“I’m terrified. Absolutely terrified. My whole life has become a cruel game of 52-card pickup. Every aspect of my life has been thrown in the air and I don’t know where they will land. I want to crawl in a hole and pretend that none of this is happening. It’s too much for me to handle. Everyone is asking if they can do anything and I don’t know what to tell them.”
This was one of my journal entries after I found out my husband had a cancerous tumor growing in his sinuses and up into his brain. I felt so lost, so overwhelmed. As words like “tumor”, “brain”, and “biopsy”, got thrown into the atmosphere of the doctors office that day, a sense of the surreal took over my world, and everything got fuzzy. In the space of a heartbeat I flipped through denial, anger, fear and back to denial again. Hearing my husband sob; glancing over and seeing his shoulders shake, ripped me from my fog and I realized this was far worse for him.
There are no winners in a cancer journey
But was it? Worse, I mean. That’s not a popular question, I know. Because obviously it was HIS head, HIS brain, HIS health that was threatened here, but it was MY most important relationship, MY family, and MY world that were threatened. as well. There are no winners in a cancer journey. There may be battles won and victories to be celebrated, but there are no winners.
My support system couldn’t be there for me but I could carry them with me
I turned to my family, my friends, my faith, and my journal. I bought a notebook and started writing out, by hand, every scripture that was sent to or spoken over us. I wrote down phrases of songs and poems that encouraged me. When I announced it on social media, I wrote down every comment from every friend and family member who responded. I printed out encouraging messages and taped them to the pages. I carried that journal with me everywhere. I added things daily and when I was at my low points I would pull it out and reread the support I was receiving.
My friends and family couldn’t be with me every moment, but with my journal I could carry them with me everywhere I went. Sometimes our support gets taken away in the most unfair moments. It’s in those times that we must draw from our inner strength and find ways to be our own support. My journal was mine; what is your secret weapon?
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