If I didn’t live it, I wouldn’t believe it

This has been a VERY rough year – probably harder than the year I was diagnosed with cancer.

This isn’t a sob story, but putting the year in print will help me come to terms with everything that’s happened. A bullet point list may be the simplest way to get this year capsulized:

  1. End of January:  my daughter, who has Myotonic Dystrophy had an “episode”. It was a physical setback that took her a while to recover from – but she did.
  2. March:  my 5th (but 2nd with the specialist) surgery to correct the botched reconstruction.
  3. April:  I had to put my old gelding down. He couldn’t get up anymore due to old injuries and age. Sad, but not unexpected.
  4. June: my vehicle broke down on the way to Florida (about 3 hours away from home). My daughter and I were going to a seminar for Myotonic Dystrophy in Gainesville. So we had to rent a car, go to the seminar, drive the rental car home for 3 weeks until I could finally pick up my repaired vehicle ($3000 later).
  5. July: I had to put my Jake down due to age and his body failing. Crushing. My boy had been with me for 11 years and been by my side through all my cancer treatments and surgeries. His health failed very fast.
  6. August:  my 6th (3rd with the specialist) surgery to correct the botched reconstruction. Even though I had people around me, it was the first time I had to go through this situation without my constant companion. It sounds minor, but was especially difficult.
  7. September: my husband of 16 years and many promises told me he no longer wants to be married. No explanation other than he wants his freedom. I am totally blind-sided, along with everyone else that knows our relationship. I’m crushed.
  8. October: as a result of number 7, I have to find my horse a new home (I can’t begin to explain how painful this is). Additionally, I have to sell the home and land that was to be our retirement haven. I’ve been living in a lie.

So I am trying to put my shattered pieces back together. I’m trusting God will guide me into the space on this planet I’m supposed to be occupying – because right now I’m struggling to get a focus. Right now, my faith is all I have.

I do have my family (son, daughter, parents) that care about what’s going on, but this is too personal. This is a deep slash to me as a woman. There is no one at night when I put my head on the pillow and try to sleep. No one but me.

I have started back to the gym. I know the stronger I get physically, the stronger I am mentally. The gym helped me through cancer, I know it will help me through this, I just need to keep the determination.

The tears are starting to dry, they are getting further and further apart. I can start talking about what has happened without falling apart.

Throughout my life I have been known as a “warrior”, always pulling through difficult situations thrown my way.

I won’t lie – I am tired. My spirit is exhausted. I am leaning on my faith and the belief that getting my physical strength back will pull me through emotionally.

One…foot…in…front…of…the…other…

I didn’t know her name

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Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.  ~ Mother Teresa

Waiting to hear my name over the intercom. A controlled sense of dread. I don’t want to go.

Across the room sits a dignified elderly woman. She quietly talks to the woman sitting beside her. I catch her glance and she smiles. A soft smile.

I hear her tell her companion this is her initial radiation. She will be taking chemotherapy and radiation treatments at the same time. I personally know it will be an extremely difficult time. I finished my chemo before radiation started. I wasn’t sure I’d make it through chemo at my age, let alone both treatments at the same time.

They call my name. Time for my radiation treatment .

I see her the following day at my next scheduled treatment. She is called to the back before me this day.

After my treatment I walk through the facility exit and see her standing outside. I’m compelled to stop and see how she’s doing.

She takes my breath away as she calmly says there is nothing that can be done for her. Her time here is now very short. No further treatments are scheduled. Time is not her friend.

We stand in the warm sun. She knows I understand her emotion. Peaceful acceptance met with her stoic dignity.

I gently but firmly hug her. I don’t want to let go.

I tell her I love her.

She says, “I know.”

I turn and walk away.

I don’t know her name.

Game On

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself – ‘I have lived through this horror, I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you can not do.”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday my life changed – I found out I have breast cancer.

Game on.