Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Smell the Stupid Roses.....

I’ve heard it said many times over the years, “Cancer changes you”. I’ve always believed that statement to be true, but what I didn’t realize was that the changes aren’t always so wonderful.

I’ve often heard people say, “Cancer doesn’t define me”. I wonder, what does that mean? In one fell swoop, hearing the Dr. tell Jillian, “ You have melanoma”, has defined my whole world! It sure has defined me. Nothing is the same. Nothing.

I think about Jillian throughout the day, every single day. I cry sitting at my desk at work some days when a random memory skitters across my heart. Not a sob, just tears running down my face with a lump in my throat. I can usually take the memory, give it a kiss, and safely tuck it away for when I can really examine it. And then I go about my day.

But that underlying sadness is always there. Yes, I have memories. Many, many, wonderful memories. But somehow, it doesn’t feel finished.
The memories are not enough and I want more. There goes that lump again. Damn.

I have very little tolerance for people with their judgement's and grudges these days. That is one of the not so great changes cancer has left in its wake. I just have no patience for that nonsense.  Figure out your stuff and fix it.

If you could take yourself to the ocean, or in my case, Lake Michigan, and just be still. Sit on the beach (with sunscreen of course), and let the sounds and smells seep into your being, lulling you into a sense of peace. Go to the place of wonder where the vastness of our beautiful world reminds you that we are so insignificant and small in comparison. Nature has always done that for me. It brings me to God. In the end, that is the only thing that really works for me. “Be still and know that I Am God”.

I look at my life, the plans I had, and I can hardly believe this is where I am today. It’s almost like I’m reading someone’s story other than my own. This stuff just doesn’t happen, or if it does, most certainly not to me. So surreal. But I am making my own story too, in a sense. It’s not all out of my control. I can control how I live through it, how I react to it. How I grow through it. And I’m okay with all that. I really am okay.

Although cancer has made some negative changes in me, it has given me a new set of eyes that come with a deeper understanding than I’ve ever had before. A deeper appreciation for my children, and their mates. For my grandchildren. For all of my family, and Steve’s family. For my friends. I appreciate all of you, and how you’ve stood by me and loved me when I’m not so loveable.

I love you. Thank you.


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