The true meaning of Easter is much more significant than it has ever been for me. Stage 4 cancer has given me this valuable insight and appreciation of the resurrection.
The Savior took upon Him our pains and afflictions and broke the bands of death.
The Bands of Death
Now I don’t know about you but when you are handed a slip of paper that foretells your death ticket: non-curable stage 4 cancer the bands of death take on a whole new meaning.
Suddenly “beginning with the end in mind” is incorporated into everything you do. The heavy burden of death challenges how you spend time, how you interact with others, what you think about, and how you spend your money.
First they tell me I can’t have blue cheese dressing. It would have been fine if they would have told me that the year before. I wouldn’t have even tried the mouth watering crave. Yes. I was like all of y’all scrunching my nose at the thought of moldy cheese. But, at first lick it pleased me and I fell in love with it. Thanks Dad. I should have trusted you the first time you tried to get me to try it. I should have known because I’ve inherited my dad’s taste buds on many other things.
(Seriously if you haven’t tried it you’re missing out.)
So with my initial cancer diagnosis and the start up of chemo I’m a little bummed about ditching my newfound infatuation, I had to break up with blue cheese. Those of you on weird food diets get my pain. I had to settle for ranch to avoid an elevated health crash. Continue reading →
It’s a tradition to think about what we are thankful for this time of year. Often the things that we are thankful for are traced back to some reason that triggered our insight. We can rattle off the things that we are grateful for that have given us comfort in our lives. But what about those not so awesome moments. Here’s a few of my triggers for my gratitude. Check out these unlikely candidates: Continue reading →
I have three contacts in my phone I can no longer use. Anita, Sheree, and now Lori. All cancer friends. I can’t bring myself to erase these contacts, as if having them in my phone somehow keeps them close to me.
A flood of memories rush in when I see their name flash across as I’m scrolling for another contact. For a brief moment my heart goes soft and I am touched by their goodness. The memory of their smile greets me in this moment. I can almost hear their voice, their laughter comforting me and telling me that though there are hard times there is much sunshine.
You know that telephone game? The one where you whisper in someone’s ear and by the end it gets all messed up.
Yeah, well… that happened to me.
Although it wasn’t a mixed up message but some fabulous tumor instead. It was passed from generation to generation, until it got to me all mixed up and messed up. Some static message ended up clunking out 2 types of cancer and 7 tumors (thankfully, only five were malignant).
A brief vision of days past flash through my mind. A wave of emotion overcomes me. I remember Grandma standing at the edge of her yard in her curled hair and up curled lips. Grandpa in his navy blue pocketed shirt is waving with those knobby knuckles. I watch out the back window of the van as we turn the corner. Until next time.
It is just a vision, for Grandpa’s been gone for years. Grandma’s only been gone a few days.
I fight the stinging of hot tears brimming in my eyes as I realize that today will be the last time I visit Grandma. No more aqua rainforest soap, aloe vera plants for bee stings, or Tang coupled with amazing breakfast eggs edged with that secret ingredient. (Seriously! How could she not like her own eggs?)
All is gone. But not forgotten.
I touch the corner of each eye to drain the tear and I take a breath.
“Bye Grandma, love ya.” My thoughts cradle my memories. Good byes are never easy but today I say my final good bye.
I believe the wave of emotion I feel is from Grandma whispering back one last good bye. The emotion I feel is not in the doom of her death but in the power of her love. Until next time… as for now Grandma and Grandpa will stand at the edge of heaven and earth and watch over us until we see each other again.