Sunday, August 1, 2010

Collecting Pebbles in My Pockets

Yesterday marked one year since I sat in a doctor's office while he told me "You have ductal carcinoma" I don't remember his name but I do remember how it felt, in fact I will never forget how it felt. Within a few days we knew we needed a 2ND opinion, and within a month I was told I had not only one type of cancer but two different types of cancer and 3 lumps. I was scheduled at the Mayo Clinic for a Bi-Lateral Mastectomy, to happen within a couple of weeks. 1st I needed to get my son off on his mission, so on Sept 23rd we flew him to Utah where he entered the MTC, tears fell from both our eyes knowing we would not see each other for 2 years. 5 days later I was in the Mayo Hospital having a double mastectomy, I was then diagnosed with stage 3c breast cancer. 2 days after surgery I was told it had spread to the lymph nodes and I needed another surgery, the next Monday I had another surgery. This brought a wave of emotions too difficult to relive right now. Next, some recovery, then plan a wedding to take place on November 14Th, it was a beautiful day and wonderful night. 2 days later start a long process of chemo therapy and expansions. December we had our 1st grand baby born Recker J Roussel. After many long months of chemo, I had radiation for 6 weeks. And now here I am one year later, with a lot of fear still on my mind, but a softer heart than when I started.

I don't think I can ever put into words the feelings I have had this year. I have tried so hard to record it all for my posterity but for some reason it just does not seem like enough. My life has been blessed truly beyond what I ever though it could be, or I deserved. I know without a doubt that HE LIVES, I have felt HIM touch my life so many times, HE has taken the pain away on days when I thought I could not go on anymore, HE has lifted me to new heights spiritually. Never before in my life have I been more in tune with who I am. I look at ordinary people differently, I smile at things most people (including myself a year ago) would never smile at. I believe everyone is special to someone, everyone is a daughter or son of our Heavenly Father. People have emailed me from all over the world and asked me about my faith, people I don't know and all I can say is it is so important to have a belief of something or in someone, for me it is faith and love for Jesus Christ, I accept HIM as my Savior and believe HE died for all of us, he Atoned for all of our sins. The trials and tribulations that we all have in our lives can be so hard and sometimes seem to never end, but through the Gospel of Jesus Christ I have learned to rely on the Lord for guidance and strength.

I have discovered that I am a stronger woman than I ever thought I could be. I KNOW I can do hard things, really hard things. I recognize the people in my life who care and love me, I have learned that I have a lot of love to give, even to strangers I can listen and learn and never forget. I've learned that the attributes I want to have in my life are charity and love, virtue, patience and humility. I have the rest of my life to work on these, I want to work on them not because I think it's what I should do but because it's who I want to be.

HOPE is the anchor of my soul, HOPE is trusting in something better to come. For me having FAITH in Jesus Christ means I accept HIM as my Savior and Redeemer it means I trust that HE loves me unconditionally. I have also learned to be diligent in my studying, I wanted to know all I could about the VILLAIN so I increased my knowledge. reading everything I could get my hands on about breast cancer. I also made a personal goal to not only read but study the scriptures and Preach My Gospel daily, this has brought great comfort to me.

Tears fill my eyes when I think about my family, I love them all so much and could not have survived this past year without their loving arms around me. I've learned to be grateful for every breath of life I take, to enjoy the beauty of the earth, to appreciate all of our seasons of life. Every moment I get to spend with my husband and family means more to me than ever before. A house, car, boat, big diamond, condo in Mexico or cabin in the Woods is not what makes me happy, those things are just that ....THINGS ..... and they simply don't matter to me in the eternal scheme of life.

Sometimes, I think when we're climbing mountains we think to ourselves " will l ever reach the top?" but when we do and the view is clear it's then that we look back and realize that it was just a little sand hill, we learn that along the journey we had what we were searching for right in our hands the entire time ....... and that my friends is LOVE, love of a family, love of friends, and love of a Heavenly Father who never left our side, not for a minute. I've been collecting Pebbles in My Pockets during my climb, each one represents something or someone who has touched my life, I can take them out now and then and remember those precious moments that touched my life so deeply this year. Thank You, Thank You for your support and love through this up hill climb of mine. I love you.

Although my future is still unsure, and the doctors will not tell me I am cancer free I can honestly say I am the happiest I have ever been in my life.


Angela Brian said...

this is so beautiful.

it is incredible that although you had an extremely trying past year, you are still able to come out and claim this moment in your life the happiest yet.

i am so proud of you.

i can't even imagine how difficult this past year must have been, but you were able to work through the tough, and push through the impossible.

you are amazing.

absolutely amazing!


Anonymous said...


Wendi said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for always reminding us of the REAL importance in life. HIM. I really felt the spirit in Primary today during sharing time. I had prepared something so different and prayed really hard on the way there that the children would know who He is before I am one day released, and when I started doing sharing time my whole plan changed and before I knew it the room was filled with such a tender spirit. HE IS REAL thank heavens I am reminded of that so frequently. You are amazing.

Marilyn said...

Love you Monya...and so happy for the place you are now....what a journey this has been and what a great traveler you've become. I am proud of you, inspired by you, and so happy for you!!

Loretta Valenta said...

What a wonderful milestone to have reached -- one that I know probably seemed like forever in front of you at the time.

I love the scripture from Helaman 5:12
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

What a beautiful thing that you have "remembered".

Anonymous said...

Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!

Anonymous said...

Hi there

Just wanted to show my appreciation for your time and hard work