DON'T MISS OUT!

Hope


Today I celebrate two years out from my last chemo treatment, cancer free.  

Seven months before that last chemo day my life changed so dramatically it still seems like that person I once was, has died, and I’ve had to remake myself from scratch.  My brain broken from emotional trauma , and then chemo that made it all worse, my heart shattered by the husband I loved,  my body fed poison to overpower the poison that was growing inside.  My life blew up.  

An atomic bomb.  

I remember the feeling like no other-pure shattering despair.  Panic never left my side.  I was trapped in a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from.  My life as I knew it and loved was gone.  I had no choice but to fight.  Fight for my marriage and fight for my health while I was the weakest I ever had been.  

I did fight and I didn’t do it alone.  I did it with the incredible support of my friends (the most awesome friends in the world) and my children and my family.  And my faith.  I rebuilt myself.  I’m still not  finished with that rebuilding.  I lost the fight for my marriage.  I won the fight for my life.  And I’m still here.  I have a body that is healthy, children that surround me with life, and a mind that is steady -and I get up when grief hits me hard and I know, like really know, who I want to be and how I want to show up in my life.  

I’ve had friends tell me I’m the strongest person they know but that’s not true.  At all.  Sometimes you don’t have a choice to be strong.  Sometimes life throws excruciating circumstances your way and many times I pleaded out to the heavens PLEASE STOP!  I felt like God was trying to destroy me.  I hate that saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.  I hate it because sometimes it does kill you.  And I hate it because it’s true - IF you grasp onto hope and just walk the path before you even when you didn’t choose that path and scary awful things keep jumping out at you just when you think you can’t take one more thing, you will survive. There is no way out but through. One tiny step at a time.  Just walk.  Crawl.  Drag yourself.  Keep going. 

I know I am not alone.  I know many many women have walked this path-I see their footprints and they show me the load gets lighter, the body stronger, the soul more peaceful, and I have to believe them.  I see them and believe I will rebuild.  I thank them with every ounce of me.

I’ve said it a million times to myself and to others.  Many times you don’t get to choose your crosses.  The question is “How will you carry them?”  

39 comments

  1. You are so right about the platitudes that people give in the midst of excruciating pain. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us in spite of it all.

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  2. Thanks so much for being so transparent, for being willing to share what you've been through. There is so much strength in that. What others meant for bad, you have allowed God to use for good. Thank you. I appreciate you and your blog.

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  3. I am at a loss for words. Its strange to feel sorrow for someone you've never met, but your words have been there from the beginning of motherhood and followed me through my journey the last 10 year. I prayed for you during cancer and was so thankful when you were free of it. Hearing you lost your marriage is just excruciating for me to hear. To see the mother you've continued to be despite losing your marriage is beyond amazing to me. You are incredible and I believe God will use this aspect of your story to further encourage your readers. Thank you for being so transparent and open. I will continue to pray for you heart.

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  4. Sarah,
    My heart is breaking for you. I had no idea about your marriage. I am shocked and devestated for you and the kids. We have been online friends for 12 years (!!!) and I love reading every word you write. I am so encouraged by your strength and faithfulness. And if you even need someone to beat up Jeff...I still kickbox regularly. Kidding, sort of. Honestly, you will remain at the front of my prayer list. Hugs from afar!
    Colleen

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  5. You are so generous to share so much of your life and wisdom with us. My heart breaks with yours even as I celebrate your two year anniversary. I am so grateful for the blessings you have shared for these years.

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  6. I have loved following your family from afar. I always feel so at peace when I read your blog. I had to read this one twice because I thought I must have read it wrong. But you are stronger and you are amazing. God Bless you always!

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  7. Wow. I have read your blog for years and years and was so saddened to to hear of your battle with cancer. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 11 months ago at 41 years old. Like you, I was completely unprepared. It was never something on my radar. I had 2 surgeries and 4 weeks of radiation and did not have to do chemo. I can't imagine how hard this was for you. Prayers for better days ahead.

