It has taken me a while to type this- there are just so many thoughts and messages I want to relay since it’s been so long but I’ll keep it fairly brief since many of you have been keeping up to date on social media.
So as the titles says I am now Cancer “FREE”- this is incredibly exciting! But as surreal as the diagnosis was, being done with it all is just as surreal. This past year has been constant tests and doctors appointments; I’ve been placed in a protective bubble and learned to be comfortable in it. Now, the bubble has in essence popped leaving me exposed to – well, not only germs, but to the aftermath of cancer. Some people assume that because chemo is over you instantly go back to normal. But “normal” is a funny word to me now. I’m not sure what normal is. Being that so many of life’s circumstances changed all at once it’s hard to place the effects with the causes. I know I don’t have as much energy as I did pre-pregnancy/cancer but I know that comes with motherhood (and being newly back at CrossFit!). I definitely bruise a lot easier than before which is a constant mental struggle of telling myself not every bruise means cancer or relapse. So I like to believe I am cancer-free but the reality is that though I don’t have cancer, it will forever be a part of my life and a part of my story. I don’t regret it and I’m not resentful- it’s just hard to reconcile the “free” while still experiencing some of the ties. So I keep reminding myself to extend grace to myself- when I get tired faster in CrossFit or can’t lift as much or when I look in the mirror at the added baby weight or when I long for my long hair but keep having to cut it to make it look un-awkward or when I forget things due to chemo brain and mommy brain… I may not be where I once was but I plan on surpassing that!
I am really looking forward to seeing how much more the Lord will use this experience to help give hope and encouragement to others. It’s been so amazing to see the response from the news interviews (here and here), Leukemia and Lymphoma Society blog post, documentary, and this weekend we will be speaking at a friend’s church.
All of us have a story- these stories are meant to be shared to help others (and I’ll let you in on a little secret- sharing your story also helps your own wounds heal!). So I challenge you to break your silence. Swallow that lump in your throat called “fear” and give your story a voice. You’ll be amazed at the lives it touches.
Psalm 107:14 “He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.”