Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

“Taking one step at a time makes life much easier to navigate rather than always looking at the big picture.”

This is a quote I came across that sounds great, but what if you want to just skip ahead to the future and avoid all the “one step at a time” stuff? What if big picture thinking has always worked for you, it’s your safe place to process life, except now, for the first time, this way of thinking is not feeling right. Taking things one. day. at. a. time. has been the most challenging part of dealing with major change in my life; most recently a cancer diagnosis.

I would have to say that the number one phrase that friends and family have said as I’ve navigated through surgery, recovery, new medications and just trying crawl to a place of some semblance of normalcy again has been, “It will take some time, take it slow, rest.” While I know these words all came from places of care, concern and with the best intentions, and it’s probably exactly what I would also say to someone I cared about who was healing, I’ve had a really hard time with just taking it slow in my quest to get back to ME.

When I was trick-or-treating with my daughter, I realized that although I did not have a costume on, I felt as if I did because I haven’t felt like myself for months. The symptoms of thyroid cancer feels as if I’ve had Halloween costume on that I haven’t been able to take off.

I can’t explain why, perhaps it’s a coping mechanism for a type A, always on-the-go Mom, that likes being in control of everything, but I’ve had this very black and white expectation of how I thought healing from cancer was supposed to be, which for me meant a very linear process of “first a diagnosis, then surgery, next medication, and radiation, and DONE!”

Now I get to be ME again!

But that’s not at all how this has been going for me. The Halloween costume is slowly shedding itself off of me like an animal sheds its winter coat and that’s just not soon enough for me.

As a big picture thinker, I automatically go to the end result; which can be very helpful when it comes to things like goal setting, but when I look at the steps of what lies before me, I feel tension and overwhelmed at the prospect of the journey still to come. Will my body adjust properly to thyroid medication, radiation and its side effects? Will I ever get my energy level back? Will I get back to the fitness level I once was? Part of me feels very selfish for having these thoughts as I know there are people who have much more serious issues to contend with after receiving a cancer diagnosis, but I feel that the process of getting back to one’s true self is the same and it feels the same no matter how serious the prognosis.

 “The years of our life do not arrive all at once; they greet us day by day.” A great piece of advice I received which really resonated with me that allowed me to put aside my big picture thinking. 

Perhaps you have recently made a lifestyle change, like beginning a new diet or maybe you quit smoking, and the idea of continuing this healthy new behavior for years seems daunting. If you can shift your focus from what may happen years down the line and return it to the day that is before you right now, you may find a measure of calm and renewed confidence in your capabilities. I see this starting to happen for myself as I try to do exactly what I’ve been told to do which is “take it slow, one day at a time.”

It’s the way we show up for our lives today and tomorrow that will have an enormous affect on who we will be and what we will be experiencing months and years down the road. Remaining fully engaged in the day at hand, enjoying all it has to offer and putting energy into making the most of it is what will help me get my groove back. 

So I’ve chosen to fight and claw my way back to ME  and there is no other way to do accomplish this than simply one. day. at. a. time. The choices I’m making every day; getting up and moving my body especially on the days I just don’t feel like it, my food choices, taking a proactive approach to killing cancer cells, feeling the sun on my face, breathing, exploring, writing and meditating. This IS the journey. It will be my journey. By following it day by day, one day we will find that we are perfectly ready and capable to handle the future when it arrives regardless of what it looks like, which for us big picture thinkers, this is a tough adjustment.

I’ve realized that it’s the little details in the day-to-day that will be my story to share, without it there is no story and no big picture.

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

Tracie Cornell

Tracie is a writer, blogger, and corporate sales and leadership trainer. A native of Buffalo NY, she lives there with her husband and 15 and 11 year old daughters.   She has been a facilitator for 19 years while also pursuing her passion for writing, coaching and sharing her story of divorce, loss, and a cancer diagnosis all with the goal of connecting with other women to help them through all of life transitions. When she is not writing, traveling for work, and carpooling, she can be found at yoga, on a bike trail, or sitting in a local cafe sipping a latte while on her laptop.  She loves dinners out with her husband and friends and is constantly thinking of where their next vacation will be. Along with being a regular feature writer on HER VIEW FROM HOME - a lifestyle magazine that connects your view to the rest of the world, she is also a contributor on the Huffington Post Lifestyle and Divorce sections. Tracie has an essay, "Getting Back to Me" in the anthology "EAT PRAY LOVE MADE ME DO IT", the follow-up book to Elizabeth Gilberts's bestselling novel where she describes how she found the strength to start taking care of herself as her marriage was falling apart. The book is available now on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Find her at tracielynncornell.com where you can also find how to connect with her on social media.

