I usually get my scans every 6 months...at least that's what it's been for the last few years. Since all of the issues I had in October I get to go in today. The 3rd month, 90 days, it's already here...arrived at my door. Surprising me among-st all that life has been offering us this little while. This past week we had an unexpected death in our family. A great man, mentor, father, husband, papa and friend. Our hearts have literally been broken. Literally into pieces. Amidst all of the emotions, and sadness we have felt hope. So powerful. So necessary. So understanding. So needed. Hope. Hope in the plan of salvation. Hope we will see him again. Hope in his love. Knowing that love does not break the bands of death. Hope in our God and in His Son. Hope that families are forever. Hope that there will be a new day for us to wake up too. Hope, it is fueling me now, teaching me, molding me...I've had to let it be my compass. I've found it in the darkness...and it has been found...over and over again. Not just from this sudden death in our lives, but from our many experiences in this life. Hope has been one of the many things that have anchored me in this journey. Many times, over and over again I've heard..."you shouldn't be here...you aren't supposed to have survived...you are dying." I have chosen to hear you are living. You're not a number. You are supposed to be here. I have hope...you can't take that away from me. No one can take that away from me but myself...and I will not stop believing in Hope. Whatever this life throws at you or drops at your doorstep. Choose. You get to choose how you accept it. As I am preparing to walk outside soon. I have already chosen hope in my heart...and it has set me free.
As I have reflected on my life the last few weeks I have been reminded time and time again that we are all intertwined. I have thoroughly enjoyed the season that my life is in right now...especially after the roller coaster of October. I am so grateful that I have been able to enjoy the holidays with my family, and surrounded by those that I love. I've been surprised, uplifted, and purposefully chosen to make memories with the time I've been given. I've felt so much love...an outpouring of love, really. It is so strong that I cannot deny that there is a God. I know He is real. I know He lives. He is all around us. He is in your thoughts when you think of another, He is in the way you care for your child. He is aware of you and may send someone to your front door when you are in need. He is in the beauty of our earth, the sunshine, rain, snow, light, darkness, sorrow, pain. I have been enlightened by His love...by your love. He is in you. Thank you. Thank you for that phone call, for that smile, that visit, that surprise party, for your thoughtfulness, for putting me in my place, for listening, giving, for just being. Thank you for reminding me that life is good, even when it is hard. That people are good. That God is good. I have truly been blessed. I am aware of the grace that surrounds me. I am grateful my heart is beating. I am alive.
It has been quite the ride the last few weeks...difficult, but beautiful. This last week we were able to meet up with an educated Doctor up at the Huntsman, who took the time to review my case and history to give us a second opinion. Who took my many scans, and labs, and, and, and in front of a panel of Doctors to discuss my body. I received a call back from her this week with good news. They determined it was not in my bone, nor in the marrow. How is this so different from the last radiologist? You have a rare type of cancer that is hard to detect to someone not familiar with my case. My cause. My life. But, you have a mass in your pelvis...and we will monitor it...and you will come back soon...and we will see what happens...In all of this of course you know by now the tears are falling. I praise my God, for He has shown mercy on me. For there is light even in darkness. For there is good even in the bad. These past few weeks many wonderful people whom I love have reached out to us. Sending good thoughts, prayers, uplifting me. Guiding me on this journey in love and kindness. The only way I can explain this feeling is that I have been sustained. Sustained. This feeling has nourished my soul, empowered me, lifted me up. Gratitude has filled my heart a thousand times over. Gratitude. It has made me ponder the power of many, how we can help each other. Love lifted up in unison...to a higher power. How it can change a person. How it is changing me...and I am thankful. I am thankful for this life I have been given to live. I am thankful that I can taste the bitter to know the sweet. I am thankful that having Cancer makes me see life clearer. I am thankful for each moment...the good and the bad, because it is helping me grow. What a ride it's been, what a ride it is. What a ride it will be and I'm sure as hell happy to be on it.
