Tag Archive: cancer


To My Sister


To My Sister

 

 

I was thinking about the day the Doctor told me I had Cervical Cancer.

The ground shifted under my feet; did she say Cancer? No, there must be a mistake. I just went in for a checkup a few days before…life was normal. Did she say cancer? No, she has me confused with someone else. Things like this don’t happen to me.

I must have looked at her like she was speaking in a foreign language, because she just looked back and didn’t utter a word. I felt her touch the top of my hand…I snatched it back, as if she sent an electric charge through my skin.

No, don’t console me. She was wrong. Do I look like a cancer patient? No. I do everything right. I am kind to people. I watch what I eat. I exercise. I pray. Things like this aren’t supposed to happen to people like me. I kept muttering to myself…what did I do wrong? I spoke a little too loudly. She responded as if I were asking her the question. She said there is often no explanation as to what causes a woman to start producing cancerous cells. Did she say cancer, again? I shook my head in disbelief…will someone make her stop saying that?

She asked if someone was with me, because we needed to discuss treatments.

Of course no one was with me…this was just a checkup, I thought to myself. Treatment, did she say treatment? Ummm, how do we get rid of it? I asked softly.

She smiled. “Why was she smiling?”

There is no cure for cervical cancer. No cure?

Okay, yeah, I knew that. Breathe…don’t forget to breathe. Do not pass out. I asked her, “Why do I have Cancer”? She gave me the generic, “there is no way to know why exactly”. She went on about genetics, diet, and other contributing factors, but wrapped it up by telling me that it may be none of the above. Why did I ask dumb questions? I knew all of this.

“Wait, am I going to die?” I almost couldn’t see her expression, blinking through my own tears. We are going to try and get it under control before we have to think about that.

Try? Breathe…don’t forget to breathe, Wait, don’t breathe too hard…you are going to start hyperventilating. It’s going to be okay, but you have to get a grip on your emotions, right now.

She started telling me that she wanted to try and freeze the cells…but the disease was too progressive. We have to do a biopsy; to see exactly what we are dealing with. My mind started spinning. How did I get to this place?

Two weeks before, I was in a car accident. For the most part, all of my injuries seemed superficial. My face was severely bruised, so much so, that on my first doctor’s visit; the nurse asked me if I was a domestic violence victim. Both of my eyes were black and blue. My face was swollen, and my lip was cut open, too. There were bruises on my thighs, ribs, and across both of my breasts.

It was the bruising on my breasts, which prompted me to visit my OB/GYN. I wanted make sure there were no lumps or anything like that since I hit the dashboard so hard.

The Doctor asked me if I wanted a pap smear while I was there. I can recall thinking, no. But for whatever reason, I said yes.

Two weeks later, there I was…living with cancer. My doctor said there was no telling how long I had actually had it. She said it could have been dormant in my system for a while, and the accident could have jarred something in me…causing it to spread.

How could I go home and explain everything that my doctor just told me? I had Cancer. I kept saying it over and over again as I got in the car. I thought if I said it enough, by the time I got home, I would be able to say it without crying.

I decided, instead of going straight home, I would go to see you. I needed a safe place to go, where I could fall apart…just for a minute. I just needed a minute. I kept praying all the way to your apartment…please, God…let me have this one minute.

I barely remember you answering the door. I just remember falling into you. You were confused. You kept touching my face, looking for a new injury. You were talking so fast that I couldn’t answer you. My mouth wouldn’t move. Finally, I told you that my doctor said that I had Cervical Cancer, and I just fell apart.

You kept saying NO…over and over again. You were crying so hard; I could no longer determine who was consoling whom. I told you that unless the treatments worked, before it started spreading further, I might die. Somehow, you mustered up all of this strength and told me that was NOT going to happen.

You were an angel to me in that moment. You went with me to tell mom. It was no longer me having Cancer, but us having it. During the entire ordeal, your faith and strength never wavered; you continued to be the glue that kept me together.

You were my anchor during every pivotal moment in my life. You encouraged me, laughed with me, and let me lean on you.

And then there was silence.

