if i am being completely honest with you, i started this blog post a week before thanksgiving. it’s been in my drafts since then. and once you get into the grit of it, you’ll probably begin to realize why. but spoiler alert, i am going to tell you right now. and then you’ll read it and be like “ohhh yeah, i can see what she’s talking about” even though i already told ya. but anyways, so i wrote a good chunk of this blog just before thanksgiving. i was not in a super great place. i had just battled a nasty infection that came from round four of chemo and i was absolutely dreading round five which was two days before the holiday. i wanted to give up. was dreading treatment. felt like the world was spiraling and that everything felt unfair. and that’s true. that was my deep reality just ten weeks ago. and i sat down this morning to do some homework and i noticed this in my drafts and realized that i have reached a point that i can reflect on this, add and delete some of what i wrote and so that’s where we are. because about fifteen minutes after i reopened this draft, i had a breakdown. so here we go. you have all heard that saying. you know the one i am talking about. “you can do hard things”. i swear, it is literally written on every surface of my house. i think it probably became popular when rachel hollis was still a thing. for the record, i can’t stand her or the horse she came in on but that’s a story for another day. maybe in the next pandemic. bahaha i am so hilarious. or maybe glennon doyle says that. honestly, i have no idea because i haven’t picked up a book in about a year and i haven’t watched anything exciting since tiger king but that’s beside the point. but in all seriousness, i mention this saying or quote or whatever you wanna call it because right now, i’m doing a hard thing. fighting stage two breast cancer. i know, i know, it’s all i talk about but it’s kinda taking over my life. and at the risk of this blog post sounding like a full stream of consciousness, i’ve been doing hard things for a while now. and today, it feels like all the hard things are right here, in front of my face, staring at me. which of course, lead me to literally just burst into tears before noon had even made an appearance. ‘i’m having a hard time’. that’s what is cycling over and over again in my head. like a broken record repeating the same stanza over and over again. and that broken record; that cycle; that annoying hard time mantra; well it is fueled by a bunch of different things. like that i absolutely one thousand percent loathe having cancer. because i still do have cancer. or that i do not want to have a bilateral mastectomy in three weeks, even though i sound super upbeat and positive about it when people ask me about it. or that i hate that i do not feel good, still don’t feel good, haven’t felt good in months. that the clump of nausea sitting at the base of my neck like it has been for the last fourteen days is driving me insane. and that while i am super aware of my ability to do hard things, i do not want to do this hard thing anymore. i am tired of all the hard things being here, right here, in front of my face. i hate that i am worried about every ounce of my existence and the future. i hate that while battling cancer, i also want to give up. i hate that i am worried about it coming back before it’s even gone and i absolutely loathe that i have to say goodbye to parts of me that have been here all along. obviously the hard parts are still here.
surgery is a big deal and something i’ve never done. i also have learned so much from the year that brought me hell. that my body has been through a lot and that sometimes the hard things that we have on our plates are exactly that- hard things. and even though we are strong or resilient or brave or whatever; sometimes we just don’t want to do the hard things. and i can honestly, without a doubt, tell you that right now, this is something i do not want to do anymore. it doesn’t mean that i’m quitting. it just means that it’s cracked my surface a little. dug heels in and now, it’s here, on my plate. and i’ve been working really hard to seem okay on the outside and not break down into full on meltdown. and while i know that this season of life is temporary, it is very much a part of my story. and the truth is- everything in life is temporary. i could literally say that about anything. your marriage can be temporary. your car payments are temporary. your bad day or week at work is temporary. and so is this. i one thousand percent know that and have received that information. however, it does not change that it is not quite temporary yet. it is still a hard thing that i am doing, right now, every day. and today, while my eyes poured crocodile tears for twenty seven minutes, i literally googled “do i have to have a mastectomy?” that’s what i put in the google search bar. as if the internet was going to suddenly give me the answer i wanted. for the record, yes i do have to have one. and i know that. and it is beyond difficult to accept that no matter what i have done in my life thus far, i still managed to have stage two breast cancer. and for quite some time now, i have literally been holding my shit together. just been walking the health scare trenches. accepting diagnosis after diagnosis. nodding my head to treatment plan after treatment plan. throw in a pandemic where you can’t see your friends, can’t go anywhere or celebrate anything and the world feels out of control. you’ve got a really good time. wow, my sarcasm is showing. but it’s been exhausting.
and yet, it’s weaving together the chapters that already exist. the chapters that already closed. like friendships or old jobs or a bad year. maybe a loss or something that was hard to manage. and even the chapters that are still not finished. a relationship or dream chasing. maybe a new flame or a new house or baby. something exciting or even something hard or painful. the chapters we are still composing. this hard season that i am in. it’s a chapter. one that feels a little longer than it should. it’s a chapter that i have edited along the way and it even took its own path at times. and what i often forget is that much of my story hasn’t even been written yet and that there is a lot that lies ahead. this season, the one that’s hard and feels heavy and doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon; it’s part of the story. it’s the part of the story that brings me bravery and grace and resilience and tenacity. it’s the part of the story where the internal conflict that has been happening for the last twenty years ends. it’s where self acceptance starts and fear ends. it’s the part of the story where the identity crisis rages on but only because this season is full of lessons and self discovery. am i loving it right now? nope. not in the slightest. it’s hard and it’s sometimes dark and often times, really fucking lonely. it’s scary and uncharted and definitely not a path i signed up for. but my story has always been unique. it’s always been filled with drama and many, many, many tales of self discovery. some of my chapters begin and end with mental health and some of my chapters have more heartbreak than a drew barrymore movie. and the seasons that i have walked in and out of in the more recent years have brought stress and anxiety and heartache. but they have also brought me new people and joy and opportunities to finally rise. this season was my hardest season yet. this season is my hardest season still. and my story. well it’s an important one. even if it only ends up right here. it’s a story that should be told. it’s a story that has shaped me and changed me and moved me. it’s a story that’s built me and broken me back down, about a hundred times. it’s a story that has taught me about struggles and hard things but has also carried me through those struggles and hard things. it’s a story that sank me into the ashes and allowed me to rise. because like glennon doyle said, i googled it and it was glennon doyle who said that, we can do hard things. even though we don’t want to or even though we don’t think it’s fair that we have to; we can do hard things.
because the hard things make the story that much better. because the hard things push us further. because the hard things show us that we can. we can heal. we can push forward. we can rise.