“We don’t find strength. Strength finds us.”

If I even hear of someone being sick, my legs get weak, I cringe. When I witness someone suffering in pain, the same. I sweat, tense up, feel lightheaded.

As an empath, the thought of being in the shoes of the suffering terrified me. Even though I could already feel some of the anguish, it wasn’t mine.

Especially when it came to super scary things like cancer and heart disease. I would think, “God. Thank God that’s not me. I don’t know what I would do? I’d probably kill myself!”

Alas, however, here I am. Tomorrow will be two weeks since the mass was discovered. A large (six inches in diameter) mass on my right ovary. The scans and blood work all show an 80% probability of cancer, and major surgery will take place tomorrow.

They will begin by making a small incision above my belly button, and take a peek into my abdomen using a tiny camera. If there’s too much disease present, they will stop the surgery and start radiation immediately, in hopes of shrinking the mass for surgery at a later date.

If things don’t look too bad, they will proceed by making an incision from the top of my belly button down to my pubic bone (so long, sexy tummy!). Once there, they will remove the mass and pass it to the pathologist, who will have twenty minutes to “call it.” They don’t over call, so if the inital judgement is no cancer, but then cancer is found during the complete biopsy, they will have to go back in.

If the judgement is that cancer is present, the surgery will proceed. A total hysterectomy will be performed, my lymph nodes will be removed, as will the omentum (sheath covering the intestines) and peritoneaL washings. A port will be implanted through which chemotherapy treatment will be administered the next day.

As friends and family members cry at this horrible news, I feel calm and optimistic. They, and I, shocked by my strength, I had to take a minute to refelct on where exatly it came from.

Strength is the calm and peaceful energy we experience as we anticipate something really scary that is about to take place. It is an ease of the mind, the knowing that all is going to be ok.

Examining strength as something we need to find puts a lot of pressure on our fragile human souls. Yet, acknowledging strength as something that finds us when necessary, now that makes all the difference.

Strength finds us, especially when we have a strong faith. It finds us if we’ve paid attention to our spiritual selves, if we’ve observed the ways of the world and made an effort to understand them.

Strength comes in many forms, but the best, in my opinion, is peace of mind and a positive attitude.

So, please rest easy in knowing that — no matter what obstacles you may need to face tomorrow— strength will find you. And you will never be the same again.