Which Way To Go
I overheard someone talking the other day about how they asked God to open a new door for them, to show them the way. Just like that, at least it seemed that way to me, a new door opened. One with opportunity, presumably filled with blessings and a sense of joy and probably purpose. I was overcome with three emotions hearing this....excitement for them, a little bit of hope for myself and a whole lot of disappointment that this hasn't been my own experience thus far, despite countless hours of prayer and pleading for life to take on the feel of something just easier. I'm beyond asking for abundance and perhaps too jaded to ask for perfection. Ease, just ease, would be welcomed. For the record, it doesn't have to be a doorway. I'm totally willing to jump over thresholds, sprint down foreign paths and even trust fall into an abyss if it meant a few less life storms to navigate. Now, I realize this all sounds like someone in dire need of a mindset shift, and yes, that's probably true. But I also wish I could be the recipient of a break...a little normalcy with a touch of extraordinary. Maybe that's a tall order, but I do feel like I've earned it. I'm hovering at about a year of being on oral chemo and this new normal (stupid phrase, but whatevs) that I've had to figure out. I'm grateful and blessed beyond measure that I am here and that I'm doing well. Clear Scans...those two words NEVER get old. I'm lucky to have been given this news now four times since my MBC diagnosis last January. I sincerely do not take that lightly. It's been a whole year of navigating annoying side effects of treatment, processing and dealing with the emotional toll a subsequent diagnosis has taken on me and (where I'm really stuck now) how to move forward. I know I'm lucky in that even though I'm metastatic, I'm in a place where I don't have to let cancer completely control everything in my life. It tries to, believe me, but I'm stronger than that which has been diligent about taking me down. I wish I could have witnessed the New Door conversation coming from a cancer survivor. I wonder if others in similar situations as I find myself in feel that it's as easy as wishing or praying for that new door and *poof* it happens? Or if you find that kind of talk is only applicable for people who haven't known the kind of adversity that we have to face all the time? I've both witnessed and experienced so many challenges and dare I say suffering, that I wonder is it even possible? Or a huge crock of shit that the lucky ones can believe until they know better? I'm not questioning God, just how it all works. I pray, I manifest, I superstitiously approach so many obstacles and yet, the door I covet has not opened.....yet. So many questions, few answers. I guess for me, I just keep on asking for that new door, but put into place a plan B just in case. That brings me to Cancer Recovery...and just what that could look like for me.
Maybe it's not so much a new door, but choosing which already existing door to enter. I'm desperate to feel better, more like myself. I can't really explain what that will be like, I just know that I'm not there yet. I want to feel strong, healthy and capable. Maybe that's a low bar I'm setting, but nonetheless, I'm clueless which door to go through to achieve it. It's no surprise that I have way too much on my proverbial plate. Work is nuts, kids are busy, my diagnosis is like another job to maintain and I'm determined to be helpful and present for both of my parents. Even if that means two nights of no sleep in the hospital with my mom as she struggles with her Alzheimer's storm, it's a complete honor to show her/them the love that they have so easily given me my whole life. There's no where else I'd rather be, but at the same time I wish I could take it away and fix it for all of us. So when I hear I need less stress or more 'me' time....I have zero idea how to achieve that. There's no doubt I'm still on the grief train, both selfishly for myself and for my parents. I guess that's just how it is when you love big and wear your heart on your sleeve. I don't know how else to be, so I'm not going to change so much as I hope to adjust. I'm just searching to find a way, my way, to feel less suffocated and more, I don't know, at ease.
I glanced at a picture in my bedroom the other day that filled me with a sense of sadness and also determination. It is a picture of my three kids that was taken almost five and a half years ago, ironically one month before I found the lump in my left breast. The picture reminds me of a time where there was so much innocence and even though my kids were 9, 6 and 3....peacefulness. The storms hadn't taken me in yet. Yes, storms, plural. Presumably I was ok and so was Mom. Man, I wish I could go back there, even if just for a second. The bright side is that I have learned how to love harder, stand taller and handle adversity sort of gracefully(?) since that time. I'm proud of that. Looking at those little faces in that picture is a reminder to me that I owe it to them and to me, to just keep going. I've felt so stuck in this cancer patient world, almost like I don't know if there is anything beyond this state.Today, out of the need for more and the need to save myself, I'm now self proclaiming that it's time for me to dive into Cancer Recovery. As long as I'm getting the news of clear scans and stable, successful treatment options, I have to take advantage of pushing myself through a new door. It's time to contemplate what is next for ME and how to wiggle out of this tight grasp the Big C has had on me. It won't go away...I don't have that luxury. I do, though, think it's time for me to take back control and take back the power that I do have somewhere deep down to not be reduced by all of this. I've been in a similar place years ago so you'd think that it would be easier! Well, it's not. Not for me anyway. I feel like I've tried the pleading for the new door thing, so now I'm executing my contingency plan of doing the hard work myself. I will find the door, choose the door and bust the damn thing open. Watch me.
I'm sure these thoughts don't always make sense to some, but I'm not here to be someone or something that I'm not. Hopefully, they resonate with some of you. My wish is to post inspiring words that help you all to keep going, but sometimes, that's not where I find myself in this journey. My advocacy efforts are always geared towards helping others the best that I can. Right now, however, I have to achieve that by also helping myself, Hopefully, by giving you the honest truth of this crazy life path I'm on, I help us both. Keep on Killing it everyone. I'm truly grateful that you are here with me through all of the ups, downs, doors and hopefully soon, celebrations. 💜
Much love always-M
Runaway to Mars
"I hope you have the courage to choose yourself, over and over. I hope you have the courage to move forward, not backwards. To choose growth over comfort, to choose possibility over the past. I hope you know how worthy you are of everything you've ever wanted, even if an unkind heart has lead you to believe otherwise. Your soft heart deserves to feel loved and chosen, not just today, but every day. I hope you wake up each day feeling hopeful and encouraged, knowing that you're so capable of every single thing you want to do, big or small. I hope you remember to think beyond your comfort zone from time to time and never forget the importance of growth. I hope you remember that progression isn't always easy and sometimes the things that scare you will actually get you a lot closer to where you want to be. I hope you make the most of each day and know that you are worthy of the life you have been gifted, that you are worthy of success and deserve all the triumphs you've worked so hard for and all beautiful things coming your way."-Charlotte Freeman @momentaryhappiness