I was reminded of the word “scarface” and then I giggled and immediately wrote this on my Facebook wall:
And then my Malaysian friend, YL shared with me something Keisha wrote about dealing with NF2 and surgery scars, this was from her last public speech before she passed away in 2014 and here it is:
"I have a genetic condition called NF2. Basically, tumors grow throughout my nervous system, and every time I have sought treatment, I come out of the operating room with a new scar - a souvenir to remind me of a hard-fought battle for survival.
I do not see reason to consider these scars a disfigurement of my body. Rather, I choose to see them a testament of how trials and adversity can unite the human spirit. Out of tragedy, my family, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, caregivers and friends have united time and again to shine forth with the ultimate good within humankind. This is the story behind each and every scar on my body - of a unity of care and love turning tragedy into triumph.
In overcoming danger and earning the scars, I have found true strength, true character true faith and true love."
—Keisha Petrus (1989-2014)
Though I wasn’t able to meet Keisha when she was still alive, it's like I already did and I’m so inspired by her. Thanks to YL that I got to read her previous writings.
“My duels with NF2 have left me scarred, wheelchair bound and deaf! As bleak as that sounds, my life doesn’t revolve around the hospital. I have never let NF2 stop me from living my life. To the contrary, I have allowed my condition to provide me opportunities to broaden my horizons, challenge my faith and test my character. So instead of wallowing in self-pity, I embrace adversity to bring out the best in me and overcome the obstacles in my life. Thanks to my condition, I’ve been able to experience the world in a way few people get to see. The fragility of life inspires me to live to the fullest."
— Keisha Petrus (1989-2014)
It’s so amazing that we have the same outlook in life. WOW. WOW. WOW.
While I was about to write this blog post, YL commented on the status that I posted in Facebook with Keisha’s peice.
Maybe, God eavesdropped on what I was thinking again and HE learned about the topic I’m planning to write & asked Keisha to whisper to YL for him to share that certain writing / speech that she wrote back in April 2014 that I posted above.
I also love this poem written by Keisha:
I Am Wearin' My Skin
Poem by Keisha Petrus
My message stands tall with pride and grace,
My words in good time shall be like wind,
Brace yourself dear friend, let the breeze propel you,
Trust in my mission, and you will be free to live life’s embrace.
I once was swayed by aesthetic charm,
Beautiful hair, beautiful eyes, beautiful body,
I sweat, I sought, I fought,
To no avail did I reach my Envy.
Lost a few pounds, strapped on my heels,
No more laughter, no more tears.
But my heart knew better, I lacked content,
I yearned, I cried, I prayed for something more than this.
My pleas were answered, my life put in perspective,
Those blossoming belles bore nothing,
Instead engrossed in hopeless insecurity, indeed highly defective,
A hidden image behind a mirror, a roamer’s reflection.
Loving myself is more important than ridding my blemishes,
As women come in many shapes and sizes.
I spend my time now in helping others,
I am wearin’ my skin, no more empty and foolish disguises.