Dear Self …

Dear self,

I cried for you-
I held you close.
I felt your spirit tremble.
I was sorry for everything
You were up against-
But I also knew
It wasn’t anything
You couldn’t handle…

Breast Cancer came
And stripped me
Of my identity.

I’d be lying if I said
I wasn’t struggling-
Mentally.

I am still reeling
From all I went through
Physically…

And still healing
From the cancer aftermath
Intricacies.
It’s tricky.

There’s just so much
I feel like
I have lost from this…

And yet, in the same breath,
I’m incredibly grateful
To everyone who was there
And got me through it…

But I’m grieving
Everything I used to be-
Half of my self-image
Was ripped from me.

My beautiful hair
Came out in clumps.
My eyelashes disappeared.
And the most feminine parts
Of me were stripped away.
It’s hard to feel like yourself again when Everything has changed.

My hair is growing back in,
Ever so slowly,
But strangely.
When I look
In the mirror now,
I hardly recognize the person
Standing in front of me.

I look deeply into the eyes
Staring back at me-
The same eyes
I have looked into,
And out from
My entire life…

And I see so much sadness
In that little girl,
My inner child,
Hidden away
Behind those walls
Deep down inside of me.

I want her to know
That I’m so proud
Of everything
She’s overcome.
I want her to know-
She’s beautiful
No matter what
This life has done.

And even if
She no longer
Sees it within herself,
She has way too much
Life left to live
To put herself
Up on that shelf.

I want her to keep fighting
And growing-
Through her own inner turmoil-
I want her to know that
Some of life’s most beautiful
Things sprout up from
A single seed and lots of soil.

I want her to stop building
A fortress to keep the world out-
Instead, I want her to feel and pour
Her beautiful broken heart out.

I want her spirit to soften
Instead of growing bitter.
I want her to feel loved
In spite of her scars and her flaws-
For they will only make her better.

I want her to feel powerful
In spite of her weakest moments.
And I want her to
Spread her wings and fly again…
And release
All the pain she tends
To hide the closest.

I want her to see and feel
The magic of this world again.
And I want her to know
That this battle
Isn’t where her precious life ends…
It’s where her beautful
New chapter begins…

– Tanielle Childers ©️ 4.24.23

The Cancer Aftermath

Breast Cancer
Kicked me down-
From diagnosis
To doctors appointments,
To consultations-
And further testing.
From big surgeries
To healing and resting-
And then, just when
I was feeling strong again,
It kicked me back down-
And I laid lifeless
After my very last
Chemo round…
And when I thought
The worst was over,
It blindsided me,
And knocked me further-
Down to the ground…
And God brought me
To my knees.
Reaching for me.
Holding me,
And humbly
Reminding me
Of all the healing
I have left to do.
The emotions
That have pooled-
Of all that has happened.
I must now-
Begin to work thru.
My cancer days are
Behind me-
But in front of me
Lies a heavy blanket of grief-
The cancer aftermath-
The emotional rollercoaster.
The forever hangover,
And the reminders
That there are no do-overs.
The loss of what I once was-
Before cancer took
Those parts of me.
And the new reality
Of what now is…
The new ‘survivor’ me.
The traumas,
And inside wounds
I must now tend to.
My broken heart-
Just doesn’t hold
The same magic it used to.
My recovery is far from over.
There’s no end game.
No end date.
But the cancer is gone,
And life should be great.
Except that it’s not.
And that makes me
Feel guilty-
More times than not.
The future feels
Haunting,
Overwhelming,
And daunting.
It feels defeating,
Sorrowful,
And sad.
I feel angry,
And in moments-
Stark raving mad.
It’s hard to wrap
My head around-
The magnitude
Of all I’ve been through.
And no one around me
Understands the depth
Of anything I’m feeling
Or going through.
I’m just back to living
As if everything
I just went through
Wasn’t anything.
Except that it was…
And the sadness,
And mood swings,
And feelings
Are horribly isolating,
And deeply
Heartbreaking.
But I’m still here
Doing my best.
Reminding myself daily
That I’m blessed.
Because I am.
But underneath it all-
I’m still struggling.
More than I care to admit.
My life has forever changed
And I’m not convinced
That I’m better for it
Yet.

