“Denial [dih-nahy-uhl] – disbelief in the existence or reality of a thing”
“Faith [feyth] – 1. confidence or trust in a person or thing. 2. belief that is not based on proof.
Do you have to see it to believe it? Does it make it more real if you do?
As I continue to find the end of this Chemotherapy process and try to begin to find my new “normal”….I have never been in denial. I never denied the fact I had Breast Cancer. In fact, it did not surprise me at all. Somehow, I knew. I never felt the lump. I never experienced the common symptoms. I didn’t see it or feel it so it wasn’t there, right? But it was. When I was informed and confirmed I didn’t say “No”, I didn’t ask to check again. I wanted to hit it head on whether I saw it or not. I needed to get rid of it. It did not belong….that is the denial I felt. DOES NOT BELONG. Day to day I walked around, test after test, knowing it was inside me. I only had two fears……#1 is it going to get out through my lymphnodes and #2 will my daughters get it. Neither of which I could deny. I didn’t want to acknowledge these fears……like a child playing peek-a-boo…if I cover my eyes and I don’t see you, you don’t exist. I don’t see the lump even though I knew all it’s specifics. It was almost 2cm large, 10’oclock position right breast, stage 1 grade 3 invasive ductal carcinoma. I have no family history to go by as I was adopted.
My friends and family rallied behind me. They have been the wind beneath my wings. I cannot express how thankful I am to them and strangers I meet who haven’t hidden behind denial. Those who haven’t acted like it isn’t happening. There have been some that I thought would be there and they have not. That is ok. We all have choices. You don’t always have to know the right thing to say or do….just be.
When faced with extreme circumstances it is easy to act like it isn’t happening. Turn away, don’t acknowledge it so it isn’t real….you don’t have to deal with it. Many convince themselves of many other options to deny the situation. Just because I don’t look sick doesn’t mean I am not breaking down inside. Just because there are plenty of options doesn’t mean I will experience the best of them. If I am not the “picture” of what you think cancer, the big “C”, looks like doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Yes, there have been significant improvements in modern medicine and treatments. Yes, survival rates have gone up and reoccurance rates have gone down. This is wonderful, but doesn’t mean it will be me. Not talking about it, not responding to it, not seeing it doesn’t make it go away. There are so many groups, online sites, chats, tweets, pamphlets, books, and people out there to help. Don’t be afraid. Don’t deny them the opportunity to help get you through it. Unfortunately, so many around me have involuntarily been dragged into my path of this ugly ugly circumstance. It is through their grace, their care, their kindness, their bold decision not to deny what is happening that helps gets me through.
I have learned so far that I cannot and will not deny this part of me. I don’t have to like it. I have also learned to slow down, to take care of myself now more then ever before. Listen to my body, listen to my support systems. Accept help, receive it. Things may not be exactly how I would do them, but they are getting done. That is ok. I have found that you can chose — denial or faith. I have chosen faith. I am making better decisions for my health, diet, and future. I am not going to be all gloom and doom. This could always come back. But, I have Faith in my God. He will not fail me. I will boldly go to him even with flaws. Like Joel Olsteen preached last night, before we are even born God knows our flaws. He knows we will stumble and yet He still loves us. He doesn’t set us up to fail and doesn’t deny us. At a recent visit to my home church in Indy, the Pastor talked about how Jesus stands in the muddy waters along side us. He doesn’t deny us either. He stands steadfast with his love. I have Faith in the people around me that they won’t let me fall. I won’t let myself fall. This is a brand new time for me. Scary, emotional, hard, tiring, kind, loving, liberating. Cancer has fought a noble battle with me….but my gloves are to strong….I am a force to be reckoned with and will not loose. This girl can take some punches, but won’t be put down.