Hi everyone! Well, it has been awhile since I've updated this blog. To be honest, I was struggling with what to say. The last few months have found me searching, seeking, and healing. I tell you, NO ONE prepares a person for life after cancer.
It was 4 years ago, that I heard the words, “You have an invasive, aggressive breast cancer.” My world was rocked. I thought my life was over. But God (in His glory) had different plans.
Although the road to recovery is taking me much longer than I expected, I wouldn't trade the journey of the last four years for anything. For in this journey, I experienced God’s truth and hope. I love this sentence from Dan Allender’s Book To BeTold, “True hope stares down pain and fear and waits expectantly for God to appear.”
Yes, I experienced pain.
Yes, I experienced fear.
Yes, I saw God appear!
For those of you who are newly in the cancer journey….have HOPE!
Cancer will change your life—some for the good, some for the not so good. But, you CAN do it!! (Even if/when you have to do it afraid.) My best advice is to allow yourself to ask questions and permission to any feelings you may have—whether it is sadness, anger, joy, or gratitude. If you have tears—let them out! If you have laughter—enjoy! It is your journey…walk it any way you want…but just remember, keep walking. It is so sad to see someone who gets “stuck” in their cancer journey. I guess, to me, cancer is a chapter of my life story, but not the whole book.
Which leads me to the main reason for this blog post, the last few months I have been struggling not only with some of the physical side effects of treatment (like having to have my 3rd root canal this year and ongoing fatigue/pain), financial setbacks due to the cost of treatment and ongoing appointments, but I have been struggling a bit emotionally, too.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I have a great life. I have awesome family and friends, along with an amazing job. Maybe that is why I am frustrated to find myself trying to tackle the question of “Now, what?” How can I live a life of “no regrets?” What does it look like to not sleep walk through the remainder of my days?
After some self-evaluation, it seems as if I have many ingredients but don’t know what recipe I am cooking. Am I making breakfast, lunch or supper? Or am I to be making the snack, or dessert?
Last week, I took some time off from work to visit my daughter in Montana. I was hoping that the change in scenery and daily schedule would help me find my recipe. Although that didn't happen…I have a feeling I am to be making a dessert. (or maybe breakfast…for sure one of these two, as they are my favorites J)
A few things I do know…
- I love to blog and do foresee continuing that in the future. Hopefully, after the first of the year, I will be able to share a new and exciting direction that I am taking my blogging.
- I need to regain my strength, endurance and energy. I do well if I keep careful tabs on my schedule. (Unfortunately, this means, I have to say No, more than I get to say Yes.)
- Don’t ask me why (as I don’t have an answer) but I feel the need to gain some speaking skills, so I joined Toastmasters in October. Although, public speaking is a bit frightening, I am excited for this opportunity.
- Hope Lives Now! I have struggled if we should continue this organization or not?? In sharing with others, there seems to be a need, but also it takes funds. I am contemplating if we should seek a non-profit status and do more active fundraising. Every day, I hear of more and more individuals struggling with cancer and/or other challenging health conditions. It just breaks my heart and I so wish we could offer hope and encouragement to them all.
There are no words that could ever thank each and every one of you for your kindness, love and support these past 4 years. May God bless you!
PS. A few of you have asked about my back and neck pain, we have gotten it under control enough that I was able to discontinue physical therapy. (My home stretching program helps greatly.)
PSS. In case you are interested in health and wellness, I blog on Thursdays at Be Well South Dakota.