I don’t think I ever thanked you enough. I don’t think I ever told you I loved you…enough. I will regret that for the rest of my life. I will regret everything we didn’t do, and all things we didn’t get a chance to say.

I love you…and I know you are living pain free so I know I must sound selfish…I am sorry.

I just miss you so much…

 

Love,

Me

 

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Your Cup Has Run Over


Your Cup Has Run Over

  My cup; it runs over. This is a true sentence. If we give it much thought; we would have to agree. This does not say that the cup is only filled with rainbows and unicorns; but that my blessings are bountiful.

  I have led a very balanced life, while it was not always filled with wine and roses; it was always filled with love. Love is a funny thing; when we are going through tough times; we may say that we are not loved. We can develop the mindset that love equals “smooth sailing”.

  For me, love is not the equivalent of smooth sailing. Allow me to give you an example; if you are punished as a child for telling a lie; do your parents still love you? If you fall off of the skateboard that you were told not to ride, breaking your arm; are you still loved? If your 20 year marriage ends in a messy divorce; does this mean that you were cheated out of love?

  We are constantly given love. It may be strongest when we are told “NO”; as opposed to when we are met with no disagreement.

  Things in this life can be difficult; but why do we make them unbearable?

  If I am told, by a source greater than I, to hold some sand; what does that mean? Initially I may hold out my hand and let the sand fall into it, as I create a cup from my palm, to hold it safely. My thought process being that; surely I would not be asked to hold more than a handful of sand. When the sand continues to pour into my hand; until it is overflowing and I have to use my other hand, who is at fault? Suppose both hands are full and over flowing; we are forced to begin filling the sand with a bowl. As the bowl gets fuller; we realize that we need a bucket, barrel, or even a dump truck.

  What was the point of this? We were not created with boundaries. I was not told that I would only be given enough sand to fill one hand; I made that assumption. I decided what my limitations were. I, who was created from an infinite Source, decided that I would only be asked to hold as much…as I saw fit.

  This same is true when we are met with adversity. We decide that we are not supposed to have to suffer. We decide how much is too much, for us. Just as with the handfuls of sand, we grow anxious and agitated; when our own self imposed limitations have been over run.

  How can we, after all, KNOW how much that we can take? We are limitless. We are not bound to the borders and lines that we have created ourselves. We are only bound with the limitations that were given from birth.

  The truth is that we were given NO limitations. Do we ever say, I have more happiness than I can handle; can you take some back? NO, of course we don’t. Why? We have decided what we WANT to handle; and we made it law.

  In my life I have known hardships; I have heard some say that it wasn’t fair. I was somehow cheated into carrying around the weight of several people. The truth is though; you, nor I, can determine how much…is too much.

  If we allow ourselves to be of the mindset that we have limits; then we will always feel defeated. There is a higher purpose for all things; but we may not know what that purpose is, until we are met with them. For instance, we may think that we could never handle being homeless. But if that were a REAL limitation; why would there be so many homeless people? Rape or domestic violence may seem like a limitation; so how would we explain the numbers of survivors, who have lived to tell their stories? Why do people with Cancer, Lupus, Diabetes, kidney disease, patients on dialysis; live? Surely those impairments are more than we should have to handle. Yet there are people who live with these diseases and situations…every day.

  My cup, it runs over. I am given and accept all of my challenges, in this life. I stand straight and strong, in the wake of a storm. I will not allow MY WILL to defeat me. I am not owned by a disease, simply because man says I should be. I am not defeated by a situation, such as abuse, simply because people have said that it must be unbearable. I am supported and carried; by a love that is deeper and longer than anything that man can decide is TOO much, for me.

  Even in the middle of a disaster; I am loved higher than, any anguish I have suffered. This does not mean that people who are abused; or have endured great pain, aren’t actually suffering. It only means that my limitations are not determined, by me, or anyone else. I will take all I can take; until my body can no longer withstand it.

  In any regard, the sand will always overflow your HUMAN hand. We will always be met with challenges. We just have to understand and appreciate that with these challenges; we will also have realized our TRUE strength.

  Stop counting the travesties of your life, they are a fraction of the total experiences that you have had. Blessings are given daily; every moment of this life, is something to be grateful for.

