I am a Survivor

So, it has been 15 months since my world began spinning faster than normal. On October 31st 2011, I found out that the ovarian cyst we thought would be normal, was more than likely cancer.  In November, I had a total hysterectomy and found out I had Stage 3b ovarian cancer.  In December, I started treatments that completely rocked my world, both physically and spiritually.  In April, I finished treatments.  In 6 months, I went through a huge life changing event from start to finish. 

When it was over, it was not really over. To most people, I seem like a perfectly healthy normal adult and I myself try really hard to appear or pretend to be.  But the fact is, I am a cancer survivor and with that comes many things that at first glance people might not see.

Physically, I struggle with the fact that I am not the person I was before.  Chemo zapped my strength and energy.  And yes, it is coming back and it will eventually be normal again but I have to realize that it is not an overnight process.  My memory and brain capacity(as I call it) is nowhere near what it once was.  This is probably the thing I struggle with the most.  Things that were always easy to me and things that I used to enjoy are now hard and require much more effort.

Spiritually, it was so easy to wholly rely on God while I was in the middle of treatments.  Everything else didn't seem to matter near as much.  I felt like all I had was Him(isn't that what He wants) Those 6 months were probably the closest I have ever been with God.  It was amazing and such a time of growth. Now, I am struggling.  I want that closeness again but it has become so easy to let everything else get in the way again. I have said multiple times that I know cancer was dealt my way for a reason.  I have learned so much from God through cancer.  But my fear is that the lessons learned are too easily forgotten by not only me but the ones around me.  And I feel that if we forget, then the greatest fight of my life was all for nothing.  

As I write this, I am crying...because I think this is the beginning of a process for me.  I feel like I have recently become cynical and bitter about a lot of things in my life. God showed me through my fight that your perspective on life really shapes who you are and how you handle situations. I can choose to get up every day and look for everything negative and then dwell on that...OR...I can wake up every day and look for everything I have to be thankful for and let that shape my day. Thankfulness came easy during the fight but now it has become harder. Odd, huh....

I have been working through lots of things both physically and spiritually and I think that I have just had a break through.  I am a survivor for a reason.  Instead of trying to forget what I went through, I need to embrace it.  God used cancer for His glory and who am I to throw that away. 

I want to leave you with this song, because it has become one of my favorites for many reasons.  Just listen to it:


  1. I love you. Thanks for sharing this. I would love to talk about it more in real life :-)

  2. I couldn't have said it better. Life on the other side of cancer is different. I like to think it is better as a result of cancer. I too long for the days when God was all I needed and my dependence on Him was complete. I know that cancer changed the way I think. I find myself in some areas more patient, and in others, less tolerent.

    I am also frustrated by the effects of chemo brain and I hope that someday my brain won't seem as muddled. If I could remember my to do list and work on it with focus, I would be so happy. I just move slower and get distracted and run out of energy faster. I suppose God allowed that for a reason. I ask him every day to help me know what I should spend my time and energy doing. I don't move like a steamroller through those tasks like I used to. I'm not really okay with that, but I'm getting used to it. I think as I was getting back to real life, I didn't expect as much of myself. Now I want to be normal, and it hasn't happened. So what is this new normal? I haven't figured that out either.

    I still say that I am better in many respects after cancer than before. My heart is fuller and I love more deeply. I know the Lord better and understand things that I didn't understand about him before. I wouldn't want to go back to the way those things were before cancer. But I wish my brain worked better! I think I survived to make a difference. I know that there was and is a purpose for the journey that included cancer. I am grateful when God sends someone my way who needs to get through a similar journey. I am blessed to be able to offer some hope.

    I'll be praying for you, dear sister. Please do the same for me!


  3. Thanks for sharing your continued journey Michelle. It makes me think of all the times God had the Israelites build monuments to remember what he had done... this post is kind of like that. Thanks for being an encouragement to remember what God has done.
    (Oh, and awesome pictures of your family!)

  4. Hi there Michelle! I was actually just checking out a few of your posts and had quick question about your blog. I was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance, thanks!


  5. Thank you for this, Michelle. It was beautifully written. Thanks, too, for your response, Elizabeth. I will pray for you both.


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