grateful amazement

finding wonder…everywhere.

July 2010 – July 2015 :: A Cancer Survivor’s Retrospective :: Day Two

on July 2, 2015

Looking back in my Caringbridge journal is almost like reading a story that happened to someone else. To try to put myself back there, to try to fully engage those memories is fairly difficult — and more than a bit surreal.

As I sit with the distance between Then and Now, I wonder if the challenge I’m experiencing going back is natural. And right. And just how it’s supposed to be.

I mean, after FIVE YEARS, I should be a different person, in a different place, with a different set of emotions about having battled cancer.

Those differences indicate and illuminate growth and change and forward momentum, I think.
This realization is incredibly uplifting and validating.

Uplifting because there are plenty of days that find me feeling like I’ve been stuck in some sort of weird limbo, with almost nothing to show for the journey I’ve been on. No spiritual souvenirs, no new mindset, no progress toward Better.
Those days are hard. I’m not going to lie.

Validating because, along with those Feeling Stuck Days, there are also times when the Itty Bitty Shitty Committee in my head tries to convince me that I didn’t ‘do’ cancer right, that I should have been braver, that I made too big of a deal of it all.
Those times, too, are hard. No use sugar-coating it.

So, looking back is going to be a good thing.
It’s not a story about someone else’s life.
It’s part of the story of mine.
(I say ‘part’ of it because, while I had cancer, I never let cancer have me.)
Having had cancer doesn’t define me.
It’s just one of the many chapters in my story.

So here’s another bit of that chapter…


Sep 12, 2010
As some of you may already know, surgery went well despite the fact that I did wake up in the ‘Um, They Found Cancer In Your Lymph Node Recovery Room’ not the ‘Ok, Your Lymph Node Was Clear, It’s Same-Day Surgery Recovery Room.’ I know a lot of prayers were offered up on our behalf that the sentinel node biopsy would come back clear and I want to thank each of you who joined with us in praying for that particular outcome!! I do believe from the bottom of my heart that the prayers of God’s people are able to move, rearrange, and change things. I have also come to the understanding that, God ALWAYS answers prayer. Sometimes the answer is exactly what I’d hoped and other times, not so much. Whenever I perceive that He has answered in the way I’d hoped, I believe it’s because my spoken desires happened to line up with His will. How exciting is that?! To think that sometimes I get it ‘right’ enough that my desires line up with God’s will humbles me and blows my mind at the same time! 🙂 For reasons known only to Him, for now, the biopsy was not clear and that will affect the staging of the cancer. Exactly to what extent, I’m not yet sure. I hope to find out more on Tuesday when I meet with Dr Helbling (the surgeon) if the pathology report is back by then.

Another happy thought I’d like to share is that GOD KNEW. HE KNEW all of this was in my future before I was even born. HE KNEW the July 23 mammogram would find something. HE KNEW the August 13 biopsy would confirm a diagnosis of cancer. HE KNEW the sentinel node biopsy would be positive. And HE KNOWS how this all plays out. Nothing that is happening – in my little life or yours – ever comes as a surprise to Him! HE KNOWS, HE MOVES, HE LOVES, HE PROTECTS, HE STRENGTHENS. Truly, if you really sit with all of that, isn’t it a beautiful, wonderful, crazy miracle?!?! Some serious hope and strength can arise from those truths! And, for that, I am beyond grateful!!


2 responses to “July 2010 – July 2015 :: A Cancer Survivor’s Retrospective :: Day Two

  1. Laura, thank you for sharing about your journey through cancer with us. It is enlightening. Blessings to you… and for having reached the 5 year mark that is such awesome news!! ❤

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