The Struggle Is Real

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We went out for pizza the other night to celebrate my being cancer free and my youngest drew this pic. I love his beautiful, creative mind💝

The words he wrote rang true to what my heart and mind experienced leading up to hearing there was no evidence of cancer.

You see, on this side of cancer there still is a struggle I experience. Living as a survivor of ACC, I have to walk, like other cancer survivors, with the unknown if the cancer will be back. When I started having new nerve pains and pressure behind my eye, I didn’t want to think the worst, yet having a cancer that travels nerves, I naturally became uncertain if the cancer was back on the other side of my face. And many of you may not know but ACC has cost people in our ACC community their eye, ear, jaw line, etc. I only had to lose my palate. Other ACC survivors walk with a outward physical deformity while I get I walk with an internal one. Yet last week I played the story in my head that maybe I too would have to lose part of my face someday to remain cancer free. Currently that isn’t my story, but I did have a friend who did have to lose her eye this week to be ACC free. 

There are cancer survivors that walk beside us in life everyday. Some have lost breasts, eyes, ears, jaws, a lung, palates, legs, arms, skin, thyroid, have had a hysterectomy, etc. And many may not have lost a physical part of themselves but they too lost the security of that little lump or nerve pain as being nothing. The hope of remaining cancer free is there yet the reality that we have to take seriously the possibility of it coming back is real.

I share this with you, not for sympathy or pity, but for us to grow in empathy and compassion for others. 

It may not be cancer, maybe it is the fear of a loved one cheating again, taking another drink, getting high one more time, making another bet, etc.

The struggle is real.

Yet I invite you to join me to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

May we not live in this fearful place. It is a cloud that hovers over us inhibiting our light to shine forth in our days. May we instead invite God into the equation. May we believe that this struggle is not without purpose but a transformative time to help us grow in faith and love. May we trust that we are slowly unfolding into the person we were made to be through this trying time. And may we grow in empathy and compassion for others whose struggle is real.

With love and hope,