~Tanielle Childers ©️ 11.27.22

Leaning in to Change

A soft, gentle breeze
Rustles the crackling leaves
From the surrounding trees.
They sway back and forth
Gliding across the blue sky,
Dancing ever so lightly-
On the wings
Of the cooler Autumn air-
Making their journey
Back down to earth.
This is a season
Of transformation.
A time of letting go,
And for some –
A time of rebirth.
The closing of a window,
Another chapter.
The shadows of summer
Fading-
Faster and faster.
Warmer days
Drifting away,
And cooler temperatures
Greeting us at sunrise,
The brisk autumn air
Beginning to freeze
Under the twinkling night sky.
The time of shorter days,
And longer nights.
Warmth from
The afternoon sun
Occasionally beckons
Us all – back outside
And we bask
In bliss and gratitude-
Delighted by the
Colors, and beauty in
The changing season.
Fall has arrived,
And winter isn’t far behind.
A time for deeper reflection,
Looking within,
Slowing down,
Cozying up,
And leaning in-
To change.
I am thankful
For every fleeting moment
And memory made.
My family
And our time here
Together
Is everything!

-Tanielle Childers ©️ Oct. 2022 💛🧡💜

Transformation

I’m searching
High and low-
For the rainbow
In my new normal.
Crying, praying,
Pondering,
And wavering
Between hope
And hopeless.
Between faith
And why this?
Feeling all the
weight, and strain,
And bulk of this-
New world
I’m staring into.
A long road ahead
Of healing,
And reeling,
And struggling
To stand tall,
And strong again.
I feel like I’m fighting
Against the wind.
But I always fight
To win.
I’m weakened,
And I’ve been
Hit hard
By chemo treatment.
My daily struggles
Are no secret.
My dignity
Has taken a big hit.
And I’m right in
The thick of it.
Hair loss, weight gain,
Stiff, painful muscles,
Twitching, sensitive eyes,
And Menopause –
Overnight.
Tissue expanders,
And fluid retention.
I’m down at the bottom
Begging for redemption.
Breast Cancer
Is a disease
and a terrible life infection
A life changing direction,
With deepened introspection
Of who and what
I am at my core
Because everything
That once was-
Is nothing like
It was – before.
I must do
Everything
Within my power
To find the rainbow
After this storm.
I must set my ego aside
And find the light
In my new life-
My new norm.
For there is beauty
To be found
In every life cycle
And in every living form.

-Tanielle 6.20.22

I Am 1 in 8

Breast Cancer
I am 1 in 8.
Blinded by the diagnosis,
and still coming to terms
with accepting this
as my fate.

I could ask, “Why me?”,
and go to a sad,
dark place quite easily.
But that is a question-
that will never
be answered.
And staying there
would rob me
of my power-
Indefinitely.

Instead-
I choose positivity.
I choose hope.
I choose faith.
I choose humor.
I choose to find the things
that make me feel happy,
rather than focus only
on all the difficulty.
I choose gratitude.
And I choose my attitude.
Daily. And intentionally.

Breast Cancer treatment-
is a BIG mountain to climb.
A giant obstacle-
directly in front of me.
And I am facing it head on,
and riding the waves of change,
and the side effects
of every treatment
with as much grace
as I can, to the best
of my ability.
Overcoming this-
And sharing my story
and my journey
along the way-
is part of my life destiny.
And I believe that
wholeheartedly.

Breast Cancer-
Why me?
I will never know
the reason.
And I will never ask.
This is my life test,
and I’ve been
called to task.
I am 1 in 8.
And I will overcome.
I will do my best
to keep my chin up
through this adversity,
and my battle
WILL be won.

