With all of the love and support that has continually been given to me via all different types of social media it is a pretty cool way to feel loved, encouraged and special during such a weird time. At the same time, my story has been shared with/by people all over the country. People of all ages, religions and ethnicities have shared my GoFundMe link or have sent me messages on Instagram and Facebook. In fact, as of today my GoFundMe story has been shared over 1.2K times. WHOA. If that right there isn’t a beautiful blessing I don’t know what is. Although I would say 99% of these messages and notes have been nothing but positive and inspiring messages, I have also received some that have thrown me for a loop. People have commented on posts or shared messages with me that ALL isn’t something that will “go away” or that “it will come back.” They have experienced this themselves or they know of someone who fought ALL initially and unfortunately was re-diagnosed later in their life. So I PANICKED. If we are being real, anxiety (which I’ve never had before) took hold of me and I spiraled. I couldn’t sleep, thought worst case scenario thoughts and totally ugly cried in the bathroom for awhile. I even did what every single Dr. has said NOT to do, I googled “Is ALL Curable.” HAHAHHA. You bet your bottoms my Dad got a phone call from me in full blown tears. Turns out yes, ALL can come back. But it can also be cured forever. In fact, it is a blessing that I was diagnosed when I was because I am young. Young adults have a lot higher chance of “cure” than older individuals.
With all of this spiraling in my head I tried to formulate some sort of lesson I could take out of my first (of many) freak out’s during this process. I’ve been listening to Christian, Motivational and Inspirational Podcasts regularly since July 11, 2020 (also LOL that I was diagnosed on National Slurpee Day and I didn’t even get a slurpee). I have jotted down notes about things that I thought would be beneficial to my mental health during this process. And it turns out, one of the lessons I’ve come across directly links back to this thing called “worry”.
WORRY = INSECURITY ABOUT YOUR FUTURE
Being worried is something I have struggled with my whole life actually. The “what-if’s” as my Dad calls them. What if I don’t have any friends at my new school. What if I don’t get asked to the school dance. What if I don’t get into college. What if I picked the wrong career. What if my broken heart never heals. What if I’m a bad dog owner and Bubba dies. What if I never find someone who loves me the way everyone wants to be loved. The list GOES ON. But looking back, every worry (i.e. insecurity about my future) that I’ve ever had hasn’t come true. LOL that I wasn’t ever worried about being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 26 but that’s besides the point. The point of all of this is that the energy we put towards worrying about things out of our control is a complete waste of our energy. I could sit here and worry that my ALL is going to come back someday, but I could also die in a car accident tomorrow (I know kind of dark, but provides needed prespective). We can’t waste our days, especially the good days, worrying about the what-if’s in life. We have to have faith that God knows what the heck he is doing. We have to have faith that you will come out on the other side of whatever dark, difficult place you’re currently in and be better for it. We have to use the energy spent worrying to just roll with the punches and live the best life you can every time you wake up and trust the process. We have to trust that once your difficult season in life passes, a beautiful future is waiting for you.
Let me give you an example.
As most of you know, I was in a decently long relationship (6ish years). We met at 18, did the whole college thing and then moved in together when we both started working full time. Things didn’t end up working out and I was left shattered into a million pieces. I legitimately thought my life was over and that I was dying for sure. The whole can’t eat, can’t sleep thing was 100% where I was at. I couldn’t imagine there ever being someone better than him out there waiting for me. I thought I was going to be single until I died and I began accepting that. For about a year, I dated here and there and eventually found myself again. I know very cliche, but I did. Looking back at that relationship I realized I lost myself entirely. I lost the fun-loving, carefree, happy Kayla that I am today. I tried so hard to make things work by changing not only myself but him as well. Ladies, take it from me. You cannot change someone. No shot. Not matter how hard you try IT WILL NOT WORK. So instead of trying to force something, accept that maybe things aren’t meant to be and focus your energy on going out and finding the person God intended you to be with. Once I shifted gears, focused on the positives in my life and found myself again a CU, tatted, Marine, Frat-Star walked into my life (hahaha to everyone laughing at this right now). This is a running joke because every adjective described here was something not on my “list” of things I was looking for in “my person”. Ironically, he ended up being everything I needed and more. So quick PSA, even if someone isn’t what you think you need, God is going to laugh because they’re probably exactly what you need. So go on that date you aren’t sure about. Give people a chance before you decide that the Frat Star Life ain’t for you LOL. Get to know them before the words “sko buffs” comes out of their mouth because I bet you’ll end up with someone who is so perfect you’ll have a hard time believing you aren’t living in a dream. Aaron Michael has been one of the biggest blessings through this all and I am the happiest I’ve ever been (even with Leukemia… crazy how it works when it’s right). Point is, I was in a dark place. Thought my life was over and that I would never be okay ever again. But God had a plan for me. When I came out on the other side of what I thought was an impossible and never ending terrible season I ended up with one of the best humans I could ever ask for.
Now obviously cancer is a bigger hurdle than a break-up unfortunately hahaha. But I honestly believe I went through my break-up to teach me NOT TO WORRY. I spent so much time and energy worrying I was never going to meet the right person, that I’d be single till I died and have a gash the size of watermelon in my heart forever. And look at me now. God has blessed me with the best guy, with the biggest heart and best butt I’ve ever seen. God knew what he was doing and his timing was perfect. I should have channeled my worry and fear during my post-breakup season in life to have faith that I will get through it and come out stronger on the other end. And so that’s what I’ve shifted my mind set to be during this battle with cancer. I am choosing to trust that God has a plan for me. I am choosing not to worry about what my future holds and/or the things I can’t control and rather focus all my energy in being present and happy with all the blessings I’ve been given to help fight Leukemia’s booty.
So lesson #1 in the books. Yes, life is scary. It is very easy to spiral into worrying about things that are ultimately out of our control. But at the same time, why worry? Things work out the way they’re supposed to, even if you can’t fathom life every being “okay” while you’re in the thick of a scary and difficult season of life. God has a plan for you and there’s a reason everything happens. So why not try to make the best of the hard times. Try and find positives and blessings regardless of the overall situation. It will ultimately make you feel better. And let’s be honest, if worry-wart Kayla can do it so can you. Don’t worry about the small stuff and try your hardest to channel your worry about the big stuff into positive energy that will help propel you through the difficult season. Because once you come out on top, you’ll feel amazing and be thankful you went through that time in your life believe it or not. Life’s not supposed to be a cake walk 100% of the time, and everyone has their “baggage.” So take a breath, acknowledge the worry but then throw it to the side and keep on truckin’.
P.S. My overall levels have held steady (HUGE BLESSING) and so we are still working on growing those 9827390827 eggs for retrieval. My stomach feels like it’s full of 50 pound grapefruits in case you’re curious. As of now, egg retrieval surgery is pushed to Wednesday, July 29th. In-patient chemo is scheduled to start Thursday, July 30th. Day at a time ya’ll, day at a time!