I haven’t always loved words but they found me in some of my darkest day. Whether it was in the form of a book or a blog post I stumbled on. I recently wrote that words have power. More than one will ever know. I love to write, sometimes its a story, sometimes its an elaboration of a thought or something that evokes a feeling in my soul. I like sharing my life and my thoughts in hopes that someone, somewhere might read it and not feel alone. I share them because I believe in the power of the written and spoken word. That maybe if we all shared our truths and the messiness that is called life; maybe, just maybe it’d be a better world.
But. There is always a but.
I hesitate. What if it’s not as good as so and so’s. What if it unintentionally hurts someone. What if it make me seem this way or that. I could literally go on and on about the stream of thoughts I have in my head. For 12 years now words have been my constant companion. They’ve built me up and tore me to shreds. I’ve stoped writing because I cared more about likes and if I was good enough. I hesitated to share my journey with cancer this time because I’ve been so hurt by people who I thought cared. But I miss it. I miss sharing my heart and my thoughts. I’ve read several blogs and post from other cancer survivors that I resonated with that got me through that heart wrenching moments. I still believe it’s better to share than to bottle it up, but I see so many people who want to create this façade of this or the other, why not just be yourself? You never know how you’re true story is going to help some one else.
I love when I read a book and it sparks something in me. It evokes feelings I didn’t know I had. I just finished reading Far Cry by Kate Canterbary and I’m just in awe. I relate to the main character, Brooke so so much. The years I remember of my childhood were spent in and out of doctors offices and hospitals with my dad. Don’t get me wrong I never lacked the love or important stuff, but growing up with that leaves a lasting impact on my soul. In the book, Brooke is this fiery, fierce woman who has endured a lot and has learned to take no shit. But underneath it all she is deeply impacted by the wounds of her life. In one part she says “I’ve been dragging little red wagons worth of issues around since forever.” I’ve never had something sink in my skin the way that sentence did.
We all bare scars from the life we’ve lived thus far. It’s up to us whether we learn from them and allow them to hinder us or enable us. The past 5 months have unearthed past hurts for myself and my mom. Hurts that I didn’t know she had and hurts that I didn’t know really bothered me. Those are her story to tell and to work with. I tend to take in others problems, especially of those I care most about. I’ve lived a life where it’s easier to pick up and carry on than it is to sit with my feelings and allow them to teach me something. Cancer is a huge part of my life, as is my journey with my past. I’m allowed to feel the way I do and so are you. Know one has lived in your shoes but what I do know is, it’s possible to hurt people because you hurt. Cancer has taught me more than anything in my life and yet I hate it with a passion I didn’t know I possessed. Cancer is like looking in 360 degree mirror of your life. It invites feelings that you didn’t know were there. My soul hurts, my depression is worse than it ever has been. I have suicidal thoughts more than I had in my teen angst years. My soul is tired. Im tired of fighting this battle and carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I don’t know that I want to live anymore. I’m tired of fake people who make it seem like their life is perfect. I’m tired of the financial and emotional burden cancer has put on my mom and I. I’m tired of people who say they’re there but never really show up.
This wasn’t wrote to seek pity but as a reminder that words have the power that a knife never will. The letters and sentences can be the very thing that lifts someone up or bury them Remember that the next time you speak.