Breast Cancer
affects so many.
It’s shocking
when you’re
in the thick of it.
Giant hugs and honor
to all who have been
impacted –
by this enormity.
I stand among the
countless women
who have been down
this road before me.
And I look forward
to standing with them
at the finish line,
as a survivor
with a story.

-Tanielle Childers ©️ 4.21.22

How Great Is Our God

This was written the day my chemo port was placed, and the night before my very first chemo treatment. I was terrified of all of the unknowns. I leaned into God at every scary turn and it was everything I needed and more – to get me through it. May this poem find those who need it and offer up all of the same to you in your time of need or for someone you love! Love, light and giant hugs to all going through their own life battles right now. May we become beacons of light in the eye of the storm we’re in, to give hope to all those who follow a similar life journey! 💗💗💗

Laughter is the best medicine – so don’t forget to laugh as often as possible to get those endorphins coming your way. Stay strong!

God’s grace-
is a glorious place.
A prayerful,
and meditative state-
filled with peace,
unconditional love,
and safe keeping.
Releasing,
And unleashing me
from all that burdens
my weary,
and tethered mind-
to fearful,
and unkind thoughts-
that slowly rise up
to the tip top.
Becoming louder
And more prominent,
and dominant
than my faith.
I pause in reflection-
And feel God beckon
me back-
to trust in Him
completely.
To not fear this road
I see in front of me.
But to believe in Him,
And to seek the beauty,
amongst the rubble
He has lovingly
bestowed upon me.
I must always retrace
my steps-
back to the quiet,
prayerful space-
when I feel lost-
And He will come
to greet me,
and I must lean in
with everything I am-
to learn every lesson
He is teaching me.
I feel renewed
by the power of faith
He has restored within me.
He refuses
to give up on me.
God’s grace
is everything.
Even through
all of these life trials,
and tribulations-
I am humbled and blessed
by the outpouring
of God’s greatest kindnesses,
and I am wholeheartedly,
and profoundly gracious.
I will do my very best
to remain steadfast,
and courageous-
in the face of-
my greatest challenges.
God’s grace-
Is the most glorious,
and peaceful place.
Where my tears
of gratitude
stream freely.
Where my heart
is overcome
by His eternal,
and everlasting
love for me.
God’s grace
never ceases-
to amaze me.
His amazing grace
always finds me
in the dark,
and reaches out
with his undying love-
to once again save me…

How great is our God!

-Tanielle Childers ©️ 3.21.22

Have Faith

HAVE FAITH

Today-
I took a walk with God.
I talked to God.
I cried with God.
I asked why, and what for
and how come? with God.
I pleaded with God.
I prayed to God,
and then I waited
in silence – for God
to answer me.

I waited patiently,
and quietly.
I breathed in deeply,
and exhaled forcefully.
The tears,
and life’s let-downs
poured right out
of me.
Some days
are downright hard-
mentally.
They’re messy,
and they catch me-
off guard,
and unprepared.
But these days are there-
to remind me again…
that timing
isn’t up to me.
as to when-
or how this life
works out for me.
So I breathe in deeply-
Again.
And I turn my faith
right back to Him.
This is God’s Plan.
God’s got me.
And I’m down on my knees
waiting patiently.
Faithfully.
I’m praying silently.
Believing, and trusting
blindly…
in His timing.
In His glory.
In this life story-
that He’s lovingly
laid out for me…
This is my journey
and there’s peace
in knowing
that ultimately-
God’s got me…
In ALL things.
along every step of the way.
Every minute of every day,
God’s got me,
and He loves me.
This is God’s plan
and He has answered me this..
I must put my full faith
Into Jesus-
Nothing less.
Because-
He knows best…
Always.

HAVE FAITH.

-Tanielle Childers ©️ 3.8.22

Grab Hold –

As much as we’d like-
to think we control
our future and our fate…

We don’t decide
when or how we will go,
much less, our final date.

I have become
very hyper-aware
of the moments-
and all I’ve been given.

One silver lining
to cancer, I suppose-
is I’ve realized
I’d better get to livin’!

