Recently, specifically on March 25, another milestone in my life occurred. My eight year cancerversary. The day went un-noticed. There were no celebrations, no tears, no hurrahs. Just another day. That is a beautiful thing. Beautiful in that it is not at the forefront of my mind. Survival is now the norm. As if the cancer part of my life is merely a thing that happened and not THE thing. Eight years ago I was completely oblivious to how breast cancer would affect my life. My thought was that "oh I HAD a tumor that was cancer - they took it out - that's it". NOT. Breast cancer is not a take it out and go on about your business type of cancer. It's a beast that does not like to lay dormant. So - off to treatments I went. Six brutal rounds of chemo and 37 days of radiation, followed by five years of tamoxifen and now five more of Femara. It seems never ending. Some people could not believe that I was calm and cool about the experience. Some thought I was in denial. The diagnosis was not devastating. It was what it was and could not be changed. The chemo was a different story. The loss of my hair was life changing. Vanity can be a killer. Hair loss told people that I had cancer. I was embarrassed to have breast cancer. I was hurt that my children (ages 13 and 15) had to tell people their mom had cancer. Physically, I was suffering terribly from the effects of chemo. My body rebelled at the thought of those drugs each time. I could re-created the smell of the drugs even before getting to the office. I would walk in and turn green with nausea. The mind is very powerful.
The mind is powerful and can deceive you and destroy your very being. The cancer can destroy your body - it can test your faith - it can weaken you emotionally. But it can also build you up in ways you could never dream. From the very first moment I felt like my Heavenly Father lifted me into His arms and carried me. I don't think my feet ever touched the ground. The love of friends and family and the prayers that were sent to Heaven on my behalf were more that I could have ever imagined. Cards from strangers all across the country. I felt so unworthy. Reality of the situation was summed up at a Beth Moore conference where she spoke about Job. Job was chosen to walk through his journey of loss because God trusted him. God knew he would stand firm no matter what would happen to him. He trusted Job completely. Job endured - he stood the test time and time again. What a privelege that God would entrust me with such a challenge as Breast Cancer. That He would allow me to minister to others. That He would allow me to support other survivors. That He would allow me to sit at the bedside of those that were losing their battle. That because of my battle, I would development new lifelong relationships with others that I may never have known otherwise. Afforded the opportunity to grow in my relationship with Jesus like never before. To strengthen my relationship with my husband and children.
The journey has never been easy - but it's been a blessing in so many ways.
Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Reader's Version)
11 "I know the plans I have for you," announces the Lord. "I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come.
He had a plan for me. He still does. Thank you Jesus for the last eight years. It's been a privelege.
Love to all.
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