Archive | August 2019

Cancer: It didn’t define me, it refined me.

This is something that is very difficult for me to share. We have lost loved one’s to cancer and the pain of that is very fresh. Not everyone get’s through it with a happy ending. It is not a trivial thing to be writing about. It is not a trivial thing to go through as the patient, nor to the family and friends.

I was fortunate enough that I didn’t have to go through chemo, but I did have biopsies, two surgeries, and radiation every day for 6 long weeks.

I went through a lot of different emotions. At first shock and numbness. “What did I do to deserve this? Haven’t I tried to be a good person?” Then I think the reality of, my God, my life may not be as long as I thought it would be. Anger, anger that I had to do this and then anger at myself for feeling so selfish when obviously there were other people sitting in that waiting room waiting for their treatment, that were obviously way worse off than I.

Then came a calmness that I can’t describe. Almost an acceptance and a knowing that my Creator was with me and no matter the outcome, it would be ok. That is the only thing that got me through. Every day I would work a stressful job, then leave to go get my treatment, go home, go to bed and start all over again. Thank God Mike helped me in the evenings to take care of whatever needed to be done.

Sometimes a tear would run down my cheek as they would administer the beams of radiation. A tear for the fear I was pushing away, a tear for the gratefulness I felt to have my children, a tear for my first love, that was back in my life. A tear for the memory of my grandparents and my great Uncle Subby who I missed up in heaven. A tear for all the times I had been unwilling to forgive my mom for her absence in my life. A tear for the things I haven’t accomplished yet. A tear for bravery that I knew I needed.

A vision would come to me every time I laid there for my treatment. It was a knowing that Jesus had his hand on my right shoulder, protecting me, healing me. It’s not something I’ve shared much, but it happened and I will always remember it.

Life has changed for me since then. Maybe I have changed too. I am a good employee but my family will always mean more. I like a clean house, but the time I spend in it with my family, means more. Being right feels good, but letting go of that need, feels better. I am no longer in a hurry with most things. I just leave earlier, the calmness means more. The television and it’s negative media no longer feed my thoughts but music that makes me happy does. The smell of the air on a crisp fall day fills me with memories of taking walks with my grandpa down 8th street in Omaha. Shallow conversations bore me, but tell me about your life and I soak it all in. Tell me a story about love and you have my full attention. In those things, I realize that is where God lives, and that is where I want to be. Refined and full of love, no matter what the outcome may be for me.