Cancer is an amazing thing. It not only the power to take your life from you, but it can prohibit you from living in the present, while it inhabits your very being. One of the most common questions people want to ask me is “What stage are you?” “It’s early isn’t it?” I often smile and say, “Of Course, I mean how late can it be? I am only 26 years old?”. I have learned my positive enthusiasm makes others less scared. For people viewing from the outside, they often want to take your diagnosis, simplify it down to a set of bullet points so it is manageable and more comprehensible. Becuase if people can simply do that, then cancer isn’t that bad. They have a peace of mind, tell me I will be fine and carry on with their day to day.
I wish it were that easy but you see it isn’t. For me it isn’t at all.
Cancer is invading my every being. Cancer came into my life without permission and now has the ability to destroy everything around me. It can prohibit me from finding joy and laughing. Prohibit me from the life I have been granted.
But I refuse to give it that power.
Wednesday evening I walked into my house from work and our house was full of guests. My roommate was hosting friends for dinner. As I walked into the house the guests were all laughing and drinking wine. With my head held down and fighting the tears that seemed to be creeping up, I made a beeline to my room. I shut the door to my bedroom and nearly collapsed in my tears. Dropping my bag, tears streamed from my eyes like never before. In that moment I laid on my floor and crawled in close. I held my knees to my chest and weeped. Weeped in the fear of the future. Of this November 5 date looming in the future and the unknowns. I cried in envy. Envy of everyone else who gets to keep going, without what seems to be a care in the world and I am battling cancer. In the hour or so that I laid on my floor crying I told myself “I don’t know how to do this.”
Unfortunately that is where I am at right now. In the midst of unknown. Until November 5 the full scope of my cancer diagnosis is unclear. I am at this point carrying on with life as I always had. minus the fact that every ten seconds I feel a sharp pain in my chest and I am reminded that I have breast cancer.
On Thursday two different individuals in my life shared with me the passage of, Luke 22. The story where Jesus wept, pleading with God that he would take away the obstacle before him. But Jesus then said “but not my will but yours be done.”
I would never wish cancer on anyone. This new reality of cancer books, and doctors appointments and pathology reports is something I never imagined becoming an expert in. But this is my reality. I have breast cancer and I cannot change that. I am prepared to see what God will do with this and I sure as hell want to be prepared to fight.
Although I am deeply sad, and often collapse in tears, I would take a cancer diagnosis over and over again to have the gift that has been the past few weeks anyday. The two weeks with my parents are something I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Wednesday after I had been diagnosed I fell asleep next to my dad while he and my mom reasearched plastic surgeons. I was safe and in that moment I was at peace. I have shared countless moments like this one. I otherwise would have never had these moments and for that I say thank you.
Saturday morning I gathered with five of my closest girlfriends so they could pray over me. For an hour we sat, shared and the girls lifted me up. Unable to pray before my tears began to fall, they prayed when I could not.
I am not angry at God. I am scared and I am sad. But in the midst of it alll, I don’t want to miss what he is going to do in all of this. I don’t want to one day be in remission and think to myself wow you missed it. Didnt you see what he was doing the whole time?
So my prayer today is not for my cancer to go away like magic (although it would be nice). But rather to soak in this journey. To breathe in the sweet moments with others. To be grateful for people who show up with no previous close relationship and want to remind me of truths when I cannot see them myself. I am grateful for people who declare that God is good and that they believe God is doing something good in all of this. I want to remain grateful for friends who take time on their weekend to lay a hand and wipe my tears.
Again I cannot say enough thanks for all of you who have reached out, who are reading, who are praying and who care.
As a young female cancer unfortunately can be a much bigger battle. Things I have never before had to think about, fertility, breast feeding, premature menopause etc. So while these still remain unknowns and could never become “issues” praying for my fears in this are appreciated.
Warmest regards to all of you. And I am off to cheer on the Broncos 🙂