If I had to describe in one word how this first week of chemotherapy has been it would be….INDESCRIBABLE.
Unless you have experienced this yourself there is no way to fully comprehend what this treatment is like. And for those of you who have traveled this road I applaud you and empathize. I am by no means writing this for sympathy or to invite myself to my own pity party, but it’s simply a fact. This is hard.
I will spare you the details, but know that this takes you to a place of complete physical and emotional brokenness and surrender. You have moments when you question if this will ever end, and then somewhere in that darkness shines a glimmer of normalcy when you actually entertain the thought of washing a dish or two. That only lasts a second, mind you.
I have asked myself many times these past few days, why? Why is this happening to me? Why do I have to face this trial? What did I do I deserve this? Why must my children watch me suffer? Why? Why do bad things happen to good people?
Now I am not claiming to be any more “good” than anyone else in fact, I’m quite flawed, broken, goofy and in process just like the next person. However, I’d like to think I don’t have serial killer tendencies, I’m kind to animals, and I am “that girl” who will go all the way back to the Target cashier from the parking lot, once I realize that small pack of gum that slipped through my cart at checkout didn’t get rung up.
So again, why did I win the “your life is going to pretty much be crap for awhile” lottery?
Well, it’s actually pretty simple. We live in a fallen world. We live in a world that is not our home and on this earth we will experience pain. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done or not done with your life, we will experience trouble.
John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
It doesn’t say, your life will always be butterflies and rainbows and there will be an endless sale going on at Nordstroms! No, it says, you WILL have trouble. But, you have to remember the last and best part of that verse. The promise that God wins. You win.
I believe God has allowed this to happen to me, and it is my job to approach it with an attitude of thankfulness. Now please understand, I am not THANKFUL that I have cancer. I am not HAPPY about this one bit. And do I kick and scream and cry like a baby sometimes? ABSOLUTELY. But, I can be grateful knowing a merciful God will never leave my side, and He will see me through to victory.
I can be grateful that He is giving me an opportunity to trust Him more, to see His incredible and constant love poured out on me each and everyday, and then maybe I will be given the opportunity to use this experience to help someone else in the future.
I can also choose to see the good this will produce in my family. My children will learn about a very real life struggle and hopefully gather tools about how to deal with trouble within a safe environment while they are young. I can choose to let this be an “inconvenience” on their perfect little lives, or I can choose to allow this to make them stronger and more equipped for what they will encounter as they grow.
I can choose to take this opportunity to teach them about compassion, fortitude, faith, trust, and chipping in when the chips are down. We all have a choice when it comes to how we view tough times in our life. I’m not choosing to like it, but I am choosing to except and embrace it.
I know I will have to remind myself of this all over again when it’s time to put the gloves back on and jump in the ring for round two. Because having this mindset is hard work. It’s not a flippant, happy-go-lucky attitude you just adopt. It takes daily prayer, internal wrestling, and literally throwing your hands up to the heavens and saying, “HELP!”
And even in those moments when you just can’t wrap your head around everything that is happening, making sure you are allowing yourself to be ok with not having all the answers and finding peace with that is what becomes most important.
So my question should NOT be, “Why me?” But instead….
“Why not me?”