I am calling this part of my life, phase two. You know the lines in your hands, the one they call the life line and it is supposed to show how long you have to live? Well, not that I really believe in that, but I always wondered why mine was split in two. Well, now I know and I am feeling really blessed that my life line keeps going after the major disruption!
About 6 months ago I developed a cough. Through angels and the prayers of friends and loved ones, I ended up getting the best care available. I am now healing from stage 4 lung cancer. Non-small cell adeno carcinoma is a cancer that mostly women, who have never smoked and who have no family history of cancer, are getting. My amazing doctor has made it clear that I will always have cancer, but that through the miracles of modern medicine I will live a pretty normal, and potentially long life. Already I am in remission and who knows, I may be cured in time.
Intuitively, I had known for a while that something was wrong, but I always had so much to do I just pushed through it. When I did go to the doctor, they blamed it on stress. It is a small town and they all know what a crazy worker I am, (or was) and once the doctor even jokingly wrote me a prescription for a trip to Hawaii, but my worries about my health went unheeded, and no tests were done.
The journey to wellness is filled with miracles and answered prayers. Today I want to focus on a few of the things I have an absolute knowledge of from this journey and how excited I am to wake up each morning and face a new day! I am excited to make phase two the best time of my life.
Getting cancer has been the best gift of my life. People think I am really weird when I say this and others will think it is because I am doing so well that I feel that way, but it is really because I have seen and felt the hand of God in my life so strongly and He has blessed me with a clearer picture of life and of the importance of love.
I have always known and felt God loves us all and that He knew and cared about me. I even have had times where He felt very close and comforted me, but never as strongly as I have through this journey. When I have been afraid, I have felt such an amazing outpouring of peace. When I have been sad, He has comforted me. Through the great atoning sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus Christ, I have been able to really create a relationship with the God I hope someday to go home to.
So, with that, Phase 2, here I come! Most days I feel 5 years old again. Everything is exciting to me. The feel of a broom handle, or the smell of a flower brings me great joy. The beauty of the earth, the laughter of my grandchildren, the success of my kids. It is all amazing and wonderful and I let it fill my heart up every day. Every time I draw a complete breath I am so thankful and it feels so good. Life is amazing and in phase one of my life, I got so busy and so concerned with matters of consequence, I would forget to notice.
I was also really hard on myself in my life before. If I didn’t do enough service, or visit a sick friend or succeed at whatever I was doing, I would beat myself up over it. I lived in a perpetual state of worry. Did I say the wrong thing, did I mess up my children, is it my fault they make mistakes? I would worry about my relationship with my friends, with my co-workers, my husband. I worried about what people would say and what they thought about me. It is no wonder I drove myself to illness!
No more. I don’t really care anymore what people think about me. My job is to love and bring light and peace to as many people as I can. If it is committing success suicide as one influencer told me, to mention we have a lovely God watching over us, so be it. I don’t really care. I feel a strong mandate to be a better person and love more richly and deeply.
For years, I have worked from the moment I got up until I went to bed. Actually, pretty much all of my adult life. I was Martha from the scriptures, “careful and troubled about many things…”. Phase two is different. I take real joy in what I am doing and I am slowing it all down. Things that used to overwhelm me, I have decided to enjoy doing it or get rid of it.
Rick, my husband, and I are doing more things together. We have gone on more vacations in the last 5 months than we did in the previous 5 years. We are enjoying our time together. We realize what a gift our marriage is and how much we love each other.
My goal is to learn to unabashedly play! I used to be so good at it, maybe to a fault, and it is time to bring that girl back.
There are a million things I want to experience and I am so excited I get the chance! I am not sure how much I am going to be able to fit it, or how long I have to do it, but I have today! Today I can fill up with happiness! Today I can love someone by listening or serving in some way. Today can be a great day!
I would love to share this ride with you. I would love to hear about your happy discoveries in the most amazing journey we call life!
Phase two is going to be so cool!