August 21st, 2017 marks 8 years I survived breast cancer. I remember it like it was yesterday. I asked God to spare my life to see my boys become men. It was a scary, challenging, surprising, uncertain time for me and my family. Some people were pessimistic about my diagnosis and some were optimistic. Some people even crossed the line by expressing their pessimism. What I learnt from this journey is that it matters not what people think when you are fighting for your life. All that real matters is how you think and what you believe.
This journey really built my faith. It truly taught me about spirituality. Prior to my diagnosis I was religious. My breast cancer journey made me spiritual. There is a huge difference. Religious people put Church over God. Spiritual people put God over all and worship God wherever they can find Him. Spiritual people worship God at home, in the car, at work, at the gym and most of all by the way they live. This is why I do not judge people who do not believe or question the existence of God because many of them lead spiritual lives without even knowing it.
Spiritual people treat others as they would like to be treated; that is well. They believe in good over evil. They exude a light that is always positive and inspirational. They believe that faith can move mountains. They know that whatever they ask God for they will receive it. Some people believe the same thing of the Universe. My spiritual experience as a breast cancer survivor has led me to believe more in the Creator of the Universe.
It was on this journey 8 years ago, God taught me that I am not in charge of my journey. There is “Someone” greater than me that determines whether I breathe, walk or talk. Everyday I am given, I am grateful to Him. He does not care what religion I am. He cares more about how much faith I have in Him and how I live my life. Yes I go church to fellowship as I believe that a place of worship is necessary to help others who are broken but it does not always result in you becoming a spiritual being. When you become spiritual you can fellowship at the gym, at a restaurant by paying the bill for someone, by remembering to help someone else who is down and essentially serve God by the way you live and how you give. Case in point; I attended church this morning and said, “Good morning” , to the gentleman I sat next to, and he did not answer me🙂.
Photography by Carl Blenman- Studio Studio Barbados. Wardrobe and Makeup Murrien Mitchell <
am grateful to God because His grace is why I am living. Many people who were diagnosed the same year I was, are not alive today. It taught me that, "Life and death are in the power of the tongue." In life it matters not what happens to you, all that matters is what you are going to do about it. Most of all my experience as a breast cancer survivor taught me that , cancer does not have to take your life it can teach you how to live.
Many of you hear me referring to my husband on many occasions as "my fabulous husband". It is not only because he looks so fine 😜, but it is due to this awful diagnosis I got the opportunity to see who I was really married to; a fabulous man who stood up like a boss and took care of his terrified wife. This man held my hand as I received chemotherapy and made me feel like I was the most beautiful girl in the world as I did a double mastectomy with reconstruction. He refused to entertain the idea that I would not survive.
Photo credit- Ricole Powell As I reflect on 8 years ago today. I have to give all praises to The Most High, my husband and the rest of my family, and real friends who stood by me. I am better for the experience. I no longer worry about a thing. My attitude is, “this too shall pass.” It was after this journey that I legally changed my name to Basia ,which means, “Daughter of God”, because that was the woman who overcame cancer. Alicia was the woman who was diagnosed. Looking back, I can now say that my healing came through finding my spiritual path.
Photo credit/Ricardo Powell A friend said to me recently, “You lucky “. Referring to my life. I am not lucky I am blessed. I live my life differently. Would you take 12 rounds of chemotherapy and 2 major surgeries 8 and 9 hours long respectively to learned the lessons I have learnt? And there were other challenges that came after that. Let me save you some trouble by giving you this simple advise. Focus on simplifying your life. Find your spiritual path. Appreciate every second you have because a few seconds ago I wrote the first paragraph and those seconds are not coming back. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We came here to play not to stay. Make time to live and laugh. It does not require a lot of money. It requires a lot of gratitude and faith. So on this 8th anniversary of my survival I just want to take the time to say “Thank you Jesus for my life.”
Keep the faith🙏🏾
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P.S. Please share so that somebody facing this dreadful disease can find hope