Staying Connected

Every month the local CFR girls try to get together for a night to catch up and the opportunity to stay connected. Tonight only two of us were able to make it,  but I’ve never regretted making the time and effort to come. There is something to be said about connecting with people who understand you on a level that no one else can. When you go through an illness or catastrophic event like cancer, it forever changes you. When you undergo treatments like chemotherapy, you don’t come out of it the same. Sometimes when I am talking about a change in myself that I’ve noticed since chemotherapy and I’m explaining it to someone who’s never personally gone through it, I feel like they think I am being melodramatic or a hypochondriac and that I am using my treatment as an excuse to this madness. Tonight I was talking to my good friend, Melissa about my new bouts with anxiety and  how certain things seem to really trigger it like finances and feeling rushed or unprepared. She totally got it. I didn’t feel crazy telling her what I expect caused it, because she gets it. She understands that even after the treatment is over, you are forever changed. Our girlfriend Dani had an amazing analogy of just this. She told us a story about how it’s like you’re running in a race and getting cancer is you stepping out of the race to catch your breath on the sidelines. Life doesn’t slow down, you just see everyone passing by. Then you finish treatment and your hair grows back and you start to look healthy again so people start calling you back into the race. The problem is, you’re different, you’re changed. You can’t keep up with the race and part of you doesn’t even want to.

That’s kind of where I’m at in my own personal race. Since going back to work especially, I feel like I am back in the race, but slowly getting lapped. I look at all the lessons I learned in the past year and all of the things that God has put a passion in my heart about and I wonder if I’m even at the right race. I see other runners rushing by so fast that my hair moves with them, yet as soon as they pass everything turns into slow motion and I see on their backs words spelling out different directions I should be taking in my life. For some reason though, I’m hesitant and maybe even a little scared to take the first step.

It’s like that old wise-tale about the man who is promised a big fortune from winning the lottery and after years of not receiving it he questions God about why that is and God simply answers, YOU MUST BUY A TICKET FIRST MY SON!

I am so blessed and grateful to have my job back and I know that right now it is important to help my family out in whatever way I can financially. I also understand that it’s necessary to get me to where I’d like to be.  Maybe it will be months, maybe it will be years, but I know that I won’t get to where I want to be if I never take the first step. The easy way would be to just continue the current race because I know the scenery and I’ve raced in it before. The path to my passions, however, is on new land. Land with steep hills and  mud puddles. No one said running with mud caked to your shoes would be easy, but then again if it were, people wouldn’t be living with so many “what if’s” now would they?

When I left my date with Melissa tonight some of the feelings I felt were inspired, empowered, understood, and encouraged (just to name a few). That is what staying connected is all about. Keep people in your life that make you feel this way. Don’t waste your time hanging around people who make you doubt yourself or leave you with a negative outlook on life. We were not put here on this planet to just be ordinary. Each of us have gifts and it’s our choice on what we do with them. I feel like I got breast cancer at such an unlikely age for a reason. I know that because of my struggles and hardships I can now reach out to and relate to people I otherwise would have nothing in common with. I feel that my wisdom from all of this is a gift and it’s my job now to figure out what I am supposed to do with it.

My resolution this year was to help make our financial situation better, but that’s not good enough. I realized on my drive home tonight that although I am improving our current situation by going back to work, I am still just jumping back into the same old race. I know this race and it’s within my comfort zone. It’s a race I can settle for and be content with, but it’s not a race I am passionate about. So in addition to that…

TODAY…

Right this minute…

I AM ON MY MARK…

I AM SET…

…I have officially taken my first lunge across the starting line to my new race. A race of self discovery, of new lessons, and a race of purpose.

Wish me luck!

5 Comments

Filed under Enjoying Life, Life After Cancer

5 responses to “Staying Connected

  1. Shauna

    Hugs and good luck! I love your blogs, they make me want to be a better person. This really hit home for me: :Don’t waste your time hanging around people who make you doubt yourself or leave you with a negative outlook on life. We were not put here on this planet to just be ordinary. Each of us have gifts and it’s our choice on what we do with them”. Thank you for be so open and honest! Love ya!

  2. Very well written. Good luck :)

  3. Shana

    Absolutely brilliant ~ Good Luck, Beautiful!

  4. Debbie

    Good Luck with your race.
    I am in Pocatello and I was wondering where do you ladies get together for your CFC get together? If I or other fellow CFR’s are ever in your area we would love to join you.

  5. Nicole Cassity

    Hi Debbie- We usually get together on the 2nd week every month. Lately it’s been the 2nd Friday of every month. Before that it was the 2nd Tuesday. If you or anyone else is ever in the area the 2nd week of the month send me an email or give me a call and I’d love to let you know where we are meeting. It changes almost every time. :-)

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