I stand for everyone who was unable to live beyond their pain – Eden Onwuka
In her gripping memoir, I am More Than Body Parts, Eden writes of her experience in real time, right in the middle of her Cancer diagnosis and progression. She shares her daunting journey and how the mindset of being an overcomer has kept her spirit-woman at ease. Eden believes it is possible to be ‘Cancer-ed’ and not cancelled, and like any negative experience life brings, the response of the human spirit plays a pivotal role in restoration.
In her words “After a year of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, physical therapy, hormonal therapy, countless needle pokes, hospital visits, side effects etc, I realize that daily choosing Joy kept me sane. Empowering others even as I fought the biggest battle of my life has revealed to me the unbreakable strength of the human spirit.
In commemoration of the world cancer month, I bring you the inspiring and life changing story of Courage in despair and Hope in adversity.
It was Besutiful closely knit family with brothers and sisters, born to parents who placed a high premium on education. Dad worked for Unilever, while Mum was an Educationost. Typical post colonial middled class family in Lagos State. I recall Fun trips to the Bar Beach, Amusement park and Trade fair. Then boarding school in a Federal Government Girls College in Kwara/Niger state.
I am the middle child in a family of seven, I have a twin sister and I pretty much love to read, travel and volunteer. I’m easy going and friendly but love my quiet times, that is where I refuel as a creative person. I like to describe myself this way; I am from the East, born in the West, schooled in the North and served in the South, and i now live Western. Funny, but true plot twins. I begun my career with a brief stint at Shell Petroleum and have about 15 years corporate experience in financial services and consulting. Currently with a fortune 500 company and have my own Coaching business, having been certified by John C Maxwell.
The Cancer Journey
On January 7, 2017 I got a phone call which changed many things.
“We’re sorry to inform you that your Biopsy came back for Cancer…”
One word that was very alien to me. With no previous family history of cancer, and being relatively healthy, I was very surprised. I was a new Twin mum, my twin babies were just nine months when I had noticed a Lump and went to the for a routine check-up. A series of consultations later, then the shocking results. Can-cer? I was totally blindsided. Then angry, then sad, then confused. I honestly didn’t see this coming.
“Dear Lord, Why me?”
I let myself internalize this and it didn’t feel good. What do you do with a news like this? When the reality you see as a Positive person has no iota of Positivity in it?
After a few weeks I encouraged myself. I said Eden, ” Your perspective determines your narrative. What you magnify grows, what you simplify goes”. I asked God for strength to help me ‘find’ a Purpose in it. I remained focused on my assignment, hard as the next phases of my life was, I was going to walk in integrity before God regardless.
Today, I stand in awe of God’s grace, strength and power. I stand for everyone who was unable to live beyond their pain. For everyone fighting a secret battle, for everyone shamed by their scars, for everyone overwhelmed by sickness, for everyone silenced by affliction, for every warrior who gained (untimely) heavenly wings.
I decided to write about my journey in REAL-TIME, while going through an intense treatment (Tough): To show through my Story how finding and focusing on Purpose, helped me overcome. And to lend a voice to demystify the stigma attached to any cancer or breast cancer. Because anyone can write after they’re out of a storm, only revelation will make you write in the storm. I wrote to encourage you that you can feel helpless sometimes BUT you must never be hopeless.
After a year of chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, physical therapy, hormonal therapy, countless needle pokes, hospital visits, side effects etc, I realize that daily choosing Joy kept me sane. Empowering others even as I fought the biggest battle of my life has revealed to me the unbreakable strength of the human spirit.
Living and Thriving…
Restoration is a process, so some things take time. I humourosly say, it takes a while to put humpty dumpty back together again.
Seriously though, I still have a few residual side effects from treatment like intermittent fatigue, hot flashes, born aches now and then.
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