I wrote this after getting my diagnosis of rectal cancer, right before starting treatment. Our whole world had been turned upside down. It’s still so fresh even a year and a half later that when I read this again, it makes me want to cry. Or puke. Or both if I’m honest. See below for my random pre-treatment ramblings. If you want to read from the beginning of my cancer journey, about my symptoms and how I knew something was wrong, click here.
From May 2016:
I’m not going to lie-the past month has been a roller coaster of emotions. I am trying my best to stay positive. But it’s hard. I know that this cancer diagnosis isn’t a death sentence. It is treatable. And I have every thought that mine will be treated and I will survive. But I know that the treatment for the disease is coming. And I know its a long and brutal process. I’m not looking forward to that obviously. And I’m not looking forward to dragging my family through that with me either. It won’t be fun. It won’t be pretty. I’ve always been independent and one who gets things done. It’s been hard lately to realize that I just can’t do as much right now. I’ve had to ask for help. It’s hard to ask for help. But I am grateful for all of the people who have helped, who continue to help and who have offered to help. I know that it will be because of this help (and the treatments of course) that I will be able to focus on getting through this and getting healthy.
This cancer diagnosis has rocked our world. Obviously this wasn’t part of our plan for how our life would go. It’s thrown a big wrench into that plan actually. And it quickly puts things into perspective. Our world has sort of stopped. It’s a bit surreal as everyone else continues to go about their daily lives. Ours is now centered around cancer and doctors and treatment plans. Sometimes when I am not in much pain and I am doing simple, ordinary things like making the girls lunch or folding some laundry, I forget that I have cancer. Maybe it’s not that I forget exactly but for a little while it just doesn’t seem real. It doesn’t seem possible that this tumor is growing inside of me. But I have faith in the doctors. I have faith in the medical treatments. I have faith in myself that I can endure this. I have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that He will walk beside me through this and give me comfort and strength. I have faith that He can heal me.
As treatment is quickly approaching, I have been thinking a lot about how this cancer is going to change me. Physically, there will be a lot of changes I will undergo just from the treatments themselves to kill the cancer. I know that some of the physical changes will only be temporary, but there are many that will be permanent. And I know that there will be mental and emotional changes as well. Even when this cancer is gone, I will probably never be free from the worry of cancer recurring. It makes me sad. It makes me sad to think that I’m never going to be the same ever again. I want my girls to remember the healthy me and the “whole” me. I don’t want them to only have memories of me being sick. Even though I may not ever be back to my “normal” self, I know that I will get to a place of a new normal. I know that I will be healthy again and I can live a normal lifestyle. I just have to focus on that. And the fact that I am still a mom and a wife. Nothing will change that. And I will still be around to take care of my family.
The Friday before I started treatment Chad & I had a last-minute date night. He asked me where I wanted to go and I said, “Somewhere far, far away.” Well, the beach was about as far away as we could manage that night.
But it was wonderful:
It was calm and peaceful which was just what we needed before starting the grueling process of radiation.
*If you want to read from the beginning of my cancer story, click here.