it's funny how one word can instill so much fear, and pain.
i remember the first time i received word that my mom had cancer and how paralyzed i felt when my phone exploded with texts that day.
but thankfully, after a year of tests, surgery, and radiation, she beat it, and she beat it in the most courageous way.
it was raining when i got the news this time, which seemed fitting. i was walking through toronto at the time, feeling like i as going to be sick, but choosing to focus on a breathing exercise i learned to help with my anxiety instead. even still, the 'what ifs?' and the 'why her?'s" started flooding in simultaneously with the downpour of rain; thoughts that can drown you if you let them.
but really, why her? why my mom, the one who stood by my dad's side for years and loved him with the most sacrificial love, taking care of him for years as he struggled with his own health? that type of stress was enough to kill anyone, really, and in her case, played a big part in her having a heart attack and having to undergo triple-bypass surgery, which she endured like a champ. and yet even through this, she honored her vows and took care of him until the day she woke up to him laying lifeless - yet peacefully - on the floor beside her.
and she endured that like a champ, too.
cancer came, and cancer went, and we all celebrated with tears of relief. [i still have the picture of her holding her pina colada in the air that day]. she finally caught a break.
after her first post radiation appointment three months a go, things looked promising.
three days a go, however, not so much. unfortunately, the fluid that they drained from my mom's stomach contained 'a lot of' cancer cells, stupid cancer cells.
i'm learning that there's a fine line between feeling hopeful and fearful, and being positive yet realistic.
my conclusion in all of this, though, and my encouragement to you, is this:
when life throws you a curve ball, let yourself feel what you gotta feel. want to scream? scream? pray? pray. process. journal. cry, whatever. just don't get stuck there. keep going, keep hoping, and don't you dare lose faith! not for you, not for me, and certainly not for my mom.