Welcome to the new home of my blogs! I’m cancer free and so I’m now Caringbridge free! Exactly, two years after my diagnosis I’m launching my website so I can continue to blog and share my stories and my God, with you all, and to encourage and challenge us all as life and God challenge me. You’ve all been so positive and have encouraged me to keep going with my blogs, so I’ve decided to blog on a regular basis. I also feel called to write my story in some kind of book! Maybe it’s just a healing work for me or maybe it’s for sharing. Who knows, but I’ll keep you posted on how is going and you’re welcome to keep me accountable and ask how it’s going!
So here’s my first blog on my very own website! Please favorite it, share it, Tweet it or Pin it if you like it! And I’d love to know what you’d like to hear more about … do email me!
The low grey cloud didn’t seem ominous or foreboding as Winn and I made the thirty minute drive to Ballantyne for my colonoscopy. (I never read meaning into the weather… I am from England after all, where low, grey cloud is as common as fish and chips!). In fact, Al and I weren’t a bit worried about what they might find that we’d taken sweet Winn up on her offer to be my chauffeur. In fact, I was so unconcerned about my imminent procedure that Winn and I spent most of the drive laughing and joking about the joys of “bowl prep” and desperately trying to find a loo that would be open on a grey, February, Monday morning at 7.30am!
Two hours later we were sitting alone in a small, silent, clinical side room innocently awaiting the arrival of the doctor who had had the pleasure of performing this rather intimate investigation. Despite being ushered into this little side room, with its forgettable art and functional chairs, we were still blissfully unaware of the gravity of the impending news..
Ten minutes later everything changed and yet strangely, nothing changed. Words like “tumor”, “biopsy”, “lymphoma” and “cancer” floated aimlessly around the room trying to find somewhere to land. I remember feeling perplexed and rather detached in a “How interesting. I have either lymphoma or cancer up my bottom. How odd.” kind of way… No fear, panic or tears at that point. It’s funny how we react to news isn’t it?
That was two years ago today. And still everything has changed and yet … strangely, nothing has changed. When I look back and reflect on what has changed and what hasn’t, I find that what has changed either wasn’t important in the grand scheme of things or it’s been replaced by something of greater worth. So I’m grateful for the shift. And when I think about what’s not changed, I realize that those things have great value, truth and importance and that I could probably never loose them even if I tried.
Here are few of the things that have changed since 27th February 2012;
- My friendship with Immodium…we are now BFFs!!
- My scar count. I’m now even with James which is impressive given his 8 trips to the ER and four broken bones!!
- My local loo knowledge! I can name a loo location within 500 yards of pretty much anywhere in Charlotte. I’m thinking of making it into an App! Would Angry Bums be too outrageous?!
- I’m a bit better at saying “yes” to help, without feeling less worthy or valued, and I’m learning to give help without feeling superior. I’m starting to see true compassion as a relationship between equals; both entering each other’s pain (thanks to Brene Brown’s book The Gift of Imperfection).
- My knowledge of soluble and insoluble fiber. Did you know that not all fiber’s created equal or has the same role in life! And not all fiber is friendly to my tummy anymore!!
- My ability to hang on to God and trust Him in the storms of life.
- The courage and compassion of my kids.
- The depths of my friendships.
- My relationship with corn… my sweet, buttered “go to” veggie is now a distant memory lingering on my taste buds. (I might as well cut out the middle man and throw it straight down the loo!)
And here are few of the things that have not changed since 27th February 2012;
- The strength and love of my God.
- My belief that fresh air and a cup of tea can cure pretty much anything.
- The stupidity of my affable dog, Chester.
- The love of my hubby.
- My belief that being vulnerable and real is actually a more fulfilling way to live than being “perfect”, pretending or numbing the pain somehow.
- My continued search for the perfect shade of lipstick…it still eludes me!
- The ability of my children to make me laugh and cry within minutes of each other.
- My love of Marmite.
- My dreadful spelling (Praise God for spellcheck!).
- The fire within me to enable everyone to encounter God and meet Him, and not just read about Him or discuss whether He’s real or not.
- My flapjack recipe (you can find a link to it in the side bar!).
If I’d have known right from the start that I could never loose what is important, and that I’d only loose what has little value to me, I might not have hung onto those unimportant things so ferociously, or feared for the potential loss of those things that I can never loose! But I’ve realized that living through something is often the only way to learn. To lean into the fear or discomfort is often the only way to be truly vulnerable and therefore be truly alive to everything and everyone around you. And I’ve found that it’s in those moments of intense emotion that I see God at work doing what He loves to do… comfort us, heal us, forgive us, save us, transform us and give us His peace, joy and love.
Is there something in your life that you are holding onto tightly, that in two years time you’ll wonder why you were holding onto it so tenaciously? Or perhaps, like me, you need to list out the things of greatest worth and value to you, and be reminded that they are in fact, impossible to loose.
So, 730 days ago I was a Britt living in Charlotte, NC, with a wonderful husband and kids, who loved to run, hang out with friends and tell everyone they could meet God.
Today, I’m a Britt living in Charlotte, NC, with a wonderful husband and kids, who loves to run, hang out with friends and tell everyone they can meet God.
Everything has changed and yet … strangely, nothing has changed.