Well it is no secret that when you go through a tough circumstance or a tough health battle there will for sure be things that will remind you of the time after you make it through.
For me personally the reminder of the transplant is: when I see my key ring I see my medicine that I carry around just in case, or when I’m showering and I see my scar on my stomach that stretches from side to side. I don’t walk around town constantly thinking; “Man, I had cancer, and now I don’t because of a life saving surgery and traumatic experience I went through. My life is so different now.”
I walk around I would normal, well at least I think is normal. I try to live a “normal” life as I did before the diagnosis and the transplant. But things are obviously different, there are subtle reminders everywhere that keep putting the thoughts and experiences of cancer back in my head.
So how do I combat those and get on with my life?
I embrace it. People sometimes say you gotta push away the memories, and never think about it because it puts you back in that spot of fear and of sickness. That you are just welcoming back the unpleasant thoughts and you’re just going to hurt yourself more and more.
I like to argue that though, see if you don’t look back at the experience every once in a while you don’t get to soak up what God did in that time. Who He brought to you, and what He brought to you when you needed it the most. Honestly, the more I share my story with people the more things I notice about it and the more things I see God in. The small things I see God in are sometimes the things we overlook when looking back at the circumstance.
It can be extremely easy for me to just say: “I had cancer, but God took it away from me and thats it.” I mean there is nothing wrong with it, and thats what happened, but there is so much other stuff that God did, I wouldn’t be doing Him a justice to just say that.
Embrace the experience and the reminders and thrive off of it. If you can’t look back at a circumstance you went through and be happy you went through it, you need to look back and find the good in it. God always has a plan, and in His word it says that He makes things work out for the good of those who love Him. That He comes to give life and in abundance life. He equipped you to do mighty things, and He tasked you to do those things. Yes they may not make sense in the moment but when you go and look back at what you went through you see God’s hand all over it and how He carried you through it.
Yes it sucks sometimes being reminded all the time of the tragedy I went through by people who see me every week. The questions of “How are you feeling?” or the “You look so good, you don’t look sick anymore” phrases get old but I’m always thankful for it, because it shows people care about me, and I get to share God a little bit more than I normally wouldn’t be able to do.
Sometimes you just have to laugh it off, make a joke about it. ( I make too many cancer jokes but its ok right?) But you have to have that positive mindset about it and you have to continue to see it as a blessing. No it wasn’t a blessing that I got cancer, but it was a blessing to receive the transplant when I did, and have the recovery process I did, because it made who I am now stronger. But stay positive about it because that battle is over and God lifted you and carried you through it. He’s a good God.
Find those who love you and surround yourself with them, make jokes, be vulnerable and be happy of the blessing you receive. God is always a good God, and He won’t leave you or forsake you. He gave you armor to defeat giants. He overcame the grave, and He lives on the inside of you so you can too. God is profound and does things we don’t understand because we aren’t God but once we get close to Him, we can see like Him and we can start to comprehend His actions more, and we can use them and count them as blessings.
Don’t avoid the reminders, don’t run away from them. But don’t give into them. Don’t become fixated on the past that you forget to liv in the present. Count each day as a blessing and use it to it’s fullest. Approach the reminder head on and laugh and pray it off. It works, its what I do.