Borrowed Time

January 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

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 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

You Decide

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.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Barb January 21, 2017 at 5:41 pm

I’m so happy to hear you are cancer free. That had to feel like the weight of the world lifted off of you. I’m also happy to hear you’ve had your wake up call. This article hit home for me.

Welcome to your new life!


K January 21, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Reading your blog today I smile.

Life is always going to bring waves that momentarily cause overwhelm and fear, But God gave us a lifeline in Jesus. So I’m working at choosing faith in those times.

About a month ago, my sweet father lost his fight against disease, not cancer although he had battled that as well. We wanted him with us. Watching his struggles, we all know he is in a far better place and state now. What could be better than being at the feet of Jesus? In that we rejoice.

For me, this major change in my life reminds me that each breath is a gift. How I choose to spend these moments are my choices, but it’s as if I am able to appreciate them as more precious than prior to his death.

I find myself asking others for forgiveness more frequently, opening my heart and mind to understand my perspective may not be someone else’s and the rightness of things not always a battle that needs to be fought. I find myself wanting to show myself love and understanding through a new form of compassion and care.

When tired and exhausted and right now there is still too much of that, I don’t always make the healthy choices I desire. Knowing there are those like you who understand this struggle, helps me. For me it’s going to always be a journey. Until I’ve reached that final destination.

Today while reading my Bible I seemed to be called to this scripture:

…and without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him. — Hebrews 11:6.

The rewards come in varying ways. One I treasure greatly is that feeling of peace no matter my circumstance

And yes, it’s time for me to get busy living. Get off my duff and move.

Enjoy your moments today!


Steelers6 January 21, 2017 at 11:52 pm

My sincere condolences, K, for the huge loss you have experienced. You have my sympathy. Chrissy


K January 22, 2017 at 5:33 am

Thank you Chrissy.


Holly from 300 Pounds Down January 23, 2017 at 11:39 am

I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. Thank you so much for sharing that with me and also the Bible verse. I appreciate it so much!


K January 26, 2017 at 3:11 am

Thank you Holly. I hope you are feeling God’s peace!


Just Mom January 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

I just knew those medical reports were going to come back fine. how fortunate that is for you AND for the woman whose test results you mistakenly received. If you hadn’t pursued that second opinion, she would be walking around with unknowingly with cancer–she would not have known to seek treatment even though the cancer had spread to he lymph nodes. How awful that would have been for her==and how extreme the consequences could have been.

You not only got the truth for yourself—but your truth seeking may have just saved her life.

Thanking God for His mercy.

Just Mom


Beth M January 21, 2017 at 6:33 pm

What a blessing, I’m so glad to be reading your good news this morning. That was quite a wake up call life sent your way!
Cancer runs in my family as well, but every one of my relatives who had cancer had a different kind, so there’s nothing specific I can test early for. But I know obesity is a huge risk factor for cancer, it’s one of the reasons I had Wls. Your post last week was a wake up call for me as well, that I’m killing myself with sugar and binge eating. I joined a bariatric regain online group, followed their guidelines all week, and feel like I’m back on track and making progress for the first time in a long time. Thank you for your brutal honesty Holly, you help more of us Han you know.


Grace January 21, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Stumbled across your blog and all I can think is…Have you ever thought about writing a book? You are an amazing writer.
You’ve had a lot of stuff happen lately and you seem to be handling it a lot better than I would!
Grace recently posted..HELLO!My Profile


Karen P January 21, 2017 at 9:57 pm

The kind of cool thing is it’s one stop shopping. Weight loss will decrease your future risk of several cancers. So now is your chance. Abstaining for the multiple WIN.

The window of health is only open for so long. Onward with a bottle of windex & very purposeful actions.
Karen P recently posted..Transitioning from Weight Loss to Weight Maintenance, the 5 phases of my weight maintenance managementMy Profile


Mollie January 21, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Holly, I just knew you would have good results! What a terrible mix up though from your original doctor’s office. Very negligent although I understand mistakes can happen.

I got really sick about a week ago and had to have emergency surgery yesterday. I will need more in three months. I’m very overwhelmed and scared just as you were but guess we just have to cope with these things. It could always be worse!

Last thing I wanted to add is that I’ve had five breast biopsies myself. Very blessed to have all come back okay but wanted to share what the breast surgeon told me many years ago. She said that cancer feeds on sugar. We all know the role weight plays in increased diseases but I never knew specifically about the sugar aspect. Just something to keep in mind that might help reduce intake.


Karen January 21, 2017 at 11:52 pm

Holly, I am glad to hear of your report. You have been on my mind and in my prayers. I have been praying Isaiah 53 for you.


Steelers6 January 21, 2017 at 11:57 pm

That’s my girl!! It sounds like our Holly is coming back, and grabbing life by the horns. I certainly sympathize with all you’ve been through though.

XO Chrissy


GDOG January 23, 2017 at 7:05 pm

I’m so relieved!! My condolences for your lost friend and also whomever got a recent cancer diagnosis. I’m glad, though, that this experienced has helped you change perspective. Good luck 🙂


Kristi January 23, 2017 at 11:23 pm

Talk about a blessing in disguise.

New International Version (NIV) romans 8:28

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.


temesis January 24, 2017 at 4:12 am

I have been reading your blog for a long time. This blog is YOUR journal and your space to vent. I am happy to listen to you offload about the leaky roof and any problems. Life does get stressful! This is a perfect outlet. I am proud of you! I think it is so strong you made the right decision to move back home where you belong. You are braver than you think. I am so glad your diagnosis is in fact negative. Use this to spur your motivation on! You are still so very far from where you started and I believe in you Holly!!!!


Margaret Clover January 24, 2017 at 9:33 am

Hello Holly

I like your “get busy living—or get busy dying” quote because words can be truly powerful and effective. Speaking affirmations will lift you up. Affirmations may just be words but sometimes they are powerful enough to make a difference in your life. If you speak it often enough, you might begin to believe it, and it can work its wonders for you.

Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors.
Margaret Clover recently posted..Health and beauty benefits of parsleyMy Profile


Kyra January 26, 2017 at 11:32 am

I’m so glad that you’re ok, and mad at the doctor’s office. It’s a good attitude to have, we only have right now. *hugs*
Kyra recently posted..Matters of the BodyMy Profile


Ren February 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Have you tried ‘potty bells’ for your puppy? I was having a hard time housebreaking our puppy until a friend suggested we try the potty bells. I couldn’t figure out how having bells hanging from the door was really going to make a difference, but once he figured out what they were for, he was housebroken in just a few days..
Ren recently posted..ZZZzzzz…My Profile


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