A Shining Example of Overcoming Adversity

Today’s post is Nancy Stephen’s second guest post on this blog, it is a story of overcoming adversity, holding on to hope and using the lessons learned from that experience to enjoy life, creating her own brand of brilliance to help many other people. Over the last few weeks I have been privileged to get to see for myself her gift for helping humans and animals live better lives.

Here is her story:

overcome adversity

Thrown through the air by a big horse with a big buck.

Landed on my feet – crack like a gunshot.

Yup! Broke something in my foot. Might as well start crawling to the barn. I wanted time off work anyway. It could have been worse.

Fast forward a week. Might as well get those “too busy to get there” doctor’s appointments looked after. My mammogram / ultrasound wasn’t due for six months, but something said “do it now”. Twenty four hours after the exam – my diagnosis – Infiltrating Lobular breast cancer stage 1 -2, two tumours. This was definitely worse……. or was it?

Bilateral mastectomy. 8 rounds of chemo, 5 weeks of radiation, 5 years of Tamoxifen.

Why was it not “worse”?

Cancer gave me some gifts:

I was able to help my Mom when she was diagnosed with the same disease two years later. She’s fine today. I was able to help a few close friends who were, and are, taking the same journey.

I received love and support from everyone who touched my life; everyone from store clerks, co-workers, friends, medical professionals, family, even my animal companions. Compassion brings out the best in us.

Close relationships got closer. My slight agoraphobia vanished. My stiff hugs became warm embraces, treasured connections.

My husband’s nurturing, caring, protective self shone. It was almost like dating again.

I had the luxury of time and an acute awareness of energy shared with my animal friends. Their intuition is a whole story on its own. Critters are amazing. There are lots of sub-stories. Far too many to be contained in this forum.

My hardships were injury and illness. Yours may be different, but chances are, you had amazing experiences during or after the event that made you smarter, stronger, kinder, happier, more understanding.

I hope you escape all the stuff that happens to “someone else”, but if time and chance afflict you, your strength, tenacity and undiscovered blessings will give you unforgettable wow moments.

Listen to the song “I hope you dance”, then live it.

nancy stephens

Great story, wonderful message of courage, determination, perseverance and living proof of “It’s not what happens to you in life, but what you do about it that counts.”

Nancy has agreed to provide more insights into overcoming adversity in future guest posts, I suspect too that she might start her own blog, please join me in encouraging her by leaving a comment here or contacting her by email.

Wishing you an extraordinary life.

Peter Wright




Graphic by Artvex



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  2 comments for “A Shining Example of Overcoming Adversity

  1. Roberta
    June 8, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Nancy: I hope you do start a blog. You have a lot to say….and you say it well and with heart. And I would like to hear more. Both of your posts here have touched me and my soul on several different levels.

    I started a blog several years ago. It is a lot of work. But it is SO worth it. There is not a day I have ever regretted it. It is more fun than a barrel of monkeys. It is a creative outlet, a way to blow off steam when I get upset with something in the news.

    It has also had outcomes I never ever ever expected in a million years. One is making Twitter friends. I joined Twitter to just promote my blog. What I received is a gift from heaven – real friends. I never expected that. (Peter is one of those friends.) I never expected you could really have friends and care for them when you live so gar apart. And yes, I have friends – and an adopted sister – all around the world. When there were fires recently in Australia I was concerned about my friends there. And got pictures of the fire near her house you won’t see anywhere else. I have met in person several of my Twitter friends as far away as St. Louis. I could write volumes, but I think you get the picture.

    Having people I don’t know try my recipes ( I have a cooking blog.) and tell me how much they and their families like it. Or they show me a picture of the dish they made. That is what I wanted but it is still a surprise and thrill every time it happens.

    I bet you would find a group of people who have/had cancer who would really appreciate a safe place to go to share experiences and love and more.

    Please think about it. And if I can help in any way just give me a hollar!


    • Nancy
      June 14, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Roberta,I finally have a few quiet alone moments to respond to your kind comment. Thank you for your support and encouragement.

      This is a new and scary path for me. After all, who am I to talk to the whole world. There are people everywhere who are wiser, funnier, smarter….you get the picture.

      Part of the reason I hold back is my fear of offending anyone knowingly or unknowingly. I’ll have to get over that, because logically, if I should not write, I should never speak either.

      I promise to slowly explore the technology of computers, even though I am suspicious of technology & the dark characters that are drawn to use it for evil intent.

      People who cook well are always held in high esteem by me. I love to eat! Don’t be hurt if I don’t try a lot of recipes. I spend as little time indoors as possible.

      Have to run, bye for now, but thanks again.

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