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  • Writer's pictureHolly Tomlin

Moving on...

Since my last post, I completed my chemotherapy treatment on September 29th. What a great day. My counts were actually all high enough to get treatment. Cory was with me and my sweet Daddy joined us too. It was such a special day having him there.  I rang the bell proudly. Here’s the video …

It’s been about a week and a half since I rang that bell. I have experienced so many emotions since that day. Much different than I expected. I anticipated being so happy; transitioning back to life pretty easily and getting back to reality and my routine activities. What my mind believes does not translate to the reality my body is feeling. That has been very tough for me. I had dinner tonight with my very dear friend Jodie. I was sharing with her how my week had gone, things I had done and things I had originally planned to start doing in the upcoming week. She looked at me like I had three heads. I actually had planned on starting back to Camp Gladiator on Monday. She couldn’t help but laugh at this craziness. But I was serious. Considering this week I can barely walk up a flight of stairs without my heart pounding, that’s probably not the best idea. In my mind, I really thought I would finish treatment and then within a week or two be back to feeling “normal”. It’s really hard to explain the emotional roller coaster I have felt this week. The past few months has caught up to me. Part of me is still in denial that I even had cancer and went through chemotherapy. Which is ridiculous right, I mean, look in the mirror. I have the hair of a 90 year old grandpa. How could it not be a reality to me? This week I have been trying to process all these feelings. I really feel like I am in a new phase of this journey. Phase 1 really for me was the first two weeks after diagnosis. It was the time of processing all the emotions that come with a cancer diagnosis. That time period is really still a blur. Phase 2 I would classify as the treatment phase. This was the 10 weeks of chemotherapy and feeling like crap. Life stands still for the most part during this phase. Well, treatment is done, so the next phase starts. Phase 3 is recovery and the transition back to “normal” life. Just like the beginning of anything new. I have no idea what to expect. It has certainly not gone how I thought. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful either. I am so thankful for successful treatment, for being alive, for so many things. It could look so different. One thing I have struggled with this week is how aware I am that everyone around me is living their lives and moving on. Not that is a bad thing either. I am just jealous. I want to move on and live life. I want to feel like myself again. Thinking through this brings conflict to my mind. I don’t want to be “normal” like I was before. I am not the same person I was three months ago. The Lord has shown me so much. I am different because of the understanding of His truth I now have. I have learned so much through this journey. So really, the conflict now lies in defining what my new “normal” is. How will I live my life? How will I use my time? How will I impact those around me? I can’t answer those questions right now. I have to continue to pray for the Lord to reveal those answers to me. His time is just different than mine J This week I had two neat experiences. I have been trying to get out and about and run errands, etc. I was at Home Goods on Wednesday and a lady stopped me in the aisle. Her name was Shelley. She said she felt the Lord had told her to pray over me. So she did. It was amazing. Not weird at all. Here I was standing in the middle of a store being prayed for by a stranger. Thank you Lord. Then on Thursday, I went to Target. I was in the car seat aisle and a lady came up to me and asked me where I got my hat. I’ve given up on the wig for the most part. It is hot, it hurts my head and is a lot of trouble. So, I have these comfy cotton beanie hats I wear. You could tell she was worried she might have offended me by asking, but quite the opposite. We got to talking and she shared that her 9 year old daughter is battling leukemia; that’s why she was asking about the hat. Ended up, we have mutual friends and I know her oncologists very well. Small world. It was so good for my soul speaking with her. Here I am in the middle of Target sharing parts of my journey and she’s sharing hers. Thank you Lord for that. These were both reminders that everything that has happened over the last few months is more than my small mind can grasp. So many times we try to put God in a box. There’s a bigger picture the Lord is weaving together for His good and His purposes. My pain is His gain. I have to keep my eyes on Him and not on myself. I have been following along with a daily devotional by Jennie Allen and the IF movement. This series is focusing on women of the bible and their struggles with fear and doubt. All of the same things women of our generation are struggling with. Really, women thousands of years ago are no different than the women of today. Just the circumstances of their lives are. I have learned so much and have felt so much peace knowing I am not alone. More than anything, by sharing my story and my struggles, I pray at least one other person will not feel alone. If someone else out there is struggling, I pray they will feel the comfort knowing that I am too. Really that we all are. We are all a hot mess.

I have to keep my eyes on Him, not on my circumstances. This scripture brings me full circle to the beginning of my journey when I was driving home from Florida. Everyone else was in the car asleep. I have shared this before, but as I was driving on the highway I clearly felt the Lord tell me “Keep your eyes on me, not on the road in front of you”.  I had to focus on Him and if I looked down at my own circumstances then all the balls would drop. Here I am almost three months later reading this scripture telling me the same thing. Trust in Him, focus on Him. Although my circumstances will always change and I can’t depend on anything, He never will. I can always depend on Him. Lord, give me strength as I begin this next phase of life. Use me for your glory. Every single smile and tear will be worth it. Jesus, this is all for you. Holly

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