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Woman standing strong and tall with her hands on her hips weathering a storm

Strength…What’s That?

Sometimes, I have to remind myself exactly what is strength and why is it so important for our care and getting through the battles faced by so many. One thing I now get is that this thing called life was never guaranteed to be roses and dandelions, not for a second. Whether it was me fighting to get a foot in the cutthroat fashion industry being one of few African Americans handling production management and product development related concepts, well let’s just say I’ve faced a lot professionally and made it on top. So it wasn’t a surprise to be handed yet another feat in myeloma… why not? This thing called strength is deep-rooted and bred in me. What happens when your health is tackled? How does one get back up when thrown multiple pebbles to begin with, and now this?

Honey, it isn’t easy but it’s a must to pull it from your gut!

“I can’t” isn’t an option

We’re all different, but I must say if you aren’t going to do your due diligence, then don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. My mother would tell me, “Baby, you’re so strong. I wish I had that strength when I was your age.”  When diagnosed with multiple myeloma, I was thrown another bone and pebble and knew I wanted to live, as I had/have so much more to do. I may not get to do everything I have left or want to do, but by no means do I let this pest design my destiny. I’ve had to carry myeloma around for 10 years, 4 years in treatment and now in remission. What does that mean? It means I have things to do! I’ve lived with treatment…needles, leg spasms, lockjaw, sore stomach. Yet, I have done a lot of things that I wanted through the storm. It may have been rocky in the beginning, but the tears were wiped and I moved on. “I can’t do it” was not an option.

Finding a strong body and mind

If you don’t learn anything else from any of my posts, please capture this: I truly believe beating this and any blood cancer is about mind and body. You have to be mentally ready for this. The metamorphosis that our body goes through leads us through some really heavy revelations. It’s like heading for a super fast roller coaster ride without a seat harness. Will you fall off? Will you get your grip to pull yourself up? Can you hang on for dear life? Or do you just drop out of the corner of the seat? Don’t give up – pull yourself up and ride this out until the ride slows itself down.

Finding my inner superhero

I feel like a superhero weathering the storm of blood cancer. We are unique and we are some strong %#$ survivors. How do I know? I’ve lived it, living it and understand the struggle. I feel like a special superhero, you know the one that stops and takes out the bad cells. As we fight those pink and purple cells that are acting the fool, we cut through and take them out. Our kryptonite is a variety of medications, multiple levels in prognoses. The superhuman in us save the day, even when it gets doubtful in curbing the beast faced. Strength is capturing a little bit of mind Jedi tricks to keep at it in moving forward. Understand it takes all of you to get through these stages, not some of you… all of you. Not everyone is game to being a superhero, but wouldn’t it be nice if we all were. Take control of your story and pull out the strength that is warranted in you… like Prego, it’s in there!

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Daniel Malito moderator
    10 months ago

    @yolandabrunson-sarrabo You are a superhero. Yolandahero! 🙂 Pulling out strength is something I think we all become experts at with cancer. We learn how to manufacutre strength when we can’t. Great post as usual. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

  • Ann Harper moderator
    10 months ago

    I totally agree. Having strength is not an option for us.

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator author
    10 months ago

    @danielpmalito Thank you 🙂
    Yes, I agree if we didn’t think we had it before, it’s something like fighting for your life that brings us in another space of survivorship. Keep pushing Keep living Keep fighting! Best!

  • Ann Harper moderator
    10 months ago


  • Ann Harper moderator
    10 months ago

    Can’t is not an option. We have to find our inner strength and keep moving. I also agree that body and mind are important in our healing process.

    You have such a positive attitude. It’s no wonder you were able to beat this!

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator author
    10 months ago

    Thank you @annharper It’s not easy and each day is not a bed of smiles and roses, but somewhere in there we gotta check in on the positive vibe we have left. Thank you and Thank you!

  • bluchs
    10 months ago

    Yolanda WOW!
    I wish I had your strength?
    It appears you have overcome a lot, I guess most of us here have?
    I understand part of your struggle in life
    ( not the prejudice, or being a female in a mans world of course ) but to a point, that of the struggle to get ahead of the pack, and be a leader in your field, That I do understand, it is a Struggle. It sounds like you got there and you are still there.
    I can’t ???
    Wow I have actually thought this at times, but I always seem to forge ahead, and tell myself, do not give up, it is not over yet?
    Mind over Body, Perhaps??
    I lost all 4 of the figures on my right hand December 15th 1990, 2 were re attached,
    ( fused of course, no knuckles )
    I have been divorced 4 times.
    I have broken over 30 bones in my body.
    My house burned to the ground in December of 1997.
    In the housing crisis of 2008 and 2009, I lost about 300K in real estate investments ( who would have ever though that that would be possible? )
    But , I did get a grip and I did hold on.
    Superhero, You maybe, but not me.
    Just as I was about to retire, I only had a couple more years to go, it was all planed out.
    I Got Cancer and I lost everything.
    AGAIN !
    So now I just don’t know any more???
    If it were not for my son, and my X wife ( #2) my sons mom, I may not still be here
    Next to my religious faith, they are my rock in life.
    It is for them, that I continue to fight?
    I still have lots of hope, and I will continue to fight.
    But! integrity and grace, ( I am just not sure anymore?)
    A smile, when I like?? Sadly I rarely feel a smile coming on, it is more like fighting off the tears!
    But like You Yolanda.
    I am a survivor, no mater the reason???
    I am still here.
    I admire your courage, and I admire your wanting to help others in need.
    I wish I had your strength.
    May God Bless You, and all others fighting this disease.

    Now I live from SS Check to SS check

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator author
    10 months ago

    @bluchs all that you’ve been through and still thriving- believe me you have that same courage. It’s in there brother! Keep doing all that you do and that’s living day by day. What an impact your making! Best!

  • Ann Harper moderator
    10 months ago

    It sounds like you do have the strength. You’re not giving yourself credit. You’ve been through so much and overcame it all. Keep going forward – it only takes one step at a time.

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