Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

My head hurts and I am awfully nervous about my scan next week. They come much faster than I could have ever guessed they would. I tell myself deep breaths, it will all be fine but then my stomach gets that “not chemo” feeling and my head starts going crazy. I am starting to loathe these mind games I play with myself but can’t seem to stop them. This guilt of not being able to do everything a wife (by the definition I grew up with) is supposed to do never leaves my mind and of course, Josh does everything in his power to destroy it. Then I get sad because of what I am doing to him. He does so much for me and I tell myself that he does not deserve this. I even go as far as wondering why I let myself marry him like this. I call myself selfish for pulling him into this and then walk around the house only to find dirty clothes, beds un-made and dishes in the sink and it all sinks deeper in my heart. I look in the mirror and don’t see the girl he fell in love with. I see a sad heart in the eyes and then I feel the pain in my arm where my vein was burst. Then I look on my chest and see the scar and bulge of my port. I can fell the port running up my chest into my neck. My clothes are beginning to drown me and often he has to eat dinner alone, CJ’s night, night, after night. I get sad watching him do homework. I feel so useless sometimes. I feel like I am forcing him into a profession just because I need insurance. I can’t watch him anymore so I go watch food network and am once again reminded of the fact that I do not cook dinners for us and usually Josh gets breakfast ready. I felt like this for over two weeks. Constantly finding what was wrong with me, constantly feeling bad for what I have done to other people (Josh being the main man). I think it was Saturday night when once again, Josh became my hero. The guilt had won another battle and I was left in tears, waiting for the medicine to force me to sleep, hoping that the next day could be better. I had quiet tears in the dark so I figured I would get through this one alone, and let the tired, hard-working man, get some rest. Unfortunately/fortunately, Josh felt my silent tears and knew something was wrong. He asked me to pray for comfort and I told him I couldn’t. Not only was I having guilt with what I was doing to Josh but also, what I was doing to my Heavenly Father. I had medicine stronger than Chemo and I wasn’t taking it. I was letting days go by without scriptures study and without prayers that really meant something. My faith was dead. “Faith, without works, is dead.” I was not living my testimony by word and action. I could say that I had a testimony of the scriptures and the peace they bring but I could not read them. They were always too far away and I was too tried or sick. Kneeling on the ground meant that I had to face the cold again and get out of bed. I think that the devil hid my scriptures a few times just so I couldn’t find them. I was letting myself go. I was using my agency and chose not to take the medicine that can heal me. What I didn’t realize was that when I was going without scriptures and prayers, I was allowing the devil in. I knocked my own defense walls down and welcomed him in. The devil got to me. He did a really go job. He made me feel like I could not go to my Heavenly Father in prayer. The reason I told Josh that I couldn’t was because I wondered why I could ask for something when I was not giving. I was not doing my part so why should I expect him to do his? It is like getting paid for not doing anything. There was no way I could get help. I wanted help so badly. I told myself that I would start doing the little things and I would get back on track and then ask for help. I felt like I could not ask for forgiveness until after I had repented. I figured that tonight, I will sleep with this awful pain in my soul. Josh obviously knew better and helped me once again realize the atonement and mercy of Christ. It took a while but he convinced me that I could pray and that I could ask, the Lord just needs me to ask. I wanted him to ask so badly, thinking he was more worthy of a blessing. He knew better and refused kindly. After a few minutes I finally did what I should have down weeks ago. I told the devil and his evil spirits to leave. I prayed for Christ’s love to come back. The devil had to leave and Christ’s love was able to feel me with hope and happiness. I peacefully fell asleep that night holding my sweet Joshua’s hand. I am so glad I get to keep him forever. I opened my eyes to see my beautiful Book of Mormon sharing my pillow with me. Josh wanted to help me remember to do the small things! After I read, I looked in the mirror and saw Tara, a girl who could rock any hairstyle (even if it looked freakishly like Kramer from Seinfeld )! Then I saw my port and remember all the pain that it saves me when having infusion, I ran my fingers across my neck where it sticks out and felt the joy of modern medicine that has helped me so much already.  I realized that the profession Josh was headed in was one that will not only help me and my medical needs but also has the potential to save other lives. I analyzed my veins and straightened my arm all the way out with little pain and was grateful for the good blood that still runs through my veins. I looked at my eyes, the ones who were swollen with fear and pain and saw my dark brown eyes that my mother loves, my happy eyes. I put on my jeans and was glad that they were a size too big. I realized that even though I was dropping weight, I was dropping it and still keeping my blood counts and protein levels up…horrid way to slim down, but it is working! I walked around the house and saw dishes in the sink and stuff on the floor and then remembered that I wasn’t perfect! My sick feeling reconfirmed that the chemo was still in my body, fighting for me! Why would I loathe one of my strongest armies? All feelings of guilt, doubt, and sadness were gone. I prayed for love throughout the day and I did everything I could to build back up those Satan defense walls that I had destroyed. I tried to use my agency for good. Today, I am a much happier person.