I Am Not My Child’s Death

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Faith, Grief
I Am Not My Child's Death www.herviewfromhome.com

We are NOT what has happened to us or what this world says we are. That is not what defines us. While we are grieving parents, that is not what our whole story has to be about. Although, at times, we feel that our story is over. We ask, how do we go on and live full lives without our sweet Sophie with us? I’m still not 100 percent sure I know the answer to that. BUT the Lord says I am beloved. I am redeemed and accepted. I am holy and chosen. I am righteous and complete. I am...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes www.herviewfromhome.com

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading

Cancer Can’t Take That

In: Cancer
Cancer Can't Take That www.herviewfromhome.com

“Hi, I’m Martha!” A lady around my mom’s age with tightly curled blonde hair approached me at my boyfriend’s church softball game. “I’m Jen,” I said, awkwardly waving though she only stood three feet from me. Martha pointed. “That’s my daughter, Stacey, and her kids, Brady, Harleigh and Boston is the baby.” I saw a chunky baby in a baby carrier. “Harleigh is a cute name,” I said. “It’s spelled H-A-R-L-E-I-G-H,” she announced. “Interesting spelling,” I said, bemused. That is how I met Martha. I’d been to my boyfriend’s church once and was then attending one of their softball games....

Keep Reading

I Wish My House Was Messy

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief
I Wish My House Was Messy www.herviewfromhome.com

My house is always clean. The laundry gets done quickly. The dishes are rarely stacked up in the sink. My counters are hardly ever sticky and nothing gets spilled. Everything gets put in its place and there is no clutter. My floor rarely needs sweeping and I never step on or trip over toys. My house is usually in perfect order . . . and it’s infuriating. You see, my house used to be a wreck a lot of the time. We had diapers, wipes, blankets, books, applesauce pouches, Cheerios, toys, movies, and any other number of toddler paraphernalia strewn...

Keep Reading

How This 10-Year-Old Is Helping Save Lives From Inside the Oval Office

In: Cancer, Inspiration
How This 10-Year-Old Is Helping Save Lives From Inside the Oval Office www.herviewfromhome.com

The world of childhood cancer is one you aren’t familiar with, until you have to be. It’s a world where more than 40,000 children undergo cancer treatment each year. In this world the average age at diagnosis is six years old, and one in five of those kids will die. It’s the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the U.S. No one wants to be a part of that world. Childhood cancer is not one disease–there are 16 major types of pediatric cancers and over 100 subtypes. The causes of most childhood cancers...

Keep Reading

I Knew I had Cancer Because I Trusted my Intuition

In: Cancer
I Knew I had Cancer Because I Trusted my Intuition www.herviewfromhome.com

Today marks the anniversary of having my cancerous thyroid removed. This day always makes me think about the power of intuition and, how you should trust it. It’s real. Maybe because my dad was only 50 when he died, I was able to entertain the idea: I might get cancer, too. I knew. Breaking into tears on a run surrounded by girlfriends, a year before my diagnosis. I feared. I had it. Something wasn’t right. Months passed. But with gentle nagging from my accountability partner, I finally made an appointment. It wasn’t until the end of that meeting, I casually...

Keep Reading

Having Problems is a Privilege

In: Cancer, Faith, Journal
Having Problems is a Privilege www.herviewfromhome.com

The smell of smoke alerted me to yet another mishap in our morning mayhem. I wanted to provide some sort of breakfast to my eldest son as he returned to college after the holiday break. Each school morning begins with such chaos at our house. Between my daughter’s tangled hair and her brother’s missing socks, I realized I had burnt the cheese toast (the only thing I could find as some sort of parting breakfast for our firstborn). You know when cheese toast is the best you have to offer, you are already in dire straits. Not only was our...

Keep Reading

The Question No Grieving Mother Wants To Hear

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Faith
The Question No Grieving Mother Wants To Hear www.herviewfromhome.com

  My name is Shelby, and I’m a mom without a child. My two-year-old daughter, Sophie was diagnosed with Stage 4 T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma in May 2017. We had 12 weeks of her responding well to treatment when she unexpectedly had a MASSIVE relapse in August. Our doctors had never seen a child relapse so soon in 40-plus years of practicing. We were in the club that even cancer families don’t want to be in, the “rare disease” club. We spent nine days in the ICU getting 15 doses of adult “rescue chemo” that saved her life and knocked her...

Keep Reading

Cancer Warrior, Your Star Will Never Fade

In: Cancer, Inspiration
Cancer Warrior, Your Star Will Never Fade www.herviewfromhome.com

How do you stand so tall? How do you walk so proud? How do you smile easily? How do you laugh so beautifully? How do you comfort others? How do you shine with such grace? With such class? With such dignity? I use to ask my wife those questions. The ultimate Cancer Warrior. She fought so hard. So bravely. With a spirit that left the World in awe. And now, I’m asking you. You:  The Cancer Warrior. How do you do it? To say that I admired her, well, that would be the ultimate of understatements. To say that I...

Keep Reading