Nearly five years ago my husband and I sat in the doctors office waiting for my tests results. You know, just like they show on TV...THAT moment we all dread and fear.
My oncologist, his nurse and another person, maybe she was an intern. I am really not sure, were all in the room. What I am sure is she was there to "observe" a patient being told the cancer has spread. For whatever reason, it did not register to me what that REALLY meant...stage 4, metastatic breast cancer. A short time later I was receiving radiation and saw those words "Stage 4" on my report...and it hit me! I AM STAGE 4!
Although I knew what that meant I decided early on that only God knows His plans for my life, not doctors, not statistics,not anyone. I asked my oncologist to never give me the "stats". I did not want to know. His response was " have you noticed I haven't"? He too believes that only the Lord knows.
Many people have a vision of what living with stage 4, or an "incurable" cancer looks like. Sadly for many people with cancer it is what most of us envision.I live with that fear all the time of my life changing, loosing abilities both large and small.
However, while God gives me the strength, ability and desire I will continue to redefine what life with stage 4 cancer looks like. I have lived more in these past five years then in many years prior.
I have been blessed to reach some mighty goals like running half and full marathons, climbing a mountain,kayaking a river and hiking to hidden waterfalls, writing, traveling to wonderful places in the world, teaching, training and sharing my passions with others.
Most of all, after nearly 14 years of having cancer, I have seen my children grow up, get married and I have become a Nonna. My husband and I are loving this place in life we are at and as long as the Lord allows I will continue to set and strive for many more goals, adventures and life experiences.
There are many survivors redefining the face of cancer and what life looks like, I am just blessed to be one of them.