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Choosing Gratitude in the Unknown

There is a lot of stress happening around here at the moment as we are preparing for the next phase of change in our lives.  After a diagnosis of breast cancer just before Christmas, lots of doctor visits and tests and probes and long-seeming waits, I am heading in for surgery this Monday.  They will take the cancer and my breasts, reconstruct them (the breasts, not the cancer), and hopefully send me on my way with a clean bill of health.  There might be further drug treatment, but that is an unknown for now.  Matt, at the same time, is awaiting approval on a request to transfer over to the Navy Band, and if that happens there will be change in his/our location.  There is a lot we don’t know, like where we will be and what Matt will be doing in a month (or three, or six) from now, how the recovery and reconstruction process will go for me, and how our family and children will handle the next few weeks… and the next few months… and actually the next year or two.

But, really, not knowing is not new.  We all generally think we “know” where we are heading, how we’ll get there, what is going to happen; we think we’ve got control, but really we don’t.  Accepting being in a place of not knowing has been a big lesson for me since we began this Navy experience, as there is a lot we are not told, or told one way and then again a different way, or told at the very last minute… and we certainly have no idea where we will go next, how we’ll get there, or why.  And as frustrating as this has been for me, I am grateful for the experience, because I feel more calm than I maybe ever have before.  I know I’ll be OK, that my family will be housed and fed and connected, so I can let go of worrying about figuring it all out and just be where I am.  And I can look for the good things about my situation.

That is where I am with this cancer, too.  I have it, I will deal with it, I will do the best I can and I will move on.  And I will be grateful for the things that are good about this, like that we have medical coverage, that I am young and strong and will bounce back quickly, that it was caught early and the rest of my body seems to be free of it, that I have highly skilled surgeons working with me, and that I have so many people thinking of me, loving me, and praying for me.

I did mention at the beginning that there is stress happening around here, and as much as I want to say I’m totally fine and calm, it isn’t true.  I do feel anxious right now about the unknowns ahead, but I also know that when I get a good night’s sleep and clear my monkey-mind, I remember that it is what it is, it will go how it goes, and it is OK.  I am strong, capable and brave and so is my family.

And so are we all.

Thank you for your prayers and connection.  I’ll keep you posted.

Brooke - Jessica, I would have to say that you are the strongest woman I know at the moment! I am in awe of you and your family and how you guys are handling everything. Right now we are in the unknown with where we are going, but we don’t have an unknown medical diagnosis! You are truly amazing, and we are thinking of you guys alot here in Montana.
I hope Matt gets his Navy band orders also! That would be great for you guys!

Jill - Acceptance is so important. It’s tempting to stay in the stage of asking ” why does this have to happen?”, but it sounds like you have already moved beyond that. I can’t imagine going through what you are, but like brook said, it sounds like you are conquering these hurdles!

Susie - Dear Jessica,,
Thank you for this post, yes there are so many unknowns, and also you listed alot of knowns, you have great courage and a wonderful husband to stand by you and so many people that love you and are praying for you. It is still scary but it helps so much to know you aren’t alone in this. My love and heart are there with you Monday, praying for you and the surgeons taking care of you, I wish i was closer and could be of more support, please know that i care so much and love you and your precious family. God bless you sweet girl!

Grandpa Crown - “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon.
We’ll all be with you and loving you tomorrow.

Roger - Jessica…fight like a girl!!!

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