The thing is, being a mom doesn’t stop for anything. Not for blizzards, not for late nights, and not for cancer.
It was July 2017, and I had just gone through another round of CT scans. Checking my voicemail, I heard the familiar voice of my oncologist.
“Hi, Julie,” she says in her quiet, steady voice. “I have your lab results back and I’d like to discuss them with you.”
My blood runs cold, my heart stops for a second and then starts pounding hard.
Followup? No. Not again. Not now.
She never calls if the tests are clean. Followup is not positive. I start to cry, hot tears on my bewildered face. I look up to the ceiling, to the God beyond the ceiling.
Hi everyone! My name is Julie Rohr. I’m a collector of memories, a photographer, a mom, a stepmother, a wife, a writer and a community advocate. My family are the loves of my life, and I always enjoy spending time with my husband, David, and our two boys – Jacob, 11, and Max, 9. Our family can often be found at events around the city, including lots of indoor and outdoor soccer games, festivals, and concerts. In November 2015 I was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Since then, I have gone through three extensive surgeries to my abdomen, liver and lung, as well as two rounds of radiation and other ongoing treatments and scans.
Fear Can Look Like Anger
I wish I had known this a long time ago. When someone is angry with you, stop and take a breath before lashing out in return, even though that’s what you may feel like doing.
If they’re yelling or behaving badly to you, try to see past their anger to the deeper current.
I remember swimming in the ocean in Hawaii. There’s a current that runs deeper than the surface. Maybe on the surface, people look angry. But probably underneath, they’re scared, or hurt. I’m just going to leave that idea here to ponder. It’s big.
It’s easy to let your thoughts and feelings spiral downwards into constant fear. But you can, instead, choose hope.
Difficulties Can Look Like Hope
Through this life experience, my boys have developed a strength that will carry them through other trials.
They’ve learned how to manage anxiety and stress, and these are tools they will need for the rest of their lives. I’m grateful for the opportunities that we’ve had to learn these tools together.
You can allow difficult life circumstances to teach you important coping mechanisms. Often, people tend to only see the negative parts of scenarios like this, but there are beautiful, poignant moments.
Look for those ones, carry those ones.
APPLICATION: Please share Julie’s story with a mom you know and leave a comment for her below. Thank you.
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