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#CancerSucks, But.....

Today is truly a beautiful morning. The sun is streaming in through my lanai and casting light just across the hardwood floor in the living room, over a child's chair and onto a pile of stuffed animals. When I follow the light, it leads me to the corner piled with my children's toys and blankets that are a source of fun, and at times, comfort. Anytime I think of those boys, my eye is on the prize.

The prize that gets me past the anxiety of the day, which today, is an appointment with the oncologist. I'll meet my doctor for the first time, hear his opinion on what other treatment(s) I should have, if any. It could be chemo, drug infusions, endocrine therapy, all of them, some of them, or none of them (that's unlikely). But as I woke, and the sun streamed through, the first thought that crossed my mind as I stood over the sink was, "If God leads you to it, He will lead you through it."  And I said out loud to myself, "God will lead you through it, Richelle." (Well, Him and half a valium, haha!).

There's so much to get through when you have a cancer diagnosis, and I've only been through half of it. #cancersucks gets hashtagged, put on t-shirts, added to posters, but I promise you, unless you've walked through it, you don't know half the reason cancer sucks. It's not just because it makes you sick, or takes loved ones from us. It's not just because you have to go through grueling surgeries, recoveries and medical treatments.

#cancer sucks because:
- it steals your everyday routine
- it fills your calendar with sometimes daily appointments
- it robs you of daily joy
- it lets anxiety and worry creep in
- it becomes the only thing you think about
- it puts you out of work (albeit temporarily)
- it runs your finances dry
- it requires medical tests that are painful, nerve wracking and confusing
- it requires surgery that puts life on hold
- it requires someone else to wash your hair
- it requires someone else to dry you off after a shower
- it breaks your heart when someone else has to hug and hold your kids when they're crying for mommy
- it leaves you feeling inadequate when others have to do so much
- it stresses your spouse and loved ones who carry the load and wonder how else they can help

I can't reach into cabinets, I can't pick up a jug of milk, I can't open a pill bottle. Even with button up shirts, I can barely get my arms in to get to the buttoning.

But today, cancer does not suck. I woke up for the first time in two weeks without pain, without the shooting nerve sensation at my incisions, without nausea and without anxiety.

I woke up today, with the light streaming in, pulling my gaze to a corner of comfort, to the corner that puts my eye on the prize before I begin the arduous, and sometimes humiliating task, of getting dressed, having my hair brushed, and having someone else drive me to the next step, the next appointment, the next doctor who will inevitably make my head spin with information and present me with choices I don't want, choices that are not good, choices that have to happen.

#Cancersucks, and you don't know the half of it; in fact, neither do I, because I'm not even halfway through it, but in this moment today, in this beauty of light, cancer does not suck. It just becomes a blip, a thing, a part of my life that's becoming the everyday norm, a norm I'm learning to live with, a norm I'm learning to manage and accept a little more every day.

#Cancersucks, but therefore, by the Grace of God, go I.


  1. AND all those things that others who love you are doing for you right now - guess what? - you'd do the very same for them. You are not inadequate. You are a fighter and a survivor, doing what you need to do. Keep leaning on those everlasting arms of Jesus. Love you.


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