The world needs voices that highlight hope in the hard times. That shine light in the darkness and show love when love is that last thing in our minds that makes sense.
"Bear Necessities" was born out of this subtle search for hope. I knew there was something working inside me that I wanted to share with the world, however, I also knew it couldn't be rushed and would happen when it needed to. As I was painting my second bear painting the jungle book song Bare necessities came into my head and the light bulb went on. That was it, that was the moment I realized that's where my voice was heading. Pulling together this hope in finding out what our own bare necessities are in life.
The First Story I'd like to share is of this beautiful momma who went through finding out she had stage two breast cancer.
"...Up until that point I was a carefree mom of three beautiful babies and married to the most awesome, handsome, loving and caring husband."
I believe Laurens story can be related to by so many people. My hope in sharing this is to let people know they aren't alone. To let the ones around them love them and most of all to always appreciate the good in your life. Your loved ones, Your "Bear Necessities"
"Hi! My name is Lauren and I was diagnosed in 2019 at the age of 29 with stage two breast cancer. Up until that point I was a carefree mom of three beautiful babies and married to the most awesome, handsome, loving and caring husband. I still have all of that but now I carry around scars, both physical and emotional. I had absolutely no symptoms whatsoever but decided to go to my OBGYN for an exam because my grandma was diagnosed with a form of female cancer too, so I wanted to let my midwife know so it could be on my records. My sweet awesome grandma ultimately ended up saving my life.
My midwife found a lump but assured me it was nothing but she wanted me to get a mammogram just to be cautious. Thank God she did. I pushed it off for weeks and didn't even tell anyone that I was going. I didn't want them to worry. I knew though before I even left the office that I had cancer, I was at the appointment way too long to not have it.
I got the official call about a week later that I in fact did have cancer. It was a Thursday and I was cooking dinner for my in-laws, I don't think I will ever forget it. Tears are streaming down my face just thinking about it. All I could think about was my babies. At the time they were 1, 3, and 5. I thought I'm going to die and they aren't even going to remember me ,their mom, who wants nothing more than to spend her life with them.
When I was growing up if you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would tell you a mom, and now here I am a stay at home mom and I thought it was about to get snatched from me. I thought you get diagnosed with cancer and you don't have many options so you just die. I started taking more pictures so they could remember what I looked like and taking videos so they could hear my voice. I was terrified to lose them. The cancer didn't scare me but the thought of not watching them grow up made me want to throw up. Sorry not trying to be all gloom and doom just honest.BUT good news...I am exactly a year and a half out from diagnosis as of today and am doing and feeling SO much better. Those first few weeks are so overwhelming! You get so much information, you get asked so many questions by doctors and people in your life wanting to know answers,and then you have so many additional appointments in addition to your oncologist. It is just A LOT! I was diagnosed at the end of May and had a double mastectomy by June 24, then started chemo at the beginning of August. Something I wish I would have known was that it's going to be ok. Sure have your sad days but don't write yourself off. Feel those bad days but then brush them off and fight for you and your life.
I have had so many good moments because of cancer. It has truly given me the best perspective on life. I had so many people show up and love on me, bring my family meals, clean my house, help pay doctors bills and so much more.You learn to truly never take things for granted, and that people are so kind. My life is not how I imagined it would be but it is great! You can have an awesome life after and even during cancer. I saw this quote that I love... Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you."
WOW- can we all just give her a virtual hug right now.
In a season of facing death you found life. In facing fear you found courage and in facing aloneness you were surrounded. Surrounded by Gods love and your faith that he is good. By your family who supported you and held you up and by your friends and community who wanted to bless you.
Thank you for sharing a part of your story with us and thank you for spreading hope in this world.