Lately consistency has been my goal in almost all areas of my life. Typically I'm either overly committed or giving up on everything. Being aware of this, I went into 2020 with the plan of executing more consistency in my life. Usually I would push my hardest in the gym to only become frustrated that my abilities aren't what they once were. As a result, I would become burnt out and miss days at the gym. My new plan was to now go six days a week and move at a pace that felt good to my body. More importantly to only stay for as long as I felt my body needed. No punishing or falling into extremes. This plan carried over to nutrition, loving Braden, my devotional/journal time, walking our dog and many other areas. One of the biggest, however, has been self care.
When starting this blog my goal was to have an avenue for people to stay updated on my health and provide myself space to process. Plus it gave me an outlet to be creative, which I always enjoy. Slowly, as my frustration with medication side effects grew, I found myself without words to explain how I felt. Here I was...a stage 4 cancer patient that had been told a year ago I would most likely only live for two years. Yet, 413 days later and I am nowhere near my final day. I am beyond grateful that modern medicine has advanced to the point where we can manage cancer with a pill. Despite this gratitude, and changing to a doctor that didn't sum up the rest of my life into 2 years, I am still struggling. Struggling to understand how to be okay with tumors just hanging out in my body...stable, but ready to be active as soon as I stop responding to my treatment. Struggling with medication side effects that have taken a piece of who I am. Above all else, struggling to accept my new normal when I crave for life pre-cancer. So in my attempt to take care of myself and work through all of this I took a step back. Turned down more commitments, got away from social media & this blog, hired a Health & Wellness practitioner and focused on processing.
Now, roughly one month later, do I have it all figured out? Most certainly not! What I do know is that life is only as bad as you perceive it to be. Lately I have been viewing mine in a negative light and letting an unspoken fear control me. Fear of what was lost, what currently is and what is to come. Instead of questioning the fear and fighting back, I let it cripple me. Thankfully I am quick to realize when I am struggling and do the work required. Which brings me back to the things that I have figured out. First, fear is completely normal and acceptance of its existence is needed to move on from it because only then can I hand that fear over to God. Once I replace that fear with faith I can no longer be controlled by it. My heavenly Father will comfort and protect me. He will bring me to where I need to be and allow me to walk in confidence on whatever is to come. While within all of this I feel I have lost who I once was, I never questioned if I needed to lose those parts of me. The truth is yes! I needed to learn to live a life in complete dependance on God and not in a world where I tried to control everything. I needed to let go of many things and reprioritize my life. In short cancer, and all that came with it, allowed me to recognize areas where God was not coming first. Now as for this new normal...I still don't have it all figured out. I am still learning and growing. I still fall into old patterns, but am quicker to see them and realign myself to how I want to be living.
To sum it up, cancer has taken so much from me and those closest to me! It has taken my confidence, self worth, health, hair and money to name a view. With what it has taken, God has given so much more. He has given me more love, patience, a deeper understanding of myself, less stress (surprisingly), and a connection to Him I would not trade for anything. Even if that means I could give it all back...the radiation, the medication, the scans, the needles and the tumors. To be able to give it all back and regain who I once was. While that would definitely be the easier and more comfortable option, I would still not choose it. Cancer or not, God determines how long I live. It may be death by cancer 10 years from now or by car tomorrow. Nothing can replace the growth and appreciation I have gained since becoming diagnosed. Life is confusing, hard, beautiful and a never ending lesson. I am grateful for what has been and look forward to what's to come!