In case anyone was wondering, I have cancer. The official name is Stage 4 High Grade Ductal Carcinoma: Triple-Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer. How’s that for scientific memorization?!? What exactly does that mean? Well, it means that I have an aggressive from of breast cancer that has moved from my breasts to my lungs. It is considered aggressive because of the rate at which it mutates and does not allow the hormone receptors to respond. In other words, it grows fast and they don’t have much of a way to stop it.
So, there are some pros and cons to this news. Let’s start with the cons as they take less time to write about. First, they life expectancy for someone with such a diagnosis is about 2-4 years but they say a “good 6 if you remain on chemotherapy the whole time.” The doctors include that the last year would be mainly “pain management.” Second, nope, there are no more. That is really the only one I can identify. Therefore, the cons portion of the post is over.
On to the pros. Where to start? The gift of clarity is one that few people are handed in their lifetime but when life is threatened it seems to appear. My whole life, I always saw myself as a regular old car. But now, now I see myself as a sports car. I’m a tan sports car. Why tan? Because nobody notices a tan sports car. It looks like every other ordinary car in the parking lot. However, to the person that owns it, it is fully loaded and fun to drive. It’s hard to notice unless you know what you are looking for. There is nothing wrong with being a tan sports car. It’s fun. People are always shocked when they get to know you and see what the inside of you is like and what you really have to offer. Cancer makes me less afraid to park close to the front doors of the store. Who cares if I get scratched or dinged up? I’m a freaking sports car…
I have spent a lot of time worried about things that don’t matter. I missed time with my kids and hardly know my husband. I get to recapture all that. I get to stop dividing my faith from my daily life and just be one Mary. In case you weren’t aware, I am daughter of God. I see His hand everything. I don’t separate my fate from faith and I believe life is eternal. Family comes first. Being a mom and wife are tough but rewarding and I am so grateful I haven’t quit at either. They are the greatest things I will ever accomplish in this life. I get time with my family. Cancer is slowing me down. It is simplifying life in a way that makes decision making easy. Things that should be important are important and other things are just busy work.
Body image is stupid. Who cares about weight when you have no hair? Who cares about having no hair when you just want to live? Who cares about death when there is so much to live for? I used to want long fingernails and a skinny waist. Now I want a long life and skinny will be inevitable from the chemotherapy. I want to be seen by my Father in Heaven as doing well. I can finally stop worrying about how I’m seen by everyone else.
My brother-in-law told me that he has a blog but nobody follows it. He said that people might follow mine because I have something interesting to say. I hope they follow it because it makes difference. I hope read it and everyone once in a while there is a phrase or thought that provokes or prods them to work harder to be closer to their Father Heaven. If I leave nothing in my life behind, I hope it is a clear understanding that I love the Lord. I hope that something I have to offer touches others in a way that they may experience that same love and seek to reciprocate it. It only took a terminal illness to get me to start a blog. Can you imagine what I would have accomplished with something like an amputation?
The last pro, at this time, is that I am learning to see things from both sides of the veil. To consider death now is a morbid and dark thought. It is laced with what I would miss and what my dear husband and beloved children would suffer. But to consider it from the point of view of my father is quite liberating. He got less time with me than with any of his other kids. Perhaps, he will get the most with me. He has waited for several years to see one of his children. There would be nothing wrong with being the first. I wish I could promise my loved ones that I will be here, with them, forever. I wish I could prepare them enough for if I’m not. But all I have to go on is the faith that if I do what needs to be done everything will be okay when the time comes.
Have I lost hope? Nope! Have I lost faith? Nope! I have gained both, along with a clear understanding of the importance of the Plan of Salvation.