Friday, September 6, 2013

Story About a Cancer Girl

Once upon a time there was a girl who had her whole world crash in on her. She found out she was sick and that the only way to get better was to fill her body with poison. She lost her job, she lost her ability to run and be active, she could no longer take care of herself and new husband, and her physical appearance felt to her to have lost any semblance of femininity. She, a skinny girl to begin with, lost 25 pounds. She lost her hair, she lost her lashes, her skin became pallid, and her eyes, gaunt. She now waddles around with a cane and smiles back at the well-meaning people who stare and then timidly smile at this sick, pathetic woman.

She sometimes feels sad and bitter that the lively, awkwardly funny, disorganized educator and adoring wife she once was have now been replaced by a single title, "Cancer Patient."

Many people ask her, "What do you do all day since you're not working or going to school?" She laughs and replies that she asks herself the same question. She's filled with shame as she reflects on the last 9 months filled with hours of mindlessly surfing the web, watching TV, playing games, reading and occasionally trying new things like crocheting. She thinks about the fact that waking up in the morning isn't a challenge because of exhaustion, but because she is once again waking up to a morning without purpose. 

It sounds bleak, and for her, life sometimes is. But sometimes, she and her husband go grocery shopping. Her husband jumps on the back of the motorized shopping cart and they zoom down the aisles, laughing like there's no one else in the store. Sometimes her nurses tell her she is their very favorite patient and she takes pride in knowing it's true. Sometimes friends come over and play video games and they get fake-mad when they die playing Mario Kart. There are ice cream runs and Mini-golf dates. And sometimes, life is the opposite of bleak. It's exquisite.

And then sometimes life is peaceful, comforting, and consumed by the love she feels for and from others. After reading an inspiring scripture, talking with people she cares about, or getting swept up in meaningful prayer, she lets her eyes close and she slips into sleep without any fear or regrets. She sleeps peacefully knowing that life was never meant to be a series of simple, painless situations, but a series of heart wrenching events that, with help from our Heavenly Father and loved ones, help mold us into better, stronger people.

This isn't the first time that girl has blogged about her roller coaster life, and she certainly isn't the first to have a roller coaster life. We all are oscillating between enduring and enjoying life. No one is exempt. She just has the good/bad fortune of having her roller coaster life be in plain view.

I wanted to write about the good and bad of cancer and for some reason, writing it in the form of a short story seemed the easiest, though this doesn't even cover 1/1,000 of the things I've experienced and felt so far.

No matter what you believe, I hope you can feel the truth in this scripture and be overcome with the same peace I feel when I read it.

Doctrine and Covenants 58:3-4
Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. 


  1. Did I mention you're my hero? You're making it through the horrible, learning too much, and sharing it all with us though your amazing way with words. Love you Crystal! I think about you all the time!

  2. Wow. No one can say you don't have a way with words. You can control emotions with the flick of your wrist.

    We love you, Crystal! Thank you for sharing your life with us. You teach us about perspective, and hard work, and laughter, and peace. Who said you're not doing anything? You're still teaching!

    Keep up the good work. We're cheering you on every day! xoxo

    Love, Sheri

  3. I think I am your groupie or something. I love you SO much and everything you write. I make my roomies read your blog with me and basically everyone around. That scripture is so perfect. You have become one of my role models. I am not just saying that.

    I got my little sister to cut and donate her hair to cancer victims by telling her your story.

    You are doing great and touching people.
    I bet you didn't even know.

  4. Beautiful blog=post Crystal. You are so strong!

  5. This is possibly the most stirring blog post I've ever read. It made me want to be a better person and not take life for granted. You and Michael are great examples of faith. Thank you for being our friends.

  6. Beautiful story - and so are you, inside and (yes, even still) out. We love you.

  7. You are awesome and constantly in my thoughts and prayers. What an amazing post.