Nori Garcia

@norilanewink | contributor
Community Voices
Community Voices

Fear

I’ve had to face many fears in my 36 years of existence. With a long list of irrational fears like not wanting to stay alone in a pool because I’m convinced there’s a shark at the deep end. Thats one of my more logical ones just so you get an idea. My biggest fear hit me a like a bulldozer four years ago with my lymphedema diagnosis. Let’s backtrack a bit with my history of fears. As a child I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 12. Had to face my crippling fear of needles, the fear of losing my hair imagine being a pre teen and they tell you your hair is about to fall out, facing death didn’t even sound as terrible. As a cancer survivor whatever that means because at times it still feels the battle will never be over.. As a survivor you feel like you’re always reaching for that title especially when complications arise. There’s always fear in the back of your mind. Not just you! anyone around you who was affected by it. Anyone who was there to experience the battle and help you pick up the pieces. There’s always fear. Somewhere in the back of your mind just lurking. Part of me grew rebellious part of me still the naive 12 year old girl really thought “hey I had cancer nothing bad can happen again”. Fast forward 4 years ago almost 20 years into remission and I get told I now have a chronic illness. A chronic illness due to the many surgeries I had to have. With cancer atleast there was hope to fight and to beat something. With a chronic illness it all seems useless since basically you become that dude from Greek Mithology pushing a boulder up a hill just to have it come down again and it just repeats itself. My biggest fear became a reality, my ultimate fear not the one about the shark in a pool but the one where something could break my spirit. It actually was happening. Well I cried for a little over a week straight my husband can vouch for me and I mean nonstop. I would fall asleep crying wake up crying the only time I would stop for a few minutes was to walk into my business greet my team and go straight to my office and cry. I didn’t even want to stay home because I was so scared of my own thoughts. Sunk into a depression which quite honestly took me two years to get out of. The day had come that something crushed my spirit in such a way. Not even cancer had done that. Let’s fast forward to today. Don’t want to bore you with the details. Let’s just say it hasn’t been cute or easy. Yes there’s the fear of your conditions progression and the future but I stopped thinking about that. I’ve made a conscious effort to just stick to one day at a time. That keeps me somewhat sane. So, now to the good part. See, not everything is terrible, in the midst of chaos and pain I was forced to get back in tune with myself. To actually have to take it day by day literally. To have to put my priorities in order and really listen to my body. Somehow I found the courage to want to fight again. This time on a daily basis, fight for the small glories. Somehow the hope that had been lost started to come back. I know there’s no cure but that’s not going to stop me to at least fight to make all the changes to make my condition a little more bearable. Yes there’s some fear of the flare ups but I’ve come to embrace those too. I don’t see it as weakness anymore it’s just my body saying hey lady take a break I can’t keep up, that’s all. On the good days I proceed with some caution as we all do but I’m learning to not be scared all the time im learning to just live and enjoy those good days as much as I can. Once more I faced a fear and somehow I came back stronger mentally. Yes it broke me and I never thought I was going to heal emotionally from being told you have a chronic illness. Somehow I have found hope again and I have found a different self love. I found a new respect for myself. Somehow my chronic illness is turning me in to a better version of myself. More compassionate towards myself and others. More understanding. More self aware. I hope this happens to you too if you’re feeling overwhelmed with fear and despair. That you realize that a chronic illness doesn’t have to completety define you and that somewhere deep down hope will always be there. That your own journey can be of inspiration and help to others. That’s powerful, there’s so much beauty in that. Oh yeah one more thing I’ve been meaning to work on. face that shark in the pool. Wish me luck!

3 people are talking about this
Nori Garcia

You Don't Know the Pain My Body Has Endured With Chronic Illness

Today, I got told by someone, “I wish I had your body.” So many thoughts came rushing to me, yet I had no words. So, it stayed with me, everything I should have said. Often we compare ourselves to others without knowing the whole truth. See, my body, a body that has undergone 13 surgeries due to bone cancer since the age of 12 to now 36. My body, the one with a total femur replacement and 16-inch scars on each side of my thigh. This body that is chronically ill and tired with lymphedema due to all those surgeries and years spent stuck in a bed till it could learn to walk again. This body that has to wear compression 24/7 to make sure it doesn’t swell. This body I have to move, yet rest at the same time so I don’t totally crash and burn and have to spend days in bed. This body that has to wear heels all the time, and yes, I look very stylish and hot, but it’s been a product of losing range of motion, so walking in flats is nearly impossible. So, others assume I’m just high maintenance and vain. This body that, at moments, is ridden with the worst of pains. Would you still want my body after knowing all this? Why do I share this, you may ask. I’ve had to learn to love the same body that feels like it’s constantly betraying me. I’ve had to come to terms with it and learn to worship it and be grateful because it got me here. This body that carries this mind and soul that keeps pushing me to dream and never allows myself to get to such a broken place that I cannot pull myself out of it. This body knows love and has experienced some of the most beautiful moments one could dream of. Next time you think you wish you had someone else’s body and you hate on your own, remember we never know what someone has truly lived or what they cover up because it’s the only armor they know. Take a moment to appreciate that body of yours. For it’s carried you to this moment. Because with all its flaws, it’s also so beautiful and incredible. Truly a work of art. After all, we are all perfectly imperfect. Bask in the glory of that.

