Often, when things seem to be going well, I start to worry. I let my mind wander and imagine every scenario that could be, including the scary, seemingly bad ones. Even before I was diagnosed with cancer, I used to have some sort of feeling that I might get cancer in my twenties. I don’t think I have a six sense; rather, as a worrier, I let myself imagine that the worst case scenario might happen. (And not only was cancer always my biggest fear, but my mom fought cancer and beat it in her twenties-going on to live a loving, giving, beautiful life. She’s my hero!) And the thing is, I got cancer. I’m currently facing my biggest fear. And despite all my worrying, when I was diagnosed I was still shocked. And going through treatment was still scary, and at times, painful. It’s not as if my worrying prepared me for what my family and I have been through these past six months. In fact, all it did was cause me suffering before it was my time to suffer.
This morning, I woke up and realized that I hadn’t thought about cancer in two days. At first, I smiled, thinking about these past few weeks since I’ve stopped treatment. They’ve been wonderful. I love spending each day with my beautiful little boy and having enough strength to hold him, pick him up, and play with him whenever I want to. I love cooking dinner for my family again. I love going for walks without my chemo pack attached. I love feeling little hairs on the top of my head and seeing eyebrows beginning to sprout. I love just living, and finding out what it means to be a mother, something I dreamt of for so long.
And yet, as soon as I remembered cancer this morning, I began to worry. I worried about what I’ll find out in November, and whether or not the tumor has continued to shrink or if it has grown. I worried that even if it hadn’t grown yet, it would in the next few years. I worried about missing out on seeing my sweet boy grow up, and about leaving my wonderful husband. But then I remembered what I’ve come to know: these worries won’t prepare me for whatever lies ahead, and they won’t make anything difficult easier to face. Rather, spending more time enjoying my little life now is what will make facing anything difficult in the future easier! Drawing on memories of wonderful friends and experiences, and knowing that there would be more of them after treatment, was sometimes the only thing that could make me smile on a difficult day while I was receiving chemotherapy.
So, today I’m choosing to live in hopefulness, and not in fear, and I’m pushing my worries aside. For it was the wonderful care of many doctors and nurses, countless prayers, and most of all, an unending sense of hope that brought my beautiful son from here,
and finally, to here.
And this I know to be true:
The Lord is my light and my salvation, of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27)
I pray that today you are able to cast your worries aside and savor every moment of your little, beautiful life. Live intentionally, being fully present to every moment, and then, when difficult times do come, you’ll have a collection of small, lovely moments to remember, and they will carry you through anything.