I didn’t one day wake up with cancer.

I won’t one day wake up healed from it.

There is a disconnect between actively fighting the disease and the waiting afterward. It is so much more than a postscript. The person this disease left behind- meI am so much more than an afterthought to this illness.

I have recently been taking account of the damage from the last year. The thousands of major and minor ways cancer came and stole and pillaged and sucked the soil dry. Whether I really want to or not, I can no longer unsee the wreckage. No longer blinded by the fight, the shadows and the cracks are revealed to me and the heaviness of it sits with me now. An unwelcome houseguest. A hated companion. 

Somehow, I feel like I’ve failed at what I was sent to do. Survival wasn’t really the point for me. 

Love was. Healing was. 

Creating a space that was sacred and special and where I could maybe help- or help heal? -anyone who wanted to stand near me. I believed that there was fantastic beauty in the world. I believed that pain revealed love and connection and grace that made life worth living.  

Cancer gave me wings. I could write about all the wonderful and terrible things that were happening to me, and yet I still felt so channeled in to love. I believed if I stood bare and showed my scars and pains, it would help other people perhaps love themselves a bit more. Maybe be kinder to themselves. Somehow learn to be more patient with their unworkable suffering. I thought if I bore the unbearable weight of it all, it would be lighter for others.

I know in the logical pieces of my brain that is true. I know I was a conduit for love and I am so grateful for that. I am so grateful for what cancer brought into my life and I am so scared of what a future without those wings looks like. Will I still have the opportunity to love and help and hold safe the hearts and hands of others? My life was so painfully beautiful, now I’m afraid that without the pain I will lose the beauty. I’m afraid I’ve seen and experienced things, wonderful things and ways of seeing the world, that will be cut off to me now. True, it was hell but it was also purposeful and necessary. It’s hard to think about living a happy, fulfilled life without that life-sustaining intention.

As I write this, I am reminded to keep fighting. If not for myself, for someone else. I hold on to hope. Always.


Give ‘Em Hell

3 Comments Add yours

  1. William Hanson says:

    Cancer exists to kill and it does; in different ways. For survivors, me for example (not of the actual fight but as one who loved a person who was killed by it in 2004), the intensity of the lessons learned do live on. For many years, the smaller daily struggles didn’t mean much and love in the bigger picture meant much for a long time. Then, as the years passed, the “normal’ returned in daily life. But still, 13 years later, the lessons learned about what is most important do come back at the times they are most needed and I remember that loving one another, especially our wives and husbands and family, is the most important lesson from the losses and sacrifices suffered. I believe you need not fear you will lose what has sustained and moved you through your experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. PillowHell says:

    You’ve helped us learn and love, and your ability to do that won’t go away.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate says:

    Keep fighting Katie…The emotions you are experiencing are immense and yet, somehow a gift that gives you such wisdom. I admire you so much. – Music Kate

    Liked by 1 person

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