You just have to stay positive…said the person who isn’t having to walk in your shoes. I can’t count how many times we’ve heard that phrase since I got sick. It was fine at first but got old very fast. Let me put it another way, if life gives me lemons, please don’t tell me a story about how your friend’s cousin’s sister died from lemons. How would you like it if the rain followed you every day of your life and everyone always asked you about the odd weather? Or if they always told you it can’t rain all the time? Sympathy just isn’t the same as empathy.
Something I’ve always wanted to do since starting this blog is be true to myself as well as everyone else. To be the voice for those who may not be able to find their own. Help educate people on how they can help others like myself. I would like to sincerely thank my readers for their constant kind words, prayers, love and support. Lately I’ve had mostly strangers to tell me that I need to stay positive. I’m very honest and open with people so I guess when they don’t know what to say during conversation, “stay positive” is an easy out. But for me it’s like nails on a chalkboard. I have a point to make today so this is mainly for people that don’t get it because those who know me, those who follow me…you get it.
A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ. (Hershel – Walking Dead) I would truly like to believe that one of the main reasons I’m still here is because of my positive attitude and unwavering spirit. When we’re faced with any kind of hardship, we have three choices. We can either let it define us, destroy us, or strengthen us. We are then reborn from the ashes. Whether it’s something evil or beautiful, like a phoenix, is up to us.
I was a very normal, happy, and busy 30 year old business owner of M3 Makeup. A dream that I had worked so very hard towards and we had projected 2014 to be our biggest year yet. After 4 years of marriage, my husband and I had just decided to start trying for a family. In early January 2014 an ER visit and cancer diagnosis flipped my life upside down. I was dying. Leukemia had taken over 85% of my body. I would need a bone marrow transplant in order to survive which mean’t I needed a donor. Without a transplant, my life expectancy was 1-2 years. Due to a unique gene that I possessed, no donor was found in the entire worldwide database for bone marrow donors. By the grace of God and amazing stem cell research, the doctors went a different route and found a perfect match using umbilical cord blood.
While still on the very long road to recovery, my mother and live in caregiver is diagnosed for the second time in her life with breast cancer. She’s had a mastectomy and has just started aggressive chemotherapy. Through a family team effort, we are now doing our best to take care of her with me being her main nurse. She’s mom; the glue that was holding it all together and I certainly feel I am coming up short. I don’t know why bad things keep happening but that’s the hand we’ve been dealt. I have more bad days than good. What I wouldn’t give for some sense of normalcy.
But I smile through it and laugh as much as I can. Even if I feel the sparkle finally starting to leave my eyes a bit, it hasn’t left fully just yet. I’m fighting it as hard as I can. So I don’t need any reminders of how I need to stay positive. I know it. I do it. I live it every second of every minute of every hour of every day. Even with tears rolling down my face and I feel I’m at my wits end, I know how very far I’ve come. I am incredibly lucky to still be alive. That is positivity. Think twice before offering advice to someone whom you couldn’t possibly relate to what they’ve been through or are going through. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Holding Our Own
I need to have hope. No. I must have hope that one day we will see the rainbow after this storm. Even with everything falling down around me, I won’t let go. We’ve had it really bad, there’s no denying that. I’m sure plenty of people who keep up with our story is very giving with their thoughts and prayers but at the same time thankful that it’s not their family. It’s ok to feel that way. I can only imagine reading my words if I wasn’t the one writing them. Although my mom has always instilled in me that no matter how bad it gets, there’s always people out there that have it worse.
Why do I share my deepest, darkest, thoughts and secrets for all eyes to see ever since almost being taken from this world? I wanted people to know my story. I wanted them to know what happened to me could happen to them. First and foremost, I knew I wanted to raise awareness for Leukemia & how important it is for everyone to sign up with the online registry, Be The Match. But also to remind people how beautiful life is even through the rain. For them to not make the mistake of thinking they’re exempt from tragedies and walk through life taking things for granted. None of us are promised tomorrow and we should be thankful for each and every day. Even if it’s full of crap!
Don’t sweat the small stuff. If you have your health, everything else is small stuff.