Life isn’t perfect,
nor every day sweet.
But each waking moment
is a gift, and a blessing.

Soak up the minutes,
love hard, and be present.
Hold onto faith through the good,
the bad and the messy.

Have patience,
be kind, and accountable,
Treat your neighbors
as you would yourself.

Live now, live bold,
and laugh often.
And never put your dreams
up on that shelf.

Follow your heart,
don’t give up,
and keep going.
Money doesn’t equal success.

Chase your dreams,
inspire, and encourage.
Lift others up,
and give them your best.

Fill up your heart,
and it will fuel your spirit.
Live in joy,
And share your gift.

Time is precious,
and priceless, and finite.
Grab hold-
this life goes quick!

-Tanielle Childers ©️ 2.25.22

Beautiful Scars

Beautiful scars
on both sides of my heart.
Proof that I will do anything,
and everything-
to stay right where you are.

My family and friends
are my world.
These life moments
are like gold.
Removing my breast cancer
is my act of intention
towards my will
for growing old.

A major life-changing,
life-saving decision.
A skin-sparing,
double mastectomy.
Letting go of all that is
no longer best for me.

I haven’t lost anything!
I’ve gained my life,
and more minutes.
I’m well on my way-
to a cancer-free me.
I am blessed. I am humble,
and I am in this to win it.

Beautiful scars-
on both sides of my heart,
tell a bigger life story
of survival, revival,
God’s amazing grace,
and His everlasting glory.

-Tanielle Childers ©️ 2.18.22

I Choose Faith Over Fear

Life’s most precious moments-
are fleeting.
My heart is alive and well,
and still beating.

I’ve been busy living every minute-
to the fullest.
In the quiet moments,
I am grieving.
But in the face of it all,
I remain upright and stoic.

I may crumble in the dark-
but God brings me right back
to His light.
I may get angry at the journey
that lies in front of me.
But God is holding my hand tight.

I didn’t ask for this,
and I’d rather not have to do it.
But God brought me to this-
and He will bring me through it.

I choose to set my sights
on every silver lining
that lies before me.
I choose faith over fear,
and I hold onto hope
with all the courage I have-
even while I am mourning.

I believe wholeheartedly
that our life journey
is for a reason.
We may not understand
our hardships or life difficulties-
but we must remain steadfast,
trust in Him and keep believing.

I will give my all-
to be a beacon of bright light
for all who may go down
a similar life journey.
This isn’t me going into battle.
This is me going through some
tough-ass moments, letting go,
big personal growth,
and so much learning.

Cancer does not,
and will not ever define me.
I will rise and face the music
directly in front of me,
bask in God’s healing light,
and breathe in peace,
as I begin the painful process of
leaving this cancer behind me.

Tanielle Childers © 2.9.22

God’s Grace

Grace
Doesn’t find me
Every waking day.

There are painful,
Angry moments.
In the in-between.
When I scream, shout
And curse my way
Through this grief…
When I am weak.
When I feel small.
When I fall-
All the way…
Down.

Grace
Only finds me
Again…when-
I am ready.

When I give in-
And give it all
Right back to Him.
When I kneel down,
And pray…
God shines
His everlasting light
Down upon me.
Radiating His love
And blessings
All around me.
And it is then…when-
I know and feel
That everything
Surrounding me,
Dumbfounding me,
And humbly
Grounding me
Will be okay…

But grace
Doesn’t find me
Every waking day.

It is up to me
To go looking,
Crawling, climbing
Or falling…
My way back
To trusting in Him.
Again, and again,
And again.

I give my heart,
My love,
My faith,
My trust,
And my gratitude
To Him.

Believing
In His healing,
And In His timing
More than mine.
And I will keep
Fighting,
Persevering
And overcoming
My plight.
I have cancer-
But that
Doesn’t define
My life.

Grace
Doesn’t find me
Every waking day.

But it is there-
Waiting for me…
When I am ready.

