Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

Cancer is weird.

For 3.5 years I looked into the mirror and didn’t recognize the person looking at me. 

First, it was scared eyes. My eyes had lost the look in them that made me feel invincible. I had learned I wasn’t

A week or so later, I saw the cut on my chest for my port.

Then it was a bald head.

Then a bald, steroid filled, and puffed up faced person looking at me.

RELATED: This is What Cancer Looks Like

Sometimes it was a teary-eyed, defeated person. Someone who had been up all night in pain. 

I saw prickly hair come in, but “I” wasn’t looking back at me.

There was weight gain in my face and a haircut I didn’t choose. 

Years of those different versions of myself constantly looking at me in the mirror, but today, I looked in the mirror and saw myself.

I saw my thin, straight hair and my excited eyes (as I was getting ready for an author visit and to meet a friend).

I saw someone who’s hopeful for the future.

RELATED: Having Cancer at 34 Taught Me How to Live

Someone without another surgery planned for 10 years.

Someone who didn’t feel the need to look away from the mirror. 

I didn’t see the cancer version of me, or anything else, but simply me. 

Cancer is weird. It brought me to realize that life is all about joy and finding it. I was okay with all the sacrifices, but I never saw me until today. It’s the first time in a long time I felt like I was getting a small piece of my old self back. It felt comforting.

Originally published on the author’s Instagram page

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Charissa Bates

Charissa is a Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor at the age of 33. She has three beautiful children and works part-time as a mental health therapist. Writing has become empowering and therapeutic. Standstill: A Young Mom Conquering Triple Negative Breast Cancer will be available on her "Cancerversary" on December 12, 2022. Two other children’s books will be coming soon: We Find Joy (Cancer Messed with the Wrong Family) & The Traveling Book. Charissa runs https://www.facebook.com/FindingJoyPress and Salt Shaker Ministries. Also operates Busy Moms Need Jesus (facebook.com/busymomsneedjesus) with her friend, Abbey.

Pray For the Mamas With Cancer

In: Cancer, Living, Motherhood
Man kissing woman on the head

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Although there are many mamas who have been impacted by breast cancer, there are a lot of mamas who have been impacted by other types of cancer as well. During the month of October, spend time praying for ALL the mamas with cancer. Pray for the mama who was just diagnosed. The mama who just heard the words, “You have cancer.” Suddenly, there are so many thoughts circulating through a mama’s mind. What will treatment be like? How long will I be alive for my kids? Will I be able to take care of...

Keep Reading

Cancer is Not in Charge

In: Cancer, Living
Mother with bald head holding child, color photo

My entire life, I’ve felt much pride and comfort in being a person who was highly organized, a planner, someone who truly enjoys predictability. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, everything that encompassed my normal way of living was disrupted. And there was no way to fix it. This was not a good feeling—frankly, it sucked. I’m a stay-at-home mom of three young children. My first thoughts after my breast cancer diagnosis were how this was going to affect them. Would they even still have a mother in a year? These are terribly hard things to think about when you...

Keep Reading

Motherhood and Melanoma: An Unexpected Journey

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding baby on lap with large scar on leg

You read about birth stories. You prepare in the best way you can to welcome your little one into the world, but sometimes what you think will happen doesn’t, and you face something unexpected. Something that requires a different perspective, a different strength, and total surrender. I welcomed my son into the world on August 25, 2022, at 1:34 a.m. The events leading up to his birth were ones I didn’t think I would have to deal with at 36 weeks. Two weeks before his birthday, I went to the doctor to have a mole removed that had developed throughout...

Keep Reading