Sweet and sour


When life hands you lemons…. put them in your bra to make your boobs look bigger.

I am called strong all the time. I don’t really know why. I have cancer I am not running a marathon. More often than not I am happy. I laugh. But it is never the same as before I was sick. I do not feel that light feeling anymore. Its a feeling you do not know you have until it is gone. The feeling of being unburdened. But I do feel happy. I do enjoy this life that I have burdened as it is.

Usually I make a deal with myself that if I feel like crying I go ahead and cry. I cry in private for about a minute. I stop the tears after that. I know that may sound strange..but honestly I think if I just let it go it will never stop. It just seems to feed itself and I just keep crying. I cry in private because I do not want to be pitied. I do not need someone to tell me how bad this is I know it. So I impose these strict rules for engaging in emotional outbursts. But to me it seems like a good way to beat back “depression” and wallowing.

If I am going to wallow in something I chose God’s grace. Or the sweet love of my baby. Or the attention of my children. Or the genuine care of my friends. I want to wallow in something good. Not pity. I honestly believe that there are worse things that could happen. I won’t even name them but you know I am right. There are simply too many blessings in front of me to cry all the time. And as I say all the time…life is short especially mine. I need to embrace this time and enjoy my lovely family.

So in rare moments I do let my guard down but not for long. Maybe this is what has helped me avoid the emotional pitfalls associated with terminal illness. But I do have my moments. Self doubt. Resentment. Anxiety. But I try to work it out. Pray. Meditate. Count my blessings. I try to enjoy life and laugh. Even with that gnawing burden. Life is still sweet.

5 Responses to “Sweet and sour”

  1. Heather says:

    Part of being strong is not allowing yourself to wallow in the pity, to get up and try to figure out another solution to a problem, to be there for your family and friends in light of your situation, no matter what that may be.
    A marathon runner has physical strength and stamina and metal strength.
    You, Andrea Collins Smith, have spiritual and emotional and mental strength. I would take that over running any day.
    Besides, my fat @$$ doesn’t run for anything but my kids. lol
    Life has hurdles, no matter what, frustration and anger builds and you need to let it out, if that means crying for a few minutes, then do it. Scream into the pillow, or out in the middle of nowhere, go hit a baseball or a punching bag. Get it out and you’ll feel so much lighter.
    You seem to handle everything with patience, grace and humility. I only wish to have the same as I grow older.

  2. reader says:

    I sensed your incredible strength in your comment at WhyMommy’s blog. You sound amazing! Know that even more prayers are being lifted for you and for your young ones!

  3. melanie says:

    You are absolutely amazing. I have been having a hard time this past week with an intense course of chemo and just feel like death. Reading your blog makes me feel bad for being so negative and jump starts my positive vibes. I know we are going through different things, but I get strength from you and so continue to stay in touch and read your words. They’re so important to me now.

  4. WhyMommy says:

    Hi. I’ve read your latest entries over and over this morning. Searching for … I don’t know … but I think I found it. You and I are going through such a hard time right now. I’m glad that you’ve got such good support from family and friends. I will definitely stick around and hope to become one of those friends — your words move me.

  5. Renee Khan says:

    We are all so different and our situations are all so different. I have IBC and have 3 adult children, so I know I am fortunate. I am 51 and know that I am not 37 and so I know I am fortunate. I also know that I have Stage 4 and that I am not fortunate. I know that I want my other 30 years that everyone else is expected to have to be in my 80s and therefore I know I am not fortunate.

    Your post really struck me because I believe in keeping it “Real” not keeping it “Strong”. However I also know that when you have small children you have to keep it strong otherwise they may be afraid. I think little children so look up to their parents and if the parents look less than fearless than the children feel fear as well. Having said that I have been able to have the luxury of keeping it real, as my children are adults.

    It just touched me so much that you have cried for a few minutes and then stop yourself in fear that you may never stop. I was there, I cried for a solid two weeks, every single day, all day long. I want you to know that I did stop and I have never looked back (well not totally). I know we are all different, but for me, it was healing to let it all out and not push anything back down in my soul for another day. I needed to cleanse myself and I was able too. I know that would be very different with small children, also it may not be something you would ever want to do. Take care Andrea and God Bless you.

    Renee Khan