Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Life after cancer and how God was there through it all

It's been 2 months since I finished my intensive chemotherapy, and its been one month since I have been declared CANCER FREE!  I can't even express the feeling of relief I had when the doctor literally ran into the the room to give me the good news. He said he rarely gets to give good news when someone is diagnosed with stage IV cancer, but he has full hope that in 5 years I can use the word REMISSION. If I can be honest with you all, I was ready to receive the news that the cancer was still in my body, and that I wouldn't be able to get any more treatment due to where the cancer was. So, I wasn't even sure how to react when I was given a clean bill of health. But the overwhelming messages and love I got that day, made me realized I am truly blessed. You might wonder what life post cancer looks for me now. Well, for starters my 11 medications I had to take is now down to 1 1/2 pills every night, and then the anti-nausea as needed. I only have to get blood work done once a week and visits with my doctor every 3 months, with annual scans.

I'm finally starting to get my life back. I mean my life isn't 100% normal, as I'm currently writing this while sitting next to my special vomit bucket, but slowly and surely I am getting my life back. I have refused to let cancer control the rest of my life. People have told me, I've read in other blogs and talked to former cancer survivors and they have all told me that the year after chemotherapy is still super rough. They told me I won't want to work, I wont want to get out of bed, and I wont really have the energy to do anything. Well, after having the most aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and a super potent chemotherapy, I hopefully have been cleared and "fit for duty" again. I'm finally able to commit to my church, attend every week, and even start serving there! Yes, there are some days I don't want to get out of bed, and there are some days I feel like a pile a crap, but i get out of bed, and push through the day. I refuse to be effected from cancer any longer. It took away my independence for the last 6 months, and now I say, NO MORE cancer. No more taking my freedom, this is my life, and I am going to live it to the fullest.

Someone made an interesting comment a few weeks ago at church, and I'm taking it a bit outta context, but he pretty much said "God was there in your worst times, He was in the room with you." As I look back at my life these past 6 months, I see how God was indeed with me the entire time. He was there in the people that surrounded me these last 6 months.

From crying in the ED with my friends and coworkers when we found out I had a tumor, to the amazing squad ride that my partners gave me, and an amazing coworker holding my hand the entire time. Then, my best friends were able to be with me for the first 2 weeks I was in the hospital, sitting at my side getting the good news and the not so good news with me, even had a friend sit next to my bed holding my hand til I fell asleep.God was there, in people form, to help me through some of the hardest weeks I have ever experienced.

I see how God was there when i pulled out clumps of hair in the shower, and as I said in my first post, my aunt was able to show up at 10pm to shave my head. And as I sat there crying and eating my ice cream, God was there with me. He was in the form of my mother, aunt and my brother (who was being as supportive as he could.) I spent about 50 days in the hospital, and God showed up in the form of my awesome nurses, nursing assistant, nursing students, and doctors, some of those nights, as I said before, were super rough and I only got through the night with the help of the amazing medical staff.

Another way God was with me, and blessed me sooooo greatly, was letting my best friend and twin, who lives over 2,000 miles away be with me 1/2 of the summer. She was there through some of the roughest spots of this chapter in my life. She was there the night I was moved to the cancer floor and sobbed like a baby when i saw the word "chemo" on the wall. She took late night trips to the ER with me after only having 2 hours of sleep the night before. She was there "holding my hair" during the vomiting, and laying next to me in that dreadful hospital bed whenever she could be. She never left my side.

 Being able to look back on how God showed up, blesses me greatly. Makes me see how He never once left me in the hardest and darkest times. He was there during those nights I was so scared to fall asleep in fear that I wouldn't wake up. He was there on every night I spent alone in the hospitals. He was there in every scan, every surgery, and He sat in the room, with the biggest smile on his face when I received the news that I had no trace of cancer in my body. He is indeed, a good, good father.

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