Today I received the results back from my 6 months scans. I don't know what I was expecting to hear, just hoping for good news. I have been surprised with how much peace I have felt over the last few days. Getting scans are so hard, and the waiting game is usually more difficult. I have most likely cried a thousand tears today, and I'm sure I have a thousand more that will come. Things are looking better in my Liver and abdomen, for this I am in awe and so grateful. They are seeing some shrinkage in both of them. I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard my Doctor say that to me, but there was more to come. It was my pelvis, irregular bone marrow, probably metastatic disease...Irregularity in the peritoneal coverings...in my bones. What does that even mean?? What are you trying to tell me? I asked again. The cancer has spread to your bone marrow in your pelvis. Silence. Shock. Amidst all of that I felt a form of peace. This same peace I had felt when I knelt in prayer before my God pouring out my heart to Him. I know He knows my heart and what I desire in this life. I know He heard me. I told Him not my will but His, and whatever the outcome I would do what needs to be done. I will fight. I will live to see my babies grow up. I will. I will keep going even when it is hard. I will not give up. I will not let this cancer beat me. I am stronger then this cancer. Of course a part of me is heartbroken, of course. Of course I thought of my sweet babies, and my heart hurt. They make me stronger. They make me want to hold on tighter. Cancer can't take that away from me. I will continue to live. I will live harder, love harder, hold longer, forgive easier, smile more, be more, do more, listen more, give more. I will keep going no matter the cost. I have been so blessed. God has given me 9 beautiful and heartbreaking years to watch my babies grow...to be with my husband, my soul mate. Cancer can't take that away from me. I can only hope and fight for more. I will not be afraid, for my God is on my side. He is aware of me. He is aware of you...a tear drops from my face... I let go and soar.......
Sometimes I can't breathe. Literally. My mind, heart and soul. I am so tired and the tears fall down my cheeks. I think about running away, just leaving everything. I mean do you think I'd be able to take a vacation from cancer? From reality? Sometimes it is hard to face what is before us. I try so hard each day to live life to the fullest. I'm calculated with my time. I think about it everyday. I hold a lot in. I mean, I can just feel myself pushing everything down inside at times...my throat is so tight and my tears are on the surface, ready to explode...most times that is where they stay, is inside. This past week they overflowed, and I cried and was sad, and felt lost, alone and broken. Broken from the heaviness of terminal. Broken from finding a new treatment path. Broken with my reality. I just couldn't get out of the damn, dark hole. I just couldn't find the light. Yet somehow over the last few days I've been able to see and feel better. I received a note from an old friend, was able to visit with my sisters, I felt loved...better yet, I let myself feel loved. I was reminded of my sweet blessings and the treasures that I do have from my sweet kids who can just sense when I need a little extra help. Who hugged me a little longer, and gave so much love. Then my sister said something to me and it clicked...it just clicked. It's ok for me to let myself feel these things once in a while...but it's more important to not let it get in my way of living. Feel it, then be done with it, get up and get going...so here it is. Here I am. I'm going...I'm almost there.
I have caught myself telling my kids many times that the experiences that they have had in this life and the things that they get to do at their young age is a privilege. In fact, I explained the word to them at the beginning of the Summer...when they were given the opportunity to help on the farm, and help in our home. We are very blessed in this life and they have had many opportunities with being able to work hard and play hard. As I have reflected today about sending my beautiful babies to school...my heart has swelled a little and I heard in my mind and felt in my heart that I in fact have been the one who has been privileged to raise them. It has been a privilege for me to be their Momma, to watch them grow and learn. There is no place I'd rather be. No name I'd rather be called by. What a hard and beautiful thing it is to watch them fall, and wipe away their tears. To see them get back up. I am in awe of their strength and abilities. It has been a blessing to learn from them. They teach me everyday. I am so happy and my life is better with my sweet babies. I have held them a little tighter tonight...knowing in a blink of an eye a year will have gone by, then 5 and 10 and someday, I'm sure I will wonder where the time has gone? I am enjoying each moment. Time is ticking and I recognize and am grateful that I have been given the privilege of being on this ride. There is no place I'd rather be then right now. Here. Living.
I feel so blessed. Even when life is difficult at times...I am blessed. Tonight was simple, and we got to spend the evening with my sisters family. We picked raspberries and my sister made the kids delicious shakes! We visited on the porch in the cool evening, and the kids ran wild and played until the sun went down. We came home tired, but full...full of love, life, happiness and appreciation for the simple things of this life. I am thankful for today...for the messes that I helped my kids pick up, for the time I spent with my sweet sister, for the love I felt when I watched my kids play, for the admiration I felt towards my soul mate. I am thankful I could feel...all of these things. That I could experience these small and simple moments. My heart feels full tonight of gratitude to God for all He has blessed me with. I feel that He is keenly aware of me and knows me. I'm so thankful to have a full heart...and know I am blessed to live another day.