At times I am sure we have all been there.... When the only thing we can mutter is groans from the bottom of our being. A cry so deep you aren't sure where it came from. Breathing that simply is fast, if breathing at all.
I've found myself there. And at moments I am not sure how I will get by, other than I am quickly reminded by my next breath that God is sustaining me.
Cancer was never something I thought would play a role in my life, denial maybe or maybe lack of I've already been through hell that won't happen.
It did..... And let me tell you how lonely that horrible word/disease can be. Some day's ok most days all I can muster is groans. I am not sure how to talk, or if I did what I would say.
I find myself isolating because I am not sure what I need, or in this season of my life I don't want to depend on anyone. I am so lucky for a few friends who refuse to let me stay hidden away.
My life has changed so drastically in just a few short months. I am on my third week of chemo and radiation. And most days once again I am not sure how I will get through. I know the strength of my God is all I have, nothing else is sure. And alone I am doomed.
When the word cancer was first thrown at me, I remember being angry.... really angry that I had this next big thing to get through. And I struggled really hard with keeping my head in to today. It kept wondering to all the "what ifs?" the "how's?". Then as the months have gone on. The anger has left and really that left quickly when I realized why not me?. ... And now after weeks of treatment I am learning a lot about myself and about those around me.
It really is true that in really hard times you learn who your friends are. This should be a time when they rally around you, support you, pray with and for you, step up in any way possible. I am blessed for a few of those good friends and others I guess I've learned to accept them for who they are, and in spite of who they are love them as best as I still can because that's what I have been called to do. Despite what and how they are.
Last week as I ended week 2 of treatment I found myself in despair.... I was sick, and so sick at that. I found my ability to function being compromised by the treatment and I was disheartened. Even though in those moments I didn't lean on God he carried me. The next day I found myself in a different place, making amends for my emotions the day prior to those around me. Learning there is nothing ordinary about cancer and the treatment that comes with it.
I could sit and cry all day because inside that's how lonely cancer can feel, and how it messes with your head and your ability to see and function clearly. But I promised myself before treatment that I refused to let cancer define my life and I wanted to make the most of each moment. To soak in the love of those who really loved me, make priorities and live each day to the best I could that day. So some days it meant I layed bed bound because of how sick I was. I lay'd with my kids, with God's word and that was it. Others it was phone calls and lunch, or a Rockies game. Knowing those vary things would knock me on my butt for maybe even the day following. And I didn't want to become a vegetable, and lay around so that was hard and some days I ended up doing zumba even if it wasn't to the best, I still did it and that's an achievement.
I know for myself the enemy will grab a hold of me when I lay around, he knows when I feel lonely he has a chance at stealing my joy and making my heart go to all the hard, painful places and things that sit in my life. So I have been so determined not to stay there if possible. And of course if I said "Oh that's easy peasy" I would be lying. Because I do have a few heartbreaking things in my life and they seem to pop up very often, and I tend to question myself and who I am. But I have challenged myself to remember who I am in God.
Cancer and treatment is not a journey for the light hearted. I have learned and heard some stupid/not compassionate things come out of people's mouths. Some people react heartbroken at my news others want me to buck up and face it and be ok with it.
I have sometimes wondered "why?" throughout these past few months. And wondering why... is not effective. I wish to embrace this and show God's beauty through another trial God has placed or allowed to be placed before me.
I am a better person because of cancer....I surrendered to the test and I will walk out of it a better child of God, a better wife, mom, friend and hopefully cheerleader for someone else one day.
Because what people who are walking in these shoes need...... are people.
People on good days to laugh at yourself with ( you know when you can't remember a thing and feel like your 80 and have lost your mind), people to cry with that can throw their arms around you and remind you that even if you feel like you can't make it one more day, that you will, you can and you are. People to help hold your hair back while you are throwing up, people who bring you food knowing you may not feel like eating.... Really for me I really need people to laugh with because cancer SUCKS.... And there is already enough pain and tears. Thank you Jesus that in my worst days I am love-able, I am not cancer I am still the same Angela everyone once knew.
I am so thankful for the HOPE I have in Christ because without him this would be a much different journey. I want to be someone that others on this path will find HOPE in Christ in, that they too will see a different way of walking through one of life's most challenging, painful times.