How are you doing?

I apologize for my last post. It was so grim and uninspiring.
The thing is, I write my heart.
I try to have my heart in the right place, but sometimes I don't, just everyone else.
But we cover those times, hide them, keep them away from the public.
I don't like that. I like sharing my whole self.
Ever since I was a twelve year old writing my journals that go all the way back to 1998 to 2010 in journals and then on this blog, I always thought I was writing them so my kids could get to know the real me at that specific time.
Being honest and true and remembered is more important now than ever.
These are the words by which my daughters could know me if my nightmares come to life.

You see, I am afraid of spiders.
Most that know me know this, but most don't know why.
It all goes back to my parents divorce when I was 7.
I had a recurring dream about a black dragon. The dragon first appeared the day my mom told me my dad would no longer be her husband. She was taking a shower and I was sitting on the toilet cover when she told me. She was so nonchalant about it. " He is divorcing me, but not divorcing you."
The dragon would follow me through a poorly lit street where I would fall after running vigorously away from it and be devoured as I woke up.
Recurring means I dreamt it many times.
When I was in fourth grade I saw some classmates secretly passing a playboy magazine among them. I told the teacher.
The class bully was among them. In retaliation, during lunch time, he tied me to a chair in the back of the school with other boys and placed a spider on my face as I cried and screamed for help.
And people wonder why I don't want my girls going to elementary school. This was FOURTH grade!
My fear of spiders, which is substantial and conspicuous, was a forever trait my friends knew of me.
But it is a lot more deeper than you think.
My dragon dreams where replaced with spider dreams.

I don't know at what point I started viewing my spider dreams as prophetic.
I started seeing a pattern with them. When something bad was going to happen, I would dream with my black spider a few days before.

The day before I got the lab results from my tumor biopsy, I had a dream visit from the spider.
I was almost certain when I went to the lab that the result would be cancer. My spider had told me.
Any psychology doctor would tell me the dreams are not prophetic; they are a manifestation of my stress for a specific situation. I believe this is true.

I try not to think of it as having any meaning, but alas I am only human.
Last week my eight legged friend visited me in my dreams.
I woke up crying and scared to my core.
I wanted to wake up my husband and have him console me and tell me everything was ok, it was just a dream. He was so tired I didn't. It took all my strength to go back to sleep.
Right now I am writing this post to avoid continuing to read on recurrent breast cancer.
I can't shake the feeling the spider dream means cancer is returning.

People have been asking how am I doing?
I usually answer that I have a hard time answering that question.
I know they want to hear I am ok, fine... cured?
But I am none of those or one of those.

I am not ok.
The plethora of symptoms from chemo, radio, surgery, early menopause plague my every moment so strongly I don't know how I keep it together in front of people.
Today I was feeling fine and then, for a moment, I wasn't.
I called my husband crying. "What is wrong?" he asked.
"Nothing. Everything. I don't know. I just felt like crying." I replied.
And then I kept on with my day as nothing happened.
I don't understand this.
I don't understand myself, my thoughts, my emotions.
My girls giggling brings me so much joy and the next second I am back to feeling empty.

I've been talking to a fellow PTSD friend on what are our life-lines.
He shared his was holding fast to God's promises. I told him mine was intentional aggressive gratefulness. I told him I was having trouble being grateful, and he told me he was having trouble having quiet time with God seeking those promises. We agreed on exchanging life lines.
For the first time in a very long time, I read my Bible diligently.

I've been feeling a lot better since grabbing hold of a promise in Romans.

Romans 5
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

I wrote in my journal that I might feel this love poured into my heart as I wasn't.
I have. 
I like how it says hope won't be ashamed. 
I feel that is one of the main reasons I try not to hope. 
What if I hope I am cured and it turns I am not?
What if I tell everyone God made the miracle with me, and then I find myself battling recurrent metastasic stage IV breast cancer? 
I would give it a good spin and say the miracle was within not in healing my cancer, but deep inside my hope for a cure would be ashamed.
The hope this chapter is talking about it the hope of heaven, life after this broken world. 
That hope won't be ashamed. 
But I want to hope for healing. 
I want to hope for watching my girls grown up into beautiful ladies. 
I want to hope for growing old with my husband. 

