Knowing the Enemy’s Name

Friends, this is one of the most difficult posts I’ve ever had to write. As I’m sitting here, I can’t even really begin to start this story of my mom and my family. I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time, but I just never had the courage. In fact, it’s been sitting in my drafts for weeks now. A good friend said that it may be because writing this and putting these words out into the universe makes it makes it concrete. And I wasn’t ready. I just wanted to wake up from this nightmare. But the truth is it’s not a nightmare. It’s real. As much as I want to keep wishing that it’s all just a dream, it doesn’t change the facts. And I think I’m finally ready to face that.

A few weeks ago, Emily Ley shared a post on her Facebook about Abigail Smith. Now let me say, I’m a very curious person. I used to be so connected to social media, I would say I was addicted. But lately, because of my busy schedule I don’t have much time to be able to watch videos or go on social media except to post for myself. But I caught Emily’s post and I felt compelled to watch it. While watching the video, Abigail said something that really explained how I’ve been feeling for the past few months.

“It’s easier knowing how to win the battle if you know the enemy’s name”

At the beginning of October, my mom sat me and some family members down and told us she discovered a lump in her breast. The Dr.’s didn’t want to say for sure that it was cancer quiet yet, but they suggested that she have it removed right away. Long story short, my mom flew to the Philippines with my dad to have emergency surgery to have the lump removed. It was, in fact, breast cancer. There was the enemy, staring all of us in the eyes. And it was smiling an evil grin. The power it had over me was scary. The overwhelming feeling of helplessness was so painful, I can’t even begin to describe it.

On Nov. 5th, Mom had her surgery and my uncle (who was her surgeon, thank God for him) removed the mass and discovered it had spread a bit. I was anxiously waiting for answers: When will she be healed? What happens from here? Does she need chemo or radiation? When can she come back home? When will our lives go back to normal? When can I give my mom a hug?

Toward the end of my Hawaii trip, my mom informed me that she met with the doctors and they told her she would  need chemotherapy/radiation treatments. My heart has was broken, I was speechless. There I was, in paradise, crying my eyes out at the pool of our beautiful hotel. I hid my face into my towel and just cried. I couldn’t stop. But I didn’t care, I love my mom so much and I couldn’t imagine her having to go through this. My mom is the sweetest and kindest person you’ll ever meet. Chemotherapy isn’t easy and I’ve seen the side effects and how hard the journey is first hand. I don’t want my mom to have to go through that. Heck, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Though I’m continuing to try to stay optimistic it scares me. I’m scared for my mom. But I always remember that she’s a true soldier. And with God she can overcome anything. We can overcome anything.

Through it all, though, I’ve been trying my best to see the silver lining. I found out today that my parents will be coming home on Christmas Eve. Yay! The one thing I wanted for the holidays was to spend time with my mom and dad. It’s my first holiday season without them. I wasn’t sure when I would see them, but to see a probable date of them coming home gives me hope. And though she does have to do her chemotherapy treatments, she can do them here where she has lots of friends and family to support her. I’ll be there there to support her.

Life isn’t easy. In fact, life’s a bitch. There’s lots of bad times, I know everyone has something troubling them. But there’s tons of good times too. To let the bad things be the center your life just lets the enemy win. And I’m never going to let them win. Though I’ve come to accept that life isn’t in our control, sometimes knowing the battle you have to face makes it a bit easier. And though the tunnel we’re walking through may be dark and extremely scary, we’re walking through it together as a family with the Lord guiding the way.

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