I'm sure by now, most of you (any who may still be holding out the hope of an entry here, that is) have figured out that since being 'cleared for living' I've been doing just that.
Someone said to me the other day...'Ok, so from what I can see with all your energy and business and whatnot, it's like no one would ever know you were fighting cancer just a few months ago!'
Whenever anyone says something like this to me, I find myself just smiling...nodding...agreeing outwardly.......but thinking,, inwardly, how that couldn't be further from the reality of how I feel.
Every day after you are awakened to living life fully, you think back on the very moment that alteration in your very being, occurred.
TODAY...marks exactly one year ago.
Over the course of the last 365 days, I found out what it was like to: shave my head, own and manage of pill-box, have more biopsies than I can count on one hand and completely eradicated my fear of needles, experience what I endearingly *or not so much* call pee-poop (yes, grade 4 diarrhea), receive multi kinds of chemotherapy, experience an entirely bald and partially 'tanned' body, inherit the worst night (& day) sweats imaginable, forcibly resign from my passion and profession, delegate parenthood, wifehood and domestication rights to others--thereby relinquishing control--temporarily stall my small business, play duck-duck-goose with life and death, and basically, let go of all that was my earthly life.
However, over the course of the last 365 days, I grew to appreciate the insulation factors of head-hair and find it very difficult now to complain or listen to someone rant about a bad hair day, I learned how to organize a pill-box *which will come in handy if/when I am an old lady, someday*, I have absolutely zero fear of needles anymore *sadly, I can even handle WATCHING them poke me, these days, ha!*, I have a much deeper respect for a normal, solid poop *hey, don't take it for granted, people!*, I am educated *and not from Hollywood's totally skewed view* on chemotherapy treatment and what's involved, I have a newfound appreciation for my nose hair and eye-lashes *though I still don't get what the arm and leg-hair is all about, Lord*, I don't fight with the hubs about how 'cold' the house is anymore (cause I'm RARELY cold these days, ha!), although I miss my old job--especially as we are quickly approaching the start of a new college school-year which I won't be a part of--I have gained time to do other things that are equally if not arguably more important, I have a richer view of my lifestyle-roles and how they don't define me..but do BLESS me, I found out how many of my students are dedicated to what we do together and how much they value their time at my studio, and I do not take for granted one inkling of a second, feeling good... and just being ALIVE!!!
There is absolutely NO DENYING that I am grateful for the change that God has and continues to perform in me through this journey... but there is also no forgetting 'the old.' As much as I really do want to, there are certain things about today that are just branded to my memory--things I'm grateful I will totally be shed of when I'm made whole and new, someday.
Broken dreams--things that were ripped from my earthly life, with zero notice--as fast as the word 'positive' could fall out of a doctors lips whilst uttering my test results. For that matter, as fast as a doctors eyes are capable of welling with tears at the mere thought of using the word 'positive,' in response to test results.
Moments of hopelessness--standing in the doorway of Roseburg Martial Arts Academy, aware that the sweet, young secretary sensed even from across the room that something was terribly wrong when my phone rang with an invitation to come to a closing doctor's office. Watching my then three year old, stand, clueless and happy just steps away--obviously devising a plan to ask me for a 'co-tar' (quarter) to get that machine to drop some candy out as soon as I was available, again.
Calling Aaron to tell him we needed to meet at the doctors...hearing the immediate fear and tremble in his voice as he tried hard to respond calmly. Knowing that he knew what I knew. What we both knew...yet shared the hope that one of us had a good, long pinch *or punch!* in store that could awaken us from this nightmare. But it was not a dream.
I don't think I've ever wished a literal nightmare on myself more than one year ago, today.
Yet, just like the seconds of shock after you do something really bad to your body--break a bone, receive a cut, get in a car-wreck--once it wears off, what is left is the reality now facing you. IT IS WHAT IT IS... and now, it's time to deal with it. Cast it, wrap it, recover from it...
in my case, BEAT IT.
I can't say that on this day, exactly one year ago, that shock turned into that fighters spirit--it was probably more like a few days later.
But *eventually* it DID. And although that is 'inspiring' to many of you, I claim that it's instinctual. If given the choice, Fight or Die...you'd do the same.
Though the bad memories of today, linger, it would be a waste to sit and perseverate on them. Given that today, I celebrate still being here, a year later... the key word to living now is just that...
Whether you yet know our awesome Lord and Savior, He HAS provided you *and I* with all cause to celebrate. Not in our circumstances. Not in our health. Not in our successes. Not even in our gifts.
In Him, I celebrate. I celebrate because In Him, Through Him and By Him, TODAY CAME.
And THAT IS ENOUGH to provide us all, Everlasting Joy...once we've made the choice to accept it's awesome simplicity.
One year ago today.. THIS VERY MINUTE I TYPE, in fact.. Satan tried hard to rip my joy away. Too bad for him that he forgot that my joy...God's Joy... is Eternal and therefore untouchable~