Once you’ve been told the words “you have cancer” your life really never is the same. I remember hearing about my brother dying of cancer at a young age and then I remember the doctor telling us my dad had cancer and finding out my mom had cancer……that was devastating and I thought the hardest words I would hear. It’s so hard watching someone with cancer and knowing that there is really nothing you can do, that it’s not your battle. What I came to learn is that hearing that you are the one with cancer is even harder.
After all my surgeries were finished and it was “over”, I really thought that was it, I was like, wooohooooo! all done! They don’t tell you about the medication, about how it will mess with you and how it will make your life different, in a way you can’t really control. They don’t tell you that you may never have feeling again in parts of your body from the surgery or that you may never really sleep through the night again from either pain, numbness or just being uncomfortable. More than that, they don’t tell you, that after everything is done, that people think it’s all over for you as well and that you no longer suffer or need their support. That’s just not true……
I remember after my dad died that people were around for a week or so, but after that, their lives go back to normal and so they think yours does as well………unfortunately, for anyone who has lost someone close to them, they know that is just not the case. There is a daily pain at first, a loss that is just so hard and you need to learn to cope with each day knowing this person who you loved so much and was such a huge part of your life is just gone…….after a few months, I think people expect you to just deal with it. I get it, when you have never lost someone important, like a brother, a mother or a father, or even a child, you would never understand how to handle that or how it feels and that’s okay, you don’t know what you don’t know and I don’t hold that against people.
I almost felt the same after last year. Last year was challenging to say the least. After losing a part of me, a part that most women consider a part of them that makes them a woman, breasts, it was very hard emotionally and physically for me. Then two days later, losing my mom to cancer was almost surreal. Sometimes, I still see it all as a blur and it almost doesn’t feel real……..then I look down, see my scars and know it all really did happen. The hard part is that it’s over a year later and I still suffer. I miss my mom terribly and there are days I just want to call her and tell her what I’m doing and get her advice and I know that I can’t. That’s been so hard for me. I always loved sharing my successes with my parents as they were always so supportive and would tell me how proud they were of me.
When I decided to write a chapter in this book coming out September 14, 2015, I knew it was something that I should do, I felt that God was showing me that I needed to do this. The process took over nine weeks and I got to work with Cassandra Washington and MJ Schwader, who are two amazing people. I got to write it all out for weeks and the more I wrote, the more it helped me. I felt it was my way of releasing everything that I was keeping inside and that they would pull it out of me. When I wrote, Cassandra would always ask me to go “deeper” and I did. I trusted in the process and in their coaching and because I was a yielded vessel to it, I found it helped me tremendously. There are parts that helped me deal with what happened to my mom and parts that helped me deal with what I went through and what I am going through. The best part was when Cassandra showed us the book cover this weekend……..it was a butterfly, my moms FAVOURITE! She had butterflies everywhere and on everything and once again, I had confirmation that this is exactly what God wanted me to do and I know my mama is proud!
I know that people look at me and because I look “fine” that they would never think any different. I don’t complain a lot because that is just not who I am. If I have learned anything through this last year and a half it’s to be truly thankful and grateful for all that I have. I have learned that we will all go through trials and hard times, but when you stop and have complete faith in God and really put your trust in Him, that HE will bring you through it. I’ve learned that walking with God is and can be a very lonely road, as He calls us to be a peculiar people, to stand in His word and when you do that, you may not have tons of people close by, but the ones you do have will stand by you through everything and lift you up during your storm. I have also learned that I can get through all of this pain, this medication and this heartache…..when I lean on God and I allow Him to comfort me through His word.
I am still learning so much everyday and I wrote this to just get it out as when I write or speak about things, they have no power over me. I don’t write for sympathy, or pity, I write to maybe help someone understand how my journey with cancer has been, as each of us are so different. As I learn to just keep trusting in God and the path He has laid out for me, I have to remember to show myself grace and to show more understanding to Aaron for all he has to endure from this past year. As much as I have gone through, he has to watch me go through all of this and I know it is hard for him. As strong as he has been through the hardest parts of my breast cancer, no one prepared either one of us for what would come after and how that may affect both of us. I know that God can strengthen us both, I just need to stop everyday, keep praying, keep trusting in God and thanking Him for all He has already done for both of us and know that all of this will be used for a greater good. That when God calls me to speak, write or help others, that I will just say YES, go boldly and do it. For if I can help just one person find light in their darkness or if I can help someone see that you can have joy in the storm, then I am walking on the right path, glorifying God.