Not so long ago, I pinned this pic above. It spoke to me.
Not so long ago, I was figuring out how to move forward with life and change from SURVIVING LIFE to LIVING it. I mean really LIVING!!
Not so long ago, I travelled with my family and some friends to the Rocky Mountains and climbed a mountain with my family (after forgetting my knee braces that help me deal with my residual knee pains often left behind after chemo, radiation, and the ongoing estrogen blocker therapy thereafter). It hurt like hell to climb that day, but the view of my kids climbing amongst one of the most picturesque mountain-scapes was more than worth it. I was breaking barriers down. I was LIVING!
Not so long ago, I lead a retreat with my husband on a cruise ship to Cozumel and snorkeled, tackled inflatable obstacle courses on the water, danced, danced, DANCED, and thanked God for the chance to sip pina coladas with my hubbie while I let GO, LET GOD, and felt his blessings lift my pains away for a good portion of our trip!
Not so long ago, we celebrated my 2 year survivorship from the day I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer and I couldn’t be more thankful to GOD, my family, my friends, and my community (both near and far) for getting us through. WE did it. We made it. And although people keep speaking of the way I SURVIVED, I couldn’t help but think to myself,
“I DON’T WANT TO SURVIVE. I WANT TO LIVE. I WANT TO LIVE EVERY MOMENT FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH AND THANK GOD FOR IT, NO MATTER WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS.”
I believe that with all my heart.
I believe that because I see the value in every moment and recognize that truly,
THERE IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS SOMETHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR.
This past month, although so thankful and excited to move forward in my life and learn how to live the life AFTER CANCER. There was another plan.
This week, on Thursday, September 7th, while getting ready for dinner, I learned that (after recent scans and biopsies from some concerns we’ve had), that I indeed
HAVE BEEN RE-DIAGNOSED WITH
STAGE 4 METASTATIC BREAST CANCER.
We have found those same dang cancer cells (Triple Positive Breast Cancer) within multiple small tumors in my lungs, liver, and lymph nodes in my chest.
It’s a lot to swallow. Trust me, we get it.
And I wish we could each call or message each of you personally, but I would hope that everyone would understand that it’s most important that we focus on our family right now.
(BIG BREATH. DEEP BREATH…)
But, as I told my family,
“If in all the craziness of anything as small as eating your veggies, to finishing your homework, to a tough day at school/work, or to cancer… just remember 3 words:
GOD IS BIGGER!”
If you learn anything of this type of cancer (being metastatic), it doesn’t happen because we forgot to do something, haven’t done enough, or forgot to take a med or eat a type of food during or after treatment. The crazy thing about cancer is that it’s not always so straightforward. We didn’t miss anything. We didn’t screw up. We gave it all we got. Sometimes, metastatic breast cancer just happens. Just like when I got it the first time, everyone asked what I ate as a kid, or if I was around cooking plastics, or lived near a nuclear plant! ‘Twas none of the above. My cancer wasn’t genetic either. We tested and (Praise God!) it was negative. Some things just happen. Not because God DID THIS to me, but because my body isn’t perfect and our world isn’t. But, God WILL absolutely give us all the grace and strength to get through it. He knows what we’re capable of, because HE IS SO CAPABLE and will always share that strength if we ask.
My doctors honestly believe we can kick this. They honestly believe I have “more than a fighting chance”, and they are prepped with plan A, B, C, and my pirate docta is “willing to go all the way to Z” if necessary. They’re so on top of their game, it’s crazy. They’ve got this, ‘cuz GOD’S GOT THIS.
*6 rounds of chemo, then monthly targeted infusions indefinitely thereafter.
In other words, we kick these tumors out of the ring, punch those cancerous cells in my lymph nodes straight in the kisser, then… we maintain. (Metastatic Breast Cancer is not curable. Diabetes isn’t either. Neither are “terminal”. I CAN LIVE WITH THIS. I just gotta get my butt kicked around (Although my kick is harder, Cancer, so watch yo’self!) first, then continue systemic infusions to keep that lymphatic line clear. I can do that. Not my fave, but if I can LIVE with it, I will LIVE EVERY DAY THANKING GOD FOR THE CHANCE.
WHEN DO I START THIS BUSINESS?
Beginning Monday, I get my new port put in. Thursday, I begin chemotherapy. Yes, I will lose my hair … AGAIN. Hooray for my amazing, generous, and dear friend/founder of ChemoBeanies, Angelle Albright and her staff, for already prepping to hook me up AGAIN after I gave away so many of my chemo beanies to friends that I met along the way who’ve needed them. I mean really? Not only is God giving me the strength, the docs, the meds, but STYLE, too!! ‘Cuz as the ChemoBeanies motto goes, “Courage is always in style.”
(Yes, I did just give my own rendition of Flo’s “Kiss my grits!” from Alice )
I mean really, y’all, when it comes to raising a family, juggling life in general, and then getting cancer again? Seriously, AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FO’ DAT!
As you just heard from the plan that we’re making happen so fast and furious with docs putting it all high priority… I’m taken care of.
Guess it’s time to switch my ringtone back to some BOB MARLEY – Three Little Birds, ‘cuz
But for today, I ask you to pray. I didn’t say JUST pray. I said, “PRAY.”Cuz’ praying is more than “just”… it’s everything!
Please don’t pray for me alone. Pray for my family. Pray for my friends. Pray for my doctors, our teachers, our coaches, our priests, and our community. Pray for all of those who I was so hesitant to announce any of this craziness to because…
the weight of watching the people I care about having to watch or hear about this all over again feels heavier upon me than the diagnosis itself.
You pray for us, we pray for you. That’s the deal. Mmm’Kay?
But when you pray, pray in confidence and gratitude. We can thank God in advance for whatever good will come out of this. There will be good. There already is so much of it.
Because of that gratitude,
Because of that grace,
Because of YOUR PRAYERS…
I WILL RISE, CANCER.
I WILL RISE. WE WILL RISE.
Do yourself a favor and click below to watch this music video.
I dare you to not be inspired, no matter what your situation may be.