I woke up this morning with a strange feeling on my heart. As I turned to look at the calendar, I realized that today is March 3rd. A year ago I spent the morning in the hospital, under bright lights and the careful hands of a surgeon. She carefully removed a breast tumor that caused much anxiety beforehand, and much pain afterwards. I could not have predicted how such an event as surgery shifted my life plan. I had to learn to see the blessing in the hardship, and come to the realization that in those moments, I was exactly where I needed to be.
The night before I had surgery, I spent five hours curled up with my computer talking with Fern on Skype. He eased my heart and my anxiety towards the idea of surgery, and gave me the courage to take the situation head on. Little did I know, he would be flying over from New Zealand and traveling up to Oregon two weeks later.
Life moved slow in the days that followed surgery. I slept most of the day, but when I was awake I tried to distract myself from pain. Anything that involved movement was almost unbearable. Even sitting in cars with invasive seat belts and rumbling motors hurt my healing wound. It would not be until several months later that I would stop feeling the pain of it, and all the tissue that was slowly attempting to put itself back together.
A year ago, I thought I would be in graduate school this year and pursuing my academic pursuits. When I learned of the tumor, I was devastated and felt stunted from growth. Yet, in all those hours alone, I found new pieces of me to grow and nurture. I learned to slow down and actually take care of myself for once, and found myself once again dazzled by stories that filled my mind with other worlds. I also realized that if I was not slowed down from the hundreds of doctor appointments I was going to, I may not have nurtured the beginning stages of talking with Fern across the sea. All that pain and uncertainty is beyond worth it to have found my partner in life.
I could not have predicted how the last year has been, let alone predict that I would be living in the cold winter air of Montana. I find myself reflecting with appreciation on the slow days where I stared out the window cause I was not allowed to go outside on medication without supervision. I used to sprint until I crashed, but now I find myself walking steadily to take on each day as it comes. Some days I still wake up with the pain and fatigue at its worst, but most days I wake up with the determination to make the day a productive and valuable one.
If it is one thing that surgery teaches you, it is to appreciate every single day. The good, the bad, and the ugly of life all will wave in seasons in your life. Each season holds something different if you choose to learn and grow. A year ago I had surgery, but it has not hindered my determination to cultivate a healthier life while achieving my dreams.
Despite continuous car troubles and the financial struggle of being on our own, I am happy. I have the greatest man by my side, one who has been there for each recovery process in the last year, and never gives up on me. I am building a career through writing by working hard every day, and I am expanding my horizons with the styles of writing I attempt. I am sleeping normal hours and actually taking care of myself, all the while appreciating this precious time in the mountains.
At the end of this month, life will begin to move very fast as we round up our lives to head off again into the world. Come April, we will both be heading off to New Zealand to Fern’s homeland.
If you are interested in helping support us to make the next stage of life happen, please check out our GoFundMe page. We are selling everything we can to be able to make up for the car troubles of this season and to help us along in our move across the sea. Any help or encouragement is welcome, and we appreciate you being a part of our story.
This past year has been a whirlwind of hardships and adventure, but it has been such a year of growth. And the future is all the more promising.
Love and Light,