A Humorous Look at the Bright Side of Cancer...
And There Is One

Life Survivorship

October 24, 2016

Life Survivorship-8

September 2, 2016 - Table Rock in Boise

September 2, 2016 – Table Rock in Boise

Last October, I began my third or fourth “nervous breakdown.” I’ve talked about my nervous breakdowns before.

Several days ago, I was getting myself all riled up because I was worried that I would start falling down into the pit this year as well. Then, a song came onto the radio; it seemed as if God wanted to cheer me up. And tell me that I shouldn’t be worried about the future:

You’re shattered
Like you’ve never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you’re never gonna get back
To the you that used to be

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again…

Just let that word wash over you
It’s alright now
Love’s healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
‘Cause your story’s far from over
And your journey’s just begun….

—“Tell Your Heart To Beat Again” by Danny Gokey

I guess maybe I need to have faith that God will see me through this hard time in my life. He’s done it before and I trust that He will do it again.

By |October 2016|Life Survivorship|

July 24, 2016

Life Survivorship-7

04-20-2016 - My wonderful, supportive family. Photo by random stranger

04-20-2016 – My wonderful, supportive family. Photo by random stranger

I woke up this morning at 5:30 with the song “No Longer Slaves” running through my mind. First of all, this is a fairly new song and I loved it the first time I heard it. Second of all, I’m playing it this morning in about three hours with the rest of the band at church.

This song got me to thinking about the blog post I just entered last night around midnight. “I’m afraid of bears, I’m afraid of cougars, I’m afraid of this, I’m afraid of that.” Oh yeah, I forgot sharks in that list.

It’s not like I’m making this stuff up “for dramatic purposes” either. I really am petrified of sharks. And bears. And cougars. Hm, where was I? Being a weenie, apparently.

I feel like I am having to constantly talk myself into things. “Maria, get your butt into that water here in Maui. Yes, there are sharks here, but it is beautiful and you just paid $1300 to get here with your husband.

I am afraid of cancer coming back. I am afraid of getting diabetes. I am afraid of finally succumbing one day to this dark cloud that is always hanging over me. I’m afraid of lymphedema kicking into high gear and becoming permanent because I’m playing volleyball or hiking too much (at too high of an elevation) or rototilling the garden when I shouldn’t be.

I am afraid of getting eaten by a bear. I’m afraid of getting bit on my right arm by a mosquito and having my obituary read, “We are gathered here today because a mosquito got the better of our young, dear sister in the Lord.”

Wait. “No Longer Slaves.”

Maybe I should sing this song every day and believe whole-heartedly what I am singing. God created the whole universe, surely He can take care of little old me.

Why did I title this category Life Survivorship? We say things like, “Wow, I barely made it through my 30s” or “I survived cancer.” Shouldn’t we be saying things like, “We’re celebrating our 30s, we’re anticipating our 40s, and we’re road-tripping in our 50s” instead?

All I know is, I hope I hold it together while I’m playing this song in church this morning. One of two things can happen: I could start bawling my head off or I will sing my brains out. Maybe I’ll do a little bit of both.

By |July 2016|Life Survivorship|

July 23, 2016

Life Survivorship-6

July 17, 2016 - Playing Five Crowns Cameron, Jodi, me, and Emily Photo by Ken deHaan

July 17, 2016 – Playing Five Crowns
Cameron, Jodi, me, and Emily
Photo by Ken deHaan

In addition to taking time out to observe beautiful sunsets , I do enjoy the occasional game-playing night. It’s no secret about how much I adore playing games.

I had been cleaning house all morning. Around noon, I got a hankering for chicken fettucini alfredo, otherwise known as “Heart Attack On A Plate” in our household. I don’t make it very often, but I was sick and tired of eating cardboard bread (this was before my major decision to stop eating gluten-free bread), salads, protein shakes, and eggs.

Around noon, I texted Jodi, “Hey, kind of short notice, but do you guys want to come over?”

A few hours later, Cam and Jodi drove up and I was happy to see that they had brought their daughter, Emily, with them. It’s so cool when teenagers choose to hang out with the old fuddy-duddies.

The house never did get cleaned all the way (it was in severe need of a good, long vacuuming); I got caught wearing my yoga pants, no makeup, and bobby pins holding my hair back (unattractively); and the candles weren’t lit on time. However, the fettucini was delicious, the homemade bread was delicious (yeehaw and yay for gluten), I was able to slip away and fix myself up a bit, and we had a blast playing Five Crowns and laughing all night. Isn’t that what life is all about?

If I waited until my house was spotless and every hair and eyelash on my head was in place, I would never have anybody over. At this point, I’m glad to have hair and eyelashes period.

I just can’t stop thinking lately of how lucky I am to be alive, finally healing from my past, and blessed with great friends to boot.

By the way, I won the game of Five Crowns. Woot woot.


By |July 2016|Life Survivorship|

July 21, 2016

Life Survivorship-5

June 20, 2016 - Sunset over Samish Bay

June 20, 2016 РSunset over Samish Bay Р©Marie deHaan

Speaking of praising the Lord, sometimes, I am stopped dead in my tracks at how beautiful it is outside of my front window. Kind of hard to be depressed, suicidal, and generally down in the dumps when you see a view like this, eh?

By |July 2016|Life Survivorship|

July 1, 2016

Life Survivorship-4

Me, Laurie, Bobby, Lucy, and Christy

Me, Laurie, Bobby, Lucy, and Christy

The other night, I went out with a bunch of friends and halfway through the night, the thing I noticed the most was how much laughing was going on. All throughout the night, we talked over each other and through each other, but we laughed and laughed and laughed.

It’s not as if we didn’t talk about sad things, because we did. We talked about a local couple that had been murdered (the bodies have just recently been located), we talked about sex trafficking in the world, we talked about bears, and we talked about sharks.

But, we also talked about underwear and how we sometimes need to buy bigger pairs. Okay, when I say “we,” I really mean me.

It’s been almost five months since I talked about this horrible thing that happened to me when I was young. The thing is, we’ve all got something. I’m not exclusive in my painful past.

I’m thankful that I have God to rely on, but I’m also thankful that I have friends to get me through the hard times: to commiserate with me in my quest for new underwear and a whole host of other things.

I think, sometimes, as mothers, we stay at home and clean the house and feed our families and take care of our yards, and we feel guilty if we take a night off to spend with friends.

Since getting cancer all those years ago, one nice thing I can say for sure, I’m thankful I’ve been able to slow down a bit and not take these precious moments (like shown in the above picture) for granted.

Hug your friends, people, hug your friends. Tell them that you love them. And by all means, get together with them soon.


By |July 2016|Life Survivorship|