New Beginnings

by | Dec 21, 2022 | Updates

I’ve struggled over the past few days on how to begin my last entry of 2022.  For the last three years, I’ve followed an intention-setting program at the end of the year which includes choosing a word or theme for the upcoming year.  2022’s word and theme were courage and fortitude.  I even took the time last year around this time to write out the definitions:  COURAGE:  the ability to do something that frightens one.  Strength in the face of pain and grief.  FORTITUDE:  The mental/emotional strength that enables courage in the face of adversity. In hindsight, I don’t think I could have chosen a more accurate description of what would be required of me this past year and how much courage and fortitude I’d need.

One would think that the hardest part of 2022 was being diagnosed with brain cancer, going through a 6-hour surgery and dealing with chemo and radiation and simply recovering from this.  But I can tell you this is not true.  By far, the most difficult thing I dealt with this year was the death of my friend Amanda on May 17th.  I no longer cry about my own situation, but just the thought of Amanda brings me to tears.  I may no longer be lugging around my Death phobia, but that doesn’t mean I don’t grieve deeply when death takes a loved one away.

I’ve also made a point of keeping track of meaningful statements that I hear, over the years.  I look back at my journal periodically to remind myself of these statement/questions because they keep me grounded

2020:  John had cancer and my counselor at the time asked me two questions (as I was melting down in his office. ) 1.  How do you want to be remembered? and 2. What do you know to be true today?

2022:  When I was melting down in my surgeon’s office at my follow-up appointment, Dr. Mueller told me “You cannot will yourself to heal any faster than your body is able”

More recently I remembered something my cousin Kalev said to me years and years ago.  To give you some background, Kalev is one of the smartest people I know.  If he reads this he will likely be embarrassed but if I don’t give you background on him you won’t understand how meaningful his words were to me.  The word in the family is that he’s literally a genius.  IQ testing confirmed.  But aside from being super smart, in ALL subjects, he can do just about anything!  He once knit this absolutely beautiful, intricate shawl/scarf/sweater thing for his mother.  I wish I had saved the picture of it.  It was just exquisite!  It was then that I expressed my amazement at his intelligence and abilities.  This is when he made the comment to me that I haven’t forgotten.  He said ” I’m really not that smart.  I’m stubborn.  I refuse to believe I can’t figure something out so I just keep trying until I do.”  Turns out he’s humble as well LOL.  So Kalev’s words are the fourth statement in addition to the three above that I repeatedly say to myself.

1. How do you want to be remembered?

2. What do you know to be true today?

3. You cannot will yourself to heal any faster than the body is able

4.  Be stubborn in your efforts to accomplish something.

While 2022 definitely brought some challenges, it also included great joy.  Vivienne was born! Everything everyone ever told me about being a grandparent is true! You get all the fun, love and joy without waking up in the middle of the night! LOL.  2022, also brought to an end, a much too-long estrangement from someone who I love very much! I actually have cancer to thank for that.  My diagnosis prompted the sending of a get-well card which prompted me to reach out.

I can honestly say, I don’t have any beef with my cancer diagnosis.  Having to go through this has resulted in me placing even more trust in God, and rededicating and surrendering my life to Him again.  He’s answered every prayer and has covered me in his supernatural peace, which is so much more than I could have ever hoped for.

My word for 2023? I thought about trust, faith, and growth but settled on….. LOVE.  I love my life! ALL parts of it! The good and the difficult.  There is nothing I would change.  NOTHING! Including the cancer.  I am not a pollyanna.  I’m fully aware of how difficult life can be and that the next trial is likely right around the corner.  I’m able to be happy despite the difficulties I know will come because I’ve worked so hard on developing a relationship with Jesus.  He really is my rock and anchor in life.  Without my faith in Jesus, (and my lexapro LOL) I’d be a disaster!

I did not make any resolutions and I haven’t in 3 years.  What I did instead was start a list of things I want to do.  Life is meant to be LIVED, not wrangled into control and I intend to live it to the fullest!

HAPPY NEW YEAR WONDERFUL Friends and family!   I love all of you! I will be praying for you all.  If there is something specific you’d like me to pray for, please call or message me!

About Me

In February 2022, I was diagnosed with brain cancer and it changed my whole life perspective. This blog is dedicated to my Journey through cancer diagnosis, recovery, and finding the humor in life.