How Strong Are Your Relationships?

Hello lovelies!  It is February the season of love, the season of cupid, chocolate, flowers, gifts, couples going gaga on how to make the month all memorable. February is an interesting month for me.  This time two years ago, I received the occupancy permit to start TamBo’s Kitchen. The joy of my dream coming true was almost short-lived with a breast cancer diagnosis. I always tell folks cupid shot me the cancer arrow. The memories are still fresh and vivid. I can still remember the stuffiness in the room when the radiologist asked if there was a family history of breast cancer. 2017 was quite a year. Relationships were tested at every level.

The diagnosis tested my relationship with God and my faith in Christ.  Everything I thought I knew about Christianity, its doctrines and life in Christ was passed through the furnace of adversity. I had to learn faith, trust, healing, all over. Certain scriptures became more real. Faith failure was real. Also real was God’s unending, unfailing and unconditional love.

Breast cancer tested my marriage. It shook my relationship with my husband.  There were moments of friction. As I look back and reflect, I realize that some of his actions were his coping mechanisms. He later confessed that he thought I was going to die. Hubby went on a house renovation spree. There were moments when he shut down and kept to himself.  There were times we bumped heads because he felt I was over questioning the modus operandi of care I received at the hospital. I can be a bit passionate when I advocate for myself 🙂 . Through the storm, we have learnt that life is too short to be vexed with each other. I believe our marriage came out stronger. It is not perfect, but it is growing in purpose, unity and love.

Breast cancer tested my relationship with my extended family. Please allow me to toot my horn about my parents, my mother in love, my siblings, my sisters in love and the association of Adewumi wives. I could not have married into a better family. A prayer chain was formed on my behalf that I did not know.  My parents went papa and mama bear mode like I had never seen in my life, funneling every resource at their disposal to ensure my comfort.

My relationship with my church family was also tested.  I could not have asked for a better church family. I was pampered like a baby. It was such overwhelming love. They women in my parish just took responsibility for some light house work, school transportation for the children, getting me nutritious meals, the list was endless!

Breast cancer tested my relationship with friends. Hmm… friends…. Some graduated to sisters and brothers, others fell off the cliff. I was blessed with more mother and father figures because of their daily prayers, moral and spiritual support.  Adversity seems to bring the best and worst in people.  Some folks just did not know how to act or react to the situation. Some avoided me totally like I was carrying a contagious plague. It was interesting.

What am I saying? A cancer diagnosis will test the relationships you hold dear at ALL levels. Some will be made stronger, some will crumble. As you go about celebrating life and love this month, ask yourself how deep and meaningful are your relationships. They will be tested. It may not take cancer but they will surely be tested.

If you are going through treatment for breast cancer or any other form of cancer, do not be angry if certain relationships turn sour. It is a testing and trying time for your loved ones just as much as it is for you.  They might not carry the cancer in their body but they are also going through fear, the highs and lows that come with the disease. Cherish every help you get from unusual sources. Yes, it is usually the unusual sources that compensate for the trusted avenues.  It is not for you to determine where help and show of care will come. Receive it as it comes from the most peculiar places.

I wish you all a happy Valentine ’s Day. Celebrate on my behalf!