It has been a while. Maybe too long, since I have been able to come to this place and pour my heart out. Countless Countless times I have come here, but leave with nothing to say. You see, I'm not really a "blogger". I don't just blog to blog. When I write something, it has to come from the heart. It must be genuine and real. If I'm being honest, it's not until now that I have felt the "push" or freedom to write. I guess I should go back to June 27th. The day of my surgery.
I felt peace as that day began. There was literally an army of bodies in the lobby praying. But as we entered the pre-op room and my friends and family began to filter in and out of the room, I began to feel vulnerable. I remember my best friend holding my hand and my sister standing over me with her arms around me. Me weeping like a child. In that moment I had become a terrified little girl. The nurses began coming at me with needles and within moments I was on the operating table, staring up at the stark white ceiling talking about the ocean. The last thing I remember thinking before the lights went out was running on the beach with my girl.
I awoke in agonizing pain. The nerve blocks I was given worked perfectly on the right side. But the left side didn't seem to take at all. The morphine only made things worse. From the moment I awoke until I left the hospital, I was wrecked with pain and horrible nausea and what accompanies nausea.
3 days later I finally made it home. That made all the difference in the world! It wasn't until then that I really began to recover. But in all honesty, the last few months have been tough. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. It wasn't until just recently that I have begun to "bounce" back. I still have not regained the use of my left arm fully. Doing the simplest of tasks is sometimes daunting. It doesn't help that I am a lefty.
Less than a month after surgery and before radiation was to begin, I was blessed with an opportunity to head back to my favorite place. Anna Maria Island. A close friend had an unused time share for a week that she offered to me! I could not turn it down! So me and my girl headed off the the island where mommy was able to rest, relax and recover. On the second day I was playing in the sun with my baby, the last thing I wanted to do was make the dreadful hour long drive from the island to Tampa to meet with my Oncologist. Granted I had already received the PET report the week prior from my Radiologist and was using my week at the beach to celebrate the relief of a good report. But my Onc. still wanted to follow up with me.
The usual hour wait took only 2 minutes before I was called back. As he entered the room he says, you look great! I said, well I feel pretty great, considering. He then proceeds to go over the results with me. After about 5 minutes he literally ran out of words to describe his shock at the lack of Cancer in my body. He fully believed that given the 9 months since finishing treatment and my last scan that he would see illuminated locations everywhere. Plus given the aggressiveness of triple negative it was nothing short of a miracle. He said frankly I just don't see this very often. I don't know what to do with you. You are not the norm. Your Cancer is behaving itself very well! I sat in amazement as I could see the pure joy and genuine excitement he displayed over the fact that what he expected to see, just simply was not there. The spot on my hip had progressed some as we expected due to my pain recently. But other than that there wasn't much to note. He said there was no need for any further treatment at the time other than the planned radiation to my surgical site and my hip. He was very pleased and told me to continue doing whatever it is I had been doing. I told him it was a mixture of a major lifestyle and diet change, but more importantly the thousands if not more prayers that had gone up for me over the last few months! The word lucky was never used. I spent the rest of the week rejoicing.
A couple of weeks later I began radiation which caused unspeakable side effects. My anxiety was at an all time high following my surgery and my appetite didn't return until just a couple of weeks ago. My tiny frame was beginning to look ghostly, sickly and unfamiliar to me when I looked in the mirror.
It was during this time that the spirit of fear crept up on me again. And just like a thief in the night, the peace was gone. Anxiety and depression have hung on my back like an unwanted guest for far too long. Something that has haunted me for a while is the fear of death that comes along with the dreaded C word. In 2009 after my first surgery, my Dr and her scheduling nurse spoke some very harmful and evil words over me. Because I was questioning the treatment options they recommended, I was told that "God is not going to take this from you." Those words hung above me like a dark cloud. Everywhere I went. Everyday for the last 3 yrs. I walked into that appointment alone for the first time without my husband or mother with me that day. I believe Satan used that opportunity to wear me down and attack. I walked out and I never walked back in. But the damage was done. As if being diagnosed wasn't enough, death was spoken over me.
So everyday for the last 3 yrs. I have wondered, Lord is this the last time I will have to opportunity to enjoy this with my daughter, is this the last summer vacation I will get to enjoy with my family? And the list goes on. How much time Lord? That is a heavy burden to carry. It wasn't until recently that it really hit me. Only He knows the hour. For each and every one of us. I have watched too many friends lose loved ones suddenly. I have experienced the loss of my closest friend in an instant. There were no goodbyes. No time to prepare. We have no way of knowing the day or hour of our last breath. Why should I allow myself to buy into the stigma that comes along with the C word? I have come to a revelation recently. I am still here. I am still breathing. Some days are rough. But I still have time left here on this earth. Why should I spend it worrying about how many days or yrs I have left? I shouldn't. And neither should you.
We are given life. We are given a purpose. Sometimes we are given obstacles and hurdles that force us into realizing that purpose. I cannot and will not live my life in fear. I must live it with purpose. The fact that I got Cancer does not change the number of days I was given the day I entered into this world. I have no less days because of it. The Lord knows the hour. The fact that I got Cancer doesn't change a thing. It sure has helped me see life in a different light. But it doesn't change a thing for Him for His plan for my life. His plan has always been the same for my life. It just took a few bumps for ME to see myself the way he sees me and to find the course he has set for me. There are things I will never understand this side of eternity. But what I can do is use every breath to praise him and bring glory to Him. I am not perfect. I mess up daily. I have to begin again each day. But that is the beauty of the cross. There are NEW mercies every day! And it's by grace that I am still able to enjoy this life.
God's music is a huge part of my everyday life. It gets me through the day and He uses it to speak to me constantly. In some of my darkest moments, it was singing out to Him that I found peace. This song sums up the past few months pretty well for me.