kintsukuroi ~ “to repair with gold” ~ the Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.
My cancer journey has woven threads of strength into my life. My life is more beautiful for having been broken. I recently listened to an insightful devotional speech by Professor Beth Luthy. Through study, I realized I have become a wounded healer. One who has been sanctified and then compelled to share learning and bless others with rich compassion. I have learned to say, “Thy will be done.” My increased faith has provided hope and a deep desire to serve. I wait and listen carefully for ministering opportunities.
June 24 will always be the day when my world shifted. My cancer journey has taken me to the top of mountains and plunged me into deep valleys. I have been asked to swim in deep water. There has been chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and clinical trials. The cancer has metastasized to my bones, and I have transitioned to palliative/hospice care to allow my body to recover from treatment and other complications. I have grieved the loss of energy, hair, fingernails, sleep, future plans, my ability to breathe deeply, and a change in career. This is temporary grief. It is like saying goodbye to an old friend and then embracing a new opportunity. It is part of the sanctification process. I prefer to focus on all I have gained — wisdom, kindness, appreciation for each day, deep love for my family, a sure witness of blessings through the Savior’s atonement, sanctification of my soul, strengthened relationships with dear friends, love for nature, sacred reflection, inspiring music, and a deep understanding of our Father’s love. Threads of gold.
I am happy. Truly happy. Tonight, my entire family was gathered around me. I am encircled by so many who lift and love me. It is inspiring. They are angels in my life. I have been blessed each step of the way. I am never alone. How can I complain?
Tomorrow I start a new chapter of this journey. I have developed tumors and lesions on my sacrum. Richard and I met with our radiation oncologist last week and developed a five-day radiation treatment plan to help alleviate pain in this area. Another great doctor who was well-prepared for our visit and willing to help me find the highest quality of life. A new member of our team and family.
Hooray for two years! I have beaten many odds. I rejoice in my life and the sweet experiences that continue to unfold. I keep working to find ways to bring strength and health to my body. It is part of my fighting spirit. I have been broken, wounded and yet my life has become more beautiful. I continue to win the battle and look forward with brightness — anchored in hope.
Memories from the past two years — diagnosis day (I had just been released from the hospital ~ you can sense our emotion through our body language), a new hair do, helicopter ride in Kauai, and treasured family pictures.