Thursday, August 20, 2015

Dearest Cancer,

    The last six months have been a whirlwind. All surrounding you. You kind of suck. Just saying. But honestly, maybe I'm nieve, but you don't scare me. Yes, you were unexpected. As I'm sure you usually are. But I haven't been and will not be scared.
    I hadn't ever really seriously thought about you until I went to the ER that Saturday night. I overheard the doctor tell someone that he wanted to look again at the scans to make sure before he came and told me. I remember him saying that he hated giving bad news to good people. A cyst isn't that big of a deal, so maybe there was more not being said. You crossed my mind, but only briefly. I googled brain cysts in the ambulance on the way to the other hospital. You weren't mentioned much. And I was convinced it was just a precaution. 
    The next morning when the brain surgeon told me it was a tumor and that it could be you,  but there would be no way to tell until after surgery,  I could tell my husband was worried about you, but I wasn't for some reason.
    Even after surgery, when I learned you, in fact, came to visit, I was okay. They removed most of you. And you weren't that strong. Recovery was hard. I didn't blame you,  though. I never really blamed anyone.
    Now, when you got bumped up to a stronger, more dangerous problem,  it surprised me. I knew you were still going to lose. An optimist maybe? I don't know. But I wasnt ever scared of you. I'm still not.
    Despite not being afraid, you have caused a whole slew of other emotions in me. Most I don't understand. And probably won't ever really.
    The most unexpected emotion surrounding you is my own fear. Not of you, but what I will do without you. I'm scared to go back to the real world. I'm scared for my husband to go back to work and my kids to go back to school. I am scared of not being able to hide behind you. To use you. As an excuse or reasoning behind my own shortcomings. I'm sure you know, you've become some what of a joke around here. And, rest assured, I will still be using you as a comic relief. But I know you will still be in my mind, at every doctors appointment, every new scan, every ache and every pain. And I know I will never be truly free from your grasp, but I will not be hiding behind you anymore. I will stand up on my own. Without you as a crutch. And even though that scars me, I will overcome.
   I have many other emotions for you, but most are hard to put into words. Sadness for the hurt you caused my family and friends. Sadness over the pain I have seen in my husband's eyes, for me. Annoyance at the symptoms you cause.
   Luckily, my biggest emotion towards you is gratitude. You have given me a gift.  One that was worth every crappy part of your stay. You have shown me what matters. Who matters. Life means something more to me. I have realized what life is really about! I have gained an immense and unbreakable testimony of the love and caring nature of my Heavenly Father and Savior. I have grown in my faith, and that is something that I will never lose. I have also found love. Some say you are a love disease, and I finally understand why. I have realized the love I have for my family. My husband is a trooper. Dude. You have put him through more hell than you put me through! He has actually gained an eye twitch because of you. But you have shown me who he really is. I am so in love with him. He is an amazing father and husband. He is kind and so caring. You have helped me reseal my love for him.
    I have also realized how important family is. I had come to love living our little independent lifestyle. We lived away from family, even though we missed them, we loved being our own family unit. But you changed that too. I long to live closer to those that I love. I want to be around family again. I am so grateful for my relationships (albeit long distance) with them now. I have also found a greater love for my friends and neighbors. Previous strangers who have enriched and helped our lives. We have met some of the strongest people through you.  Some who are also fighting you. And I have gained friendships because of you.  I love so much deeper. I forgive easier. And you of all things provided me that.
    Isn't it great? Something that is supposed to cause so much heartache has caused so much joy.  You may not see it that way, but we do. My daughter told me she was grateful for you too. Because you have provided opportunities for our family to do things together. To be together all the time. I agree with her.
    I am a stronger, better person because of you. Not despite you. And because of that, I am grateful for your unexpected stop in our lives.
    Now, I know the chances of you coming back are pretty high. You aren't welcome, but obviously that hasn't ever stopped you before. So you should know this. You will not beat me. You will not beat us. We will always fight. I have an amazing support system that you cannot break. I am not afraid of you. You don't define me, nor our family. Oh, and please, if you must come back, take your time. Give my family a break. We deserve it!
Love, Meichelle

1 sweet thoughts:

Parrish said...

You are an amazing young woman. You have touched me deeply with this letter,as well as your posts and pictures. I am inspired to write a similar letter. I have always said Attitude is Everything. #teacherhasbecomethestudent