"You know, I used to think people with cancer were strong to be able to get though - day after day..... but I've learned that the days come and go, it's not about strength - there's just no other choice - it's real simple...... it's called life." - * not looking for sympathy - just an observation from the 'inside'.
I put this status on my Facebook timeline a few days ago......Here are the thoughts I had behind that post......
You know, I think most people think that when you have cancer or another untreatable illness that it makes you strong. They say it takes strength to not give up, and strength to fight. They say it makes you want to be a better person - you know - like, spend more time with family, read more stories to the kids, hug more often, laugh a little louder, have a picnic, dance in the rain, make memories, etc.
For me, the reality is - I want to do all that stuff, but really - the cold hard truth is - I actually do less of those thing now that I have cancer than I did before I knew. I often feel like a failure, I'm exhausted, I'm short tempered with my kids, I have no energy left to smile and laugh with my husband or play with my kids, the mental part is killing me... I am not strong. I feel weaker now than I ever have.....most days I want to give up, throw in the towel, call it quits.
It takes everything I can muster up to 'act' normal, keep the house clean, run my biz, take the kids to school, take my son to therapy, do the laundry, dishes, cook supper and 'keep my cool'. All I ever really feel like doing is laying in the bed and crying...... I just really want to cry...... and you know what - no one knows this - not even my husband (he doesn't do well with the whole 'I have cancer issue'.)
But you know what? Everyday - I get up, get dressed, and comb my hair - I just keep going.... put on some make up - add a few pieces of jewelry ......my oldest daughter will say 'Mom, you look good this morning!" To everyone, I look fine. I smile. I say I'm fine, - but to me, I'm dying inside..... I'm crying - all alone curled up in my bed - but no one knows - because it's amazing what a smile can hide!
In conclusion, I am blessed with some good FB friends who offered their prayers on my behalf and for that I am grateful. I was also reminded of a verse in 2 Corinthians 12:10 that says "for when I am weak, then am I strong..." reminding me that it's okay to Lean on the One true source of strength (God). The following is a reply I received on that status:
"I believe it IS strength. Strength to not give up, Strength to believe that your Higher Power can be called upon and believed in, Strength to fight, Strength to never give up, Strength to continue to love, Strength to forgive, and Strength to put on a brave face and just say... it's just life."
So does cancer make you strong? Or is it just a part of life?
In the end.... The days do come and go - and when we feel weak and exhausted - when there's just no other choice - we have the strength to believe in God - the strength not to give up - when we have no strength - it takes strength to put on a brave face and say... it's just life - because, we have no other choice - this is our life!
P.S. I hesitate to discuss my cancer, as I am not looking for sympathy - but have found that sometimes, I get relief by 'talking' about it here on my blog - it helps to 'get it out'. Please don't ask personal questions..... You can read more here.