For the past year I have looked forward to this day. The day I learned I had Breast Cancer. Some could argue it could be the worst day of your entire life but for me it was anything but. The moment I learned I had breast cancer was the day that living became something I realized I took for granted. All of a sudden those things that used to matter never mattered anymore. I simply wanted to be surrounded by those that mattered most to me, I wanted to be still and simply be alive.
One year ago tomorrow, I was standing on the street corner outside of an office building when my phone rang and the doctor shared with me that the place on my left side was breast cancer.
The world froze. I fell to the ground. My eyes became a pool of water as tears fell to the ground around my feet. Time in that moment was still.
I was never going to be the same again.
In the past twelve months, I underwent three surgeries (a double mastectomy, egg harvesting retrieval and implant exchange). Endured four rounds of chemotherapy. Numerous IV’s of fluids. Hundreds of doctors appointments. Countless shots and what has seemed like hundreds of blood draws. I have waited for results, prayed over white blood cell numbers, watched my hair fall before my eyes and spent countless nights awake.
All for one purpose to live…
Today, I celebrate with thanksgiving for what was a year of hardship, heartbreak, suffering, joy, celebration and peace. While my journey to recovery has now left me struggling to find hope. Wondering over why living seems so difficult. I honor the journey and the gentle ways it opened me up to places in my heart that I did not know were there. I have come to terms with some ugly parts of living. That living is hard. Life is hard with or without cancer and that journeying through the hard is what makes life so very sweet.
I believe God has never left my side. I believe he adores me. (he adores you too). I believe he awaits the day when I begin to bestow the same love and care to myself that I do to others. While I would love to say each day is a new day, one I find gratitude in, I more often than not find the days daunting. I find the grind of the to do exhausting. I find my cancer story suffocating. I find living well beyond cancer overwhelming…
I love what Kara Tippets said,
Suffering is not the absence of goodness, it is not the absence of beauty, but perhaps it can be the place where true beauty can be known.