So, I wouldn't call myself an expert on anything.
I've done lots of things.
Lots of things well, and lots of things not so well.
I've learned lots.
One thing I know well (that I wish I didn't) is the horrible-ness of cancer.
When I was 5, my grandpa who I idolized, died of prostate cancer.
When I was 13, my aunt died of pancreatic cancer.
When I was 19, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went from stage one pre-surgery to almost a stage 4 after (ended up stage 3). She almost died. She then tested positive for the ovarian cancer gene. So she had a hysterectomy so that wouldn't take her life.
When I was 22, my uncle died of cancer that was caught too late and had metastasized to his bones.
At 26, I got tested and tested positive for the same cancer gene that my mom did.
What I'm saying, is (and this is just my close family.)..cancer is a beast that is relentless.
I learned: how to be strong, when you feel weak.
I learned: how to pick up and keep going, when you feel like falling apart.
I learned: how to cope with the feeling of loss.
I learned: what it was like to watch your parent go through something that basically was killing them, in order for them to live to see you into adulthood.
I learned: to rely on faith. To drink in the hopes and prayers of others.
I watched my mother have surgery after surgery, have a double mastectomy, receive a port to have chemo, do 6 months of chemo, do weeks and weeks of radiation therapy, lose her hair, stay in bed because she was so sick, I've seen her worry and stress about "what if" something happened to her--what would happen to her kids.
I've come to know a thing or two about cancer.
Its a monster.
Jace's oldest brother Jeff had cancer when he was a toddler. Well, we found out today that the monster has returned. This time its residing around his colon. Jeff has colon cancer. He'll go in for surgery next week, and then have 6 months of chemo (i don't know about radiation), and then another surgery later to reattach his bowels.
This, to me, unfortunately feels routine. No one should ever feel that way about something so horrible.
But here is what I know:
God is real.
God is good.
God loves us.
The power of prayer is real.
Faith of others can carry you through.
Hope is the best medicine.
Laughter will be tough to find, but crucial.
It is OKAY to be scared.
It is OKAY to cry.
It is OKAY to worry.
And its OKAY to express how you are really feeling.
Are you down in the dumps? Does that moment in time "suck"? Say it. Are you so tired of puking your guts out and cant stand your bathroom anymore? SCREAM IT. Are you worried about your future? Voice it.
The Lord will hear you. He will guide you. He will carry you through.
THIS is what I know.