At Bible study a couple months ago we were talking about my journey with cancer. One of my friends said that she just knew it in her heart that there was a reason that this was part of my journey. I told her to shut up! This journey sucks, this plan sucks and nobody is benefiting from this torture! I certainly was not benefiting from the side effects, the hair loss, the aches and pains. I don't think my kids would have picked to have a Mom that missed games, couldn't push them on the swings, or didn't have the energy to go swimming all last summer. I'm certain that my husband would prefer my small real boobies over the big, perky foobs and wishes he would not have been forced to be the optimistic half of our pair when he's accustomed to being the Eeyore half of our pair.
I still don't really care for the aches and pains that I have daily or the headache that doesn't ever seem to completely go away. I don't particularly care for the weight that I gained or the tightness of my clothes. Hot flashes are not my favorite thing in the world and night sweats cause a lot of additional laundry. The physical scars honestly don't bother me at all anymore, but the emotional scars and the roller coaster of "what if" I could certainly live without. (What if there were microscopic "c" cells floating around in other lymph nodes? What if it comes back in my bones or worse my brain? What if I have to look at my loved ones and tell them this news?)
But, then I took a few weeks away from social networking so that I could survive the brutal schedule of three monsters in multiple activities. During that break I received a forward from the parents of this beautiful girl pictured below from a surrounding community that read: "I still can't thank you enough. Between the head wraps (Rhi also contributed to this smile greatly) and the wigs, you've helped give her this smile back."
Remember how I wanted to burn my wig? How I was convinced that I simply flushed a big chunk of change down the toilet since I didn't wear it!?!
LOOK AT HER!! HOW BEAUTIFUL AND ABSOLUTELY PERFECT THIS BEAUTY IS IN THIS. I NEVER would have guessed it was a wig, let alone the one that sat on my night stand for 10 months!! Hair loss is so difficult and to know that this wig made it a little less painful for this young girl makes the money seem like nothing!! Knowing what I know now; knowing that it would bring her such joy, I would have spent twice as much.
Psalms 34:18 - "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; He saves those who are crushed in spirit."
The very next day, I received a comment on my blog that read: "Laura, I was the recipient of your beautiful gift at Taussig yesterday during my first chemo treatment. I love the book, the and the quilt with all the scripture on it was answer to prayer. I also have a blog that started back with my youngest daughter's diagnosis 3 years ago www.jascawleyfamily.blogspot.com. Thank you so much for passing your inspiration along!"
I have read her recent blog posts and I couldn't have picked a better person to receive the survivor gift I asked my oncologist to pass along!! Please pray for Sarah as she continues to fight!!
1 Chronicles 16:11 Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.
This weekend, we enjoyed the beautiful weather with friends and family, we remembered and honored, we laughed and cried, we lived.
This morning I texted with a fellow survivor and spoke candidly about life AFTER cancer. Struggles that most people don't realize, most certainly don't talk about and can't be blogged about. When she admitted that it made her giggle and HOPEFULLY empowered her a little, I realized once again: It's so much better to give than to receive.
And maybe my friend was right (don't ask me to admit it ever again, Kelly:P), but cancer probably was part of my journey for a reason.
I have a lot more to give now. More love, more time (I'm continuing to work less hours!! :)), more patience, more life experience, MORE HOPE.
Give often, give freely. It's good for the soul.
Love and hope,