People ask how I am doing from a true place of concern and also of hope I am doing ok. 
But I can tell they want me to tell them I am ok. When I don't, they reassure me I am ok. 
That hurts a little bit. 
I am not ok, and I don't know when I'll be ok again. 
And I can't rush it. I am trying to. Trust me, I would rather skip forward and get to the ok part. 
People want to rush it for their own well being as well. The sooner I am ok, the sooner they feel better about my situation. But the rushing makes me feel unacknowledged and an inconvenience. 
And that just makes me feel guilty. 
But what else is people suppose to do? Not ask how I am doing? 

This falls into the zone where only God can provide any comfort. 
Oh, how I must hold tight to Him. 
I need to let go of my anger with Him. 
I need to thank Him for Kinsley and for her death. 
As oxymoron as that sounds, it is what my soul needs: to thank Him for her death. 
Thank Him for my sufferings. Hold to the promise that my sufferings are a partake of Christ's sufferings to perfect my faith. 
My faith is far from perfect. I am not even able to hold my tongue from using bad words when hitting my pinkie toe with the edge of some furniture. It is far from having the fruits of the Spirit present to have one day of homeschooling where I do not raise my voice to my girls. 
But I am still here. I am persevering... ? 
Will I finally get some Christ-like character next to reach that desired hope?

So my answer to how am I doing?
I am done with treatments. 
I am recovering from my surgeries. The hysterectomy cut still hurts. The mastectomy cut has opened in one place, but after a week of oozing, it's finally... normalizing? 
Neuropathy is ever present. 
My most-hated lymphedema worsens and improves intermittently. 
Menopause has yet to hit me full force. 
Trying to eat ketogenic.
I am trying to battle with all my strength my stress from my fear of cancer coming back. Learning to navigate the turbulent waters of hormonal mood swings. Trying not to care so much for my physical appearance, even though it does bring me down.
I am trying to thank God for a most-hurtful "no" to a prayer. 
I am having a blast with homeschool, learning to keep my cool, learning from the girls, and loving being with them. Admiring my husband more each day, learning not to snap at him, learning to be more present and not drift to my hideaways. 

I'm a wreck, people. 
That is the honest truth. 
But I will hold unto one more promise, which I hold to very tightly:

2 Corinthians 12
9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.


  1. Some people don't know how to give others permission to grieve in emotionally honest ways. They are too afraid of not looking proper. When a person comes to the end of themselves in their suffering, an honest and real response is more refreshing than a dressed up, pretending-to-be-joyful response. You do you, Linda. I hope that God, who gave us the capacity to feel indignant, and modeled it, will understand.

  2. Your honesty and 'trust' is a "Gift" to us all. I love how you 'share your heart'openly,without having to 'apologize' for wanting to 'relieve the pain that others may be feeling',because they love you and being 'dishonest' in your answer's to those question's that 'demand you be 'real',despite how others may be being 'brave'in your answer's,you are inspiring so many other's going thru similar hard journey's of their own (So many in this MFC) can relate to you...and you are 'teaching us all' how to 'better relate' to someone going thru so much hard,and what they 'need' most; Compassion w/o judgement;prayers for your 'real need's',for your family as a whole,since you are all 'connected' and 'affected' by this cross you have been 'chosen' to bear.*And we will ALL be bearing,in one form or another...if we are HIS. There is no 'crown without the Cross'.To follow Jesus is to walk in 'bloody footstep's'...but I know that the end of this journey will be 'worth it all',when you see Jesus,and His scars."Real,Raw,Painful Scars of Pure Love" for His Bride.I love you,dear Sister,and keep you close in prayers.All of you.

  3. Animo Linda!la conozco hace tanto tiempo. Usted es una hija de Dios. Seguimos orando para que un día a la vez. Demos gracias por sus pruebas. Aunque sea duro en momentos de tanta prueba decirle te amo y gracias. Es cuando es más. Necesario hacerlo y la paz del Señor que sobrepasa todo entendimiento la cubrirá. Y dará. La fuerza qye necesita para comenzar una nueva mañana. Todo este proceso nos ha enseñado mucho. Y lo sigue haciendo. Cadenas de oración. Ha desatado. Para su vida y su familia. Dios le de fortaleza. Recuerde un día a la vez.