Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What I Learned from My First Month of Cancer

As some of you may know, I discovered about one month ago that I have cancer. Out of all the cancers I could possibly have gotten, this one is probably the "safest" (in that it has the best prognosis and the most optimistic outcome possible). That hasn't stopped it from still being really hard, but I think I've learned a lot along the way and I thought you might be interested in hearing my opinion. So in no particular order, here is a list of things I've learned from this first month with cancer.
  • I am so loved, more than I could ever have comprehended.
  • Sometimes illnesses are scarier for the people around you than for the person with the illness. I’m not at all worried about whether or not I’ll make it through, but many of my loved ones experienced a lot of stress and fear and grief.
  • The hardest part for me was realizing that my life had (in one way or another) caused pain to another person, even though I knew it was no one’s fault.
  • Once or twice I was mad that I was the one comforting the people around me when I thought it should have been the other way around.
  • I have an insane amount of respect for the nurses in the cancer center. They work with these patients who may or may not be dying, yet they still show up to their work every day with an optimistic smile and an inordinate amount of love for the patients in their care. It’s truly amazing, and this is coming from someone who really, really loves people.
  • If I ever smell that hospital smell again in my life, it’ll be too soon, which is unfortunate because I have at least six more chemo treatments, lab work for all of those treatments, and probably another surgery.
  • The worst part of treatment is not having the energy to do anything. It’s not that I have any loss of entertainment. I have an endless amount of books and tv shows and movies. I simply am too tired to do any of those things.
  • In order for this time to be made into a testimony for God, I need to be strong and positive. But that’s a good thing because it forces me to be optimistic and find the best of the situation, even when it seems like there’s no good to be seen.
  • I’ve learned to appreciate social interactions a lot more than I used to. I used to be constantly surrounded by people and socializing would drain me, but now I have no words to explain how much I appreciate those who have spent some of their valuable time with me.
  • I've learned to take life at a much slower pace than normal, teaching me the value of peace and just slowing down in general. I’ve also learned that it’s okay to be tired all the time, that it’s not a weakness or flaw, just a normal part of recovery.

3 comments:

  1. Praying for you.. I have had my cat scan and see the Dr. next week, she is thinking of stopping the chemo.. am looking forward to that and will be a great testimony when its all said and done.. God bless you!! we are His children

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  2. Many of these lessons would have been much harder and taken much longer sans cancer. The grace and peace that you have shown towards your friend and yourself this past month have been admirable and convictingly challenging, as I (and I'm sure many others) have forced myself to consider if I could do the same. I hope you continue to learn daily throughout this unexpected journey of yours!

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  3. Love you and your heart, dear friend and sister! <3 Can't wait to spend time together again next time I'm in town.

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