I’m not afraid of death. I’ve watched it, been in its presence. The rebirth into the other side. It was painful to feel the loss, but sacred to be in it’s presence. A gift. An honor.
It’s not death that I fear, it’s the pain for those left living. It’s that untouchable, aching hole in your heart that no other person can quite fill.
For the one who leaves, they don’t know the loss because they’re enveloped in love. There is not worry, fear, sadness. Only love.
But understanding this concept and conceptualizing this as a mom, a wife, daughter, sister, friend-that’s what makes me human. It's overwhelming, terrifying, scary.
I envision a long life. I see Adam graduating high school and Reid cheering for his little brother, so proud. I see Chris and me, empty nesters, enjoying our freedom and reveling in the boys that we grew to men. I see weddings and grandchildren.
I want to see this.
I choose to see this.
I want this life.
I always wondered how a person with a cancer diagnosis could “pretend” they will be ok, or believe it even. Now I know. You have to. There is no alternative. The energy that surrounds our body, ingrains into our cells, absorb into our beings, is so important.
I fear my siblings, children, parents, friends dying. I don’t want to miss them, I want to be with them in this world.
I fear leaving my family as a young person. I want to be present for their life celebrations. I want to hug them and their partners and children.
And so I will “pretend”. But really, I will believe. And this is hard for me. I like numbers, science, statistics, facts, certainties. I hate surprises, unknowns, unpredictability.
But, I have learned that faith and fear cannot occupy the same space, so I CHOOSE faith because I REFUSE to live in fear.
But know this, I am scared. Shitless. And sad. And angry. I don’t think this is fair. I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to prove to the Universe once again how strong I am.
But, I will.
I will fight.
I will believe.
I will have faith.
And I will remain the warrior I was born to be.
I will love the shit out of myself.
I will be healthy.
I will love my way through this.
I know who I am.
I know what I’m meant to do here.
I know what’s important.
Love each other.
I can’t be told that it’s going to be ok. Or that I “have this”. Nobody knows that. I don’t know that. But, I know I have today and I know I’m not done here yet.
Today I am alive.
Today I am healthy.
Today I will hug my 3 boys.
Today is a good day.
So many have asked, but to repetitively tell this story is exhausting and creates such negative energy in my body. So here you go:
I noticed a single swollen lymph node on the right side of my neck, under my jawline. After a doctor's exam, an ultrasound, a CT scan, and biopsy it has been confirmed "malignant cells identified of an unknown cancer". So, here I sit nearly 5 weeks later from that first appointment, anxiously and nervously, awaiting the ultimate diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan.
It is out of our comfort zone to ask for help, but I need to be as present and healthy as possible during this time. I need to be a good mom. In order to do that, I am learning to ask for help.
To help support my family during this time, please visit:
Give InKind is a place to offer meals, help with childcare, or donate to support any additional costs of this healing journey, regardless of distance. (There are even local restaurants listed for take-out!)
**And special note: Give InKind was founded by another bereaved family in honor of their beautiful daughter, Layla.
I am mama of three beautiful babes; two sons whom I have the privilege of raising and my daughter who lived for 33 sacred days.