May 22, 2018 KimHarms 4Comment

I was 40 and already had a head of prematurely gray hair (I hide it well) when Dr. Testroet called with the crappy cancer news, but the following words from Jen Wilkin’s 27-year-old experience ring true inside of me. Once you hear a cancer diagnosis, you can’t unhear it. Even with successful treatment, it changes the way you number your days. I had been given an opportunity not many 27-year-olds could claim: the opportunity to count each of my days as precious. Any illusions I might have had that this life would last forever were effectively removed. I learned a…

May 8, 2018 KimHarms

  Books are kind of my thing. I’m reading three of them right now. One is a gift I’m giving to a friend (I’m reading it first. Shhh…don’t tell), One is a spiritual growth kind of book and one is just a sitting on the deck reading for fun book. Over the past couple of years, I’ve added a few cancer books into my reading repertoire. Of those books, Warrior in Pink, grabbed me and took me right back to the beginning of my own cancer story. Author Vivian Mabuni and I have much different experiences. Her breast cancer had…

April 24, 2018 KimHarms 2Comment

I have no idea how it works. I’m a mediocre singer. I took piano lessons for five years and the only thing I can play is the first several measures of Could’ve Been by Tiffany. But somehow, when God created music, He made a salve for the human soul. My 10-year-old sings himself to sleep each night. His sweet sweet voice is a daily reminder of beauty from ashes. Of a miscarriage and many months of grieving and waiting followed by the gift of Lewis. My little man has no idea, but his voice is a soul-soothing touch from my…

October 31, 2017 KimHarms 1Comment

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. Amber and I had a sleepover when I was in Chicago for a writer’s conference this summer. 🙂 Amber and I grew up together. She’s my cousin and lived just two blocks away…

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…

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 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…

November 3, 2016 KimHarms 3Comment

Just before my exchange surgery in July, I posted 6 things I planned to do with my post cancer-invasion self. So here I am to brag that I’ve accomplished all but one 🙂 (Backpacking requires some wilderness and a trail, both of which Central Iowa is a little short on, so that one’s gonna have to wait.) SLEEP I am a lover of sleep. I’m neither a night owl, nor an early bird. I’ve always been the girl who could happily go to bed at 10 and sleep until 9 given the opportunity. But things changed in January when that darn tumor freaked…