the future than I care to admit, I remember leaving the courthouse the day I filed for divorce feeling like I could breathe for the first time in years. It was the feeling of freedom. For years, I allowed the world to wash over me, resigned to the lies I’d been told about who I was, who I wasn’t, and who I could never be. On the hard days, I have to remind myself to call these thoughts what they are: lies.”

‘I was 32 when my husband suddenly died. I wanted to have children with him. Being without him is terrifying.’: Widow finds the ‘beautiful balance of life after loss’ with 2-year-old son

“A counselor I met with looked at me and asked this simple question. ‘Would Albert want you to grieve with fear, or grieve with hope?’ I immediately knew the answer. As I sat there on the couch, tears streaming down my face, I knew I needed to live. Just because Albert died, doesn’t mean I have to as well. That would be the last thing he would want me to do.”

‘Mama, please!,’ my daughter cried. She got in the tub, held me in silence, patting my back, giving me kisses.’: Daughter’s intuition picks up on mommy’s ‘debilitating anxiety’

“My husband swiftly removed her multiple times, as I said, ‘Mommy will be done in a minute baby, I am right here.’ I need someone to look me in the eyes and say, ‘I know you’re not okay.’ My daughter did just this for me. I try to hold it together for my child, but she knows. We sat like this for an hour. It was one of the most beautiful gifts anyone could give me.”

‘Shut up. Just let me finish.’ I lay there, weak, my best friend’s hand over my mouth.’: After years of denial, sexual abuse survivor accepts it wasn’t her fault

“I’ll never forget his words. There were no warning signs. No grooming. I remember wanting to scream, but not feeling like I could talk, so I made a mumbling noise. I didn’t want my body. I wanted to take it off like a jacket, but I couldn’t. I woke up the next morning with a huge bump on my head, my underwear backwards. I never wanted to be the girl who was raped.”

‘Girls shouldn’t be playing baseball. Stick to softball.’ The coach suddenly cut our daughter from the team.’: 7-year-old MVP female baseball player makes ‘advanced plays,’ gets dropped from team

“The coach sent an email saying he’d be moving positions to give ‘more success’ to players. The only change made was to move our Ashlynn to the bottom of the batter order. When we showed up at the next tryout, the team had already been selected without her. At the next tryout, miraculously, the same thing happened. As parents, we were frustrated. It was so unfair what was happening to her. But if we told her, we knew it would change how much she loved baseball.”

‘I never thought I’d be calling my husband to inform him ‘it’s cancer.’ I sat on the phone in utter shock.’: 28-year-old woman diagnosed with breast cancer after noticing ‘blood stains in bra’

“I was too young to get cancer. There was no way. I was fit and healthy, currently in the best shape of my life training for a trip to Everest basecamp. I prepared my chemo bag. I was ready for this. But when I walked into the hospital and saw all the elderly ladies around me wearing head scarves, I instantly felt a fear I could not describe.”

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