Losing myself in order to be Found

 

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For those of you who have asked about my recovery, I have finally decided to do my best and share my experience.

These last 3.5 months have been physically and emotionally draining. I have had some major emotional meltdowns and moments of pure gratitude. It’s a difficult position to be in when you are physically incapable of doing anything for yourself but it is also incredibly humbling. I have had to learn to count on others, ask for help, admit my weaknesses, and endlessly say thank you.

I was not mentally prepared for the recovery phase of my journey. No one explained how my life was going to stop for 6-9 months while the world kept on living. I’m not proud to admit that I have had to fight feelings of depression and sadness. I’ve cried myself to sleep more times than I can count. It’s already embarrassing enough when you can’t walk properly but when people do nothing but stare it adds another level of frustration and pain. I’m healthy, young, full of life and I can’t help but feel sorry for myself.

My drain tube is still in my body. It’s so painful and even more uncomfortable. My skin around my incision is healing extremely slow which has now caused a small leak. They will not remove the tube until my incision is fully closed because this will risk the chance of my incision opening and getting infected (sorry, if it’s too much information). It took 3 months for my staples to be removed. I have very little mobility in my right hip due to radiation so walking is painful and I can’t sit correctly because of my hip sensitivity. Every time I take a step it feels like my incision is ripping open (its horrible). If and when I try to walk it causes swelling in my foot which is a completely different issue but also very uncomfortable. Physical therapy can not begin until everything is healed and back to normal. At this point the doctors are saying it could be another 6 weeks, but nobody knows for sure. My leg has to be compressed at all times; when we take the compression sock on and off the nerve pain has been so bad I would start hitting my other leg as hard as I could to get my mind off of it. I could only assume that nerve pain is similar to being electrocuted, attacked by a group of jelly fish or being struck by lightning. I can only sleep on my back (imagine that you side-sleepers) which has caused bruising. All in all, this has been miserable.

I’m angry. I’m annoyed. I’m mad. Frustration has set in and saying “I’m disappointed” doesn’t explain anything. I just want to live again! I’m holding on to every ounce of normalcy but it keeps slipping through my fingers. This entire thing just sucks. I hate being in this bed every day. I hate not being able to do anything for myself. I hate missing out on everything. But one of the most frustrating aspects of all is feeling completely guilty for my feelings.  

I am blessed. I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve had so many good moments throughout this process that I can’t believe I’m still finding something to complain about. But that’s just it, I’m human. I have feelings. I have moments of sadness. I’m not always happy. Life can become overwhelming and, to be honest, there are moments where I still cannot believe I’m going through this.

When is it ok to feel sorry for yourself and how do you snap out of it? 

I remember when the doctor took my bandages off one week after surgery. I looked down at my huge scar and couldn’t believe my eyes. Before this I was a healthy 31 year old. I never broke a bone, never went to the hospital and my paperwork was easy to fill out because every box was checked ‘None’. I remember looking down at my leg and the tears began to run down my cheeks. All I kept thinking was how am I ever going to feel normal again. My independence was gone. My confidence vanished. Fear of the unknown, of the pain, my thoughts, and doubts were crippling at times. Panic attacks swept over my body and I could do nothing but lay there searching to breathe until I took control of my mind and spoke truth into my heart.

I’m not writing all this for pity or because I have all the answers on how to deal with the aftermath of cancer. But I do feel it’s necessary that we talk about our suffering so we can begin to heal from it emotionally and know that we are not alone. It’s a slow process, but it’s finally happening. 

“And when my heart and strength have failed me, my God, you won’t, your name is mighty” – You Alone 

At the beginning of every year JD and I pray for a word. It’s something we’ve done for years because, let’s be honest, resolutions never really stick. So, we pray and ask God to show us a word, something we can hold onto for the year. A word that will be our main focus for that specific year so we can continue our spiritual growth. This year JD’s word was Trust and mine was Surrender. Crazy right? I have had to learn how to surrender control in every possible way and JD has had to trust God through it all. Control is an elusion. In reality there are few things we as human beings have actual control over. I may not be able to control sickness but I can choose to rise above it. I can choose to have hope. My saving grace has been my relationship with God.

