Hello all! It’s Monday and I am feeling very ambitious towards my future. I am purposefully and strategically mapping out my life and making changes that will help me secure the future I’ve been craving, both for me and my son.
Why am I doing this?
Finding my balance….
As a woman in her mid twenties, I have seen a lot more than I’d assume most people my age have. I have been married, gotten pregnant, had a high risk pregnancy followed by an emergency delivery of the love of my life, I’ve moved to follow my husband like a good wife should, and had done it multiple times, all before I knew my life would soon change.
I had been thinking about my unhappiness in my marriage as I’m sure many women have; constantly wondering if this was really it. If this was going to be me. I wasn’t happy, I didn’t feel sexy, I didn’t even feel good. I felt wonderful to be a mom, but I felt that all of the pain and sadness of my marriage and so many moves left little for me to give to who mattered most. Was I really meant to be with this person for the rest of my life? Is he really that deserving of me and my time for the rest of our days?
I had a trip planned to visit “home” or the place that I had made my home for years before my husband quit another job because he “hated it.” I had a few appointments to catch up on and then B and I were home free. Little did I know that this trip would forever change me.
I went in for a routine check up, and left a week later with the news that I had to make some life changing decisions.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it was rapidly progressing through me. I hugged my little boy so tight. I spent my nights in a hotel just thinking. Just sitting awake in the dark. Praying. I didn’t know where to go from here. I knew I would do whatever it took to save myself physically, but my problem was surprisingly about what I would do emotionally. Who do I lean on? What do I do? I needed to figure it out right then and there and never look back.
So I did.
I went back home to my then husband and I told him that I would be moving back “home” for good. And alone. I told him he was more than welcome to come and try and find work again there so he could be close to his son, but that I was no longer taking the brunt of his failures. I was going to succeed, I was going to win in this battle, and he was not going to get in my way or bring me backwards anymore. This was MY life, not ‘ours’ like I have to just follow along aimlessly.
The first person I told was someone who would eventually become the one who saved my life; Z. He immediately made every effort to be there. To just listen. I needed that. Following that, I slowly and quietly told my parents, who had no idea what to say. You see, I’m the kind of person who, when I tell you something, I am merely telling you. I most likely have each and every aspect of my plan figured out. So when I came to my parents crying that I had a few months to get surgery or I’d fade away, they naturally had no response but worry and tears. I love them, but that is not what I needed. I needed strength. I needed it now.
I couldn’t wait to move. For more reasons than one. But for some reason I still can’t explain, I felt ashamed. I felt like I was wrong for deciding I didn’t want to continue a marriage that wasn’t meant to be and for deciding to take this journey alone. I hated that feeling more than anything, and mostly because it silenced me. I deleted my social media, stopped communicating with family. I didn’t want anyone to know anything about me or what I was going through. I literally shut off everyone and everything besides myself, my son, and my new roommate; Z.
I can honestly tell you, regardless of what feelings led me to make that decision, I am so thankful I did. It gave me the time to really understand what was happening. What to do. How to do it. To reassure myself that just because many people stay unhappy, I didn’t want to waste another minute of my borrowed time.
You see, my cancer was progressing so quickly, that I was losing chances left and right to certain options, to certain treatments. I met with my doctors multiple times that first week back, just trying to figure out what was best. It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make. In order to save myself and get the best chances of no return, I was advised to have a double mastectomy. I would have every piece of existing tissue removed and then……..That was the disturbing part. That’s all that surgery entails. Nothing further. If I choose to, I can elect to have reconstructive surgery at the time of the mastectomy. If I do not choose to pay for that, I wouldn’t have anything but a radically sized scar to forever haunt me.
This battle is something that I didn’t know how to prepare for. How would I pay for that? How much will I even look like me after? What the hell will I do if this doesn’t work?
I had to make decisions and make them fast. I had to decide if I wanted to die, or fight my hardest fight yet. I had to make decisions that would forever change me.
And I did. I was approved for surgery within the next week due to the severity of my progression. I had help from someone who I am forever grateful of, and I did both surgeries in one morning. My mom and sister came to help me for the next few days.
I remember feeling scared, I remember feeling sad, but mostly, I remember feeling strong. I held my little boy every night after I got the news of the sickness, and I promised him in my tear soaked eyes that I will be here, and for every minute on this world, I’ll spend 2 bringing the world to him.
Z held my hand in the waiting room. We laughed and talked. Others sitting there probably had no idea what I was about to have done. I pretended to be like them. I knew right then and there, in that horrifying moment in my life, that if I were to ever be with someone again, it’d be someone who can make me feel like this. Someone who can not only promise to take away the pain, but who can do it and not even mean to.
I went in for surgery and woke up being wheeled out into his truck. I was so out of it for the next few days, but I’ll never forget him coming in each and every time I was due for my medication, even at 4 in the morning. He kept logs of it, he helped me up and helped lay me back down. He was there. It was the nicest gesture anyone’s ever done for me.
The next few weeks were hard. Healing was painful and I hated how I looked. I looked like a top heavy, swollen, sad, & fragile version of the person I thought I was.
That was the problem. The person I was. Why would I want to go back to that now? I had to get used to this new body, these scars, this entire journey, why would I just revert back to someone who wasn’t even happy? I wouldn’t.
And I didn’t. I have since learned to love my body more than I ever have in my entire life. I feel sexy, I feel confident, I feel strong. I feel like I am exactly who I want to be right now.
From here, I feel that if I can look back and see the past I’ve had in the rear-view, It doesn’t matter whats up ahead in the windshield, I can handle it.
So my post that turned into a mini book is supposed to make you feel something. Make you feel like even if you (thankfully & hopefully) haven’t had to deal with the battles I’ve been faces with, that you too shouldn’t just idly wait for that to happen to wake you up.
I know the Lord works in mysterious ways, so I will be the last to question my path, but I will adjust my future. I now know what is important to me and what isn’t. Just because something may be important to everyone else, like 30 years at a job or constantly being with someone, doesn’t mean I want it. I don’t.
I’ve realized a lot about myself in this last year and a half. I am a fucking strong woman, and a great mom. I work hard for what I want and need, and I don’t take anything for granted. I will do whatever it takes for my happiness and I wish that urgency for happiness on everyone else.
I know that I forever have my rock to lean on, even if we aren’t married or conventional. I know that I forever have my son to give me the love and hope I need to get through anything. I know that no matter what life throws at me, I will overcome it. I have in the past, and I will in the future, and you can too.
I am going to take steps in these coming weeks that will give me the life I want. I am never again going to change my direction just because its expected of me, or it’s the usual steps in the process. No thank you.
This is my life. My journey. These are my scars, and I want to decide my future.
And I’m doing just that.
I hope you can find the strength behind my message, and use it to make your life what you desire it to be. My independence is how I got here, and its a very powerful piece to the puzzle of anyone’s personal success.
I hope and pray for success for all of you,