The Diary of a Happy Mom: 40 and Beyond

The trials and tribulations of an adventurous modern mom

When Life Gets Dark, Stay Strong

“Let me not Pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them”. – Rabindranath Tagore

Tour de Vanoise

“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard”. – Anne Sexton

A few days ago I got the phone call that made my heart stop.  Perhaps in the back of my mind I knew it was coming. It has been on my mind for two long months.  Yet still to receive the news and to hear that dreadful word cancer that cuts through your heart like a knife, has set my world into a dark, painful, frightened stage. A life of the unknown. Of sleepless nights. Of dreadful “what if’s”. Of inner turmoil and angst.

No one ever wants to hear the news that someone you dearly love has cancer. It is a life-threatening disease that evokes fear within people and unfortunately is not too uncommon. Sadly, each year over 12.7 million people are diagnosed with cancer. Some survive. Some do not.

So where does that bring me? Learning that someone I love unbelievably much has cancer? I would be lying if I said that I’m ok. This week has been hell. I’ve cried. I’ve been afraid. I’ve had sleepless nights of anxiety and concern. I’ve wanted to curl up in a ball and hide. I’ve not wanted to see people. To talk to people. I’ve put on a facade. A happy face on the outside while I’ve been bleeding on the inside. I’ve felt so utterly alone.

But I’ve learned that I can’t keep it a secret anymore. Life isn’t always a cup of tea. We all know that life is a mix of good and bad. Hopefully, we all will get more good than bad. It is all a matter of how you face the highs and lows that make the difference. It is all about keeping a positive attitude and never ever giving up hope. Once you do, you’re done.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path”. – Buddha

Tour de Vanoise

Life is a journey into the unknown. It is how we face it that makes all the difference.

Like most people, I’ve had my share of highs and lows in life. During some of my most serious lows, I never knew how I would possibly make it through. But I did. And I’m stronger because of it. Every terrible time in my life has taught me something surprising. How incredibly strong I am. A strength I never knew I had until I got through my worst fears and times, and thankfully everything turned out fine.

Annapurna Trek Nepal

A few years ago while facing severe postpartum depression, I never imagined I would climb to 18,000 feet in the Himalayas.

As I head into this dark week of the unknown and await the results of a biopsy which will tell us more of where this awful disease is at, I try to remain strong. I try to not let those scary thoughts drift into my mind and create a downward spiral into darkness. Instead, I will do my best to be strong, positive and hopeful that they have caught the cancer early like they did for my mother 30 years ago, and that my father, a man who I love with all my heart, will be fine. That we will be hiking the highest mountains together once again, and proving that life isn’t all too bad. In fact, life can be grand.

12 comments on “When Life Gets Dark, Stay Strong

  1. Wandermama
    August 31, 2013

    Hi. I am so so sorry about your dad. I have been through this before and I know how hard it is. Stay positive. And just like you did with the post share how you are doing. I will keep you in my prayers.

    • thirdeyemom
      September 1, 2013

      Thank you. I leave tomorrow and am a ball of nerves. I appreciate the kind words of support.

  2. Purnima
    August 31, 2013

    Dear Nicole,
    I know how you and your father toured some parts of the world and maybe I am right in saying you are close to him, very. Please be strong and confident that this dreadful phase in your life shall pass soon and all will be well soon. I truly believe so. Today if caught early, it is ok. I pray this has been an early stage. Stay positive.

    • thirdeyemom
      September 1, 2013

      Oh thanks Purnima. Yes my dad and I are very close. We’ve done some amazing trips over the years and I’m still hoping we will be climbing our next mountain together soon.

  3. SKEdaddle
    August 31, 2013

    I empathize with what you are going through as I have dealt with this myself many times ~ mother, father, father-in-law. Some are given more time than others, but the one thing I have learned through this all, and what made me able to let go of these people with a full heart, is that I spent as much time as I could, I said all the things I felt needed to be said and I expressed my love every opportunity I could. When it was their time to go, it did not necessarily make the process easier at that moment but i knew I had done all that I could, said all that I wanted to and when you have no regrets you have a full heart. I hope you have many more years but even so, we should all take advantage of each day to connect to those we love. ❤ I hope you find the strength and find your faith each day to get you through.

  4. Felisa Hilbert
    August 31, 2013

    OH, Nicole I just want you to know that I am here for you and that I love you and will keep praying for your father and all your family.

    • thirdeyemom
      September 1, 2013

      Thanks Felisa. Life isn’t always easy but we get stronger because of it.

  5. Nicole, I can’t “like” this post. But, I can send you my loving thoughts and hopes for your father’s speedy recovery. I know that you are worried, but don’t let those “what ifs” overpower you. Several years ago, my brother was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. His biopsy indicated that it was very tiny and fortunately they caught it in its early stages. He took the watch and wait approach as opposed to the operate now approach because prostrate cancer grows very slowly and he felt more damage would be done by operating. In the meantime, I researched everything I could find about prostrate cancer and called my brother everyday. The funny thing is, we seldom discussed his cancer. We told each other jokes and recalled stories of us growing up when he would torment me with dead lizards and earthworms. I sent him care packages of tomato paste and vitamins. Every three months his PSA results decreased, until after a year, they were back to normal. You’ve traveled the world and you know how fortunate your family is to be in the U.S. where health care isn’t as scary as ..let’s say India! Count your blessings, for you have many! Offer tender loving support to your father. Cry and laugh together. You are strong my amiga. I admire you for sharing your vulnerabilities in this post. I imagine it was probably a relief to share. Writing out my feelings always gives me strength to go forward and even look at a crisis from a different perspective. Always remember that you are loved. That’s the most important thing. Your love shines through in this post. I’m thinking of you and sending positive, healthy thoughts.

    • thirdeyemom
      September 1, 2013

      Oh thanks for such kind words. It is so scary. I am extremely close to my parents and travel with my dad a lot. He always inspires me to live my life to the fullest. He is also so incredibly healthy too despite the “c”. He runs, bikes, hikes, plays golf and swims and I can hardly keep up with him and he is 71! 🙂 Thanks so much for your support. I leave tomorrow and just pray for good results on Tuesday.

  6. Madhu
    November 15, 2013

    Oh Nicole, I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope he can beat this with the help of your love and support. Sending positive, healing thoughts his way. Stay strong, and take care.

    • thirdeyemom
      November 18, 2013

      Yes it is SO hard. He is getting his port today and chemo starts next week when I arrive in AZ. Hardest part is living so far away but at least I’ll be able to visit every 4-6 weeks. It is going to be a long haul but no other choice!

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2013 by in BODY, MIND & SOUL, Illness and tagged , , , , , , , .
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