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Have you ever been moving through life and were forced to stop? But you weren’t ready or prepared for the stop. Kind of like slamming on the breaks in a car…your head flies forward, your seatbelt secures tightly, your eyes widen and your adrenaline gets a spike…a forced pause.

I was given a forced pause in my cancer journey. You’d think I would be used to being blindsided by now, but somehow the surprise just doesn’t get any easier. It’s strange because when one is diagnosed with cancer, it feels like you are floating above everyone else…an out of body experience. Like you can hear everyone talking around you and you are even nodding along as they speak, but somehow you are not quite grounded to the floor. After diagnosis, I wanted so badly to pull myself into “normalcy” as quickly as possible. I am a mom, a busy lady… I have a life to live! However, my plan this year was to focus on me…my health…it is my sole job to overcome this cancer. You’d think I’d relish in that, bathe in all the time I have for just myself… {I know all of the moms are either laughing off their chair or sighing and shaking their heads…} I don’t have this luxury. So, my brain and my body are at odds right now…finding me time is difficult.

As my treatment started, Evan and I started off with a strict regimen- my diet, my walking, my rest, and finding ways to detach me from the everyday pandemonium with the girls, so I could rest. At first it was absolutely necessary, I was out of it…the first two AC treatments knocked me off my feet…I slept a lot, and was generally pretty loopy. My cousin flew into town to help and thank goodness, she did, I needed the support. As my treatments continued my body seemed to acclimate. I was able to do more around the house… I kept thinking this must be a good thing. I was getting fantastic “report cards” from my oncologist showing me how great my blood work was, so I continued to add more to my plate. My tumor was shrinking, chemo was working…I was well on my way to the end of October. I started creating more fun playdates and adventures with my girls, especially before Halen goes back to school…loving being home with just them.

Then yesterday happened…my cancer car slammed it’s breaks and I flew forward, completely thrown off course. My white blood cell count was too low for chemotherapy treatment. I was stunned, then I was flooded with disappointment and worried I didn’t do something right. My main nurse, said there’s nothing I could have done… that my bone marrow is working hard and needs a break. That my treatment would continue next week and my end date is pushed back a week. I practically tattooed October 19th onto my body, so I am glad that wasn’t a permanent decision. Tears ran down my cheeks after I packed up my chemo bag and called Evan. I felt ashamed to tell him, I was worried he would be upset with me that I didn’t rest enough. Of course, he wasn’t upset with me at all. He stroked me with his loving words. He promised me it would get better, that he would aim to be a better caregiver for me this week, so I could resume treatment next week.

Life sure is unpredictable. Cancer is unpredictable. Just as you start getting used to your schedule, your life… BAM you get hit with a giant pause. All to prove that I am not home to just be with my girls (yet), I am home to focus on me. I am home to beat cancer. I am home to make sure I am here 60+ more years to be home with my girls, to take them on adventures, to be worry free. For right now, God is speaking loud and clear that I need to focus on me. I need to get out all those cancer books I hid when initially diagnosed, I need to start my research, I need to commit to shopping only at 365, Whole Foods, Sprouts and Farmer’s Markets. I need to stop eating junk. I need to fill my body with REAL FOOD. I need to meditate. I need to do yoga and continue my walks. I need to sleep enough. I need to let my body heal. I need to be putting cancer fighting nutrients, vitamins, oils and supplements into my body.

In all this, a pause is for reflection…to look back, learn and move forward. Everyone is given a pause in their career, their parenting, their relationships, in life. And if we are smart, we listen, we correct, and we travel ahead. Not only do I want to free myself of cancer, I want to start teaching my girls how to live life more richly. Not in possession, but in experience, in education about life and I want to help guide them so they understand what is truly good for their bodies and they steer clear of what is truly damaging.

God may have pushed the pause button on my life this week, nevertheless I am determined to make the best out of my time.

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