“Tatyana, I wish I could deliver better news, but you have cancer and I am so sorry to tell you like this…”
I was talking to a friend when I saw my nurse was calling me on the other line. It was Wednesday afternoon and I was enjoying my usual stroll in the lobby of the office building where I worked. I did not remember much of what happened after I hung up my phone. I could not feel my knees because it felt like somebody hit them with a baseball bat. I found myself in a meeting room being hugged by one of my co-workers as I was sobbing, screaming.
How can it happen? Maybe it is a mistake. Maybe they made a mistake in a lab. Maybe…maybe…
I drove home with black mascara running down my cheeks and I tried to pay attention to where I was going… I could not stop crying. My face was red and swollen. I screamed at God and I yelled at HIM, “Why Me, God?”
The soft voice said, “It is a gift darling.”
A GIFT? Are you kidding me?
God’s quiet voice whispered…
-You will see.
-You will know.
-You will feel it.
-You will be FINE.
Here I was, sitting in my SUV in front of my home, glued to my seat, I wondered how would I reveal the bad news to my sons? How would I tell my family? Will I live? Will I die?
Those questions were going through my head, and I had to get out of my head if I wanted to keep my sanity. I had to find a new way to be at peace. That was called SELF-LOVE. But first, I had to adjust my perspective.
I called my sister Ingrid in Russia. We have not spoken in a long time, and it was an opportunity to heal our relationship. I often blamed our distance and being away and that we never wrote letters to each other, just phone calls or occasional social media messages. She lost her husband to cancer in 2012 and I knew she would understand me. Something in my heart said “Tatyana, Call her now”. It was late at night and I tried to keep myself together and I could not. I cried. I was scared. I let it out. I told her I loved her and cared deeply.
That night, she told me one thing that became my anchor going forward. “Look at this challenge as your quest to discover who you are. Remember you are LOVED and you are LOVE. It is your journey to accept love again…you always give love and you are afraid to receive love…”
Instead of accepting it as a major health challenge, I looked at it as my awakening to see the truth about what truly mattered in my life. It became my mission to heal my body, and for the very first time I felt like a new woman, ready to conquer the world and thrive again. It infused my spirit with courage and faith. I made a tough choice –to keep going and never give up.
Two days later my best friend flew in from Philadelphia. I picked her up at the Nashville airport. We have not seen each other for more than 5 years and I never expected our reunion would be under such circumstances. She hugged me tight and said in her soft, kind voice, “You will be o.k. You will beat it. You WILL BE JUST FINE!”
…And I knew right then it was a beginning of something beautiful and exciting in my life. It was my first step to loving myself again. It was a way to return to original Tatyana, the Russian girl, the one God created as HIS masterpiece.
The following three months have revealed what needed to be done. Every day I would learn something new about self-care and practicing mindfulness. One night after seeing my new surgeon I came home and sat on the floor in the middle of my tiny living room. My prayer was, “God remember about that LOVE deal you talked to me about? What do you want me to do now? “
There was a silence and a sense of peace in my heart. I was so calm. The peace was surreal. It was peace beyond my understanding, and I could feel God’s love wrapped around me as a beautiful feeling of serenity and peace.
Maybe I was expecting an energy surge running through my body. Instead there was only peace.
“That is where it starts, darling,”
God spoke to me very gently.
It was the most intimate time I have spent alone learning more about myself than I ever did in my last 6 years of personal and spiritual journey.
My journey to LOVE has begun and it started right inside my heart.
LOVE became my new destination.
The cancer had to come out.
I had to find the best doctor.
I prayed for him to HIM.
I prayed for miracles.
I asked guidance from my guardian angels.
My intuition led me to the most brilliant breast cancer surgeon in Nashville, Dr Whitworth. As they say God always works miracles in our life. Suddenly, everyone was telling me about him, even a lady who ran a local donut shop said, “Honey, he saved my life”!
I felt goosebumps running through my body. I believed her while savoring my Bavarian cream donut and sipping on my coffee on a Saturday morning.
I can say he was God-sent. The moment he walked into the room I heard God’s gentle nudge, “It is him.” It could have been a spiritual confirmation or just my intuition knew he was the right doctor for me. My search stopped right there on October 16, 2019.
He was different than any other doctor I have met. He knew how to bring me out of the funk and into the state of inner peace. There was calmness about him. It was his strength to help women fighting cancer. His energy spoke before he did. I could see how God worked through him in the way he cared for people and mentally prepared them for the battles that only God knew about. Some folks would say He had God’s touch. He helped me see my life in a new light, embrace each moment and never lose hope for the best. His care has helped me win a battle within myself and accept myself for who I was, with all my flaws and imperfections with all my scars and accept a new title of Wounded Warrior. Every time I would have an anxiety his response would be “Tatyana, find your peace and stay there”
As I started my breast cancer journey, I have met a few women who were powerful cancer survivors. They were all strong and amazing women who also told me that cancer had given them a new lease on life.
One of the life lessons I have learned was to only be with people you love, let go of everything that feels lukewarm or toxic, stop doing things that do not excite you anymore and do something kind for yourself, forgive often and say “I love you” without fear of looking stupid. Breast cancer makes you wiser and more mature, but it also opens your heart to see that love is around you.
Removing cancer was only a fresh beginning of discovering my true purpose in life, listening to the settle voice deeply in my soul and following my inner guidance.
It taught me another big lesson about trusting yourself and listening to your intuition. The most beautiful gift you can give to yourself is to listen to your inner voice, the one you are so afraid to trust and often you tend to brush it off, saying “You are thinking too much”! Your intuition will always guide you if you just stop fighting yourself and accept the truth that has been shown to you. The truth sets you free, but often it will make you scream!
Cancer has showed the truth I initially did not want to accept. It was the most beautiful gift God had blessed me with that led me back to SELF-LOVE.
And it was tucked right behind my heart…
Follow on IG @tatyanagann— Published on September 7, 2021 via Thrive Global
Written by Tatyana Gann