Thursday, July 8, 2021

Take a Breath and Hold. Breathe.

Throughout radiation, that was the mantra.  "Take a breath and hold."  Then after number of seconds, "Breathe."  

They were protecting my heart.

What I've just now realized is that it's been my subconscious mantra the last ten months, too.

When Agnes was born.

When her bottom started ulcerating.

When she had her first MRI.

When I remembered I felt a lump in my breast.

When we realized her case was much more complicated than we had expected.

When I received my cancer diagnosis.

When I had to tell my husband, kids, parents and family I had cancer.

When I missed Sophie's eardrum repair surgery.

When Agnes started to show signs of extreme pain.

When my granddad passed.

When Agnes went into surgery.

When I began chemo.

When her surgery led to meningitis and a second surgery.

When Jeremy and Agnes missed Christmas.

When my chemo didn't work.

When John Paul repeatedly vomited.

When I began a new chemo.

When I had surgery and was away for a few weeks.

When I was told I needed more chemo when I thought I was finished.

When radiation began.

When Agnes' MRI didn't show what we had hoped.

When I was told lymphedema was developing.

When I scheduled my hysterectomy.

When it felt like cancer was taking everything...

"Take a breath and hold."  Until the worst of it is over.  Until you think you're in the clear.  Until you cannot hold it any longer.  Then...


Why?  Because if you don't take it breath by breath, if you don't hold on until you don't think you can any longer, if you allow yourself to get too far ahead, you will suffocate...under the fear, the emotions, and the things that cannot be controlled.

In the breathing, we have the opportunity to see that each little thing prepares us for something else whether that is finding the perfect doctor or seeing that children can do difficult things, too.  The challenge we face now leads us to something that will be necessary in getting through the next, and the sooner we let go and trust Him, the sooner peace comes.

Do I still hold my breath as each little hardship arises?  I do.  Then He helps me through, shows me the beauty and forces me to lean on Him so I can breathe again.

I want to hold my breath to protect my heart.

He wants to mold my heart so I can breathe.

And so He does.

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