Why Things Have Been Quiet- A Life Update
September 2018 // By Natalie Jean
Hey friends! I can't believe its been almost 4 weeks since the last post on A Tiny Traveler Blog. Time flies when you're having fun... and sometimes when you're not having fun.
If you follow me on Instagram you probably already know the story, but I wanted to bring A Tiny Traveler readers up to speed. Things have been quiet and a bit slow over here on the blog because I just wasn't feeling motivated to write about anything. I didn't have any ideas and I felt like if I tried to wing it, it would come off as forced or fluff. So I decided to just be patient with myself and wait until I had the motivation again.
The reason why I've been unmotivated to write and quiet on A Tiny Traveler is because I recently found out I have cancer. Woah, that is so weird to see typed out like that. I have cancer. Something that I always believed was what happened to other people. Something I couldn't get. I don't smoke. I don't eat a bunch of over-processed junk. I'm pretty sure I don't live on top of a radioactive waste site. I'm only 25 years old.
All kinds of thoughts and emotions swirling around inside me these days. And its hard to even feel justified in my worry, fear, sadness, confusion, etc. because the type of cancer I have is on my thyroid. Thyroid cancer is apparently the type of cancer that you want to have if you get cancer (which is another weird thing to say). Its really treatable and pretty common, but still. No one wants it!
I've been feeling at a point between "am I allowed to be sad and confused and worried?" and "I'll be fine... some people don't seem to think its a big deal so neither should I." Its weird to have those thoughts and feelings of not being allowed to own my illness. Its in the category of invisible illnesses too I guess. But I'm not having severe side effects or visible deficiencies, etc. so I often find myself wondering "am I even allowed to be upset about this?"
So all that being said, my emotional rollercoaster has been in full force. I've been journaling, trying to stay positive, praying, and reading my Bible but I still felt like I needed a small break from the blog. Its been a couple of weeks and I just felt like I owed it to people that I claim to be transparent with, that they should know whats going on.
My family and friends have been so kind and supportive and to all those checking in and sending encouragements on instagram, I just want to say thank you. As someone who values quality time and talking with people, I've been trying to fill the moments of fear with moments of conversation and the moments of worry and questions with those surrounded by loved ones.
Going through life isn't easy for anyone, especially in your twenties. There are ups and downs and experiences that teach us so much, who wants a cancer scare on top of it? No one. For that matter, no one wants any kind of sickness or disease or frightening experience! But they happen and we have to figure out how to deal with them in a positive way. You want to come out a better person.
This isn't a post with "5 ways to get through hard times" or anything like that. Its just sort of an update and a little time for me to share my thoughts and emotions through this time. We recently just passed the one year anniversary of my father-in-law's passing from lung cancer and its been tough. And now this? We can try not to think about it and then I'll wake up in the middle of the night unable to breath. We can talk about it and try to make it seem "not so scary" but then I feel guilty for any worry I might feel. Trusting that God is in the details somewhere is so important to feel peace but its also hard to do some days! Just being totally honest.
Another thing that I've come to find in all of this is that everyone and their mother has a story, opinion, and piece of advice for you. I am beyond grateful to hear them all. I love getting to hear how others have dealt with their fear, pain, and recovery. It lets me know that I'm not alone in this. One thing I've realized however is that if you decide to share something personal online, you better be ready to get weird messages from total strangers and people telling you that if you believe + pray hard enough you'll go in to your next appointment and they won't find anything. To me, that is a beautiful notion, but after 4 years of praying for my father-in-law and his health fluctuating and then declining in his final weeks, it seems unrealistic. Then I badger myself for not having enough faith. Man, its wild how one diagnosis can totally test your faith and make you grow and show you the areas in life where maybe you thought you were good to go and then realize, "eh, not so much."
Please keep myself, my family, and especially Mark in prayer. We can seem strong and positive, but there are really hard times and moments where just having the love and support and prayers for peace from others mean so very much!
If you are struggling with something similar and need a friend to talk to, please feel free to comment below or message me on Instagram. You can also keep up with my journey and doctor's visits, etc. on instagram stories. My surgery is scheduled for mid-October so fingers crossed I will be fine and dandy come Thanksgiving and Christmas!