Hope and faith

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On my last day of work before surgery, one of my office mates handed me a cross. Her husband hand made it and thought I would like it. This brought tears to my eyes for many reasons. One of those reasons is my recent visits to church. Another reason is that I do not own a cross. Our house was robbed a few years ago and most of my jewelry was taken. I had yet to replace my cross. This kind, thoughtful gift meant a lot for a lot of reasons.

I mentioned the other day that my anxiety is kicking in with my upcoming surgery. I was feeling really good about it until about a week and a half ago, when the pain in my lymph nodes and tumor started to intensify. There has been pain on and off for months, mostly around chemo days. The oncologist has assured me that, while it doesn’t always happen, it typically means the tumor is dieing.

Despite knowing this, the recent pain has unnerved me. I can feel it in my arm when I reach for something or pick up Jacob. It has created a fear in me, a fear that I have fought hard to keep at bay throughout this journey. What if the cancer is fighting harder than me? What if, despite all I have been through since August, it is spreading? What if I am losing this battle?

I have been hesitant to share this fear because I don’t want it to be true. I am hoping and praying that when my surgeon opens me up, she will find nothing but dead tissue and dead cells. I have been praying hard for this, yet the fear has remained.

At church today, there was a lot of discussion about revelation and the coming of days. It wasn’t quite the sermon I was hoping to hear, but God likes to throw a curveball sometimes. At the end of the sermon, the pastor mentioned that we need to pass our sins, our worries and our fears up to the Lord. Have I heard this dozens of times before? Yes. Is this new information?  No.  Is it what I needed to hear today? Absolutely.

So, today, I am letting go of this fear. There is, quite literally, nothing more that I can do prior to surgery.  I am letting go of my fear and my anxiety and handing it off. I feel better already.

Oh, and I am once again reminded that I truly am too blessed to complain.

Happy Sunday, folks. May your day be filled with sunshine and happiness, just like mine.

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I’m done being afraid

The other day, after asking me about my cancer, I heard an unusual reply. “You are a ray of light every time I see you walk into this room.” The response was unexpected and made me smile, especially given the fact that I wasn’t feeling like a ray of light to anything that day.

I mentioned earlier this week that I’ve been having a difficult time expressing myself. Writing out my thoughts and feelings in this blog helps me to release them into the world. It frees my spirit and cleanses my soul, just a little. This week I have been extra tired and cancer has been weighing heavily on my mind. I haven’t wanted to write out all of my thoughts, as I don’t want to be negative or pessimistic, though the reality is that some days are harder than others.

Last night, after I finished writing about Michael, I started searching through a bunch of old pictures to find the one of me and him. It was a serious blast from the past as I looked through pictures that were 8, 9, 10, 11 years old – my goodness! And they were all pictures taken after I met Joe. I was cracking up at some of the sillier ones and others brought a huge smile to my face as I remember trips taken and visits from family and friends. My college graduation, Joe’s 25th birthday in Las Vegas, Christmas with our grandparents…so many amazing memories that I haven’t thought about in a while.

After laying down for bed, both of my boys asleep, my mind shifted to the fears that have come to haunt me at night. I can’t help but let them in sometimes, especially when the world is quiet and dark. It hurts to even type the words. I am afraid. I am afraid of the future. I am afraid of my family continuing on without me in it. I am afraid of my son growing up without his mommy. I am afraid of my husband losing his wife. I am afraid of the void that my sisters and my family and my friends will have if they lost me. I am afraid of all of the things that I would leave undone, untouched and unsaid. (And don’t forget the all-important – who will organize the filing cabinet?!)

As I laid in bed, I thought about my fears and all of the pictures I was looking at that brought back memories from the life that I have lived so far. And I thought about Michael and my post. He was taken too soon, way too soon. I was in the car that night. I was in the accident. I could have been taken too.

And that’s when it hit me. That’s when I remembered.

I. Am. So. Blessed. I AM SO BLESSED! I am able to wake up every single day. I have lived an incredible 31 years and I have DECADES to go! I have met the love of my life and we have created a wonderful life together – a life that includes the most incredible little man that I have ever laid eyes on. A life that is filled with love from family and friends – people that I am so lucky, so fortunate, to know.

I don’t know what the future holds. But what I do know is that I am blessed today and every day. I am here. And I am strong. And I am beating this. I won’t waste my energy on fear anymore. I won’t let it consume me. I will continue to be a ray of light.

I’m done being afraid.

And I feel better already.