I’m sure there are those who might think, “Where is your God now?”, and my answer is, he’s been right next to me all along. He holds every single one of my tears in his hands. He gave me the strength when I thought I had none. Jesus has stood by my side when I was angry, in pain and hopeless. He hugged me harder when I hated myself. He loved me deeper when I had no love to give. He pushed me harder when I was too scared to try. It’s easy to think that just because recovery didn’t happen the way I thought it would means Jesus abandoned me, but he didn’t.

Whether I like it or not, I’m stuck here in this bed. I can either hate every moment or embrace this time to self-reflect. If you are facing a hard time, give yourself time to grieve or feel the pain. Allow your mind and heart to understand and accept what you’re going through but DO NOT stay there. Today is a new day and you can be whomever you believe and choose to be. Don’t get angry at yourself if you’re in pain, embrace the process. If you’re sad, be sad, it’s okay. If you need a day to yourself, IT’S OKAY, take your time! But when you’re ready, GET UP and CHOOSE to live. We can either be a product of our circumstances or we can be a product of our choices. Choose to be the best version of yourself daily. Sickness doesn’t define you, brokenness doesn’t define you, your past doesn’t define you. Fight for your God-given right to be happy. Today, in this moment, even if you can’t walk, you are ALIVE!

I had to write this to remind myself I’ve been given an amazing gift. I’m a fighter. I’m a survivor. And I surrender it all.

Romans 12:15

“Be happy with those who are happy,and weep with those who weep.”

 

16 thoughts on “Losing myself in order to be Found

  1. Omgosh Idalia you are a strong warrior! You are more than a conqueror!! You have a brave heart and what a example to us all!! THis is temporary – and I’m sure most of the time it does get frustrating and lonely but i just want you to know that your brothers and sisters in Christ stand with you ( Hartman Family and a ton of others) praying, standing and trusting in the complete healing and restoration that you were promised!! “God is not a man that He would lie” so we know this done inJesus name!! We love you and look forward to seeing you sometime soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think you should be proud of yourself and your positive outlook, and writing about it must be helping too. You’re right we all have struggles and it’s how we deal with them that help us to remember that we should always be happy to be alive. Good luck to you with all of this xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Idalia thanks so much for sharing! We are praying for you daily! Your testimony and this song give so much hope to all who read! May God heal you totally is our prayer!🙏🏻Keep holding on to God beautiful and precious child of his! Love Denise and John Wilson, Raquel Wards Dad and Other Mother, Denise

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Idalia all I can say is Wow!! You are such an honest writer and it’s refreshing. I hope you will consider writing a book about your journey so that others fighting cancer or other medical illness can find their hope.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. You are so brave I have to say that , your article inspire me so much an made me realize that I have everything but still I complain. Pain is never easy an I don’t know what i would have one I were you. This was my first visit to you blog an it was worth it . I hope you recover soon , my prayers with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Man, I felt every bit of this. The frustration of an active independent life, halted to a stop beyond your control.

    And ‘surrender’ IS the most powerful word you could have been given for this journey because deep in that surrender there is freedom. Wow!

    Thank you for this amazing lesson. Continue to teach us Idalia!! It may feel at times like your disconnected from the world but right now you have SO much to give all of us.

    Your journey holds the wisdom of a thousand lives, with lessons most of us discover too late.

    You’re a gift to the world and every time you write, you share that gift with us.

    Thank you for being soooo honest!!

    I love you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow Michelle, thank you! I kind of get intimidated with my writing. I’m not a professional like yourself (everything you just wrote above, wow, I felt that) but my story is worth sharing and it was time to put my pride/insecurities aside. Thank you for taking this journey with me. I love you so much my sister! Xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Doug and I just read this and we are so amazed and proud of Who you are! We have watched you grow up from a young girl to A very wise woman in the Lord! Your words are powerful because they are truth! Life isn’t great every day, it is hard but you have trusted the Lord with unwavering faith even in the midst of your lowest times. We are so grateful to have you as our daughter2 and I think you should write a book also 🙂 you love to read, so why not write about this while you’re in that bed 🙂 Beautifully said and We loved your testimony at our church that day which has impacted many people. We would love and encourage you to send your testimony on Facebook for everybody to hear. It was absolutely one of the best testimonies we have ever heard and talked about how hard it was to have faith that moves mountains but you did it! Love you 😘 😘😘♥️

    Liked by 2 people

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