I’ve sat here for an hour trying to find words. I really have none in this season, my spirit is crushed and my soul is weary. Living with depression and anxiety on the daily tends to leave you battle worn. I haven’t wrote in 5 months, it’s been pretty dark here, more people have went than came, bad situations and good have happened, Mom has stayed constant through the chaos. I’ve been living one day at a time because I didn’t know if I’d make it to the next day or not; I still don’t. Being suicidal is such a taboo subject and people don’t acknowledge it and when you talk about it people tend to run in the other direction, but it’s been my reality. I’ve been trying to find the words because I don’t have any lately. It gets lonely siting by yourself and your thoughts. Cancer and Mental illness are a recipe for loosing people. They either don’t know how to deal or they don’t want to. I don’t want to deal with it either but, it’s my life and reality. I’m not particularly cheery or optimistic. Good days are few and far between. My animals have became my closest companion. Phone calls and text dwindled. People move on and forget that you’re stuck in this place watching as the world passes you by. You see relationships bloom and pregnancy announcements abound, all while it’s like a knife twisting in your heart. You cry and wail and bleed out your pain in salt water. I’ve been sitting on this for a few months now because I’m angry and grieving and in disbelief. The cancer has spread and now requires surgery. Surgery is scheduled for October 5th… I don’t know how to deal with it. I’m not dealing well clearly. There is a large chance that I might not even be able to freeze any oocytes. Do you know how much the procedure and requirements cost? 10,000 dollars plus the cost to store them until use. Did you know none of it is covered by insurance? Did you know that there is no guaranteed that they’ll be viable once ready to be used? It’s a lot to take in. I’m not supposed to be dealing with this, I’m supposed to be in my dream job; living out my best life. Not sleeping 15 of the 24 hours a day because of pain and a depression so crippling the only way out is dying. All these post about suicide and it hurting others more than it hurts you is utter bullshit. Until you live in those shoes, you never know what it’s really like. God and I haven’t really been on speaking terms lately, It’s hard to pray when you feel forgotten. It’s hard to be in church when you see the judgement and and feel more alone in a crowd of people than you do when you’re alone. It’s hard to have faith when you live in fear daily. I’m not the me I want to be anymore, I don’t know the girl I’ve become the past 2 years. She’s bitter and hurt and a little jaded. Maybe now that I’ve given it a name, I can heal from this. But right now, no I’m not ok and honestly I don’t know when I will be. So when you ask what you can do, just be there for me. Maybe ask me to do something and don’t be offend if I say no. Don’t ask me how I’m doing, ask me how today is because it changes daily. Pray for me if that is your thing. For now, I’m an utter disaster.
This past year has broken my spirit. It has shown me friendships don’t last, time doesn’t slow down for anything, you’re never prepared to lose anyone, and life can never be normal; flowers don’t grow there.
I lost my best friend Thursday at 8:30. I held her as she took her last breath. Lexi was magic wrapped in this white package. I loved her the moment I saw her in that pet store. She was meant to be in my life. She weathered the storms of life with me. She was my refuge in those years when my dads health declined and the day he died the skies cried and so did she and I. She stood beside me when we moved from the only home we ever knew. She was there the day I was diagnosed with cancer. She took a walk with me and I cried on her shoulder. This last year, she became my confidante and she saved my life. The moment I planed to take my life, she looked at me with those all knowing brown eyes and said I would make it through this. She was a fighter from day one, surviving something that most dogs don’t survive not once but twice. The night she died, she looked at me and told me it was time for her to go but I wasn’t ready. She taught me unconditional love and what it means to be a friend. Rest easy, sweet girl. Life isn’t the same without you.
I went to countless doctor appointments this year. I’ve seen first hand the devastation cancer causes. I doesn’t walk into your life, It bulldozes everything you’ve worked for. There is little to no support for teens and young adults with cancer. Very few resources and support sources. Cancer literally halts your life and demands attention. I’ve had four biopsy with mixed results. I’ve jumped and pole-vaulted through hoops to seek treatment options that are unconventional and fought to be seen despite the number on a scale. I still have cancer and my life lays in shambles because of it. People disappear when you have cancer and it’s even worse when you’re cancer is noticeable. You learn to lie when your have cancer because no one who ask how you are really wants to know the truth. My medicine has so many side effects that the FDA doesn’t list them all. I may not be bald but I’m losing my hair, I have bald spots. You learn to cover the bruises. You hope that you don’t catch the next sickness going about. You sit in solitude because people don’t know how to act around you. It hurts. I’ve been seeing a team of doctors for the past year for bariatric surgery and still am not cleared to have it. People think eating is simple, people think losing weight is about willpower. NEWSFLASH: it is not. Food is complex and some have the chemical make up as narcotics. Weight loss is isn’t always simple and being fat isn’t a crime or even the worst thing in the world. Trust. Me. On. That. I’ve learned that my issues go so deep, that they have issues.
Mental Health needs to be talked about and people need to quit stigmatizing it. You aren’t crazy, OCD is a real paralyzing thing, Depression makes your brain tell you lies, and some days the best you can do is breathe. I can’t tell you how many times in the last year I’ve thought about committing suicide. If it wasn’t for the medication I take, my dogs, and my mother; I wouldn’t be here right now. I’m not less than because of my Depression, GAD, or OCD. They don’t make me a flawed person. I used to think I was pretty resilient, but I’m not bulletproof.
