1 Corinthians 4:13
And these three remain: faith, hope, love. But the greatest of these is love.
Some of you may have been caught off guard by the Bible verse in the title. You’re used to my catchy one-liner titles, I know. But – this is one of my favourite verses because this whole chapter describes the perfect love; It’s what every relationship should strive to become, whether romantic or platonic. My favourite part is the very end of the verse, but the beginnings pretty great too (A Walk to Remember fans will know what’s up):
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I don’t want to scare people away with talk of religion and the Bible, but I believed it my guiding light. It’s sad that the thought of death is what makes you want to live, as well as figure out what life is all about. Believe me or not, but if anyone asks, I think the purpose of life is about making loving human connections…whether it’s within family, your friends, your community, or your country. This blog is even a connection of love from myself to you. Love is what keeps us going. Love is what makes us cry when we read those “there’s hope for humanity” articles. You guys, love took care of me throughout this journey.
I’m not just talking about my parents who cut and peel apples because that’s all I can eat, or my boyfriend who gives me head massages because he knows how much I love them now sans hair…I’m talking about my family friend who makes sure to set aside a weekday for me pretty much every week, my cousin who will drop everything and come to chemo if I ask, my old coworkers and friends who text just to check up on me every so often. These moments of love built me up and did not let me lose my hope. Love always perseveres, and that plus hope plus a buttload of positivity is what I used to get through possibly the hardest chapters of my life. They’re not even over yet!
Some dates are always etched in your memory. November 25 was my first day of chemo…it feels like so long ago looking back at this moment. I remember crying about how I wasn’t ready to do it, how I was so scared about what to expect. What I realized those sad and scared few days before chemo is that I wouldn’t ever be totally ready to do this. I just have to jump headfirst and hope and pray for the best. “Faith is always stronger than fear” was my mantra for the next few weeks and months.
It’s always funny to see peoples’ reactions when they first heard me shrug off being bald, or see me with a glass of wine in hand, enjoying myself, regardless of being mid-chemo. They didn’t believe that I was actually practicing what I was preaching; they didn’t understand why I was so positive in spite of my circumstances. I just knew that everyone has their own little basket of worries and fears and I wouldn’t want to trade my basket with anyone else’s. I wanted to be a beacon of hope to anyone grasping for straws if or when their basket got a little too heavy.
March 27 is the other date I’ll remember for quite awhile. I’m sitting and writing this in the reception area of the cancer hospital. There are so many people around me and I see so many emotions on their faces. I want to tell them to have hope. That their faith is stronger than fear, and even though they may feel like they’re free falling in the air right now, they have to believe they will come out of this stronger and a different person than how they came in.
March 27 will be my last chemo. I just spoke to the doctor, and asked if I could get my hopes up. She said yes. I can’t stop breathing sighs of relief…I did it. All of that fighting and crying and praying was worth it. I understand that I’m now going into a new unknown territory called remission. I’ve googled enough to know that this phase is filled with worry, but I’m not. What’s the point in worrying? I just have to get through the next 5 years and I’m scot free. What’s the point of making it harder and not living the life I’m supposed to now? The life I’ve been given to enjoy.
Now I’m writing this part of the blog on the evening of my last chemotherapy ever (see, it was totally worth the wait). Okay, I know “ever” is not guaranteed right now but that’s what I’m going to believe…and why not? I made it through one of the most challenging four months I’ve ever experienced in my life. Not to mention, this was a challenge that literally came out of left field. No previous family history, very small percentage of a chance of it returning and all of that didn’t matter – cancer and chemo were real words thrown at me even though I thought myself invincible before all of this went down.
Anyway, to make a long story short(ish)…I’m in remission and it feels so good! It also feels scary, and worrisome, but let’s save those for another day.
Thank you to all the love that was sent out to me. I hope you know I’m multiplying that and sending it right back out!
Now…please raise a wine/beer/tea/soda with me because I’m about to celebrate a second chance at living life! 🥂✨