I have been wanting to blog for quite a while but haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and really write. Last time I wrote, life was upside down and I didn’t know what direction I was going or what way was up. I know life is life and bad things happen, it’s natural and well, it’s just life. Nothing I can do to change or control that. It doesn’t make life things any less tough. And as life does, it kept going, and kept us on our toes.
In May….after I sold my house & while I began packing up my house and life to move to Bozeman for my new adventure…our family got some more unexpected and tough news. My mom was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. CANCER. AGAIN. BREAST CANCER, AGAIN. We had literally just lost Di a few weeks before we learned about my mom. Yes, it’s stage one. Yes, she caught it VERY early. But it’s still cancer and it’s still very scary…especially when we just lost Di to it, my mom’s sister no less.
I was shocked and terrified when she told me and immediately thought better of moving…even though it was all under way. I couldn’t imagine leaving her and my dad here to deal with it all without supporting them. It felt extremely selfish to me. I was her kid and I needed to be here for her….to support her….and let her know she wasn’t alone. The idea of potentially losing my mom, my person, right after losing such a hugely important person in my life, Di, was absolutely terrifying to me….and still is.
I felt like God was really putting our faith to the test this year. In my life, school was a HUGE unknown for the early part of 2018, then we lost Di suddenly, and now my mom has to fight breast cancer. I struggled if I could stay strong through all life was throwing at me but I made a decision to anchor myself in my faith. I knew that I would ONLY make it through the move, changing my career, and not get so bogged down with worry about my mom by putting my faith and trust in God. I could only control what I could and that is my response to all the change at my feet. I chose to move, to start a new path, and I had to choose to trust God in those choices and those things I had no say in, like my mom now having to fight breast cancer.
Fast forward some time….my mom & dad helped me move to Bozeman (which I absolutely love by the way…more on that later) and I’m SO thankful they were able to come and help me. I think it was good for all of us honestly…helped take our minds off everything my mom was going to face. When she got home, she began her treatment process. She had surgery on August 13th and while it was deemed successful…all cancer gone…it did move to one lymph node and was about 4 times bigger than originally believed on the ultrasound. And that is where we are at right now. We don’t know what will come next…originally it was just going to be radiation but now we have heard it may be a form of chemo too. It shocked all of us it was that big and that it was in a lymph node…but because my mom’s faith is so strong and well my mom is so strong, we know it will be ok. She will be OK because God will make sure of it (not putting words in his mouth or his promises of course, just my ideas 🙂 )
I have told a few people that God and I have made a deal. I know I’m probably not supposed to be making deals with God but I like to think he smiles down on me and obliges my need to make deals every now and again. To be completely honest, 2018 has really sucked. Parts have been incredibly fantastic and amazing and I try really hard to hold onto those but so much of this year has sucked. And in being even more honest, I can’t imagine losing my mom. Yes, I do know one day it will happen, but I’m not ready for that yet. She is my person. She helps me see the good in these terrible situations that we have dealt with this year and in times passed. She holds our family together. She supports me in all my crazy dreams…like changing my career and moving to Montana. She has shown me how to be strong in life’s tough times. I can only hope to be half as strong as she is. I wouldn’t survive this life without her and so I have made a deal with God that I’m not ready for her to leave us yet and I like to think He knows this already. I like to believe that He smiles kindly on my poor worried heart and reminds me His plan is awesome and no matter what happens, He’s got this. He’s got us. He’s got me. And He’s going to make sure we’re all ok.
Without being terribly preachy, I have to share that without my faith, I would be in some hole in the fetal position with everything that’s happened this year. I hate change (ironic) but He has made me strong. He made my mom so incredibly strong and I’m finally seeing and experiencing that for myself. I know without a doubt, I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am in this moment without my faith and my belief in God. I can pick specific moments where I can see how He worked in and through others to make life OK for me and for our family. And so I know He will continue to do that for my mom and all of us.
I also want to take a moment and say that my mom gave me permission to write about this. It’s something I have been wanting to do for a while but putting it into words made it so real and I wasn’t quite sure I was ready to deal with it all yet. Another EXTREMELY important piece of this is self-care. My mom is the one who found her lump….the mammogram she had a month earlier didn’t even detect it…she found it and started having it monitored right away. Unfortunately that was in February and she wasn’t diagnosed until May, but that is another story for another day. The important point is that she was doing her monthly self-check and felt it and if she hadn’t, who knows when it would have shown up and how far it may have progressed by then. It’s an extremely important lesson for me and for anyone who reads this. Don’t wait…be an advocate for yourself and your health…you know your body best…and while I did my own self-exams often, I have done it regularly twice a month…just for good measure. Also, if you know my mom, she is reminding me 🙂
I write all this to share her story…our story…my story. We believe it’s important to share our stories and experiences because they may help someone else out there reading this in ways we don’t know.
I want to thank our family and friends who have reached out, sent their prayers & well wishes, and who have been such a strong support system for us always and especially in 2018. I know my mom appreciates it and I do as well…more than we can say. God blessed us with some great people in our lives and we love you all so much.
All my love…