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Respite: a short period of rest or relief from something difficult.

Writing the last couple months has been difficult for me. I've neglected my journal and my blog because it was overwhelming to try to sit down and put my thoughts and feelings to paper. And, of course, writing is also one of the hardest things for me to get back in to once I’ve put it down.

But I’m back and I’m hoping you, my friend, will hold me accountable.

So, what exactly threw me off? Why have I been MIA?

Hours after diagnosis - faithful & consistent

On June 22nd in Rochester, NY we found out that my husband has colon cancer, and then two days later we were in Panama City, FL closing on our new house. To say it was overwhelming is an understatement. We were torn between excitement over our new home and the life we were striving for, and immense fear of the unknown that living in my husband’s body. That Sunday, after 4 days of stuffing everything down as deep as I could possibly keep it, I broke down in tears, sobbing on my husband’s shoulder in an unfamiliar church… it was the most clear I had felt in days, but I still wasn’t at peace.

Just a couple weeks later, on July 6th I flew to Austin, TX to attend a Somatic Release Breathwork Practitioner Course. A friend had gotten me into this breath work just a few months earlier, and it was life changing. I knew after my first session that everyone needed this emotional healing in their life - especially those in recovery. I had signed up before Travis’ diagnosis, and I was extremely against going, but Travis insisted (and I’m so glad he did).

On the third day of this course, I had the opportunity to participate in a breathwork session as the client, along with half of my class. The other half of the class would be our practitioners, our empathetic witnesses who would hold space for us…

Before a breathwork session, you set an intention. Something that you would like to embody. My intention going in was “acceptance”. At this time, we had no idea the extent of my Travis’ cancer. We didn’t know if it had spread, what stage it was, what it would take to heal him… We knew nothing, and I wanted to be at peace with whatever God had planned for my husband and our family. I wanted to accept that it was in His hands. I wanted to let go of the control I was desperately trying to cling to. I also wanted to know that if the worst happened, and I lost him, I was strong enough to feel that pain and those emotions without buffering (with alcohol or anything else). I needed to know that I was strong enough to hold up my children in their pain. And brave enough to support Travis through his journey. So I went in searching for all of that. That pain. That fear. That sadness. And I found it, and so much more.

My bruised hand after the session

I felt the fear of letting go and giving this journey to God. I felt the utter devastation of losing my husband. I felt the pain in my gut over the sadness and loss my children would feel. I felt the anger I clung to over the unfairness of it all. I felt so much that I can’t even put into words. I sobbed so hard I almost couldn’t breathe, and as my practitioner rolled me on to my side so I could breathe easier, I lost every bit of consciousness and gave it all over to God. I screamed through the pain and sadness. I pounded my fist on the floor as I asked Him why. Why my husband? I cried a thousand tears for my husband and my children. And with each tear, each yell, each painful smack of my fist, I felt more and more at peace.

Was it ugly? Without a doubt.

Was it uncomfortable? 1000%.

Was it everything I needed? Yes. And so much more.

At the end of the session, I felt a clarity that I hadn’t felt in ages. Even before my husband’s diagnosis, I didn’t feel this sense of peace and acceptance. I didn’t know it was possible.

That session, that release, those moments following… that was when I knew that I found “my thing”. This healing is available to everyone. This peace is available to everyone. And I want to share it.

After I returned home from my class, it was a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments. We found out that Travis’ cancer hasn’t spread to any of his organs, but the doctors did say that if we were moving to Florida, they wanted him to transfer to a doctor there for surgery and continuing care. So a move that was supposed to happen months from now, got pushed up to weeks.

My adorably unstable spine ;)

During that time, I found out that I have spondylelusthesis and slight scoliosis. My lower spine is unstable, and I will have to have a lower spine fusion sooner rather than later. I've had to stop running and lifting heavy weights, and I was next to NO help during the move, which has all been mentally taxing.

We are now officially moved to Florida where Travis has appointments scheduled with an amazing surgeon in Jacksonville. I will be transferring my care and scheduling surgery when he’s recovered. And our family is so incredibly happy.

One thing I know for sure is that my faith, my emotional, mental, and spiritual health, and my marriage are all the strongest they’ve ever been.

Everything happens for a reason. Everything. The good and the bad. And I am re-committed to writing, journaling, and sharing all of those moments with you.

So happy to be back home in FL


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