“Through it all, through it all, My eyes are on You, Through it all, through it all, It is well”
These words have been read, listening to and repeated in my head time and time again since that day at the end of September when the words Cancer were heard through the other end of my phone. Those words I heard as I crumbled in my tears, in my fears and into the unknown. In that moment however I made a choice.
I made a choice that whatever he was doing with this story, I did not want to miss it. I did not want to get to the end and realize I had missed so very much of what he was doing in all of this. Merely because I was not living it. Because I was not present.
Presence is hard. Presence requires us to feel, to grieve but without it we may never know joy.
Today I officially go into remission. I type as tears fill my eyes.
No more cancer. No more treatments. My time at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center will now be limited to quarterly appointments to confirm that the cancer is gone. That will be it. This is it. (reconstruction surgery end of April).
In many ways counting down chemotherapy treatments felt I was counting down for someone else. Never could I have imagined that it would be me that would have a last round of chemotherapy. Never could I have imagined that I would be a “survivor”.
Because more than anything I never imagined that I would have cancer.
That is just it though, no one ever imagines it to be them….. Whatever you may be walking through today, you never thought it would be you, did you?
You were not going to be the one to watch your children pass away before you, you were not going to be the widow, you would not be the one struggling with addiction, you were not going to be divorced, you were not going to be the one struggling to conceive, you were not going to be the one living in an unhappy marriage, you weren’t going to be the one who would lose their job unexpectedly….
It was not going to be you.
But you are.
I write these words with all gentleness and sensitivity, knowing what it feels like to be living a story that you never imagined to be your story.
My story of cancer at 27 years old. My mastectomy, egg fertilization, four rounds of chemotherapy and reconstruction. All that I was so confident that was never to be my story. But it is. It has been.
It is mine and goodness it has been good.
So while today is a day I never imagined to arrive, it is here and I will walk into the infusion room at the cancer center for what will be the last time. Although I will take a few weeks to start feeling better and the chemotherapy to leave my system, this is my final round, this is it. How good it feels to be writing these words.
My mom is here and today will be a special day. Of that I am sure. What an incredibly humbling, hard and beautiful few months it has been on chemotherapy. From feeling strong and well, to be knocked out by illness and weakness. Going from feeling so confident that I can do this, to feeling completely defeated. Chemo taught me grace and gentleness, patience and love. Gentleness with myself. That it was ok to rest, ok to lay down, ok to not feel good. I learned patience in the waiting….. But most of all I learned more of the love that comes in the words of strangers, friends, and family…. This place, my writing. While I could have never imagined sharing this journey in such depth, it has helped me heal. Helped me be present and most of all allowed me to hear from all of you. So thank you for being in this with me. For helping me be reminded of hard truths. Of allowing me to grieve. Of praying for me in distant places. For thinking so much that you would take time to send a thought or prayer my way.
So today, think of me while I receive my last round of chemotherapy. And more than anything attempt to embrace the story that is being told for you. Although it may not be the story you wished for, dreamed of, imagined….. it is yours. You should go live it. In all of its complexities it is yours.
“I was met with an unexpected disease – unexpected in every way…. I could never have dreamed…. But those places, those raw, broken places, are the heart of life. The brokenness of today causes us to look at tomorrow and hope for it.” – Kara Tippets
I have such hope for tomorrow. He assures us of that. To have hope in the days to come….. For the new days beyond this and days that no longer involve chemotherapy treatments.
Happy Last Round to Me!