Friday the 6th of March marked the day that my Mamma Bear reached the end of her breast cancer journey. On Friday the 6th of March, Mamma walked into the oncology ward for the last time and had her last hit of radiotherapy for breast cancer. After 8 months of treatment, we had finally reached the finish line; 16 blood tests, 16 hits of chemotherapy, 6 stomach injections and 20 hits of radiation were finally, FINALLY, behind us. 8 months later. And let me say, there was joy because it has been a long, hard, heartbreaking journey. On that day, I looked at my Mamma and had never been more proud to be her daughter and had never been more proud of her, than I was that day. After the journey we went through, she had cemented her position as ‘hero’ in my life.
I’ve spoken about most of the journey very openly and been honest about how I’ve felt (at times too honest), however there were things that I didn’t put out there because I was struggling to deal and couldn’t even put into words what I was feeling without breaking down and falling apart. There were times when I just ignored what I was feeling because it was easier than facing it and dealing with it and finding out that I was on the edge of breaking point. And the reality for me was that I couldn’t break down because I was needed; I needed to be strong for those around me, especially my mamma. I needed to help carry the load because I knew that my dad and my brother struggled to deal with it. And that’s not a criticism of them, it’s just fact; mum being diagnosed with breast cancer was a diagnosis they couldn’t really deal with, so I had to be available to comfort and support and encourage. And while I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had to, I am glad it’s over. So VERY glad that it’s over. Because if I’m honest, it took a toll on me emotionally and it’s taken me a little while to deal with that and come to a place where I’m okay. Hence why I’m blogging about this now and not when it happened.
When mamma and I walked out of the hospital on Friday the 6th, it was as if a ten tonne truck had been lifted from my shoulders. Mamma and I were grinning like fools as we walked arm in arm to the car. We stood, we praised Jesus over and over for His grace, we hugged and then we went and had a celebratory meal at our favourite café (actually it’s my favourite café but whatever). I thought that I would cry that day but I didn’t, the tears came later. And when they did, I was emotionally spent by the end of it because I realised that while I had faced a lot of my emotions head on, I had also ignored some of my emotions and I had reached a point where I could no longer ignore it. So I dealt with it all: the tears; the heartache of watching my mamma go through the agony she went through; the anger that I felt towards cancer and the amount of times it’s hit my family; the mental exhaustion of having to constantly encourage and lift up and explain things to my parents. But there was something that I didn’t expect in all of that and it was dealing with the fact that for the last 12 months (2 years really if I take into account dads cancer journey in 2013) I had put my life on hold to care for my mamma and now that we were finished, I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself. I have asked myself, repeatedly, “What the heck do I do now?” I am praying and seeking God to know where I should go next because honestly, I’m a little lost. For the last 12 months or so, I have been a carer, but now that my days as a carer are nearly over (mamma is still experiencing side effects so I’m going to wait that out with her), what do I who and where do I fit in?
Trying to find your place in the world is a hard thing to do sometimes because it takes honesty and vulnerability to face up to what you really want to do, who you really want to be. It’s daunting trying to work out whether you can survive off of your dreams. And it’s absolutely terrifying taking that first step to make it happen; stepping out by faith and praying that you are making the right move. And that’s where I’m at in my journey right now, trying to work it all out and stepping out in faith as I work it out. I am trying to be as brave as I can and start a new journey; I’m trying to listen to God’s promptings and follow Him wherever He leads me because I know in His hands I will not fall, no matter how scary the dream and vision He gives me is. “Thy will be done” is my constant prayer as I follow the dream and pray that it’s what I’m meant to be doing. Whether or not I have it right is yet to be seen, however only time will tell. Until then, I’ll continue to pray like mad that I’m on the right track.