People say that the devil attacks you at your weakest point. I may sound arrogant but they also say that he tries to ruin the best people. I don’t want to say that I am the best but I will say that I have become extremely close to the Lord and I think that really started to bug the devil. So he fought me. I really never want to feel like that again. I know that I can go at any time and I have known that my whole life but at that moment, I felt like I could not. The devil became so much more real to me and it scares me to think that he is working just as hard on other people. It makes me so sad to know that other people are feeling the way that I felt, out of control. It does give me hope and happiness to know that I have a Savior who will forgive me 70 times 7 and who will never cease to show me love when I ask. I know now how important my works are. Faith alone won’t do it for me. I need my works.

Scan comes up next week. I know I am in good hands. I have to tell that fear to take a hike! I am on the Lord’s side now and forever.

I am a daughter of God


Marissa Anne said...

I cried when I read this.
I want to print this out.
I love you

Avon said...


Adversity is truly a test of the heart and soul.You are an amazing woman who is not only going to kick cancer right in the butt but you also are helping so many around you by your example and your strength, even on days when you do not feel so strong. You, Josh and your families continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. "Keep your chin up"!!!!!!!

Heidi said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Tara-- I needed to hear just what you wrote. Though my circumstances are different, I struggle with the same mental fight all the time, and frequently feel too guilty to turn to the Savior for help. Hang in there and hold tightly to Josh-- you know he thinks you are just as much a blessing in his life as he is for you!

Gwen said...

You don't know how much your post helped me today. Thank you

Jed & Mary Neilson said...


I have been following your blog since your diagnosis. I followed from a link from Sadie Huish. You do not know me and so yes, there is a complete stranger stalking your blog! I was so touched by your blog post today. I honestly sat here at work and cried! In a conference talk from Elder Holland he talks about how in the very last days- "even the VERY ELECT'S hearts will fail them." I like you thought I was strong and would never allow that to happen to me. I knew about my Savior's love, I knew about the scriptures, and still in my darkest hours I did not turn to my Savior. Sometimes misery loves company. Then my sweet visiting teachers shared a message in November from Elder Neil Anderson regarding holding fast to the Iron Rod. At that time in my life, it was too hard to hold on to the rod, I didn't want to do it anymore. As they taught me and talked I realized that they were holding on to the iron rod, and they were willing to hold my hand until I could grasp the rod for myself. In Elder Holland's talk he states that "even the mists of darkness enveloped the righteous that were holding on." Unfortunately, there are dark days still ahead, but if we can hold on to each other, we will see the Savior again. You are an amazing woman and don't let anyone tell you differently. You are an example of strength to all of us!

With all my love,
Mary Neilson

Anonymous said...

Hi Tara, We went to goodwill last nite to look for a sadies costume and I really missed you!!! Then today I read your blog and WOW! You are really brave to be able to be so honest and share all those feelings! It makes me love you even more. My son picked the right one (he knows that too)!!! You know I have a freakish love of cleaning, it's my only talent so you should let me share my talent when you get overwhelmed with housework,or better yet let me come over before you get that way! Love, Lori

r&k skousen said...

Tara, thank you so much for your posts. You will never know how much you help other people to be better. You and Josh are SO lucky to have each other. I know you will beat this, I have never known anyone like you and it is really an honor. Your faith has truly blessed my life. You are forever in my prayers.

Janeal said...

I am yet another stranger/friend following your incredible story. Thank you for your honesty, this post touched my heart (and tear ducts!). I truly admire your courage, and pray for you that you will have the strength you need to see this battle through. You are a great example to many, especially me, today.

There and back again...and again... said...

That is beautiful and so uplifting :o)

Terri Jones said...

ohh, Tara. I'm so amazed by your strength and your spirit. I am grateful to know you and your family. My prayers are always with you. Thank you for your courageous inspiration...I love you, sweetie.