Nori Garcia

You Don't Know the Pain My Body Has Endured With Chronic Illness

Today, I got told by someone, “I wish I had your body.” So many thoughts came rushing to me, yet I had no words. So, it stayed with me, everything I should have said. Often we compare ourselves to others without knowing the whole truth. See, my body, a body that has undergone 13 surgeries due to bone cancer since the age of 12 to now 36. My body, the one with a total femur replacement and 16-inch scars on each side of my thigh. This body that is chronically ill and tired with lymphedema due to all those surgeries and years spent stuck in a bed till it could learn to walk again. This body that has to wear compression 24/7 to make sure it doesn’t swell. This body I have to move, yet rest at the same time so I don’t totally crash and burn and have to spend days in bed. This body that has to wear heels all the time, and yes, I look very stylish and hot, but it’s been a product of losing range of motion, so walking in flats is nearly impossible. So, others assume I’m just high maintenance and vain. This body that, at moments, is ridden with the worst of pains. Would you still want my body after knowing all this? Why do I share this, you may ask. I’ve had to learn to love the same body that feels like it’s constantly betraying me. I’ve had to come to terms with it and learn to worship it and be grateful because it got me here. This body that carries this mind and soul that keeps pushing me to dream and never allows myself to get to such a broken place that I cannot pull myself out of it. This body knows love and has experienced some of the most beautiful moments one could dream of. Next time you think you wish you had someone else’s body and you hate on your own, remember we never know what someone has truly lived or what they cover up because it’s the only armor they know. Take a moment to appreciate that body of yours. For it’s carried you to this moment. Because with all its flaws, it’s also so beautiful and incredible. Truly a work of art. After all, we are all perfectly imperfect. Bask in the glory of that.

Community Voices

Fear

I’ve had to face many fears in my 36 years of existence. With a long list of irrational fears like not wanting to stay alone in a pool because I’m convinced there’s a shark at the deep end. Thats one of my more logical ones just so you get an idea. My biggest fear hit me a like a bulldozer four years ago with my lymphedema diagnosis. Let’s backtrack a bit with my history of fears. As a child I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 12. Had to face my crippling fear of needles, the fear of losing my hair imagine being a pre teen and they tell you your hair is about to fall out, facing death didn’t even sound as terrible. As a cancer survivor whatever that means because at times it still feels the battle will never be over.. As a survivor you feel like you’re always reaching for that title especially when complications arise. There’s always fear in the back of your mind. Not just you! anyone around you who was affected by it. Anyone who was there to experience the battle and help you pick up the pieces. There’s always fear. Somewhere in the back of your mind just lurking. Part of me grew rebellious part of me still the naive 12 year old girl really thought “hey I had cancer nothing bad can happen again”. Fast forward 4 years ago almost 20 years into remission and I get told I now have a chronic illness. A chronic illness due to the many surgeries I had to have. With cancer atleast there was hope to fight and to beat something. With a chronic illness it all seems useless since basically you become that dude from Greek Mithology pushing a boulder up a hill just to have it come down again and it just repeats itself. My biggest fear became a reality, my ultimate fear not the one about the shark in a pool but the one where something could break my spirit. It actually was happening. Well I cried for a little over a week straight my husband can vouch for me and I mean nonstop. I would fall asleep crying wake up crying the only time I would stop for a few minutes was to walk into my business greet my team and go straight to my office and cry. I didn’t even want to stay home because I was so scared of my own thoughts. Sunk into a depression which quite honestly took me two years to get out of. The day had come that something crushed my spirit in such a way. Not even cancer had done that. Let’s fast forward to today. Don’t want to bore you with the details. Let’s just say it hasn’t been cute or easy. Yes there’s the fear of your conditions progression and the future but I stopped thinking about that. I’ve made a conscious effort to just stick to one day at a time. That keeps me somewhat sane. So, now to the good part. See, not everything is terrible, in the midst of chaos and pain I was forced to get back in tune with myself. To actually have to take it day by day literally. To have to put my priorities in order and really listen to my body. Somehow I found the courage to want to fight again. This time on a daily basis, fight for the small glories. Somehow the hope that had been lost started to come back. I know there’s no cure but that’s not going to stop me to at least fight to make all the changes to make my condition a little more bearable. Yes there’s some fear of the flare ups but I’ve come to embrace those too. I don’t see it as weakness anymore it’s just my body saying hey lady take a break I can’t keep up, that’s all. On the good days I proceed with some caution as we all do but I’m learning to not be scared all the time im learning to just live and enjoy those good days as much as I can. Once more I faced a fear and somehow I came back stronger mentally. Yes it broke me and I never thought I was going to heal emotionally from being told you have a chronic illness. Somehow I have found hope again and I have found a different self love. I found a new respect for myself. Somehow my chronic illness is turning me in to a better version of myself. More compassionate towards myself and others. More understanding. More self aware. I hope this happens to you too if you’re feeling overwhelmed with fear and despair. That you realize that a chronic illness doesn’t have to completety define you and that somewhere deep down hope will always be there. That your own journey can be of inspiration and help to others. That’s powerful, there’s so much beauty in that. Oh yeah one more thing I’ve been meaning to work on. face that shark in the pool. Wish me luck!

3 people are talking about this