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Finding Strength in a Self-Search

By Phylecia Bare

We are desperate to find help, support and tools to arm ourselves to manage life’s disruptions. There are so many sources and avenues at our disposal today we often miss the most obvious one, ourselves. “Hey Siri, find all of the life experiences that have prepared me to get though breast cancer.” While Siri can’t do that (yet); when I conducted my own self search, it turned up an experience that fortified my ability to get through the biggest surgery of my life.

My search brought up the childhood experiences I had with my mother’s battle with Crohns Disease. I hated the trips to the hospital, the smells, the tubes, the mysterious equipment and uncomfortable chairs. I fast forward to facing my slew of doctor visits, surgery and hospital stays. I discover a bizarre feeling of familiarity and comfort in the sights, sounds and smells of the doctor’s offices and hospital rooms. I had been there and knew what to expect. It enabled be to relax a bit and focus on my care plans. And then, 24 hours before my bi-laterial mastectomy wrought with a depth fear and anxiety I can’t describe; miraculously, the memories started flow. Mom had over a half dozen major surgeries. “I can do this”, she would say with a wink and a smile.  Yep, buck up girl. This is one surgery, ONE.  My time spent in hospitals and experiencing all those major surgeries with my mom didn’t make sense at the time.  They sure do now. Discovering the strength found in searching for, finding and using my early life experiences empowered me to move through treatment with confidence and reassurance that I too can do this.


Phylecia Bare is the founder of Spuron Consulting.