I’ve been radio silent for a minute. These last 3 surgeries and the recovery have been a bit of a blur and all of a sudden its almost summer.
I am healing from my 5th surgery inside of 8 months, hoping that this last surgery was the last surgery that I’ll have to go through for a very long time.
Healing from surgery is a interesting thing. A mixture of emotions, exhaustion, aches and pains. It’s a push and pull of sorts, the worried thoughts and relief warring in my mind, the battle of exhaustion,the need for rest, and not being able to calm my mind. I find myself bored, and yet thousands of thoughts are constantly swirling around my brain at all times, I want company but I have nothing to say and have no energy to be around company.
I have wanted to post, to reach out to you, my thoughtful, prayerful, amazing champions, I simply haven’t had the focus to string more than 3 thoughts and coherent sentences together. So now I sit here, thinking about what I want to share with you, thinking about what I’ve learned or gained from all of this. A few things come to mind; grace, hope and fear. I know that the first two obviously go together and fear seems completely out of place. Let me explain.
I have gotten through the hard part of this cancer journey; hearing the doctor tell me I have breast cancer, having a mastectomy, and hysterectomy, facing myself in the mirror after my most recent surgery, the tears and sorrow that followed. The aches, pains and limitations of recovery (I’m still dealing with those). Now, I’m on the cusp of what I think may be even more difficult…moving forward. (This is the fear part).
It’s amazing how quickly we assimilate to new surroundings, to new things in life, a new job, a new home, even to cancer. Once we get past the initial diagnosis, the shock and fear, we are immediately thrust onto a new path and we become immersed in the life of doctors appointments, treatments, scans, tests and in my case, a lot of surgeries. This last year all I had to do was show up; show up to my appointments, show up for surgery. I just had to do what I was told to do. There weren’t really too many decisions for me to make. Now, I’m almost through the “hard” part, I can almost see the other side.
It’s like I’m standing in the threshold, a space between. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer it closed a chapter in my life and now that I’m healing and preparing to move into a new chapter, a chapter of living post breast cancer, living with BRCA, living a life that includes doctors and scans on a regular basis, a new career path, and all the things that come along, I have to learn how to navigate the next chapter. To be completely transparent with you, it’s scary.
This last year the only thing I really had any control over was myself; my emotions, my thoughts, my attitude. The one thing I really wanted was to traverse the landscape of cancer with grace. Grace for myself to feel and experience whatever I needed to. Grace for those in my life that were equally effected by my cancer, to be gracious to those that I encountered, to honor my family, my friends and my champions with my attitude, my determination and my behavior. Even to honor this time in my life, most importantly to honor God, by not letting this experience sweep me out to sea but anchor me. To truly be present in each moment to learn and growing from it and through it.
I have not always been successful, I have definitely gotten caught up in my head and emotions more than once since June 8, 2017, when I was diagnosed. The grace that I have had throughout this journey is due to my family, my friends and my champions. It’s due to the prayers, the love and the help that my family and I received. It’s the grace I’ve been given that has allowed me to have grace.
I have been thinking about what I have learned through this last year, thinking about my experiences and what I could pass on, I’ve scribbled notes of strength, of the kindness of strangers, the importance of good doctors and positive attitude, and realized that everything I have jotted down has a common thread; Hope.
I would not have gotten through any part of this without hope. Hope is what propelled me and my family in the first few weeks. The hope that we would get through this. I would not have written my first blog post without hope, I wouldn’t have you, my champions without hope, you wouldn’t be my champions if you didn’t have hope for my healing. Hope carried me through last summer, a time filled with doctors appointments, scans, medical tests, telling my children, family and friends of my diagnosis. Hope got me up in the morning, and helped me to sleep peacefully at night. Hope got me to the hospital for my surgery, each and every one. Sometimes hope was the one thing that got me to the hospital. Hope kept me moving forward, hope encourage me to ask for your prayers, hope pushed me to reach out to new friends. Hope has given me grace when I’ve needed it. Hope is the reason I’ve wanted to be present through this, to know that there is something to be learned and gained through all of this. Hope that I will come out of this a better version of me than I was before.
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
With every new chapter there is some uncertainty, it may be scary, but I know that I can move forward with hope and confidence because I have amazing champions, family and friends. There is a plan for my future, a good plan that I hope to navigate with grace.
Thank you my beloved champions for your support and your prayers, they are precious and invaluable to me.