This is my birthday week (And Faye’s is next week) and every year I use this time to reflect on my accomplishments, failures, friendships, aspirations and most importantly my family. I am a complex person who have been through many trials and tribulations from a very early age. I have never used it as an excuse but rather a driving force in my life. I treasure my roots and I think I was very blessed to have had such great parents (even though growing up, many days I didn’t think so). Parents who spent the time to show me core values and the appreciation for integrity and love of Belize. I was a well traveled child and was very culturally exposed. My mother and father struggled many days and sacrificed a lot to give us the things they did not have. My parents are responsible for me being the confident, intelligent woman I am today.
This year I will be 38 years old and I decided to do a full health check up before my birthday. At this age my favorite aunt was battling breast cancer, a battle she eventually lost. This year I decided to follow the advice of my husband, my doctors and one of my aunt’s best friends (who is also a doctor), urging me to get my mammogram because of my strong family history with the disease. It has been a test I dreaded all my life and pretty much ignored for many years because of the fear of the results. However, after seeing the struggles of our first lady, who is also battling cancer,and who in many ways remind me of my aunt- young, beautiful, ambitious and smart, and knowing I am reaching that critical age, I decided to take the step and do the mammogram and ultra sound of my breasts.
After my mammogram, my doctor called me to tell me that they saw something suspicious and would require more testing and a biopsy. I did not know how to react or if I should react. As a person who tend not to panic, my first thought was my children and how such a diagnosis would affect my family. I try to envision who I would want in my children’s life and even gave my hubby the list with the type of women I would approve of when I met my fate. My husband was not amused. In fact, he seemed more distraught than I was. I said a silent prayer and went to the specialist and did the biopsy. During the process I met a nurse who was a ten year survivor of breast cancer. She was very supportive and made me feel extremely comfortable during the process. The diagnosis. No cancer. It was relieving to hear the news, but I realize with my family history, it is a diagnosis that is only good for a year. However, it allowed me to take one of the scariest steps in my life. I urge people to find out your status when it comes to any disease that could save your life with early detection. Face your fears and overcome them.
On a different note, it has been four months since Faye and I have been writing our blog. We have had people who encourage us to continue expressing our opinions and highlighting the issues. Conversely, we have also encountered those who want us to shut up. They have been insulting and rude. I am sometimes taken aback at the personal and mean nature of the criticism, but I guess we should expect it when we put our writing in the public arena.
I am a confident person. I don’t write my blog to make friends or enemies, but rather to spark discussions about Belize that need to be said or heard. Someone sent me a private message to share that some people in one forum really don’t like me…I really don’t care. People fail to realize that we should be in a forum to have discussions about issues and ideas, not personalities. I don’t care that some political proponent or someone who plays absolutely no role in my life, thinks about me. They are entitled to their opinions even when riddled with hate and immaturity. My life decisions and accomplishments have nothing to do with the opinions of such people.
As I complete my 38th year of life, I realize there is so much I want to do and contribute. I will continue to advocate for change and advocate for a better Belize. We must realize that no one in life is all good or all bad. We have differing opinions in life and we all come from different backgrounds. That is what makes democracy rich and Belize culture so beautiful and diverse. . It is important as a country that we continue to advance the ideas of all those who are willing to contribute. We should discourage pettiness, hate and jealously that infect our souls. As strong as my opinions are on an issue, I will never hate or disrespect someone because of it. I am vigorous in defending my position. If people cannot engage in healthy debate and need to shut out differing opinions, maybe they are part of the problem why we cant move our country forward. In everything we do in life, Respect!
This blog has been very enriching and I am happy that I decided to write with my friend Faye. I also want to thank those who continue to support us. Please continue reading and commenting. Your input is very important. We all want the same things in life, regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, race, ethnicty or political persuasion. We all want the freedom of personal choices, success of our families, peace of mind, a safe, free and enriching life.