That Stupid Cancer

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Hello blog world. Yes, I’m still here…and alive….but boy has life been going down hard and fast in my world the past few weeks.

I’ve missed all of you, my 1.5 readers. I’ve thought about what to write and how to write it. The words piled up in my head among other thoughts waiting to be put into organized, readable context.

And somehow…. weirdly… I’ve struggled with sitting down and getting it done.

This is a post on life.

I promise to resume my health/athletic(y) blogs soon.  But even as we do things to maintain a healthy body and mind, there is this big thing going on around us called life…

And you know what? There are times life is just freaking…. hard…brutal, take no prisoners, hard.

So where I’ve been the last couple weeks in life…..

to start with, my son unexpectedly lost a close friend in a tragic car accident. This friend was also to have been one of his groomsmen in his September wedding. He has lost many friends in the past few years of his young life. Once again my heart ached for him, his friends, and the young mans family at his swift removal from this world. As I sat at his memorial service and saw his beautiful face, my heart was pierced at how wrong it felt that this 22 year old young man was gone.

No words… simply no words… could make this right…or take away the pain from his family. Nor could I as a mother, absorb it for my son.

During this time, my husband had gone in for his yearly check up. He mentioned to the doctor he had a lump on the side of his neck and thought it was a swollen lymph node. Doctor sent him for a sonogram that day. A few days later they called wanting him to have a CT done (this was on a Friday) Monday we saw the doctor who told us the report indicated possible malignancy, but without a needle biopsy they can’t officially confirm. Somehow, they got us in that afternoon. He returned to Houston  afterwards where he had been working. We could only wait now for the biopsy results which they have promised to have for us by Wed. ( amazing and fast indeed, right?)

Both of us were positive and upbeat knowing we had to take these steps to rule out the dreaded “C” word.

Cancer.

I mean, it wouldn’t be, right? Why would it?

Wed afternoon I got the call from him. Results were in.

Tests confirmed he had thyroid cancer.

How does one respond? How does one act? I felt semi-numb and felt myself immediately kick into the zone I go to when difficult things come. Stay focused. Keep on task. Think about what I can do or what needs to be done.

Cry or freak out later if need be. That serves me no purpose when I need my head about me.

Meanwhile, hubby had immediately ended his contract where he was working, closed out of his apartment and was headed home. I felt helpless not being able to be there and help him after getting that news or knowing he’d have hours to drive home thinking about it.

Things were already unfolding though as we had an appt. the next day with the surgeon to discuss everything and surgery was set for Friday.

When I say things moved with lightening speed and were all beautifully orchestrated is putting it mildly. We know and personally believe God’s hands were all over this. No one gets the diagnosis and then two days later is having surgery to remove it. I can’t tell you how unheard of this is.

Thyroid cancer as we’ve been told is highly curable and treatable. But whoa… still… you have…. cancer.

The surgery went well, doctor felt he got all cancerous tissue and removed thyroid as well as the tumor. A short hospital stay and we had him home. The next step now is a one time radiation treatment that will literally kill any thyroid cells left in his body, but only those cells. How cool is that ?

Of course, we’ve made all kinds of jokes teasing him about being radioactive and glowing. Or with his neck wound if it had been Halloween he would’ve made an awesome Frankenstein 😉

You must…  need to…..find humor… and moments to laugh… when you are feeling scared, anxious or worried. Laughter relieves and relaxes tense moments.

We met with surgeon on Thursday to remove sutures and discuss the next step. Right now, that’s what it’s about, the next step to crush this thing, get him better, but most of all, to keep living life.

That’s been my goal as we’ve moved through this. To not let it define our lives or be the “thing” that has center stage.

Beautiful, glorious life is still going on.

Things to be celebrated. Moments to be shared. Laughter to partake in. Tears to cry. Family to be loved on. Friends to be appreciated. Feeling your partner nestled next to you during the night.  Normal days to be embraced. Sunrises to be seen.  A full, bright moon hanging in the dark night sky. The sounds of your kids voices to be treasured. The smell of your grandson. A hot shower. A good meal. The smell of coffee brewing. Waking up and knowing you’ve been blessed… entrusted… with another day.

Another day…. a pure, precious, breathtaking gift so often taken for granted.

Do you ever just wish, you could wrap your arms around it ???

So yes, we are looking forward to many more days. His prognosis is very good. We are doing all things necessary to ensure his complete health and removal of all cancer cells.  His attitude has been good and he’s strong and determined…. um….stubborn…. to use his word….well… he was under the influence of drugs after surgery when he said that… does that still count ??

Like, he admitted that to his nurse… I think that counts… don’t you ? 😉

It’s ok… stubbornness can be quite useful in life .. ask me… I might know a lil about that haha

So as we’ve moved through these past 2 weeks of difficulties in losses of loved ones and treasured friends, and dealt with the unexpected, dreaded “cancer”, and contended with other life issues going on I’ll tell you what we have been confident of….

God has been with us. He has been our Strength and Peace and I know He is our Provider. I don’t understand a lot of what happens in this world or life… I’m merely human with a very limited, short perspective in this vast world and universe… but by faith I rest and trust in One who is bigger than I am.

I just want to encourage you, who are reading this right now. Life might be smooth sailing and you have no current issues…. they will come…. or you might have just gotten out of difficulties….Or you could be having a life like I’ve dealt with recently.

Stay strong. Know this will pass. Breathe. Live and deal with only the moment you are in, running to far ahead can only offer fear and worries that might not ever even happen and only steal the joy from your current day. Appreciate random moments. Stop and smell the flowers. Value small things. Wear the fun dress. Get out the “special” dishes… use them for all their worth.  Turn up the music and sing loud. Do that thing you want to do.

Most of all…. live…. embrace your life…  and don’t let your circumstances define you.

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