Welcome to my very first blog post. I’m not sure what I’m doing, how it’s going to go, or what it’s going to look like. Essentially, I’m “going in blind”, as they say.
I don’t need to see the big plan to believe that somehow it will get done, because I have faith it will happen.
That’s the thing about faith.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” -2 Corinthians 5:7
I’ve been walking in faith for over a year in what has become a journey of fear, courage, hope, despair, joy, grief, forgiveness, and above all…love.
When one hears the words, “Stage four cancer”, the feeling you have that floods your body is indescribable. Some people hear those words and believe that their life is ending.
I heard those words and decided that would not be my story.
In fact, my life began.
I have been writing every day since I was told there was cancer in my body on my little private Facebook page. First it became a way to control the information that I knew would get out about me. I am a teacher in the biggest little town there is, and my children go to school in the same district in which I teach. The last thing I wanted was for the rumor mill spreading half truths and having those half truths keep my children up at night.
I wrote to keep track of all of the new information that I was learning. I wanted a record for me to look back on and see what I’ve been doing. I also (morbidly) wanted my children to one day look at my writing and see that their mom did everything she could to live.
I remember saying, “That’s not my story”, when the first oncologist I saw told me I had weeks, months, maybe a year or two left to live. I went on a mission to find as many stage four breast cancer survivors who have beaten the odds and are still alive five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty years after the stage four diagnosis. They were hard to find, but I found some.
And in the process, I’ve become the woman I was looking for.
In five months, after being told I had tumors in my breast, lymph nodes, and metastatic spread in my sacrum, I was told I had a complete remission.
The miracle I prayed for happened.
It didn’t happen overnight, and it wasn’t easy. I followed a mix of Western and Eastern Medicine. A new targeted therapy that has only been approved for about three years, pills, injections, all along with a whole lot of faith, discipline, forgiveness, learning, new friendships, dancing, hugging, laughing, radical changes, and love.
Some may say it was the medicine.
Some may say it was the diet.
Some may say it was the Chinese herbs.
Some may say it was the mindset.
Me? I say it was Jesus. Here is where I may lose some of you, and that is ok. (I really hope I don’t).
I had never been a “religious” or “spiritual” person per say. I was your typical Christmas/Easter, sit in the back of the church kind of girl. I believed in Jesus, and God, and had a bible. But I never really “got it”. The whole trinity and the apple analogy, the Bible was overwhelming to read, and I had been tuned off of it when I heard people using it as a tool of hate and fear.
I’ve now learned that the Bible is the greatest love story ever told, and it’s all about love and forgiveness.
The day I was told the cancer had spread into my sacrum, I was stage four, and would have to do chemo after chemo until they ran out and I had no options left…
I remember specifically crying out…”Oh, Jesus!”
He heard my cry.
That’s when I started to get what I call “whispers”, or “God winks”. Things started happening, things in threes, miracles, unexplained occurrences. I believe God has put everything and everyone in place for me in my life. I followed my heart, my gut, my instinct, my Jesus.
I don’t know why some people get healed, and others don’t. I don’t know why children get cancer. It’s not for me to know. When it is my time, and I get to Heaven, I’ll hold onto Jesus and ask him for the answers to those questions.
But I never asked, “Why Me?”
I knew that my diet, my running around and not taking care of myself, my anger and inability to forgive…that had all attributed to the cancer. (That and some crappy genes).
But, I knew with Jesus’s help, modern medicine, and a whole bunch of alternative treatments and ideas, I could heal.
And maybe, by being blessed with the calling to teach, I could help teach others to heal their lives and bodies and souls as they watched me heal mine.
During this time, if I had a nickel for every time someone said, “You should really write a book”, I would be rich. I have no idea how to even begin to think about a book process, but writing a little bit every day?
I’ve done that every single day for the past year.
I am thinking of writing my daily morning post here, and adding my old posts as I can. Those posts show the journey I have been on, the people I have met, the food I have eaten, the forgiveness I have been given, and the healing as it happened. I’m not doing this for money, or for a second job. Being a wife, mom, and teacher are enough for me. Please forgive me if there are typos, grammatical errors, and if it seems jumbled. Many times my fingers fly across the keyboard and I don’t even know what I am writing until I am done.
When someone says, “That’s not my story” while shaking and not breathing and their whole body has gone cold while sitting in an oncologist’s office after being told they have only so long left to live while visions of their children and husband and friends and family fill their head…
They will find my story…
and find hope.
In Jesus’s name, amen.