Okay, so August 20th was the three year mark for Lil Missy and her ALL cancer diagnosis. Wow. Seems a long way to have come when you look back on it. Being a cancer mom kind of gives you tunnel vision, you go into survival mode and just focus on what is directly in front of you, take life in small increments that you can control. I can't fix her cancer. But I can make the appointment. I can cancel the other appointment. (That reminds me, I have to cancel an appointment! lol) I can dole out the meds, rub the aching limbs, hold her all day long when life just sucks and all she wants is her Momma. Check. I can do that. You try not to look at the big picture because it's all so overwhelming. As cliche as it sounds, it's sort of akin to climbing anything of a surmountable size. You can't look down, or you'll never make it. You will scare yourself into being physically unable to do anything.
As I was considering this long road we have traveled together, I took a mental inventory.
Cancer has cost me:
1. Two long time friends
2. A few family members
2. A happy marriage
3. Two stepchildren (who are actually speaking to me)
4. My career
5. My independence
That's a lot to give up. It's a lot of things that I held very dear that I lost because of all this. But there is an old Spanish proverb, roughly translated, that says,"Something good always comes from something bad." And cancer is very, VERY bad! So let's take stock of what I have gained through this experience:
1. An abundant wealth of new friends whom I know I can count upon at any given time and for absolutely anything, great or small, especially moral support, which is the most important.I am so, so grateful for each and every one of the people that is in my life at the present moment, both in person and from afar.
2. More self confidence and self esteem than I have ever had before. I never thought I was capable of going through something like this with my sanity intact.
3. An extended "family" for Sarah. So many people love her, and go out of their way for her. People tell me all the time that she inspires them, and that they pray for her every day. She is so, so loved, and that is a great thing to be! :) Is it wrong that I bask a little in the glow myself? If there is anything this experience has taught me, it's that people show their true colors in a crisis, and family is people who love you and are there for you. Period.
4. Broadened horizons, both within the cancer realm and without. I have such a greater sense of human nature now than I did before. I can see things so much clearer now, put things in order of importance. Life really is too short to harbor animosity or hatred. It's a waste of energy, and precious time. That being said, it's also too short to put up with bullshit, so I have strived to focus my energy and attention on those people who bring positivity and light into my atmosphere and especially that of my daughter. She needs that positive energy in order to heal, or, if things don't go the way we all hope, I do not want her time here to be clouded in negativity. She deserves sweetness and light. And love. Because in the end, doesn't it all boil down to love? Even hatred is love gone wrong. But you have to care to hate. That takes time and energy. And I don't have it to waste. I focus that energy and time instead into my daughter who needs it more.
5. Inspiration. There was a time where I had lost myself so completely that even to sit down to a twenty minute blog was a forced exercise. I had to tell myself to write. What used to be a compulsion was now a chore to keep myself from going insane, from completely losing who I am at the very heart of me. This blog and this experience has compelled me to write again, to capture every precious second before it's gone. One way or another, these are moments worth preserving, cancer or no. This afternoon, before we went to the candy store (that's another blog entirely!), Sarah was walking around speaking in a British accent because she had just watched a solid hour of Peppa Pig! Lol...the best part? Her accent wasn't half bad! :)
I'm sure there are many other things I can find that I have gained from this, but five and five seems to be a good place to end. Between this, the blog I mean to write after this about our adventures this week, and the 500-some-odd pictures I have posted for y'all to rifle through, I have kept you all quite busy! :)
Overall, I have gained so much more than I have lost. Maybe that was the point. All I can do is hold on to hope that Sarah will continue to be the rock star she is and sail through this the way she has sailed through everything else. She has inspired so many people, me most of all. And somehow, my Mommy Senses are telling me that she isn't done inspiring people yet. We still have a way to go.