I am not big on planning but I remember when I used to be. When I was young it seemed that the possibilities were endless. However, at this point in my life I do not even like to plan what I am doing the next day. I will tell people, “Ask me again tomorrow and I will tell you how I feel.”
In life, there is so much that just happens, completely unplanned. And I feel, that as I get older, these unplanned circumstances happen more and more. Of course, not all unplanned events are bad. There are so many great and welcome surprises. This is why I must always keep my mind open, as my mom always says…
Everything Always Happens for a Reason.”
Some of us believe in a Higher Power that can ultimately explain these reasons. And for some of us, this is more of a vague guessing-game. But whatever you believe, I do think my mom is correct in most cases.
When mom was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer, she made a point to tell me that after we got through this time period dealing explicitly with her health, she wanted to then spend time figuring out what was best for me. She even said, “Jesse you were meant for greatness, and we are going to find your purpose together.” I love my mom and her incredible and optimistic words and sentiment. However, it led me to ask myself… what if my greatness, my purpose is not really about me… what if, after everything I have been through and everything my mom has helped me through…my great meaning in life, my purpose is to simply be there for my mom, be there for my family? Honestly, the times I truly feel a surge of greatness are during the most simple of things; my mom holding my arm as we walk down some steps, making mom laugh, being able to talk to her and talk her through some of what she is going through by relating with her and hopefully making her feel less alone in this journey.
Monday, the 26th was the last day my mom had to receive chemotherapy. Mom felt good that day and we were able to celebrate. Mom did some amazing things to not only celebrate her big day but to celebrate those of us who have been on this journey with her. Mom even went so far as to get ME roses and a Unicorn balloon which I love to the moon and back.
Today mom is going through her rough time after the chemotherapy medications have run through her system. She feels very fatigued and has body aches and really just all kinds of things that I think she keeps to herself so we dont worry so much. I am so glad this is almost over. Later next week, mom will be feeling much better and will be able to do the kind of things that are important to her. I feel like this repetitive recovery process between chemotherapy treatments serves as a way to remind us how lucky we are to be able to function to our utmost abilities just to do what I like to call, “life stuff”.
To return to what I was originally saying about purpose, is that there is just so much we have learned on this journey. I have learned that I am capable of more that I though, maybe not everyday but I am really good at caring for my mom and, interestingly enough, interrogating doctors into answering every question about pretty much any symptom my mom has experienced. I have realized that this is my greatness, my greatness is my mom, and the gift she has given me by trusting me to help her and care for her. I cannot express how meaningful that trust from my mom is to me. It is priceless.
My mom, I believe, has found purpose in sharing her Cancer story. She has been open from the start with friends and family and even strangers about what she has been going through. I know for a fact that my mom is a beacon of hope for those in a similar situation and I believe that it is her dazzling smile that lets others know, “If she can smile and laugh while going through that, I think I will be okay, too”. I know her positive attitude and, more importantly, her kind nature and love for her family has always helped me.
Cancer is never in the plans. And I know that some reading this do not have as encouraging an outlook as my mom does. This is simply our story.
My mom is still reading Prodigal Summer and loving it. I cannot wait to post her thoughts on it when she is finished. I am almost finished with Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson so be on the lookout for a review on that in the near future. Thank you for reading!