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  8. God bless and protect you and your family. Your light burns brightly, especially for mothers. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

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  9. May God bless and comfort you. You are remarkable. I have been a follower for a long time. Sometimes all you can do is to keep putting one foot in front of the other (I always tell myself that.) even when you don't feel like it. Much love goes out to you from me even though we don't know each other.

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  10. I've read your blog for many, many years, but today is my first comment. My heart sank to hear all that you've been through and continue to go through. I'm saying a prayer for you and your family and will continue to keep you in my prayers. Your blog is one of many that have helped with me through an incredibly stressful 10 year stretch in my life and I am so grateful. Please know that when I say I'm sending my love, it's not just empty words.

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  11. I’ve been reading your blog for years and praying for your health. I did not realize your marriage ended. I am so saddened to hear that. Much love and blessings to you and your family.

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  12. As many have stated above. You have been a mentor mother, even though we have never met. You made me want to be a better mother. Thank you for always sharing your life. Your strength, grit, and grace continue to help me. Prayers continued for you and your family.

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  13. I am so sorry. As we read as fellow women and mothers, even if we’ve never lived through exactly what you’ve been through Sarah, our hearts and minds go to our own desperate places, and we catch a glimpse of the devastation of the trauma you have encountered, and we ache with you. I have all hope and all faith you are rebuilding yourself, and have done, to be an even more incredible stronghold for your family and friends with the things you wish you had never encountered. You don’t have to share them with us, but you teach us through doing so- so thank you. Don’t we all need that teaching as fellow women. Peace, grace, and the love of God, truly, to you today.

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  14. First time commenter here: I came to your blog today like so may other days, looking forward to reading your words about family and life. Somehow, I always feel grateful after reading your posts because you are so insightful and honest. Please know my heart is full of love and strength for you and your precious children as you navigate this new life together. Stay the course and I hope you can also keep being a "friend" to so many of us who've never met you but cherish your friendship.

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  15. The final chemo IS something to be celebrated! Congratulations!!! I applaud your resilience, and echo your sentiments about how life-affirming HOPE can be. You are a treasure to so many, Sarah. I am thankful for the way you share your life with us. I'm a survivor too, and feel every word.

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  16. I honestly don't know what I can add to all of the beautiful comments above. You are a light to mothers. I found you online when I had two babies at home and felt so overwhelmed. Your youngest and mine were born within a year of each other and your calm guidance was such a blessing. I cried when you were diagnosed with cancer. I lost my mom to breast cancer before I was married and I didn't want to believe someone else with children who needed her so badly would have to fight this battle. I agree, all who fight their person battle, because the fights are so personal, are strong- no matter what the result. I used to hate the term "lost their battle" because it felt like people were saying that they just didn't try as hard. I have prayed for you and will continue to pray for you as you continue strong through your struggles. Please know that you have inspired and mentored (I love the word used above) so many moms like myself when they needed it (especially when they didn't have their own mom). Your words have helped me organize my house, keep my faith, focus on my kids and be strong. I will continue to pray for you and your children.

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  17. I've been a reader here since Patrick was a baby. I can't tell you how much you've shaped my views on the gift of motherhood. I'm in awe of all that you have managed to survive and I'm so glad you're still here...both on the blog and on Earth.

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  18. Sarah, I am so, so sorry about your marriage, I had no idea. I feel like some years/periods in our lives are pretty mellow, and some years heartbreaks just pile up until we can hardly breathe. I admire your strength, and hope you have been blessed with peace. You are amazing and I am so grateful for your willingness to share your life with us - you have helped me to become a better mother through your example and wisdom. I read once, years ago, that in trees and in people the periods of greatest growth are the periods when the most rain (tears) fell. I have found that to be true. Hard as it is, and as much as we wish it could be another way, I know we are watched over, blessed, and compensated for all the heartache. Praying for you.
    -Anna Brooksby (I can't get this to comment with my name now for some reason but I've been a regular reader for a long time)

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  19. I'm a long time reader but this might only be my second or third time commenting.

    I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry about your marriage. You are bearing more crosses than most do in a lifetime.

