The Fight

“You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live”. – Stuart Scott

When I was first diagnosed with Stage IV Carcinoid Cancer – I was scared for obvious reasons – but the hardest thing was the energy I was feeling from those who loved me. I’ve been an empath my entire life, so I pick up on even the slightest emotions, and people were crushed by the news. Even though they had brave faces, I felt their pain and somehow stifled my own pain to help ease theirs. I put my own feelings on the back-burner to help others feel more comfortable. It was a very lonely journey and the circle of people who knew my true fears were on a very short list.

No one wants to hear they have Stage IV Cancer. Stage IV means you’re going to die, right? At least that’s what I always thought.

And many do…

But, God…

It took me so long to trust His will for my life. To trust His process. It hasn’t evolved the way I had hoped or planned, but His tender mercies are new every single day. His plans are the perfect plans. This journey is all about taking small steps every day. Some days those steps are pretty basic, like eating and showering. Other days, I rally and have a marathon date with my granddaughter and the energy just flows out of me because she’s so contagious. I swear that child heals me every time we’re together.

I was so frustrated by the inconsistency of my energy. I never knew how I would feel. It was difficult to make plans. And then I realized that part of fighting is actually releasing cancer’s power over you and surrendering all.

You see, when you finally surrender, you give up your control. You know, that thing you never had to begin with. Having control over our lives is an illusion. Most of us don’t even know who we truly are as we try to be everything to everyone. We wear many hats – some fit and some don’t – and many of us don’t look good in any of them.

From early ages, we strive to fit in, blend in, stand out, rise higher and everything in between. Depending on which stage we’re in, God will bring us the people who belong in our tribe.

I had no idea when I was freshly diagnosed, broken, scared, angry and confused that what God was leading me into would actually become one of the sweetest seasons of my life.

It’s caused me to finally get real with myself. I realize how brave I am. How strong I am. I realize the big scar on my belly isn’t something to be ashamed of … it’s proof I was stronger than something that tried to hurt me.

Fighting cancer isn’t a one-time knock-out. It’s not just during a surgery, chemo, radiation, etc. You fight EVERY single day the negative thoughts that swirl in your head. You fight the spirit of death. You fight the “what ifs” and the “if onlys”. You fight to maintain your sanity and you fight to stay in the present moment.

Staying in the present moment allows you to feel GRATEFUL. For everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

I realize cancer is a WORD, not a sentence. It’s a blip in my story, but it’s not my legacy. My legacy is being created with everything I say and everything I do. Every person I touch will leave a ripple effect for generations to come, and that’s a pretty amazing thought.

We live in the desert and every time my granddaughter leaves our house, she looks for the moon and it’s my reminder that it’s often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.

“Be brave, be kind, be bold, be fierce, be YOU”.


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