Captivating post title, isn’t it? Truth is, the fact that I wanted to start a blog during one of the least creative and organized periods of my life is a bit ironic. Reality is, I have had the craziest 6 years and I have so much to share with people…waiting felt like a complete waste of time, so bear with me here.
If you haven’t read my “About” page yet, I recommend it…if nothing else but for a good laugh. To quickly summarize, married in 2012…from September 2013 to September 2017 we had four kids with no sets of multiples. And then in April 2018, while breastfeeding my fourth, I found a lump, which turned out to be breast cancer. Shortly thereafter, we made the move from Chicago to Minneapolis for an amazing job opportunity for my husband. Somewhere in those five years I battled (and I mean battled) postpartum anxiety twice. In fact, I found out I was pregnant with Rose (our fourth) two weeks after I was released from a four day “vacation” in the hospital following a severe bout of postpartum anxiety. Looking back on the last six years, I’m not sure how we are still standing – and a lot of days not only are we standing, but we are laughing and living.
This morning, a close girlfriend from college sent me this article. After reading it, I had the urge to sit down and write, and so here we are. I remember when I was first diagnosed with cancer and posted it on social media – so many people offered amazing words of encouragement. Several times I heard “God won’t give you more than you can handle”…and those words never sat well with me. I didn’t want to believe that God gave me cancer because I truly didn’t believe he did. Just like he didn’t give me postpartum anxiety…twice. What I do believe is that God wants us to rely on him more…or to “give it up to God”. As you might imagine, this is not easy for a control freak to do. But it is something I’m learning to do…because there are so many things in our life that, try as we might, we don’t have control over. As the saying goes, sh*t happens. Every day. To so many people. And cancer really is sh*t. But, I know my cancer could’ve been worse. And believe it or not there has been so much good that has come out of me having cancer. The people it has connected me to has been my lifeline. But most importantly, my life has been put into perspective…and someday soon I will write another post on that topic because that topic is LEGIT. But going back to that whole control thing and my “why” for this blog…
Over the years (yes, as I age), I have watched several friends go through this battle with breast cancer…one of my close friends was diagnosed at 32. I know in my heart that there has to be a reason, or at least something contributing to why this was happening to all of us. I am no doctor (although a lot of days, I pretend to be one with my kids), but every day we are reading about a new product that causes cancer. The food we eat, the products we put on our skin, what we use to clean, what we use to treat our lawns, the water we drink, the air we breathe…we are constantly being exposed to things that are now known carcinogens. I knew all of this for some time and had already started down the path of a cleaner lifestyle, but now that I was the one being handed a breast cancer diagnosis, it all became very personal.
Every day I am making small changes in the way we do things as a family. Because that is the thing. This is so much bigger than me now. I am now responsible for four little LIVES and that weighs heavily on me. I am making choices for them: what they eat for meals and snacks, what products I use to bathe them, protect them from a sunburn, vitamins to protect them from the next winter plague, their clothing. This is something I can control…and in the middle of a time of our lives where it feels like we have little control, that feels good.
This blog is going to be a lot of things and will evolve over time. We all have different perspectives, different things that we focus on, different things that we care more about. This blog isn’t a bible – it isn’t a road map that everyone needs to follow. But hopefully, by sharing my story and my perspective, I will inspire small changes where I can and where it is wanted, can provide hope where needed, or at the very least, provide a good laugh.