If you are not my family or one my close friends, then this title may confuse you. This is not really something I have shared for two main reasons. First, it happened so long ago I don’t remember much and second, it’s not the most conversational topic. When I was about two years old, I was diagnosed with cancer. Pretty much any parent’s nightmare, but I’m so grateful to be living to tell of this now.
My mom is the one who discovered the lump in my stomach and immediately felt concerned. Little did she know that her concern would end up saving my life, which is crazy to think about. The cancer I had was called neuro blastoma, and although I don’t remember it at all, this time of my life has forever shaped me and my family into who we are today. I cannot begin to voice how blessed I am to have such an amazing support system behind me. My mom and dad were working full time and also had my sister Laura to take care of but that did not stop them for being there for me one hundred percent. I cannot begin to imagine how they felt during this time, but I do know is that they never gave up. My mom has told me that my grandma was there for me constantly and I know that I had the upmost care given by all of those who surrounded me. It is crazy to think about it now, what sacrifices my family had to give up; but I do know that they would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I think that is the most important lesson I can learn from my parents, that even when life may seem to be at its lowest, the Lord is always there watching over you. I truly feel that the Lord was there with us during this terrible time, watching over my family and me.
Being strong is easier said than done. When something tragic happens, everyone is always so quick to say “be strong”. But what does that really mean? Is it really that easy to stay strong, even when you are at your end and want to give up? It’d be so much easier to be weak, wouldn’t it? You see, when you let something have the power to overcome you, you lose your sense of self. Growing up, I felt almost a sense of embarrassment for having had cancer. I was afraid of what other kids would say if they saw my pictures of me with no hair, or pictures of me in a hospital bed. I have learned over the years that this was a time where I was my strongest. When I look back to those photos I see a courageous young girl who has a lot of fight left in her; one who will not let this define her. I am no longer ashamed of those photos, I feel a sense of pride and smile because I have overcome this.
Cancer is such a terrifying thing. To think your own body is turning against you and you’re helpless to it, really does not help you stay positive. I hope that if anyone who is reading this has lost someone to cancer, has battled it, or is currently battling it leaves with this. You are the most courageous, strongest person and you can do this. God would not throw something at you in life, if He did not think you could handle it. Even if you have not been affected by cancer in your life, you can still take away that God is by your side through everything in your life. If you believe in Him and trust in Him, you will be okay. “I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Psalms 16:7-9
So, I think now that I have completely been vulnerable, I think that I have said enough. If any of y’all are experiencing this battle, or a similar battle you are in my prayers. Remember to always trust in God and pray. It may seem like such a simple thing to just take a minute or two to pray, but really it is the best way to receive strength and answers. If you pray every night, or if you’ve never prayed before, God always wants to hear from you. He wants to hear how grateful you are for Him, and He also wants to hear you say your struggles. Sure, He is there with you and knows your struggles, but to actually voice them to Him is a huge show of your dependency to Him.
Okay, okay, now I am really ending this blog post. I hope you all have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend! God Bless + talk to y’all soon!
Thank you for stopping by The Strattons Blog! Here are snippets of my life, motherhood, and the military!