The Road Less Traveled

IMG_7956I am proud to announce my tube is FINALLY out! It’s been officially 1 month since he pulled at least 12 inches of silicone from my thigh and I feel lighter, quicker, happier, and relieved.

My doctor felt it would be best if I waited a bit longer until starting physical therapy in order for my incision to fully close. After another round of antibiotics, due to a possible infection, and weeks of consistent rest, my incision has fully closed and I have been cleared to begin physical therapy!

It’s been almost 6 months since my 2nd surgery and I just entered what feels like the fourth quarter of the super bowl but in this game, I know who wins. 😉

The above picture was taken July 16th for my sister’s birthday brunch. I was determined to feel “normal” around her friends that day. It’s amazing how normal you can look in a picture when in reality your world is falling apart. After her birthday brunch I cried most of the way home due to the intense pain in my leg. It took me almost a week to recover from a few hours of “normalcy” but I began thinking, what is normal? There are more individuals dealing with silent issues than we like to talk about. We are all fighting an invisible battle.

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When this all began I was clinging to the hope that something greater must be on the other side of this mountain. Between diagnosis, treatments, surgeries, check-ups, and continued monitoring, my journey at times has felt endless. I decided it was time to take my life back! Living only makes sense if you get up every day and choose to step outside of your comfort zone, so being “normal” is not my focus any longer.

I don’t want my old “normal” back. I don’t want to act as if this never happened. I want to wake up every single morning excited to live. I want to remember every tear, every ache and pain, every time I had to say no to something fun because I wasn’t physically able to do it. I want to remember my hearts cry out to God, “Heal me! Give me strength! I need you!”. I want to remember how I took this life, this one and only life, for granted for so long. I want to remember how I’ve laid in a bed for the past 8 months. I want to remember all of it!

Change can only take place when we acknowledge our own weaknesses. Change will only begin when we decide that our old routine doesn’t work. If I want to change my future, I have to begin with my today. Today I can get out of bed, so I will. Today I can dress myself, so I will. Today I can walk, even if it’s only for a short amount of time, I will walk as far and as long as I can because my WILL to LIVE is STRONGER than my COMFORT in being NORMAL.

So, I’m proud to say, I’m not living a normal life any longer. Yes there are days I have to force myself up and those day I pray a little harder. I’ve learned a major lesson during this time, the bible says, “walk by faith”. God doesn’t say to stand still. Yes there are moments where we should ‘be still’ and wait on him but when it comes to our FAITH we need to keep walking, never looking back to question or doubt, that is faith. This is challenging but it is what we are called to do.  

 “For we walk by faith, not by sight” – 2 Corinthians 5:7 (NLT)

I finally drove my car for the first time in 8 months. When I sat in the driver’s seat this sudden fear took over. All these thoughts were running through my mind and I felt overwhelmed. I began to play the “what if” game. In that moment it felt like the “old me” was coming back. Me driving was the first step to being normal and after months and months of wanting this to happen I realized I never wanted to feel this way again.

We are all going through something and whatever that may look like for you, remember that every circumstance has the potential to change you for the better. Fear, in my opinion, is the world’s greatest killer. It will stop you from pursuing your dreams, take away your joy, ruin your future, and demand your life.

Sometimes our fears hold us back from our biggest calling. 

Here is my beginners guide to living a more fulfilling life:

  1. Wake up every morning and reach out to God. He created you, he knows you better than you know yourself, and he is waiting for YOU to ask for help.
  2. Realize that you have an abundance of blessings. For starters, you woke up this morning and are now reading my blog. Which means, you are ALIVE.
  3. Self-reflection. What are your dreams? Do you have any? If not, get some. If you do, what are you doing TODAY that get’s you closer to your dream.
  4. What does your routine look like. I realized that I can have a million dreams/goals but unless I change my daily routine I will never achieve them.
  5. Accountability partners. These are people who love you. Talk to them, share your dreams and fears. Have a real talk on what things you need to change. Saying things out loud have a way of bringing change. Be honest, with yourself and others.
  6. Are you scared? If you aren’t scared, you’re not dreaming big enough. If you are scared, then get ready to fight! Kick fear in the face by doing exactly what you are scared of!  

“You are God, more than able, ever faithful, always good” – Kristene DiMarco 

I’ve now met with a couple physical therapists and this road seems longer with each passing day. I’ve been told that I am now showing signs of Lymphedema. Between radiation and removing lymph nodes, my lymphatic system has been compromised. This means that my leg is retaining fluid and swells with increased movement, certain foods, exercise, and plane travel (coincidently, all of my favorite things to do). It was extremely difficult for me to hear the prognosis. I allowed myself time to process the information, do research, but above all pray; because my faith is bigger than my fear I’m not going to let anything hold me back. I’ve even decided to take my first mini-vacation of the year to celebrate our very best friends birthday in Arizona. I’m going to travel by plane, eat great food, enjoy amazing company, and walk (as long as I can). 

When I’m running my half marathon one day I’ll remember sitting in that car, as fear wrapped itself around me, and hitting that gas pedal into my new and improved abnormal self, until nothing was left but pure uncontrollable joy! 

“The fundamental fact is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can not see. – Hebrews 11:1 (MSG) 

The new and improved ~ Idalia K.

P.S. For anyone who needs a little motivation – listen to the song below.

 

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