Ramela is not just a Personal Hero, but she is a survivor and a warrior! She embodies strength and determination all while being an inspiration to others. Her journey is one that she has been able to use to empower other women while learning about what really is important in life!
In May of 2013, Ramela heard those words than no woman wants to hear from their doctor, "you have breast cancer." She began aggressive treatment and as a way to work through her emotions and also to keep her friends and family informed, she started a journal. Throughout her updates she discusses meetings with doctors, her decided course of action and constantly thanks all of those that are joining arms and fighting this battle with her. The most amazing part of her journal, however, is that although she was facing fear, uncertainty and sadness; she continued to be a light to others. One June entry she writes:
I want to encourage YOU to decide on just one small step you intend to take in the next 30 days to honor your health. Maybe it’s a habit you are going to start, change, or modify. I would be SO encouraged to hear of what your small step will be.
Such an amazing woman!
It is abundantly obvious through her writing that Ramela was not going to let cancer define her. She was going to fight it head on while embracing life and enjoying every day to her fullest. She is a dedicated mother and was adamant that her girls felt safe during her treatment and were able to continue on with as normal a life as possible. During the darkest of moments, she attributes her faith as the source and foundation of her strength. She found strength in the promise "that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
Then on the November 4th entry, the most glorious news! Ramela writes,
I write to you today no longer as a cancer patient, but a survivor!
After 6 months of ups and downs, Ramela could now proudly announce that she had won the battle. But her journey did not stop there. Ramela was determined to continue and support others through her story. She gratefully accepts any opportunity to share her journey with others in the hopes that she can use these challenging 6 months to encourage others that they are also warriors and can fight the battle.
At the Bliss Habit in California, Ramela shared with a room full of women what she has learned from her journey. It's just too beautiful not to share so I will let Ramela tell you in her own words...
- I now live with a keener awareness of the fragility and beauty of life, and the powerful conviction that our lives are meant to impact those of others in meaningful ways. (And what a wonderful feeling connecting with other women at Bliss who were similarly on a mission to change lives!)
- I see the extraordinary in the ordinary. For example, rush hour mornings getting the kids ready for school are now seen as privileged moments where I get to prepare my girls to welcome and embrace the day’s opportunities.
- I realize that though I can’t control my circumstances, I certainly have power over how I respond to them.
- “I love being alive” is a phrase I’ve repeated to myself often. I live each day knowing that it truly IS a gift.
- I’m choose-y (my word ☺) about how I spend my time. It’s no longer about filling up my calendar with endless activities but rather, about selectively choosing those that nurture my soul and my relationships.
- I have run back into the arms of nature for its healing properties. The beach reminds me of God’s immense love for me, the mountains show me His great power, and the sun warms me with His tender affection.
- I have become aware of the power of my thoughts and their ability to determine the direction of my day. Thanks to many of the Bliss exercises, I’ve been working through replacing the unproductive thoughts with those that are actually life-enhancing.
As we close out Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is my honor to be able to share the story of Ramela Abbamontian. As I do every month, I created a themed bracelet around the charity that I was highlighting. This month I was so empowered creating the Warrior Gratitude Bracelet because I feel it speaks to so many of us women. For the charity contribution I have been donating one of these bracelets to a warrior with breast cancer/survivor for each one sold. It has been so touching to be a part of sharing these bracelets with these most amazing women!
Although October is coming to an end, let's not forget all of the warriors that continue to fight this battle! Whether it is cancer or any other life challenge, as women we need to lock arms with each other and love our sisters through the battle.
Ramela is a warrior! You are a warrior!