Cancerlessness and the Ensuing Identity Crisis

I haven’t blogged for a while and I’ll spare you the gory (boring) details.  But essentially, it’s a good thing.  I’ve wrestled with the idea of even stopping completely because, well, cancer was kind of my “thing”.  It wasn’t a gimmick by any means, it truly became a part of who I was and how I identified with the outside world.  Well now I’m in a state of feeling good – and that’s a good thing obviously!  I’m not cancer free but I’m certainly not living the cancer lifestyle at this point, and that has been a tougher adjustment than I had anticipated. So in a way I’m in a state of cancerlessness (not a real word, but it fits) that leaves me a little bit lost.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful and I’ve been enjoying this time very much but things sure are different now.   Looking back, it’s truly amazing how quickly we were able to pare down our schedule to just the bare essentials when it seemed that death was eminent and crazy how the schedule fills right back in.  We decided to home preschool our 4 year old son and that has been keeping me busy for sure (if you have experience in homeschooling, I will gladly accept any and all advice you have in this area!).  So with that amongst everything else, it’s wild how quickly our lives just settled right back into “normal”.  Right back into busy.  Right back into scheduled chaos. 

Some days I truly miss the sleepless nights where I could snuggle up on the couch with Buck and Mater and just read my Bible and be in His presence.

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It was like time carved out for me to be with Him and now I struggle again to “find the time” which I hate.  I had a clear and deeply assured sense of purpose that I’m grieving the loss of.  I’m working on it, so for now I guess my purpose looks like a little blogging here and there, continuing to speak at places or events when I’m asked, keeping up with our normal ministries, and trying to raise children who follow Christ. 

We are coming up on two years since my original diagnosis of stage 3 melanoma (which if you know me or have followed my story you know that it quickly progressed to stage 4 and at this time last year they weren’t thinking I would live past Christmas of last year).  And with that comes a wave of many emotions.  As much as I’d like to pretend that all of this never even happened, the truth is that this journey has left deep physical and emotional scars on all of us that I can’t deny. 

For example, I have an awful stomach bug today and our sweet 4 year old says tonight as I’m putting him to bed, “I know you aren’t feeling well, Mommy.  I love you so much.  I’m so sad your cancer is back.”  Aaaaand that’s when my heart broke.  I mean we haven’t even talked about it for so long and here he is sad because that’s the first thing his mind went to when he saw I was sick. 

But it’s not just him, I still panic when I feel something weird.  I still get choked up when I remember how it felt to try and prepare to leave my kids.  I still have nightmares about being bolted to the table for radiation or dreams that it’s coming back in some way or the other. 

But on the other hand, I’ve gained much more than I’ve lost in that I’ve found that when God says He is all we need, He is not exaggerating.  I can say with joy in my heart that suffering and trials are amazing ways to refine us and to bring us closer to Jesus.  I can say that my life is far more intentional now – nothing is taken for granted and I’m not shy about my faith.  I’ve gotten a bold spirit through this and that is worth all of it.  If I could go back in time I wouldn’t change a thing.  I would seriously do it all again in a heartbeat and without hesitation.  That may sound weird but we have grown closer with so many people just by letting them in on our struggles.  Our friendships, family, marriage and faith are stronger than ever and that’s worth it.  All of it.

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I guess what I’m taking the long way in saying is: our trials can be of infinite value if we are open to allowing God and other people in on our journey.  I’m nothing special, like I’m painfully ordinary, but I’ve seen how God can show His power through such a person as myself. 

Everyone’s story and walk will be different and God will call us all to different things, but just know that if you are struggling tonight with something, anything, He is there.  He does love you.  And even if we can’t see it now, one day we will see that He knows what He’s doing and that trust in Him brings us not just closer to Him but also gives us rest.  You don’t have to do this alone.  You don’t have to carry this burden by yourself.  No one does.  Hang in there ❤

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23 thoughts on “Cancerlessness and the Ensuing Identity Crisis

  1. Thank you for sharing your faith so openly and honestly, I really needed that reminder tonight about trials and God being there for us. I’m not going through anything even close to what you are, but it’s good to know God is available to us for the big and small! Prayers for continued good health for you. God bless, Linda

  2. I love your blogs, Kim. It has been a joy seeing God work in your life, and the way He has used you to be such a instrument for Him. I pray He will continue to touch you daily and work in your life and your family’s. We serve an awesome God. Penny

  3. Kim you are amazing and you have been so open and honest about your journey. So happy that things are getting back to normal whatever that means.

  4. May God continue to bless you and your family. He is good ALWAYS and ALWAYS with us. Our cancer journey also is not one we would have ever chosen but your expressions of how much deeper your faith and relationships are and your appreciation of every day are so true for us as well. You will continue to be in my prayers and I also praise God for His blessings on you and your strong witness for Him. All glory to Him. ENJOY YOUR LIFE!!!! 🙂

  5. I know your feelings. Sometimes, I just want the closeness I felt when I too was sick, but I also enjoy feeling healthy and dreaming about the future and raising my child. My prayer is that we both can feel close to our Lord without feeling sick.

  6. Even though I don’t know you personally, I’ve followed you for a long time and am so happy for you! Normalcy…….lol for everyone its a little different. You don’t know how many times I referenced you regarding healing, strength and faith! You have been and continue to be an inspiration! Find the little moments to be with Him!

  7. Kim I enjoy seeing you at the concert. I’m sorry we didn’t get to talk, but I must say it was nice to see you. You look well, and we’re having fun with the girls. I’ve look forward to reading your blog it so up lifting and. I would tell people who were lost or discouraged to read your blog.God is so good he answers our prayers. My prayers were answered also. God has a purpose for each one of us, we just have to listen to what he telling us. Still praying for you sweetie

  8. I remember when they told me,being a guarded person and have lost interest in churches and their politics was faith was in near and total collapse. I hate the world it was my end not only did I have cancer but I fell and broke two vertebrae,also had two tumors in two other vertebrae.The pain the unknown I started to meet people that would return my faith in mankind also start to healing of my faith. although it is still in need the strength I see from fighters like you only helps me get stronger.For the last few month I have given up trying to figure out the whys or to control what I have dealt and tried to use better use of my time to help others,because during a fitness program I joined the first cancer patient I met was much worse off then me and I realized then I was not alone. I realize now it was gods will for me to meet this person just like it was today that I needed a lift,and to find your blog was heaven sent. thank you and god bless you.

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