I debated about putting these thoughts down on paper. It makes it feel too real. If I don’t say it out loud or put it in writing, maybe it’s just not true. But I feel this urge to write and to share. I want to say this up front, don’t feel sorry for me. Don’t pity me. When I think about my life all I feel is gratefulness. I have it all! A Jesus who who is with me always, a husband that adores me, two amazing children, parents that love me, a sister I can count on, friends around the globe who would do anything for me, a dog who lies by my side to comfort me, a beautiful home, food on the table, heat to warm me, electricity I can see by, books on my shelf, clothes in my closet. I have it all and am so thankful.
And then I got the call, after several mammograms and a biopsy, the words I somehow knew were coming but never wanted to hear “you have cancer”. The tears immediately flowed, how could they not. I knew that at that moment my life would never be the same. How strange though. I felt the same, I looked the same, my kids were in the house doing homework, my husband at work, a list of “to-do’s” as Thanksgiving approaches. Nothing had changed, yet everything had changed.
The next several hours I spent regurgitating the words from the nurse to those I love most. “They caught it early. It’s the most treatable form of breast cancer. The surgeon will call you to schedule your consultation. You will be okay.” That is my script. That is all I know.
And today I put on my cancer-colored glasses because today my world was different. It wasn’t so much that practically anything had changed. I woke up and made school lunches but the whole time thinking about how much I love my children. When my husband left for a business trip I kissed him good-bye with a sense of gratefulness to have such stability and love in my life. When I spoke to my friends and family I felt an overwhelming sense of being cared for and loved. When I took my dog on a walk I was thankful for the freedom to move and breath in fresh air. Suddenly the world I lived in was different, nothing looked the same. It was like wearing sunglasses, everything is the same but yet it looks vaguely different.
Wearing my cancer-colored glasses just feels weird. I want to take them off but I can’t. I want to find out when I can take them off, but I can’t. I want to throw them in the trash and burn them, but I can’t. They are my new lens in which to view life.
And just now as I’m writing, my sweet son crawled into bed with me, tears streaming down his face. He too has to wear the cancer-colored glasses. He tells me he’s scared. I tell him it’s okay to be scared but that we will all be okay. While he lies on my chest I recall a verse that always brings me comfort. Better yet, I tell him, I will sing it to you. And with my less than melodious, wavering voice I sing these simple words of truth. “Be still and know that I am God. In thee oh Lord I put my trust. In thee oh Lord I cannot fail”.