I’m coming out of retirement….

Yes, it’s true.  I guess I have more to say.  I let my clergygirl.com site go, so I’ll be blogging here again at wordpress.  I may change my blog name.  I’m trying to think of something to call my blog that describes a former pastor, mom, cancer survivor, runner, Jesus love’in, wanna be midwife, hopefully accepted to nursing school soon, student, kind of person.  If you have any suggestions, I’ll take them.  Clergygirl has been with me a long time, but it doesn’t seem to describe me anymore.

But I need to write.  A year ago life started to get busier when I felt healthier and I thought it would be healthy emotionally for me to move on from blogging.  It’s hard to write with a group of people who sometimes make it through cancer and sometimes don’t.  But now I’ve realized I still lose those friends whether I write or not.  I just don’t get the advantages of a therapuetic blog post.   And I think blogging makes me healthy.  I don’t know how or why, but releasing, confessing, journaling, processing with others must have a therapuetic effect on me.  And so I’m back. I’m coming out of retirement.

Yesterday I lost my third blog friend in a year to breast cancer.  This loss hit pretty hard.  My friend Susan had been my mentor when I was diagnosed with IBC.  She was 6 months ahead of me and gave me the inside scoop through her blog site and emails.  She told me what to expect, as painful as it was.  Susan was also the leader and creator of our Mothers with Cancer blog group.  She meant a lot to many people.  She also blogged about planetary sciences and was an advocate for women in general.  There are many heartbroken people out there in the blogosphere right now who are mourning.  I am one of them.

But maybe blogging will help.  I need to honor Susan.  I need to live fully.  I need to make the most of the days I’m given.  So I’m going to write about my endevors, follow my dreams and live life unencumbered by cancer (as much as I can).  It won’t be easy.  If I let it, cancer follows me like a ball and chain.

I’m taking classes to try to get in to nursing school.  This semester it’s pharmacology.  I’ve applied to two programs this year so we’ll see if I can start this fall or if I’ll have to wait.  My end goal is a midwifery program.  I want to work in women’s health…..all aspects, not just baby catching.  My mantra is “I will stay late and come in early for the women who don’t have a lump.”  I hope I can make it.  But I have learned to take it one day at a time and try not to sweat the small stuff.

I made it to my 4 year cancerversary on February 4th.  My dear plastic surgeon has put me back together wonderfully.  I feel pretty good physically…..just arm pain that I’m pretty sure I will live with most of my life.  Lots on numbness, especially when I’m cold.  Even as I type in my house I’m thinking about putting on gloves…lol!

But it’s the emotional pain of survivorship that I didn’t expect.  I think I thought once I had climbed the mountain, conquered the cancer I would live as free as I once did.  I could get back to life.  But this detour seems to be endless.  And I need to be ok with that.  Life isn’t going to look like I had anticipated.  I will always be broken.  I will always experience others pain deeply, especially cancer, and especially for a young mom.  I’ve been in a little valley since I lost my friend Sarah of Sprucehill.com last spring.  I don’t really know how to get out of it, except to maybe wait, and make plans, and dream a little, and give back.

And then there’s the marathon.  I’ve decided I’m going to run a marathon for my 5 year cancerversary next year in February to raise money for IBC and to honor my friend Susan.  I’ve run 4 half-marathons in the past year and a half, but it’s time for me to step up and make this dream happen and do it for the friends I’ve lost to this horrible disease. 

I need to write.  Thanks for hanging out with me while I try to figure out what it means to live fully as a survivor.


2 thoughts on “I’m coming out of retirement….

  1. Stella says:

    Glad to have you back! I missed your voice.

  2. anita says:

    welcome “home” jennifer, as “home” is truly where the heart is and your heart shares life words that we all love to hear. thanks for bearing your soul once again as you grow through the days of your life. for allowing us the privilege to grow as well and more importantly to pray and love you through.

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