OVERCOMER is a conversation that was birthed after one woman's battle with breast cancer. Denise uses her journey to reveal insights, uniquely gleaned not only with a life altering health diagnosis, but also in the midst of any life event that calls on the courage to bear one's soul, standing naked.
This writing is peppered with methods of overcoming certain cancerous situations that live beyond the clinical scope, provoking the reader to reflect and analyze their own lives.
OVERCOMER presents the opportunity to get uninterrupted wisdom page, by page, by page. I have the privilege to know Denise personally for years and I felt as if she was sitting next to me whispering in my ear. I've heard her say many of these words but it's more profound when you just have to read, absorb, and reflect. In Overcomer Denise gives us a window into her inner thoughts and feelings delivered in her own special way: truth with love and a whole lot of spice. I love you Denise and am blessed to call you sister friend.
- Zundra Bryant
"OVERCOMER is a reminder to live now, love harder and use God's gifts to inspire others ... strength comes from the smallest places. Thank you for reminding me to get out of my comfort zone and live now.
- D. T. Williams
"OVERCOMER is like that really good chocolate. It's smooth and to be savored.
- D. P. Jones
"I loved it. A myriad of emotions. Moved to action. Thought provoking! I'm glad you inserted The Assignment." - M. Wilson
Words come to my head and slip through my fingers with the ease of breathing, but this writing has been complicated. To be away from daily distractions and to complete this project, I left for another city and checked into a hotel room. Behind “Do Not Disturb” doors I sat in silence wanting to understand the “why” behind this book.
I realized I was trying to write the book that everyone expected: one strictly about cancer and positivity - a combination that struggles with being an oxymoron. Most certainly the outcome of any challenging situation can be positive, but this was cancer, not me simply being denied a job opportunity.
I get it. As an inspirational speaker, most who have spent time with me think I can put positive context to nearly any situation. Everyone who knows me knows I am not a spin master. After all, as tired as I am of the phrase, "It is what it is," it really is what it is.
Before going to print I asked for one more reader. Tonya, yes! Afterward, she recommended I share a bit more to help someone new to “Denise’s world” get it. I listened and took her insight to heart.
So, who is this for? For anyone who understands that cancer can be more than in a medically diagnosed place in your body.
Cancer served as a great teacher and I believe what has been shared can be of value. I have demystified how life looks for me. I encourage you to not linger too long on my words but use them as a guide to examine your own lives.
How do you read this book? First, I have approached this work as I do a sales presentation: tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.
Next the only thing that makes OVERCOMER a ‘book’ is the glue that connects the front and back covers. OVERCOMER has two distinct sections. The first is the telling of my breast cancer journey. At times, it might appear that I am struggling with sharing, and that is true. I could pretty it up, but how would that allow you to understand my experience? How would it help someone who is battling for their life to be okay with an array of emotions? I have shared my story with many people; the book is simply a condensed presentation of understanding.
The second section are revelations that appeared during or after my treatment period. I was self-employed and had the ability to rest, sleep and simply be. Note that the only time the body heals is when you are asleep. When I was alone there were several ‘topics’ that crossed my mind and escorted me to wanting to understand more of me. In that, I share my thoughts about … a lot!
“This Book” reflects every emotion I experienced. Some stories while short were very painful to revisit and difficult to put into understandable language. If you can accept that this is a journey of contradiction, you might find it more useful. You might find it curious that for several years I have struggled with connecting words and thoughts. Would you believe that I gave consideration to having my own name tattooed on my arm as at times, ‘Denise’ eluded me? I do not have a ‘this is how this goes’ roadmap - as everyone reacts or responds differently.
I am hopeful this will remove some of the confusion when I openly share that this experience has left me bruised. We love flowers, just not the dirt that is needed for them to grow.
You might find it easier to understand that I found it hard to believe that in the middle of my well thought out plans, life would throw me a curve ball and force me to at least swing at it, and redirect.
It was hard to accept that everyone in my tribe was not equipped for the journey. I am annoyed to think that folk who didn’t witness my struggle that now see me standing strong, might deem this illness a little affliction. Perhaps you might not find it so hard to accept that everything that happens in our life is not about ourselves, and every shared experience can be heard through different voices. Maybe you will understand why I am disturbed that a breast cancer diagnosis suddenly became the core of my identity as if life didn't exist prior to its announcement. You would not believe that people said and continue to say the most thoughtless things because they are afraid of silence and space. Maybe this reading will help you understand that some of my closest connections disappeared, seemingly overnight.
Now, you might understand why I don’t let everyone touch me, as to protect my energy. Perhaps this will help you understand my intolerance if you add stress to my life after I have shared the two mandates from my oncologist to minimize the chances of a reoccurrence. Maybe you will be okay with the amazement that, in the midst of my trials, God still blesses me in meteor-shower abundance. Note to you: God is no respecter of person. What He did and does for me He can and will do for you.
See, I pondered how to satisfy the desires of the reader and concluded I simply needed to connect the common threads -character introduction, conflict and resolution.
It is with great intention and responsibility that I share the lessons of breast cancer and potentially cancerous situations … with truth through MY lens.