I’ve had a lot of crazy stuff happen to me before. But being WRONGLY diagnosed with cancer tops the list!
This was very shocking to me. I am sure many people out there are diagnosed with cancer having had no symptoms. Cancer is indeed a scary disease due to the fact that you may think you are ok when you are not. However several things made me feel very unsure about this information and I decided to go for a second opinion.
I AM SO GLAD THAT I DID
I didn’t fool around. I went to someone voted one of the best in San Antonio. (If you’re in this area and need a referral, let me know!) Without delay I was brought in for a 2nd opinion to have my tests redone. This is beyond crazy but the other doctor’s office really DID mix up my test results with another patients!!! I honestly still cannot wrap my head around all this. I am so incredibly grateful and yet I feel extremely awful for the person whose results were mixed up with mine and now has received very tough news.
I would like to thank all of you who prayed for me and supported me while I was losing my marbles for a minute. Many of you wrote to me personally and it means so much. Now that I know the diagnosis was wrong, I can see from a more objective point of view that I handled it with all the grace and maturity of a toddler. I do believe, however, I was already in toddler mode when this happened. I spent a recent blog post whining about my car repairs along with any number of other issues on the list. My mindset was in a bad place even before my doctor mixed up my results with another patients. It wasn’t going to take much to push me over the edge. And trust me—that did it!
I do believe I handled the news in the worst way possible. It came at a time in my life where I already felt overwhelmed. But having problems is normal. Everyone has them. It’s how you choose to view them that makes the difference. Every day there are people in this world who face life problems. Everything from car repairs to cancer. And they do it while maintaining a positive outlook on life. They walk in faith not fear. They choose the path of light instead of darkness. We all have a choice. I have done it both ways but for some reason I’ve let the last few years drain me. Bring me down.
Light is always better than darkness. But it is a choice that takes effort.
Darkness will always be much easier to fall into.
Cancer runs in my family so perhaps one day this may be what I face. Just not today.
I recognize fully that I have been given an unbelievable gift. I admire more than ever those who have battled cancer. I realize now just how devastating it is (not just physically I’m sure) but psychologically to face this. I will never again miss a day of praying for those out there fighting cancer!
Do you know what all of this craziness has done for me? Because believe it or not, it has helped me in a number of ways. It has made me realize how grateful I am to be alive. Instead of waking up and saying “I cannot believe I have to deal with THIS today!! I can’t take it anymore! I am so sick of this!” I get to say…. “I cannot believe I GET to deal with this today. I get to take another breath. I have the privilege of being alive“
Even if I did have cancer–that does not equal a death sentence. I cannot tell you how many people who have battled cancer wrote to me. I know many out there who have fought it and won. But they didn’t do it by giving up. By sitting on the sidelines and letting it take them. They fought.
But my fight left me long ago
Even my faith has wavered. If I want to really live my life in victory, I have to stop thinking like someone who has already been defeated.
It saddens me greatly to know that my good news comes at the expense of someone else. Out of pure luck, I am the one who does not have cancer. Out of nothing more than bad luck, someone else has taken my place. It isn’t fair. It isn’t even right. No one deserves any of this. I don’t deserve to be the lucky one. They don’t deserve to be the unlucky one.
But the sun shines and the rain falls on everyone. Just depends where you’re standing that day.
Right before this doctor told me I had cancer, all I could think about was the fact that my insurance didn’t pay for all my car repairs and I got hit with a 1500 dollar bill right before Christmas. All I could meditate on was that my ex husband wants to lower my child support. That I’m tired of working so many hours to make sure I can pay bills. My air conditioner is on the fritz again. My roof is leaking. I have a new puppy who is only halfway potty trained. And I have strained relationships with a few people in my life. Oh yeah–and I still miss my Mom and Nana. My only thought was… I HATE TODAY
But the day he told me I had cancer, my only thought was this:
I would give ANYTHING for it to be yesterday
I just kept saying over and over again…”If only I could wake up and THOSE were my problems. If only I could wake up and THAT would be my life”
Suddenly the life I felt overwhelmed by was the life I wanted. The life I was “so sick and tired of” was the very life I begged God to give me back!!!
Who cares if I had to pay extra for car repairs? I have a car. I’ll earn that money back. Who cares if I have to work extra hours? I have a job I love. I’m lucky I even get to work! So what if I have issues with the child support. At least he PAYS child support? Some people don’t even get that! And my Mom and Nana? They are in heaven healed from all diseases and living in paradise. I’ll see them when it is time to see them.
So in the words of Andy Dufresne….
Get busy living or get busy dying
Yes..get busy living—or get busy dying
Because all we’re really doing in this life is working on one or the other
This entire experience has reminded me all over again of my beloved friend Christina who died from triple negative breast cancer. We became friends because we were both single mothers. Both of us wanted to lose weight. And THAT was the root of our friendship. Then one day, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. And it changed her perspective. She made this video shortly after that diagnosis.
She made this video somewhere in the middle of her cancer fight
And this one when she was almost at the end
You Only Live Once
I miss Christina. But her words of wisdom still speak to me now. And I hear them today in a way I have never heard them before. Having stood now in her shoes for only a moment. But long enough to feel the burn of reality. The crisp awareness of how very short life really might be. And the suddenly desperate awareness that in truth—we are ALL dying. ALL OF US. Because not one of us will escape death. The only difference is that some of has been warned when it’s coming. And some of us have not.
A dear friend of mine got in a car accident a few weeks ago. I was speaking to her one day and then the next day her car flipped on a dark road. She is alive. But she might not have been.
What we are living right now…It’s not permanent. It might feel like it. But it’s not.
I’ve been given the chance—the privilege—to get busy living.
And that’s exactly what I intend to do.
For myself. For my kids. And out of respect for everyone out there—like Christina— who didn’t get that opportunity.
The clock is ticking. And it’s borrowed time. Let me never forget that again.