This last Sunday was a very emotional time for me. It was the graduation of my eldest son, Connor, from high school.
First of all, I can not express how much it meant to me to be able to witness this major event in his life. Being able to be present at his graduation, filled me with so much joy that I could barely contain myself. After being diagnosed with Stage 4 Inflammatory breast cancer in December 2016, I did not think that I would live to see this day. As a parent, this was the culmination of our efforts coming into fruition. He is now ready to stand up on his own and face his exciting new future as an independent young man. I could not be any prouder of who he has become.
Now the Bittersweet…
My baby is leaving me and doesn’t need me anymore. I know it may sound silly but as I watched this 6’5” young man cross the stage to receive his diploma, all I could think of was how he looked as a toddler in his Spiderman pjs. Every morning he would get up super early and crawl into bed between me and my husband. We would all snuggle together and tell each other stories.I remember fondly one morning, he told us with absolute certainty that when he grew up and had his own family, he wanted us to all live in one big room together. I miss those days when you could see the wonder in his eyes as he chased bubbles in the backyard or the first time he discovered ice cream. The endless hours I would push him on the swing as he called out, “Mommy, higher! Mommy, faster!”
Now my little boy is all grown up and ready to face his future! Yes, I am sad he is leaving me, but I am also over the moon that he has so much to look forward to. His life is just beginning, just as my new life is just beginning.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
A cancer diagnosis changes your life forever. In the beginning, I was so devastated that I could not discuss my disease with anyone, not my husband, not my family, and not my friends. I would burst into tears every time I thought about it. I tried so hard to will it out of existence. But that did not work. No surprise there. In my grief, I had forgotten my lifelong guardian. The one who could protect and comfort me through this agonizing journey before me : God. Once I surrendered over my illness to him, I was overcome with such a feeling of peace and acceptance. The fear and despair left me immediately and I was filled with hope.
And it is with this hope that I persevere, cherishing all these new milestones. I have a new positive hope for the future and I look forward to watching my sons grow up, making their own memories and finding their path through life .My faith, my joy and all my love gives me the strength to face this new life.
I am Strong and I am Ready!