Wow! It’s been over a year since I visited this place. My blog site. The place where I open up and share my world with…the world. Where I explore the inner thoughts and emotions of life after cancer. It almost seems silly in some ways to say that. It has, after all, been over 5 years since my cancer diagnosis, and almost 5 years since the end of treatment–and the beginning of a new life. Long enough that the new life is no longer all that new.
And anyway, it’s the same old life, isn’t it? Still me. Still married to same wonderful pilot. Still mom to the same four amazing sons. Still live in the same house in the same town. Still friend to many of the same people and attending the same incredible church. And still have the same faith in the same Heavenly Father.
But in many other ways, I am not the same. Life truly is a great big adventure–each day is a brand new moment. I do sometimes–way too many times–fall back into the old routine of taking each day for granted. Each relationship as a mundane, same-old-same-old experience. But when that attitude creeps in now, it is rapidly followed by the amazing thought that I could be not here. That this day could have not been given to me, after all.
When that reality hits, I try to weigh the things I do against this one thought: what good is this day doing me or someone else? Am I growing as a person/mother/wife/friend/daughter of God? Am I making a difference in my own life/the life of someone else/the world? When the things I’ve been doing no longer rank high on this scale, I try to take note of that fact and change the course I’m on. Because in the giant scheme of things, life is really all about relationship and growth. And if you’re not building relationship, if you’re not making the world/yourself/others better by the things you do, then you’re helping them to rot. And I’m not sure that’s a good thing to be doing with the days we’re given. I know that it’s not the course I want to take.
One thing I’ve realized during this year off from blogging is that you sometimes have to look backward in order to grow forward. What?! I’ll try to explain. Sometimes you reach a point in life when you have to open up your life, take a deep, long look at what’s buried underneath in order to move past and fully live the life to come. Or even just to fully live the life you have at this moment.
I know that many people today–and always–have felt that looking at the past is needless and unnecessary. That it’s all in the past and you should just move forward, look ahead, and keep moving on. But I’ve now lived almost 51 years and I’ve discovered that sometimes there are things hidden deep within, buried deep beneath the surface of our thoughts that fester. We don’t always know they’re there, but they are. And just like a splinter broken under the surface of the skin, they begin to rub and irritate and infect everything we do and think, even though we can’t remember them.
This is the place I’ve found myself these past months–sifting through hidden splinters of my life. I’ve tried to keep them buried, but they finally began festering and infecting my world to the point that I must dig deep beneath the surface in order to lift them out and heal the wounds they’ve caused. If I don’t, my entire world will become septic.
When a localized infection invades the blood stream and spreads the infection throughout the entire system–a state of sepsis–this is to be septic. And it can be deadly. This is also what happens when a tiny–or not so tiny–fragment of memory is allowed to lodge within the mind for long periods of time, without being dealt with properly. And after fighting breast cancer five years ago, I decided that my world would no longer be filled with infection or inflammatory components; it will be filled with growing things, healthy things. Thus, all the septic-inducing splinters must go.
So once again, I find myself on a journey. Once again, it is the journey of discovering wholeness–this time of the mind. I once again need the comfort and assistance that writing brings–join me if you want. I welcome your company. I guarantee it will be an adventure. Not always pleasant or sunny, but my heart is always filled with the ultimate joy that comes from my faith in God and His loving guidance; so I know that even in the midst of the roller coasters ahead, there will be moments–glimpses–of joy along the way. Join me and we’ll glimpse them, together.