I would love to say that my life has been easy, joyous, and full of laughter.
But that just isn’t true.
Parts of my life has been heartbreaking, depressing, and monumentally disappointing. Last night I had a moment of clarity and disbelief while my husband and I were watching the Home Run Derby.
The camera was panning the crowd as fans were holding up signs for those they were supporting through the Stand Up 2 Cancer campaign. A family held up signs simply saying “Dad”.
I realized that both of my parents have had cancer. I knew this before of course but for some reason seeing the names made it hit home. Both of my parents have faced the possibility of their life ending because of an illness.
My mom had thyroid cancer when I was nine and then breast cancer when I was 13. My dad battled leukemia was I was 31. Both of them survived, praise God.
I remember mom not being able to get out of bed, spending days in the hospital for radiation treatments, and the seemingly endless meals my parents’ friends provided for us. They kept her illness a secret for a while but then the news was finally share with my sister and me.
I was so angry and hurt they had kept this from me. Looking back now I completely understand their reasoning and I would probably do the same with my children. As a parent I want to let their innocence last as long as possible. I know that’s what my parents wanted for us.
When mom developed breast cancer we were devastated. The oncologist told her there was only a 17% chance the biopsy would be cancerous. And so it was.
My parents divorced in 2008 and then three years later it was my dad’s turn.
He underwent a bone marrow transplant and several months of plain exhaustion and sickness. There were conversations we had that he could not remember. The doctors told him he was suffering from “chemobrain.” I saw him about a year after his procedure and he looked completely different.
Dealing with my parents’ sicknesses throughout my life has shown me the drive in both of them to not give up. Their divorce devastated our family and we will never be the same.
Nevertheless, I see both of my parents as over-comers. They faced their illnesses, dealt with them in completely different ways and survived.
God never said our lives would be pain free, He tells us to not grow weary in doing what is good. My parents both faced the realities of cancer and made it. They planted a harvest within me to appreciate my days on earth, to teach my children life’s fragile balance, and to give thanks for each day we have with one another.
What type of situation have you overcome?