I hear stories of people who leave their spouse after breast cancer. That the man leaves his wife because it’s just too much to bear or that he is just not strong enough to be her rock during all that will ensue. There’s a lot that takes place once you are told you have cancer – more than a lot of people realize and more than people want to know…..
You don’t just get diagnosed, have a surgery and it’s done……there’s just so much more. So why do people leave? I believe when the man leaves, he just feels helpless. The man is the one who likes to solve everything, he wants to fix it, make it better and when he can’t, it’s hard to handle. They think it’s something that has to do with their “manliness” when it fact it does not. They may not want to see their wife change or become different looking, maybe vain, but it’s so true.
Why would the woman leave? Totally different question, but that happens as well. After being on both sides of cancer, I can honestly say it’s harder being on the side of watching someone going through cancer. When you are watching a loved one with cancer, you feel helpless. You can’t do anything, other than pray. You can love them, be there for them and encourage them, but you can’t take away the pain, the hurt, the suffering, or the side effects or the cancer or the medications.
I love my family. I love my husband. I love my three boys. I am so beyond thankful for all that I have. There have been days……..and there are days that I feel overwhelmed by what they have to endure because of my breast cancer. I feel guilty at times because of the side effects of the medication, the side effects of the surgeries. When people tell me, I’m “different” than before my cancer, it hurts my heart. Inside, I feel like the same person. I love the same, I have the same passions I am Michelle. Others see it differently……my boys see a mama who gets frustrated quicker, who blows up for socks in the living room or someone who screams because of something so small. My words aren’t as kind as they should always be, and then I may not remember it. I may be too rushed or not take enough time to listen and every time I do one of those things, I know it breaks a piece of their spirit and I know it breaks a part of Aarons…..
There are a few times I’ve felt like they would be so much better off with me not here. That they would not have to put up with the roller coaster ride of cancer. That they would not have to watch my mood swings, or watch me pass out on the couch from sheer exhaustion from doing not very much. I see their eyes well up sometimes with tears asking if I’m okay……….and that breaks my heart. The times that I am not the strong supporter to Aaron that I should be, instead making him feel like he’s failed in some way, which means I have not done my job of lifting him up. Those are the times that I have felt, if I wasn’t here, it would be so much easier on their hearts……..on their lives and on their spirit. There are those glimpses that I get where I have huge compassion for why people leave……it’s hard. It’s a struggle. I am not here to judge any man or woman who has left someone that had cancer. Until you have been put in those shoes, you don’t know what you will do.
Do I also think that anything worth while is hard? YES. Do I believe with my whole heart that with every struggle, hardship, or trial there comes learning, growth and positive? I honestly do. Do I also believe that if we just completely trust in God that HE WILL bring us through it and use our experience to help others and to glorify Him? Yes. Do I also think that this is the enemies way of trying to attack my family and I to try and get us to believe we are better off apart? Yes.
I believe in my heart that every part of our life is planned, better than we could ever imagine by the Author and Finisher of our faith. I know that days will be hard and there will be struggles, and if I can just keep my eyes on God and hold on to His promises for me, that I can make it to the next day. In these dark times, that’s when I know I need to cling to God the most, because He will bring me out of it and will provide ways for me to take those dark times and encourage others.
I believe that all of these struggles will help my boys learn compassion, love, understanding and faith. They are being shown humbleness as when I mess up, I go and apologize to them and tell them that I am sorry. As dark as days can get, the sun always comes out and I am able to see Gods unfailing love in my life by my church, friends and family. There’s a handful of people that know our true day to day struggle, and prayers from them is what makes the difference. There are also some people that I thought would support me through it all that haven’t and that’s okay, I’m not upset……maybe it was too hard for them…..maybe something else, I don’t know………I just know that God will put people in your life that you need that will encourage you, lift you up and support you for times you need and He has certainly done that.
As I type this, we are still trying to get an appointment with a natural doctor to see what natural options are available for me. Is it happening as quick as I would like? NOPE……I also know that everything happens in Gods perfect timing, not mine………a lesson that is always hard to learn!
Do I want to go back to being the old Michelle? To be honest, not really. Having breast cancer has made me do things I never would have. I have stepped up to speak for the Ambitious Womens Success Club, for my company Ambit Energy, I joined Toastmasters and have loved it, I co-authored a best selling Amazon book, I became a John Maxwell speaker, trainer and coach and I just became an Ambitious Womens Success Club Ambassador……all in the past year and a half……….these are all things I would never have done, I never had the confidence. God saw different. I believe that I went through what I did so that I could give back to others, so that I could encourage others and serve them. I will NOT stop talking about how God has blessed me and has given me all of these opportunities to share with others and to tell my story.
So as hard as it is to be a different Michelle and to see what the surgeries and meds have done to me for now……….that’s not forever and certainly not the end of my story. God has already taken care of it……..I just need to keep walking in that faith and keep trusting in Him. So each day I will be more aware of how I use my words and how I talk to my boys and my husband. I will be an encourager first in my home and then to others. I will stay so positive that the enemy will not be able to creep in with lies making me think that I should ever be anywhere than where I am…….part of MAD3 because what God has put together let no one or nothing break.