As a friend of mine is walking into her first chemotherapy infusion today, it’s got me thinking about courage.
See, it takes courage to walk into chemo. Even though that chemo is what is saving your life. The first time you go in there, you have absolutely no idea what to expect. You have no idea how you will feel, what it will do to your body, how in the world you will go from having a full head of hair to none, if it will totally wipe out your cancer, and for those of us as parents, you are worrying about your kids and how they are going to handle this and how you are going even going to parent through these next few months.
Courage is the quality of the mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty or fear. It doesn’t mean that we want to do it, nor that we are ready to do it, but that we are able to. And that we go through with it, even if we fear it.
I think there’s a lot of you all that are courageous out there. We are all facing things in our lives that make us afraid or that are extremely difficult. There’s a lot of bravery in there too that helps us to get through. But most of it is courage.
Courage lives within us even if we think it doesn’t. The last thing and one of my greatest fears in life was cancer and chemotherapy. After watching several family members go through chemo and quite honestly, it not being talked about a lot. It scared me. Cancer and chemo and side effects scared me to the depth of my soul.
On that first day of chemo, Jason and I pulled up to the traffic light to turn into the hospital. I did not want to go. My anxiety just compounded all the way there. I simply couldn’t believe that this was my reality now. Fear was within every bone, every cell in my body. But I was going to do it, well… maybe.
As we sat at the traffic light, I watched this hawk soar over the trees. And it hit me. Hawks or eagles don’t get breast cancer, right?! It was at that moment where I realized that it actually, physically is completely impossible to shape-shift. Because if I could have, I would have. Would have totally still lived with my family. But instead of sitting beside them, I would just perch on the kids shoulder while they were reading. The would just have to make me a special door, like a doggie-door, but now a “hawk-door” that I could fly in and out of. That whole thing of not having hands could be a problem with doors. I would love my family just the same, but would express it through loud screeching noises. They would learn to love their mom-hawk.
Yep… that’s where my mind goes. Or went on that day in those two minutes we were sitting at the traffic light.
So wonder-twin powers didn’t activate and I didn’t turn into a hawk and fly away. We made the left turn into the hospital and I faced one of my worst fears.
And I got through it. Courage didn’t cure my cancer. Being brave didn’t make my cancer go away. But it helped me get through treatment that I hated.
So to all you courageous non-hawk-people out there, you can do this. You can face these things and move past. It is not easy, but you can do it. And I’ll be right here on the side lines cheering you on, with my non-hawk hands.