While at my healing retreat this past weekend, we talked about a lot of stuff. The biggest topic was almost like cancer patients on one side and then everyone else. How you cross a threshold when diagnosed with cancer (or any other shattering situation). And the analogy of most everyone walking in life as if they are in a bubble was brought up by a survivor.
Most people walk around in their life…well living. Some think of what might happen in their future, some just live with tunnel vision and plow on through. Regardless, if people give their mortality thought or not, they are caught in a bubble. The bubble represents being unaffected personally by tragedy. I know that this is basically how I lived my life before cancer. I had lost my grandparents, and that was sad, I had been through my parent’s divorce, which was devastating to me. That was about the worst that had ever happened to me, personally. And although tragedy happened all around me, since we are in this fallen world, darling friends losing their baby, friend’s suffering from miscarriages, one disease to the next attacking different people… I remember thinking how I couldn’t imagine what they were going through. I remained in my bubble. And I was definitely one of those people who although I had not been through anything life altering, I thought about it a lot. I thought about how awful it would be if something were to happen. Or that if we didn’t truly cherish life then something dreadful would happen. I am a positive person (as I am sure you’ve already gathered), but I think I just was in touch with the fact that life is full of heartache and terrible things happen. On top of that, I am uber sentimental, so it didn’t take much for me to start thinking about how all that I had in my life could disappear in an instant. Triggers from a country song, a commercial, a movie...reminded me that despite how happy I was in my life with my wonderful husband, and my two healthy, beautiful daughters, my life might not always be that way. I was in my bubble. I was caught up in my life…my job, trying to survive motherhood, trying to give my marriage more attention in this delicate phase of life, trying to fill my calendar with social events, planning vacations, dreaming of our future together. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my bubble would burst and I would be diagnosed with cancer.
But it did. That is exactly what happened. My bubble for life burst. I no longer have the luxury of “what if” anymore. I can no longer pretend I am invincible or force thoughts out of my brain that “it’ll never happen to me.” Because it did. And I can never go back. My view will always be changed from my life altering, horrific news. I never have to wonder what could happen to me. And touching on my last blog, I no longer feel an ache/pain/feeling in my body and wave it off. My mind goes to the worst first…which is so unlike me. It is not because I am exaggerating, it is because after putting off the tumor that was growing inside my body, for only God knows how long, I can’t ever do that again. I have to pay attention to my body and not wave anything off, so that I can stay alive. Everyone needs to pay attention to their body. I hope I am a lesson that if something doesn’t seem right do not put it off. Figure out what is going on, it could save your life.
With all the talk of a bubble bursting, I am in no way trying to be a downer on life. Yes, my bubble burst, I am no longer safe in that comfort zone. But I have been given a gift, the gift of treasuring every moment. I firsthand know what can happen to throw your life off the tracks. Because of cancer I have been given a chance to truly live life to the fullest (not just say I will after hearing Tim McGraw's song). I savor my moments with the girls, I am slow to anger, quick to forgive, I relish simple moments with Evan, and I am even more sentimental (if that is even possible) about relationships in my life. The little things like decorating for the fall, hot cups of coffee, homemade pumpkin treats, photographs of my family, movie nights, truly enjoying scrumptious bites of food and conversation. It is as if my lens on life has been cleared, I see what is most important and what is not immediately takes a back seat. I wish everyone was given this clear lens, without tragedy of course. How much more we would all appreciate life, if we truly knew how precious it really was.