As far as seasons go, I’m a fall girl at heart. My ideal day would be described as decorating for fall dressed in a sweater, boots, and scarf-drinking a PSL….but Spring brings me a joy like no other.
This post may be a little more personal than the stuff I usually post. I have MUCH to be thankful for and intend to share this for those of you who experienced the winter blues.
The winter of 2013 was ROUGH. There’s no way I can sugar coat it.
I was a 20 year old with a shattered heart and an uncertain future. I would ask myself over and over, “how could this happen to US”…like we were somehow exempt from God’s will.
I’m INCREDIBLY close to my parents. The thought of life without them is unimaginable.
I’ll never forget the way my mom hugged me the night she found her lump. It was a defining moment in our relationship. As she hugged me helplessly crying into my shoulder and as she trembled with fear, I knew my role in life was forever changed.
I was no longer a cranky, hormonal teenager. My innocent, sheltered, childhood was behind me. I was dealt a real life problem that was a matter of life and death. I had to pick myself up, remain positive, and be the strength she needed, just as she has been my strength my entire life. We had a battle to win and REBSTOCKS DON’T LOSE! (It’s a proven fact😉)!
Though my exterior may have been thought of as “tough,” inside I was truly struggling. I was losing weight, exhausted and scared out of my mind.
My mom still had so much to teach me.
Imagining her absence for my college graduation, wedding and the birth of my children would eat away at me daily.
Her oncologist recently told us he was originally giving her only eight months to live. Eight months? MY MOM!? How? She wasn’t even sick! I choke up thinking about this. (moving on).
My relationship with God is special. He heard my cry (literally) as I prayed every moment I could for a second chance to truly appreciate my mom.
My life felt like a movie and I hated the attention this brought to us. I would avoid people purposefully because I simply didn’t want to talk about this “cancer” that consumed my every day life.
It’s so cliché, but you really don’t know how good you have it until it’s gone (or could be).
In February of 2013, I noticed the skin on the crown of my head began to flake. I found this odd and I immediately made an appointment with the dermatologist.
She quickly diagnosed me with psoriasis and asked if I were stressed (I laugh at this now). Apparently psoriasis is caused by stress (go figure). Naturally, my body began to lash out at the “stress” I was feeling. It spread over various parts of my body- considering this auto immune disease is incurable.
I vividly remember driving away from the dermatologist saying out loud, “BRING IT ON! ANYTHING ELSE? REALLY! ANYTHING ELSE?” (Side note: Two weeks later my grandmother and dad both told me they had skin cancer. Nothing serious, but what’s two more cancer diagnosis, right!?
After all….I did say BRING IT ON….soooo (safe to say I learned my lesson).
On a lighter note, my mom was receiving wonderful news that her cancer was shrinking at a rapid speed. Her body was responding VERY well to all medications and we were on the road to recovery (praise God)! Her oncologist was over the MOON and baffled by her MIRACULOUS results.
Told ya we don’t lose!
The word “reoccuring” comes up at EVERY appointment, which still makes my stomach CHURN. “Ramona, you are doing well but…. this is a reoccurring disease blah blah blah.” I would think to myself, “this will NEVER happen to us again!” I proclaimed this EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I honestly believe my mom WILLED cancer out of her body. She literally told her doctor, every week…”I DO NOT HAVE CANCER!” She IS the boss and what mom says goes, right!?
After the coldest winter of our lives, speaking figuratively, Spring FINALLY sprung! My mom was told she was cancer free and we REJOICED in this newfound season of our lives.
Each year around this time, I catch myself feeling unbelievably grateful. I remember a time when I thought that life as I knew it was over and my world was falling apart.
The greatest lesson I learned throughout this time was to be thankful for the little things, like sitting around the dinner table with your loved ones and car ride conversations.
The one thing I can say is that we are BLESSED!
Our outcome was a dream. Many aren’t so lucky.
I pray for those going through this, daily. I pray for those whose outcome wasn’t like ours. The struggle is TRULY real and I can say that the power of positive thinking WILL change your life.
To my mom,
You continue to amaze me every day with your strength and ability to “be the good” in every situation. You carry yourself with such elegance and grace and prove that with a positive attitude, you can truly change the outcome of you life.
Love you, Mom💗