Category Archives: Me as a Survivor

Nicole

This has been a tough few years for us at MWC. I think every death hits us harder and we can’t get out of the slump. At least I can’t. I find myself driving my kids around and just shedding tears, trying to hide them from my children because Lord knows they’ve seen their mom cry way too much. Even if they were small enough to not remember going through treatment, they know all too well the emotional pain it’s taken on me. It’s another thing to worry about.
I’m still coming to grips with Nicole’s passing. I’m not really sure how we found each other but I’m pretty sure it was through Susan’s blog. Nicole had been diagnosed just before me and we started commenting on each others blog. Supporting, kind words, encouraging words. Then we blogged together on MWC. Then we were Facebook and twitter friends, although we both lacked the incentive to tweet much. She was my first twitter friend. Then we were featured in an article together here
In May we had a discussion about how hard it is to watch our friends die of cancer. How when we started MWC it didn’t really occur to us the toll it would take on us to watch our friends die of this horrible disease. To know these precious moms would have to say goodbye to their children.
I can’t believe I’m here 6 months later and Nicole is gone. Her sweet children lost their mom way to early. And we at MWC are grieving the loss yet again of one of our own. Nicole was a special person and a support to so many of us. She introduced me to boob humor often laughing at her lopsidedness and nicknames for them. I’m forgetting now some of the terms she used but maybe my MWC friends could help me out. I just remember having a good laugh at her descriptions and silly stories of the pain of prosthetics.
I will deeply miss you Nicole, even though we never met in person. There will be a huge void in my life from losing you, Sarah and Susan. When your faces pop up on my Facebook or when I’m driving somewhere or something reminds me of you…like the knitters at Panera. And the most I can do is pray for the family you left behind and that Jesus will hold them close.

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Komen

I’m starting to think pink. It’s taken me a while. I now own a lot of pink stuff. Pink shirts, pink socks, pink bags. This year I decided to have fun with the Komen Race in Kalamazoo. Last year I was the first place finisher but this year I’m proud to say I was 5th! Some amazing 40 year old survivor rocked the race in 21 minutes. And it was 95 degrees. When I was checking out the results I met the 4th place survivor and she was 65! I love it! We totally high fived!
I tried to stay upbeat this year. It was pretty emotional for me. But I know deep in my heart that my friends who passed this year from the Motherswww.motherswithcancer.com with Cancer Blog would want me to live and laugh. But sometimes it’s still hard.

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New Name

I’m trying out some new names.  I haven’t pastored in several years so I don’t really feel like clergygirl anymore.  And I’m starting nursing school in September.  I actually feel like a post-cancer girl who was thrown a curve ball, who’s trying to figure out my place in this world.  I’m also a little angry (thus the hot, not because I think myself hot, lets just be clear about that right now) about breast cancer in general and what it takes from women, and men too.  Is it ok to be angry about breast cancer?  I’m angry enough to run a marathon to raise money for research.  I suppose that qualifies as being a little hot under the collar.

So you can tell me what you think of my new name.  Does it fit? Did you prefer clergygirl?

 

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I’m Gonna Love You Through

“After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.”

Some religion scholars sitting there started whispering among themselves, “He can’t talk that way! That’s blasphemy! God and only God can forgive sins.”

Jesus knew right away what they were thinking, and said, “Why are you so skeptical? Which is simpler: to say to the paraplegic, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or say, ‘Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both . . .” (he looked now at the paraplegic), “Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home.” And the man did it—got up, grabbed his stretcher, and walked out, with everyone there watching him. They rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!” Mark 2:1-12

I recently spoke at my church on this passage.  I challenged the congregation to be “mat carriers” for each other and talked about the “mat carriers” I experienced while going through cancer.  Then I saw this video and it reminded me of how much it means when people reach out to you and truly care for you during difficult times in your life.  The paraplytic had four friends who carried him to Jesus, they dug through a roof to get him to the feet of Jesus.

So thankful for the people who cared for me and went above and beyond to help me feel His presence…..even today.

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Good Hands (Fear Not #2)

“Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.” (Matthew 10:28)

I spoke at a cancer conference yesterday at a local church.  I knew I was supposed to speak about my experience with reconstruction but somehow I missed that I was supposed to speak in the main session and share my testimony.  Woops!  When I arrived I forgot to pick up a schedule on my way in and I had this very creeping feeling that I was supposed to be up on the main panel.  Maybe it was when the coordinator announced she had survivors from their 60’s, 50’s, 40’s and 30’s.  I looked around for the other 30 something survivor.  I dunno….just had a feeling.  So after a woman in her 40’s spoke all of a sudden I heard my name.  Yikes.  All I can say is that it is a good thing my professional experience involves speaking in public.  I was actually glad to speak and to not have laid awake last night worrying about what I would say.  It was better this way.  

It’s actually these kind of opportunities that are helping me heal.

I preached a few weeks ago at our church.  

They are reminders to me that I am not completely washed up and useless.  Which is very much how I’ve felt this past couple years. 

Worried the cancer ruined my ability to function fully.  Worried the painful experiences with the church would forever ruin my spirit. 

I do believe I have been hurt by the “bullies” of life.  I know I’m not alone.  Beaten and broken physically. 

                                        Words that hurt. 
 Painful illness.  

                                                                                                                                 Deformities. 

                                                                  Broken hearts. 
I could go on and on.  

But I’m counting on deeper things than physical hurts.

I’m hanging on for the soul awakening.  The blooming yet to come from living in the fear of the Lord rather than fear of people or cancer.

I am far deeper a person than my breasts or my issues with anxiety.

I am thankful for people who have given me opportunities to remind me that I am far more than my physical struggles.  That I am capable. That I am healing.  That I am blooming. That my soul is in good hands.

 

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