It’s been 2 years since I found out I had cancer for the 4th time. 2 years, and I’m still going and hunting for treatments.
A lot has happened in 2 years:
I got engaged, married,
I’ve moved twice,
We adopted a puppy (who is 1 today),
I’ve been writing a book,
I’ve been to 2 funerals for my cancer survivor siblings,
I’ve been on several treatments and clinical trials,
And I’m (hopefully) about to be on another one.
Since October 2016, I’ve done 3 different treatments—maybe even 4, I honestly can’t remember. I cut my hair, it all fell out, it grew back for a bit, chemotherapy turned it bleach blonde, I temporarily dyed it purple, and it’s grown enough for me to have my hair cut twice now. I have no idea what chemical spell the next clinical trial will put on my hair, be it bald or transforming color and texture. I’m so used to having other women ask me what I do to my hair, and I’m so used to honestly telling them its the chemo shampoo and conditioner. It doesn’t even register to me that that answer could be shocking to a stranger, but what else do you say when they ask you where you got your hair done and by whom?
I know I shouldn’t be complaining, but being a cancer patient for 2 years now is a long time. I’m losing my patience. I’m tired of waiting for the chemotherapy to work, waiting to hear if I can get on the newest clinical trial or not, waiting in the doctor’s office, waiting on my body to rest and recover. I know I should be grateful, but when two years pass by of not feeling like yourself and the chemotherapy is taking over the “real” you more, you begin to wonder when and if it will ever end.
But I know in 2 years time, I’ve been more than a cancer patient.
I’ve become a wife,
a dog mom,
my husband’s early morning cheerleader,
a seeking-to-be-published writer,
connecting new friends and old friends,
and I’m still God’s daughter despite how I feel when I wake up each morning.
I sometimes beg Him in the middle of the night to stop torturing me with cancer pain and chemo weariness, and I recall Ashleigh and Skylor’s faces waiting to welcome me. And other times, when I’m walking my Wylie pup and its a bright, breezy blue and green all around you and you feel like you could walk for miles and never look back, it’s during those times I ask Him to keep me here on this earth just a little bit longer to enjoy more moments like those.
I’m still here—
breathing, fighting, surviving, writing, typing, reading, walking, living, being.
And when you look at the numbers and statistics, it’s pretty perplexing that I am still here. And sometimes I want to ask of the Great Doctor why and how come but those just aren’t the questions He looks to answer while I’m here on earth. Because He answers with more questions: what are you doing with the time I’ve given you? I want to be faithful, but many days I just want to lay on the couch and snuggle with Wylie, reading and sleeping. What does it mean to be faithful with the time you’re given? Not just productive with time like my heart worries so much about but faithful even with the smallest amount of energy I have some days.
I hope I can answer that in another 2 years that I hope I’m given.