People always comment to me how optimistic I seem or how I don't "look like a cancer patient." Maybe that's because I didn't lose my hair or lose a lot of weight (we had to work hard on that), or maybe it's because my face doesn't appear gaunt and sickly. I guess I got lucky in those departments, but I still can't hide the permament bags under my eyes! In all seriousness though, I really try hard to live life as normally as possible. I'm not one of those people that looks for sympathy and hand-outs. I also don't pull the "cancer card". For me, coping through this challenge is just getting through each day as best as I can, and sometimes that means with help from family and friends.
Sure, I struggle. I have many sleepless nights and it makes my body and mind so exhausted that I can hardly cope (or take care of my kids). I also occasionally have mental breakdowns where the weight of what I'm experiencing and the emotions involved in that come crashing down on my shoulders. I sometimes let doubt and fear creep back into my mind and I think, "Am I really going to be around to see my kids grow up?". But I try to not let the fear of dying destroy my spirit. I have to keep on keepin' on. There is no other option as I see it. I just have to get up everyday, take care of myself and my kids, and live life.
Someone once said to me that even though I have a life-threatening disease doesn't mean that my chances of survival are any less than someone who doesn't. And she is right. Anyone could get in a car crash one day and their life could end in a flash. We just don't know when our "time is up" and we aren't supposed to. If we did, we wouldn't enjoy life to the fullest. I used to be such a "forward thinker", always preparing for the future. Well, I'm learning that isn't always best. We just can't predict the future. I'm learning to take joy in living in the present, even with struggles and all, because there is so much goodness and joy to be had in life. I really feel like despite the circumstances, I have it all. I have a loving and devoted husband, I have 2 beautiful and healthy children, I have a house and food, I have MANY family members and friends with loving arms around me, and most importantly, I have God on my side. There isn't anything in life more important that those things!!!