On April 8th, 2013, I heard the words you never want to hear, “You have cancer.”
My life was never the same from that day on. Fortunately for me the mass in my sigmoid colon was operable. They found what was causing my grief and it was going to be removed. This was my FIRST Silver Linings moment.
What’s A Silver Linings Moment?
The easiest way to explain a Silver Linings is when people are put into difficult situations, they need to look past the hardships and find the light at the end of the tunnel. Its about turning their negative situations into positive ones, finding their inner peace and the “will power” to overcome anything.
When handed lemons, make lemonade! Cheesy, but you know it’s a great analogy, and true.
The first Silver Linings prepared me for surgery. The mass was removed and surgery was a success…unfortunately, there were some lymph nodes affected. I had Stage 3 cancer. Doctors advised chemo. At only 38, I was young and healthy so no reason not to do chemo. The odds of it coming back were 50/50, and those weren’t odds I liked.
Vanessa and Cory Glew met in high school, and Vanessa’s huge crush paid off. Cory and Vanessa were happily married and raising three amazing children – Sierra, Ryken and Teryn. They tenaciously battled as a family for over four years against cancer. Vanessa was devoted to living, even in hospice care. When I met with their family to pray and offer support she inspired me with her Silver Linings story. Vanessa passed away on February 12, 2018. Please read her story and pray for her cherished family.
Anniversary Cake And Chemo
July 2, 2013, a day after my 13th wedding anniversary I headed for chemo. Life was crazy and chemo SUCKED. I got through seven of my twelve rounds…then things went from tolerable to worse. I was rushed to hospital on Thanksgiving weekend – my birthday. Septic shock set in from a small tear in my colon from the first surgery plus chemo knocking down my immune system. I couldn’t fight off the infection.
Things were not good the first few days. What little bits and pieces I remember I’m just glad to be here and appreciate just how short life truly can be. Never take things for granted. You just never know God’s mysterious plans.
I bet you are asking what is the Silver Lining after all of that in only six months? How does one get through it and find a light at the end of the tunnel and keep on going?
It was hard – I’m not going to sugar coat it. I kept telling myself to think of it as a new lease on life. And I was determined to appreciate my time with my family and friends more. So we started to live and make memories, in even the smallest ways possible.
Make Memories – Our Motto
On April 30th, a year after my first diagnosis, I went in to have my ileostomy bag removed, thinking “This is the light in those dark clouds, the end of the storm.”
Little did I know…
October of 2014 I was rushed to hospital with severe abdominal and back pain. The cancer had returned and was now a large mass attached to my ovary. My fourth surgery was a full hysterectomy. One would think “that’s it” because there is no way it’s coming back again.
But in early 2015, I was diagnosed with liver cancer. More surgery. Major surgery. My fifth surgery.
That was one of the toughest recoveries I’ve had to go through. And 2015 did not get any easier. Later in the year they found more cancer, and I was scheduled for surgery again that fall.
My Fight Song
Since then, I have been through more surgeries, scans, chemo, tests, and “it’s cancer” moments.
Finding a Silver Lining isn’t always easy, but it kept me going. I’m still here, and I’m determined!
APPLICATION: Please leave a comment for Vanessa’s family. Read stories and share a story of your own on the Silverlinings. blogsite
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I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.
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