Living as a cancer survivor is as difficult to get used to as living with a cancer diagnosis. There aren’t as many tears but there are lots of uncertainties. There aren’t as many urgent decisions but there is lots of guilt that every decision is urgent.
When I got the all clear from my doc, I celebrated. I have been living my life in three-month intervals. As a survivor, I never want to take my stance for granted. I feel vindicated when I set out to run a marathon, write a book or organize an eternally junky pantry.
I like measurable results. Producing something, anything helps me to feel like I’m not wasting these days God has gifted me. The reality is my days offer little opportunity to run or to write or to organize. The minutes tick by as I kiss a child’s boo boo, soothe away hurt feelings and fold endless loads of laundry. Always laundry.
While I can’t measure the effects of kissing boo boos, mending hearts or keeping a household running daily, I’ve already lived long enough to know these things matter. Lots.
If anyone should be able to see and live what matters most, it’s a cancer survivor. Don’t ya think?
That’s the question that gnaws at my heart.
That’s the question that gnawed at my heart this time last year. Before I was diagnosed with cancer. Before I became a “survivor.” I “knew” then what matters in life. I mean, I thought I knew.
I've come to know that sometimes life produces moments that can't be measured. They're simply too big. Even the ordinary seemingly mundane moments in my mind can be monumental to the child's whose boo boo is being kissed.
I tried to live like this last year and all the years before that. This past year has made me realize that ordinary is priceless. I've tried to line my priorities with my heart, my beliefs and my convictions.
It’s hard to line things up in a neat little row. And so I sit here tonight wondering if somehow over the last three months my row has gotten a little crooked.
And then I walk over to my eternally junky pantry to search for the Saltines and glance at the overflowing laundry basket and sit back down to eat a snack with my kids. Because they matter most and I know they are only little for a bit. And I never want to take a second for granted.
I am so thankful for the immeasurable moments.
God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!
God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.
When I got my act together,
he gave me a fresh start.
Now I'm alert to God's ways;
I don't take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways he works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
Psalm 18:19-24 The Msg