Monday, July 20, 2009
Life After Breast Cancer
Any cancer survivor will say it is a long hard road to remission. Many times before we know what has happened our lives have taken turns we never saw coming. The road of cancer is not an easy one nor is it one of complete hopelessness either. We are all given paths in this life to travel. Some are well beaten roads, some are clearly marked and many are simply unexplored. So what are we to do? Do we simply give up, give in, throw in the towel, walk away? What do you do when your specialist looks you in the eyes and tells you you have breast cancer? Suddenly our road is broken is it not? Don't we honestly feel as if we have been hit from all sides?
Seriously how do you prepare for something like breast cancer? You don't, how can you? But I will give you this bit of advice from my own experience with this beast... it's what you do with your life after the diagnosis. Our world has completely changed and fair or not we have to change with it, rearrange our lives not to fit caner inside of it but to beat it out of it.
I know at the end of the day her price tag seems just too high. I mean how many hurdles must we jump over, walls must we hit and rivers must we cross right? Maybe you feel the only place you can be found is hiding in a dark room, under the covers. Maybe you are even filled with sorrow and despair? Listen to me... it's part of the journey. I know I have cried out to God and asked him how many times must I feel broken in this process? Don't be afraid to let go and grieve, to cry and to scream. All these insecurities tagging along for the ride are part of the process.
We had so many plans right? Do we just pick up where we left off now that we hold a remission tag on our heads? Maybe, but there's so much more life wants to offer us now that we are survivors. See so many times it is our outlook on our situations that either makes us or breaks us. Now I am not saying outlook alone decides the outcome of our journeys because there is plenty we have no control over. Cancer is undeniably a cruel, unyielding and at times crushing adversary. We spend so much of our time fighting her, dancing with her and defying her when the word remission appears we aren't exactly sure what to do next. Seriously do we just resume life as it was before, do we fall apart, fret about all the what ifs, act as if nothing ever happened or simply move on? Possibly all the above right?
So now as hard as it may be I say to you... let it all fade away... let grace and mercy fill you with hope. Allow your sisters to hold you you, reach out to you, move you past these road blocks and simply give you hope. I know cancer took us for a ride, a long, hard painful ride but she also gave us a whole new lease on life. None of us have had a perfect road. We have all faced our demons, been broken by cancers grip and scared beyond what most people understand. Simply put we are battered and broken but we are now survivors. We are a band of sisters are we not, camp of survivors. True none of us want to go there again but we are ready now, prepared to wage the battle and willing to carry you my friend.
You are not alone, none of us here among our sisters are ever alone. This is who we are --- everything we are, tried and true, imperfect, defiant, strong and yes at times broken but we are survivors. the beast fears us here among her beautiful and yes scared survivors. We are living proof there is life after breast cancer. We all have bruises on our breasts, we have faced the dark nights and felt the rain fall. It surely is not fair, yet nor is it our fate to fail. We can't stop the rain or the night from turning today into tomorrow. But you know what? We can let the rain wash our tears away and let tomorrow come. I for one will take this path less traveled, paving the way for those sisters who follow behind me. We can't rewind, but we can blaze ahead leaving a blueprint for those yet to follow.
This is the thing at some point we all go through of these emotions. So who carries us? Who do we confide in once the beast has retreated? If you ask me along the less traveled path I will point you toward the little camp up the hill and around the bend growing in numbers everyday. Come with me and take refuge there my friend. It's time to stop waiting for the world to fall and come to the table of remission. I know the skies may be gray now but they sun will shine again. Come along with me won't you? Let's dance in the presence of the hope surrounding us in the joys of today? The joy of life is inside of us and we must follow the light joy illuminates. Life is full of the unexpected friend but when all is said and done aren't those moments the ones we find our defining grace in?