The Mystery of Strength

It was 30 months ago that I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. 2 1/2 years.  I cannot even begin to explain to you just how grateful to God that I am here, LIVING, and typing this post.

What is strength? What does it look like? What does it feel like?  Can it be measured? 
Well, everyone has it but some wonder if some have more of it than others? I think not.
Strength is something that everyone has. Strength displays itself in many different ways. Ways that can neither be understood nor explained. Really, it's a mystery. I suppose we store it somewhere within our souls...until we need it. I don't think that anyone necessarily has more than anyone else. I think it is a large spectrum. Some only need to find it every so often, while others must use it to survive.

Until I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, I led what I would call, an easy life. I flowed through the motions of life and things always seemed to work out like it should for me.  I always had a weird feeling within me that things were just too perfect.  Why was I so lucky to walk along this life full of good fortune and blessings? Why did so many around me have so many struggles? 

That day 30 months ago, that beautiful summer day in 2014,  that day the glass shattered around me, that day my second oldest son turned 15 years old, that day my doctor held my hands and explained my new future which included treatments and scans the rest of my life...however long that may be.  I was terrified, confused and broken.  I couldn't envision what this new life was going to look like. I had to reach deep just to find the strength to breathe, the strength to look forward, the strength to carry on.

Last week was my 40th infusion treatment since that day.  40 one hour trips to the cancer center, 40 appointments with my oncologist, 40 needle pokes, 40 two+ tube blood draws, 40 infusions, throw in some Xgeva shots, Lupron shots, steroids, Benedryl, and then 40 one hour trips back home. I have had to find great strength to bring me through this. 

But as I look forward, I know that it is going to continue to take me to new levels of strength that I cannot even let myself consider. Strength moving forward makes the strength that it took to get this far seem minimal. But I know it is in there...somewhere inside me.  And I know I will find it. I know this because of my dear friends who are further along in this journey than me. It is the beauty and grace of their strength that gives me faith in my own.

And then there is the strength I see in my children. Many will tell you, I am not much of a crier. But I cannot think or talk aloud about the strength of my children as they walk through their lives with me without tears. Unlike me, they have had to reach deep within to find their strength early in life. They are amazing human beings who can use their strength to give me more.

We are all struggling with something. So when you feel defeated, broken and scared, when your exhaustion tries to break your spirit, remember...YOU have strength. Whatever it is, it sucks..but YOU are strong. And if you cannot find the strength you need, let those around you help you find it.  It's there. 

It's there.