  Today I challenge you; count every blessing that you experience. It may be hard, because we have developed the mind state that we deserve to have certain things. We may feel that we deserve to breathe, to walk, to speak, to hear; but the truth is; that we deserve nothing. Yet we are given certain blessings anyway.

  Count your blessings today; and at the end of the day…let’s see how many times; your cup has run over.

The Adversity of Angels


The Adversity of Angels
Adversity touches us all. It is true that we can have different facets of adversity or challenges; but none the less, without a doubt it will touch us all. There is no way, for instance, that I could write about adversity and not have had my share. Adversity comes in all shapes and sizes; it can last for only a single moment, or it can test us the entirety of our lives.
I can not pretend, to know the specific reasons for everyone’s individual road blocks in life; but there are reasons for all things under the sun and moon.
Recently, I suffered a great loss. Someone that I loved dearly passed away. It was not the first time that I had suffered such a loss; nor would it be the last. However, it was a challenge for me. Someone I loved and counted on died. I am fairly educated; I understand that our bodies were not built to last forever. This experience had me feeling all alone in a world larger than I would ever be. It was difficult to figure out how I would go on from that point on; in my opinion life wasn’t fair.
This got me to thinking about the larger picture; since I know that all things have their reason and season. I began thinking about my statement, “It wasn’t fair”. Fair to whom? Well, fair to me I guessed; then the flood gates opened up. Who am I to decide what is fair and unfair? So I began to unload on the things that I would deem unfair, in general. I don’t think it is fair that my sister died without warning, no one got to say goodbye. It’s at that moment that it hit me; I got to know her. I was blessed in having shared time with her. It really wasn’t about me. It was never about not getting to say good bye; but having the privilege of saying hello.
Adversity will affect all of us, it isn’t personal. The adage that what won’t kill us will only make us stronger, is very true. It may not be fair that a child has to where eye glasses, because inevitably they will be called names at school. However, since there are children that have never had eye sight at all, have never experienced a sunrise or sunset; have never spied the evening star or seen the colors of the rainbow; far sightedness seems to be the lesser of the two evils. Now, in truth, I wish that neither had to happen to anyone; but we all know that it does.
I have a family member who is an amputee; her life will forever be different than it once was. I am sure she doesn’t think that was fair; simply because it’s something she couldn’t control. In her defense though, she takes it in stride; knowing that it was God’s will. But I had a grandfather who could not walk at all. He had a stroke before I was born and he lost the use of his legs. I don’t think it is fair that people have to wear hearing aids or voice boxes; but there are those people who have challenges much larger than that. I don’t think it is fair that people get cancer, diabetes or lupus; but they do. Just because the adversity one has; is different than another does not mean that it serves a different purpose. Adversity challenges us; it gives us strength, we are not defined by an affliction. We can find lessons in all things; we only need to seek it.
I am not suggesting that people that succumb to cancer, diabetes, lupus or any other debilitating illness are weak. Sometimes we must seek the larger picture; it isn’t always easy to do this. As I stated earlier, I have been caught up in the fairness game. I do not think that it is fair that anyone suffers from anything; but it really isn’t my call, or yours.
We have a set path. Our path is unique from anyone else’s; we all may have the same destination, but how we get there can be amazingly different. My path may have more adversity than yours; then again, you may consider adversity renting instead of owning your house. Even in the definition of what we consider to be adverse conditions; we may differ.
Change is good. Change keeps us from getting too comfortable in or own skin. The best way to look at it is like this; things aren’t happening to you…they are happening for you. Your path is being molded everyday and you may have no idea what is in store for you; but your Creator does.
Adversity is an angel…sent by God. God does this to re-align us with our true path. Our plans for our lives are in vain; we plan nothing that is not willed by God. Sometimes God just needs to slow us down; give us a breather. We often just need to take a step back from how we are living to see what we need; in order to fulfill our pre-ordained destiny.
Take a moment today and look back on your life. Take a deep breath…exhale; give thanks for the ability to do so. I am always grateful for being brought here; to this place which has connected us…if only for the minute it took for you to read this. I wish you all peace and love; may your blessings be abundant and your life filled with smiles.

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