"I can't believe it". "This is not happening to me". These are the words that were swimming through my head several years ago as my doctor delivered that dreaded phrase! I remember asking the doctor to bring my sister, Cissy, in the room and after sitting there for a few minutes we just agreed that we would face this head on. Full of fear and uncertainty, we began to make decisions and change our plans.
I am not very demonstrative with my emotions, therefore, no tears were shed when my doctor told me I had cancer. As I sat back in my seat, it felt like my blood became cold and was slowly and painfully draining from my body. I was stunned. And, I was angry. My mother had just transitioned to heaven a few years earlier, my family was still working through the devastation of our loss and now this! The prevailing thought racing through my mind, like a freight train that slipped off the tracks, was the notion that I would miss the opportunity to have children. "I am not going to have kids." Isn't this every girls dream? I was not married and would not have the chance to bear children. I was overwhelmed and disheartened.
As I write this post, I am met with the same emotion I experienced when I first heard the news. I am, however, still alive and while I will never have the opportunity to 'have' children, I 'have' children. I call them my God-kids. My life has been enriched by several individuals that think of me as another mother.
Through my experience I have learned a few things:
- You only live once. Life is a gift, a free gift that will cost you everything you have. :) My challenge to you: Live with audacious tenacity. Enjoy those around you. Live with passion and purpose. Love without reserve. Forgive as you have been forgiven.
- We are not alone. We are designed to exist within the realm of relationship with others. I found that I had (and still have) a number of friends and family members who were willing to stand with me in prayer, cook meals, sit and talk, or remain quiet or drive me to doctor's appointments if i needed or wanted them to.
- Life is not easy. There is no way to know what one will face in life. This is why I choose to stay connected to a Source that is much bigger that I. Being a Christian, I trust God will give me grace to endure the challenges and victories that come my way. I choose to believe He will take care of me through the storm. Even when it doesn't seem like it (there are times).
- Whether I live or die, I win. This was a tough one for me. I had to personally work through this reality on my own. You see, I believe that the life I live, right now, is temporary. Death is a transition from this 'life' to eternity. I will see my mother and others who have passed on. I will live forever.
If you, or a loved, have been diagnosed with cancer or any other disease, my sincere hope is that you have a community of people to surround you with loving care and commitment, as I have.