Monday, June 13, 2011


It has been a year since I was diagnosed with cancer. Friday was my anniversary. On June 10, 2010, I received the call with the results from my biopsy. All of the paperwork lists my diagnoses day as June 8th. I suppose the doctors didn't need the biopsy results to know it was cancer. They seemed to know immediately.

The funny thing about a cancer anniversary is that you are very excited to be alive to celebrate an anniversary, and at the same time you hate having a cancer anniversary. Who wants their life measured by that kind of milestone?

I wanted to have something profound to write about, but as my life slowly returns to normal and my days become busy with activity, my contemplation time is minimized and I once again get caught up in the mundane details of normal life.

I still get Herceptin treatments every three weeks. They wipe me out. My body is getting healthier, and the effects of Herceptin feel stronger in contrast.

My hair is growing in, thick and curly. It is common for post-chemo hair to be curly. It generally returns to normal after a year or so. My very supportive family teases me, telling me I look like:

The mom on Sid the Science Kid (PBS)

Mama Llama

My mom, on the other hand, thinks I'm beautiful and can't stop taking my picture. Moms are the best!

I've spent some time reflecting on this past year, what I have learned and how I have changed. In so many ways, I'm not the same person I was a year ago. Here are the results of my reflections:

1. I've developed an eternal perspective. This life is fleeting. The cares of this world, that seem so very important, are temporary.

2. I'm free from fear; fear of death, fear of man, fear of failure. I fear God, and Him alone.

3. I can face life's trials with joy and full confidence that God is in control, that He is good, and that He will work everything out for my best and for His glory.

4. I've let go. I've surrendered control. I walk by faith. I trust the Lord in a way I never did before.

5. I find joy in the little things, even things I used to despise, like house work. I love cooking. I love my little girl's constant, demanding cries for "Mommy! Mommy! MOMMY!" I love listening to my boys play, talk, and create. I love every moment of life, even the difficult ones.

6. I'm purposeful. I've learned to focus on what's important, and to spend my time accordingly.

7. I'm more compassionate. As I listen to others' trials, my heart breaks and I can't hold back tears as I feel every pain and frustration alongside them.

My friend Jonie once said to me, "I don't love cancer, but I love what it does in us." It changes our hearts, our character and our faith. I am thankful for the things I've learned, and for the opportunities I now have to impact others.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith."  ~Hebrews 12:1-2

1 comment:

  1. Stephanie - how beautiful. I really enjoy the color that the KJV of this scripture provides.

    "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let uslay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith."

    I think the portion that I really appreciate in this version is patience - we so often want things resolved NOW (at least I am that way) additionally we can rely on Him even when we don't think we have the faith....he is the author and the finisher of our faith!

    Thank you so much for your inspiration!