-Tanielle Childers © 2.1.22

I Am Mightier

Hope • Healing • Growing • Overcoming

I AM MIGHTIER

A major life change-
Unfolding swiftly
Before me.
Each day-
A new wave,
And an attempt
At a brave face-
With this tough,
New reality.
Breast Cancer,
Has completely
Dumbfounded me.
It’s astounding-
To me…
Just how fast
The Cancer Center
Moves.
With their patient’s care,
There is no time to lose.
Testing and directing you,
Collecting results,
Analyzing and presenting
Everything
They know.
Offering their expertise,
Comforting words,
And best of all,
HOPE.
The cancer-
Must be removed,
And the time
Is coming now.
And my job
As a patient
Is to prepare myself…
And I will-
SOMEHOW.
A mind-numbing
Place in time,
And so surreal.
Some moments feel
Much more-
Like a dream,
And —- it seems
Almost impossible
To swallow
Or even digest
A mere fraction of this-
The magnitude
Of all that is-
Happening
So fast.
I’m tapping
Into my inner
Strength and courage,
Hope and faith,
My sacred space.
But I do not
And will not
Feel sorry for me-
Only uncertainty
For all that is coming,
And all that will be.
For whatever reason,
THIS—
Is part of
My life journey.
A new chapter
Of learning-
Healing,
And letting go,
Overcoming,
And BIG growth
For me-
Spiritually.
Putting my full faith
Into God-
To carry me
When I am tired,
And weary.
I feel in my heart
Of hearts,
That all will be okay…
But I worry-
Most about
My beautiful family.
And how THEY
Are going to cope,
And manage
Around me.
I MUST
AND I WILL
Get through this!
For this—
Is just a BIG bump
In the road.
This cancer-
May be as fierce as a tiger,
But I —
I AM a fiercer fighter.
And with the heart of a lion,
I will prove
That I am MIGHTIER!

-Tanielle Childers ©️ 1-1-22

I Despise — Depression.

DEPRESSION –
Calls EVERY thing
Into question.
It never arrives-
To teach us a lesson.

It’s unrelenting,
Unforgiving,
So belittling.

It thrives on
Self-oppression,
Self-aggression,
And self-demise —

I DESPISE —
Depression.
NO question.

Behind our eyes
And our smile,
There’s a darkness
That can hold us-
Captive.
Triggers make it
Reactive.
The impact it has – on
Our Spirit, our mood,
Our ability to interact —
We retract.
Silently, slyly, shyly.
Not wanting to be a burden-
Yet, so desperately
Wanting to be heard – ‘n
Struggling to find
Enough courage
To purge it — out loud.
Our urge is — Too proud-
To let it all come out.

Instead—
We tend to suffer alone –
Inside our own head.
Keeping it to ourselves-
Is what we do best.

I pray for the day
When the topic of
Our mental health
Isn’t so taboo—

When our pride and ego
Can take a backseat — to-
Our vulnerability,
And reaching out-
To help others through.

Alone,
We can do so little.
Together,
There is so much more
We can ALL do —
Better.

Speaking openly
About our struggles-
Allows others
To feel comfortable
Doing the same.
It’s high time — for change.

I DESPISE —
Depression.
No question!

And if you,
Or someone you know,
Suffers from
Depression, too?
Reach out-
Check in-
Let them know
How much you care-
Even if you may not
Understand —
It makes a difference
Just knowing you’re there.

-Tanielle Childers © Jan. 2020-




36″ x 24″ pastels © Tanielle Childers

A Beautiful Shade of Broken

36″x36″ acrylic on canvas by Tanielle Childers © 2018

She is complex.
She is a survivor.
She can adapt-
Like a fish out of water.

She is fierce.
She is a fighter.
She has the heart of a lion;
The stripes of a tiger.

She swims through her sorrows.
She finds grace through her tears.
She carries life lessons
As wisdom through her years.

While her spirit is mending,
She is quiet and soft-spoken.
She becomes a rainbow after the storm.
She is a beautiful shade of broken.


Tanielle Childers © 2018