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.
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.
2016 has not been what I expected it to be. It has not been my year. It’s been full of heartbreak, but much like life, it’s had its share of good times too. As a sit here and write this I have so much swirling through my head. My heart is hurt from the recent loss of what I thought were lifelong bonds and y’all, I’m really struggling with this one. It’s never easy to loose someone that you thought would be your friend forever but just like the year, all things have its season. I was diagnosed with cancer this year and that by far, was the most devastating thing I experienced. It’s changed my life in the course of a year. I think after hearing those three words, the very cells that make you are completely altered. My course of treatment has been decided, I will continue on the Megace and I will be having bariatric surgery sometime in the near future. I’m hopeful that this will save my fertility. My oncologist at Duke really thinks this is the way to go. It’s hard to really discern the right course because of my age and it being so rare in someone so young. I’m thankful for my cancer though, I don’t think I’d ever have the courage to change and to speak my mind if I didn’t have it. My relationship with my mom has grown by leaps and bounds this year, she is truly my best friend. This year has been an eye opener in that respect, I’ve really seen people’s true colors. My faith has grown deeper. I could not do this without God and would not be here without him. The outpouring of love and prayers from my community for me in this season has been the biggest blessing. We would not make it through without y’all. I don’t really have any insightful things to say to you about this past year. I think it just really sucked for all of us. But we know this to be true: God is on the throne and he is always good. Forgive me for being random and my prose not as flowing but my point of all of this is that we will persevere. That as long as we have breathe in our lungs, it is not too late to chart a different course. May 2017 be a year of great things.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
“A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty is was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever.”
You know the old adage “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurts you”? Well whoever came up with that, lied. Words are some of the most powerful weapons you can use against someone, often they hurt far worse than any physical blow. I’ve had my fair share of mean and hurtful things said about me. Whether it be behind my back, to my face, or passive aggressively in just a “oh, i’m picking with you.” manner. It doesn’t matter the form you use, it still hurts. I’ve always tried to watch what I say because I know the pain and impact your words can have on someone, but sometimes I fail. Sometimes I say something that I never mean to hurt someone and it ends up hurting them. I always try to apologize and hope that it can make up for the hurt but like the crumpled up paper, it still leaves a scar. I often seem to be the target of the passive aggressive form. It doesn’t matter if you were just picking or if you meant to hurt that person, it can still leave a scar. So today I challenge you to carefully choose your words and remember the lasting impact they can have on someone.