Jesus and I haven’t been besties this past year either. I started writing this because I don’t know where I stand with God right now. I think back on the past year of my life and wonder if this is how Jesus felt that night in the garden of Gethsemane. His friends couldn’t even stay awake and grieve with him. He prayed for God to take this cup from him. He begged him. In this moment we see Jesus’ humanity, that even though he was special and was sent here for a purpose. I often wonder if there is a purpose in all this suffering. Jesus say’s,
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Mark 14:34
I can’t help but wonder if Jesus felt the things I’m feeling. Why do bad things happen and why has my life been so full of it this past year? Maybe I need to be as hungry for God as I am for a piece of good life.
I don’t know, all I can do is take the days one minute at a time and put one foot in front of the other. I read a quote by Ernest Hemingway recently that said,
“Write hard and clear about what hurts”
Maybe that’s all I can do. Maybe what I write would show someone they’re not alone, I know I could’ve used that this past year.
May 2018 be a year of healing, peace, grace, intentional being, finding yourself, and letting people know they’re not alone.
I want to talk about it but I don’t know how. I’m scared of offending other people, but what about those that offend me?
I guess I should learn to care less.
I am depressed. Drowning in it actually. I thought about killing myself last night, planned the ways I would leave things.
But before you judge, or say life is worth living, take a minute to walk in my shoes.
I have cancer, it doesn’t matter what kind, it’s still a disease meant to kill. I spend my days in pain and alone. My dogs are literally what keeps me alive. Money is so tight, it’s non-existent. I can’t afford my Dr visits or to see my therapist. Lately our car, meaning the only one we have, is in dangerous conditions. My anxiety and OCD is uncontrollable now. I was fired from my first job because of my sickness. I feel worthless. I literally see none of the people I called my friends or hear from them. I don’t see my family and at this point feel like they don’t care about me. My mom works too hard for what she makes and for someone who doesn’t appreciate her. She won’t see about her health and I worry about that. I have no idea about my academic life and and barely surviving the semester.
I don’t say anything because I feel it makes me week and let’s be honest, people look at you differently when you’re honest about what you feel.
They want “I’m fine” not “I’m not okay.”
So until you spend a day in my mind, don’t tell me what I feel.
I still believe in God. It’s just harder to these days.
“At times it seems, if for no other reason than the size of the global population, that there has never been more pain, more disease, more famine, and more heartbreak on the planet than now, and yet God has trusted you with this moment in history! You are to be a force for good on this earth. Chayil. When everything around you is in the midst of chaos, when your own world is quaking, you are to be she who rises… she finds her brave and she rises.”
I’m not gonna lie, I’m scared. I’m so afraid that I’m going to die from this cancer. This past 5 months have been the hardest since I was diagnosed. I’ve argued with God, I’ve said that I don’t know if he cares about me. I pray and hope and wish and nothing seems to change.
It’s been 11 months on the 8th that I’ve know I’ve had cancer. It’s taken every. thing. from me. I’m on a medicine that is right up there with chemotherapy drugs. My hair is falling out, my vision has changed, bright light gives me a headache, I’m in pain all the time, I sweat like I’m running from the popo, I forget a lot of things, most of all it took away the person I worked so hard to become. My self-confidence is shattered. Like so many pieces I don’t know where to begin shattered.
As most of you know, as part of my treatment plan I’ve elected to have gastric bypass. I’ve completed every task, yet because of insurance changes and too many hands in the basket I legitimately don’t know when I’ll have it. Y’all, this could be the difference between life or death…
Now that I’ve told you all the dark and dirty let me tell you where I’m going with this.
Last knight about 4am I lost it. Crying, sobbing, thinking I’m literally losing my ever loving mind right here. I’m afraid of dying, afraid of this cancer, afraid of never amounting to anything, afraid of never find true love, and afraid I’ll never get the chance to hold my babies. Afraid that God has forgot me. Then my precious momma told me, “Samantha, there is not anything more you can do tonight. Give it to God and go to bed.” I’ve been struggling with this past semester, between the fatigue and the memory loss I didn’t know if I’d make. Today at 9:30pm I finished my final paper of the year and submitted. I gave it to God and he gave me the strength to persevere. When I was sobbing I looked at the verse of the day and it said,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
James 1:2-7 NIV
A little after that it goes on to say, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:12 NIV
I had never had such peace as I did when I read that. I don’t interpret this to mean everything will work and be sunshine and dasies, but that out of the ashes something will come if it. I don’t know what the next day holds. All I can to do is put one foot in front of the other. Faith it till I make it. Put on my brave and give it to God.