    I'm keeping you in my prayers. Your writing of the "fight" for your health and marriage reminds me of 2 Timothy 4:7-8: " I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

    Much love.

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  20. Love to you, my friend.
    You inspire us all.
    Hugs and prayers and peace to you.

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  21. So much love to you. Your vulnerability is a blessing to so many.

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  22. What everyone else has said...thank you for continuing to be here and share your life with us. We are better off because of your wisdom. So many times during this pandemic I've thought to myself - what would Sarah do? Get off the news and social media and love those babies. Your words are with me. Its pretty incredible- your impact through this blog. Thank you. Sending you so many virtual hugs!

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    1. Yes, this. Thank you Sarah for all of yourself that you've poured out on this blog to teach and encourage so many of us. Love and hugs!

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  23. Sarah, you are a beautiful person. I hope it is some comfort to you knowing a group of women to whom you have given hope, guidance, and encouragement through your blog is holding you in prayer. Thank you so much for sharing over all of these years, and for continuing when life is beyond hard. I value the wisdom you share from your experiences as a mother and a woman of faith.

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  24. Sorry for all you've been through. I've enjoyed your blog for years. I'm in England but I think I came across your blog when looking online for curtains or something! I remember feeling so sorry when you said you'd had cancer, then not long after my husband died suddenly and completely unexpectedly of a heart attack at only 47. We just never know what life will throw at us do we! Thinking of you and sending love to you all.

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  25. I have enjoyed your blog for years and was shocked to hear your marriage ended after such a hard time in your life. Your strength and courage amaze me. Thanks for your transparency and sharing with your readers.

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  26. OH NO!! I am so sorry about cancer. BUT YOUR MARRIAGE??? Please please read Primal Loss by Leila Miller. Please read this book. Leila Miller just published another book about Marriages that survived the worst circumstances. PLEASE...give the books to your husband.

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    1. I will pray for you. I can't imagine. I just want children to be spared what I went through. I actually wrote my story in Primal Loss. I am #31. I know you are an amazing mother. I did not have that. God Bless you, Sarah.

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  27. Just to say I'm sorry. I've been reading here since my eldest (now 12) was born and have been so encouraged in my own mothering. Your wisdom and ideas have been valuable in my journey; I will be praying for you as you walk this difficult new path.

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  28. Oh my word. I am so sorry about your marriage. I understand. Keep going. Rebuild. Be yourself...I will be praying from afar.

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  29. I am so sorry Sarah. You are in my prayers

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  30. I have been reading your blog for 10 years, when my oldest was just a toddler. My heart is overwhelmed with all I want to say but I forget you don't know me. I feel like you are a dear friend that I have known for many years and you have brought me so much encouragement and inspiration. I wish with all my heart I could do that for you. I will pray for you. I will pray that all the pain and brokenness may dull and be replaced with new fresh joys in your life. Sending you hugs...the social distancing kind that don't spread germs. ��

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  31. I just found this post today, read it, my jaw dropped, I sat down on the floor and I cried. I don't know how my heart can be so broken for someone I've never met, but it is. I've read and treasured your blog for years. Praying for you as continue on in your journey.

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  32. Wow! I have been reading your blog faithfully since my first was a baby, and he’s nine now. You have been such an inspiration to me as a mother of now four children. My heart breaks for what you have lost. Yet, I also feel so encouraged as I go through my own trials that there is still life on the other side of it all. Life finds a way. Thank you for continuing to find a way to share your life with us even through all of this.

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  33. Sharing Hope ... through your words, through your wisdom, through your experiences, you share so much ... thank you. I have always wished we were neighbors, even more today after reading this post.
    I wish to sit out in the yard on this spring morning with you, while our kiddos are still asleep with a hot cup of tea and much hope. xo

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  34. I am so, so sorry to hear about your marriage. I went through cancer at the same time as you, and I can't even imagine dealing with relationship pain on top of that. I don't really have words for this, but I am a longtime reader, and an admirer of yours. You helped me so much when I was struggling, with your practical advice about homemaking and parenting. I'm so very sorry for your pain.

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