Cancer sucks. The physical ramifications as well as emotional and mental anguish it thrusts upon you is life-changing and debilitating. And it is not a ‘change’ that anyone wants to endure, but so many of us are forced into this tumultuous journey called ‘cancer’. It just sucks. It’s a black hole of pain, terror, struggle, and stress. What gets a person through this dark, fearful, and embittered journey? Angels. Earth Angels.
I must confess that I am not a religious person, and having cancer of the thyroid as well as breast cancer has not turned me into a religious person (not that there is anything wrong with being religious!!). I am spiritual. I have felt the power of something greater than myself. The power of the human spirit. Through the graciousness, selflessness, and kindnesses bestowed upon me and my family in our greatest time of need was, to say the very least, incredibly overwhelming and humbling. I felt the presence of something amazing. It was as though God sent me angels here on earth to nurture, protect, and care for me and for my family. I was so fortunate to be on the receiving end of the miracles that the human spirit can deliver. And even now, 15 months after my diagnosis and surgery, I am still bearing witness to the wonders of the human spirit.
You see, lately my thoughts and feelings have been bleak. Very bleak. I know that I should not feel so down-trodden. I know that I should feel happy, relieved, and thankful, and I am all those things [happy-relieved-thankful]! I just can’t feel that way all the time. Life does not stop when you have cancer. Cost of living continues to rise, bills must get paid, and obligations must be met. What many people may not realize is how difficult it is to step back into that same routine of “life” after having cancer. Physically, emotionally, and mentally you are damaged. Your spirit may be strong, and your will to live even stronger, but the challenge that I have been facing is how to live. How do I live my life post-cancer? I cannot function at the same capacity that I did before. I am lacking in energy, drive, and physical strength. I have hopes, dreams, and spirit, but the necessary tools to employ these ambitions are lacking. And I try hard. I push myself to work, sometimes more than I am physically capable of; and I do my physiotherapy stretches every night; and I am active throughout the day. But sometimes I feel helpless and hollow inside. I ache physically, and I ache emotionally. And life keeps pushing onward. I see the bills mounting and our finances at the breaking point; and I watch my husband struggling to hold us together. It’s difficult. It’s frightening. It’s the reality of cancer. And I know I am not alone in this journey. I know there are thousands of people who are worse off than I am, struggling through radiation, chemotherapy, and multiple surgeries. They push onward. And so too, must I.
With my head and heart rooted in this dark place, I went to my local post office to collect a parcel that was delivered there for me. A parcel. Who was sending me a parcel? Upon receipt, I looked at the sender and I gasped. A gasp that was audible to all that stood near by. It was sent from Cafes Verlet in Paris, France. Perhaps the best coffee I have ever had the pleasure of sipping. And then I cried. I cried all the way to my car as I clutched that parcel to my chest. I knew who sent this. I knew who that Earth Angel was. And even now, I am so overwhelmed by her kindness, consideration, and love. Does she know what this act of thoughtfulness meant to me? Can she ever understand the depth of gratitude and love I hold for her? I can only hope. For it isn’t just about the amazing cup of coffee that I now get to enjoy. It’s about her caring for me; her reaching out to me when I am feeling at my lowest. It is she, reminding me that I am loved and that I will be okay.
Never underestimate the power your human spirit possesses. For you see, the human spirit is an extraordinary force of virtue and beauty. Small acts of kindness can become the grandest acts of salvation. And I bore witness to this, throughout my cancer journey, and I was reminded of it today.
With all my love, Earth Angel, thank you.
Earth Angel. Published by Crystal Joy Hall