October 19, 2017 KimHarms 3Comment

 I seldom fear cancer will come back. I’ve read the stats, and I know that because I found my tumor early, my chances of another bout with it are very slim. And aside from the fact that I tend to write about cancerish things a lot, it’s a rare day that cancer thoughts overwhelm me. But every once in a while I’m caught completely off guard by deep despairing sadness or unrelenting unsubstantiated fear. Monday was one of those days.   I found myself baking (what? I don’t  bake) and dripping tears in the cookie dough while Tim McGraw sang…

October 17, 2017 KimHarms

Welcome to Breast Reconstruction Thoughts where I feature women who have undergone a single or bilateral mastectomy. Most have also had breast reconstruction, but some have not. Some entered this world through cancer, others due to testing positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation which highly increases their chances of a future cancer diagnosis. I hope their words bring insight and encouragement. Tamara Becker Tamara is my mom’s cousin. I grew up playing Cabbage Patch Dolls with her younger sister, Heather, out at their farmhouse. She is the first person I ever knew to be…

October 12, 2017 KimHarms 5Comment

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and guest blogger Dee Dee Parker graciously accepted my invitation to write a tribute to her daughter Brooke. Brooke touched many lives during her long breast cancer battle and Dee Dee tells her story beautifully. Brooke Walker Along with the beautiful hued leaves of bright crimson, butterscotch, and chestnut, October brings on its crisp air, a flurry of pink. Magazines are full of heart-warming stories of cancer survivors. Shops along village and city streets are displaying merchandise adorned with the familiar pink ribbon. It is breast cancer awareness month. My…

October 10, 2017 KimHarms 4Comment

Welcome to Breast Reconstruction Thoughts at Life Reconstructed. Each Tuesday this fall, I am featuring a woman who has undergone a single or bilateral mastectomy. Most have also had breast reconstruction, but some have not. Some entered this world through cancer, others due to testing positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation which highly increases their chances of a future cancer diagnosis. I hope their words bring insight and encouragement. I have not met Kerry in person, but once you’ve gone through breast reconstruction, you feel a certain connection to others who’ve experienced the same thing. I’m thankful she…

October 2, 2017 KimHarms 4Comment

Welcome to Breast Reconstruction Thoughts at Life Reconstructed. Each Tuesday this fall, I am featuring a woman who has undergone a single or bilateral mastectomy. Most have also had breast reconstruction, but some have not. Some entered this world through cancer, others due to testing positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation which highly increases their chances of a future cancer diagnosis. I hope their words bring insight and encouragement. Rachel was one of my closest college friends, and we’ve stayed friends for 20+ years. When I met her, her mom was dying of breast cancer. She later found…

September 29, 2017 KimHarms 2Comment

Photo Courtesy of Raub Photography After I was diagnosed with breast cancer, food started landing on my doorstep. Lots of food. Sometimes there was a person at the other end of the casserole and sometimes the meals just magically appeared in the big blue cooler outside the front door. My family appreciated it all. (Even if some of it pushed the boundaries of our boring Harms tastebuds.) One of the first meals we received came from a group of high school girls from our church. Just a week or so after my diagnosis, these lovely girls…

September 16, 2017 KimHarms

I’m talking about cancer and water and sinking and faith strengthened by a stormy sea at inspireafire.com today. You can start reading here and follow the link at the bottom to the rest of the story.   When you pass through the waters I will be with you. Isaiah 43:2 The image of water was a big deal to me during my cancer year. The power. The tranquility. The danger. The beauty. Cancer was my water. Fear-inspiring, yet fused with the beautiful. So hard, yet covered by a peace I cannot explain. The water was rough, but Jesus was constant….

September 8, 2017 KimHarms 6Comment

Look what I found in the big wide world of the Internet while doing a little writing research – my story on author Shirley Corder’s website. I remember when she requested my cancer story for her Testimony page, but I don’t remember ever seeing it after if was published. What a fun little surprise. Things like this make my heart happy. It’s a boost of encouragement from God through my computer screen. He’s like – Hey Kim, I know that sometimes you think you’re losing your mind with this whole writing thing and that you should give up and  apply…

September 5, 2017 KimHarms 6Comment

We live a construction life over here at the Harms house. I’ve been watching my man build amazing things for two decades. But I never imagined there would be a point in my life when a piece of me would have to be physically reconstructed. That at age 40 my chest would literally be taken apart and put back together. During that process of physical breast reconstruction, non-physical parts of my life were reconstructed as well. Pieces of my marriage were taken apart and reconstructed. Pieces of my thought life were taken apart and reconstructed. Pieces of my self-esteem were…

July 24, 2017 KimHarms 4Comment

I posted the following statement on July 18, 2016. We cancelled our plans for a family backpacking trip to Colorado this summer because a backpack and chest expanders are a bad combination. (Just wearing a seat belt across my chest right now about drives me batty.) Next summer the Harms family will be climbing some mountains. On July 11, 2017 we climbed a mountain. Well, kind of. We climbed most of the way up a mountain in Byers Peak Wilderness in Colorado. We camped by Horseshoe Lake 11,200 feet above sea level where we were secluded from the world (except…