Four years ago this month marks an anniversary for me that brings up mixed emotions. At the time, it was one of the hardest emotional experiences I have had.
Four years ago today I was in the hospital having radiation treatments for thyroid cancer. My kids weren’t allowed to visit (they waved from the parking lot below) and I wasn’t allowed to be around them for two weeks after because the dosage was so high and they were both so little. And I cried. And it was hard. But good has come out of it.
You see, before the radioactive iodine treatments, you have to starve your body of iodine. Literally. Which requires a special diet of foods with ZERO iodine (which is really hard). And so I began to eat foods made from scratch….number one because I knew exactly what was in them and number two so I could be sure that I was eating ZERO iodine and have the scheduled cancer treatments.
Repeat this diet every year for a month (or sometimes 6 weeks depending on iodine levels) for cancer screenings. You get the idea.
Well, fast forward to after this experience. I am thyroid cancer free. YAY!
And as a result I began to cook all of our food from scratch. A huge change from the way we were eating. I was working before that and food preparation sometimes fell to the bottom of my daily list (as many of you know so well).
I am not working outside the home anymore, and I have learned in the last 4 years to cook from scratch. I learned to make bread. I learned to make tortillas. I learned to make freezer meals from scratch. And many other things that I never thought I would ever do. And I am so much happier for it. I feel more accomplished as a homemaker….and a mother. Who knew that such a blessing could come from such a hardship?
Case in point. Yesterday I made Strawberry Freezer Jam. A lot of it. And I love it because it reminds me of how far I’ve come. What a homemaking blessing.
Tammy @ she wears flowers says
Congrats on being cancer-free! What a beautiful post–I love your story and the way the overwhelming sadness is woven into the overwhelming joy. Really made my morning and gave me a great perspective for the day–thank you!
(And I have never made freezer jam, but would love to know how to make it.)
I made freezer jam and the boiling method jam last spring after visiting a local strawberry farm. I am going to make more this year. It’s sooo tasty.
Cancer-free–hurray! My sweet sister-in-law just went through this exact same thing . . . the radiation treatments for thyroid cancer, spending 2 weeks sitting alone in an empty house away from her kids . . . it sounds to me like the absolute worst part was when she came home and her 2-year old hid behind my brother’s legs and wouldn’t come to her or say a word to her for hours after she came home again, and her 4-year old daughter asked my brother if mommy was dead during the 2 weeks she was away. That’s a horrible thing for mom AND the kids to go through, and I’m so glad to hear that you are healthy and well! And your jam also looks delicious 🙂
Rachel @ Maybe Matilda
Jessica at Me Sew Crazy says
WOW. Cancer-free, congratulations! What an incredibly touching, and sensitive post for you to share about yourself. Thank you. That must have been an incredibly hard time in your life, and I can only imagine. It is always good when some time has passed after a time like that, and you can start to look back and count the good that has come from it. Perspective 🙂
Now, about that freezer jam…
The Denny Family says
You are amazing and I am so proud of your choice to really take your health into your own two hands! Yes! Please please share!!!!
Congratulations! For being cancer free, for feeling empowered, for doing something good for yourself and family! I loved your post. Thanks for sharing!
Wow – what a journey you have been on. Your story is inspirational. Thank you for sharing and your ‘jam’ looks very yummy.
Your story is inspiring, I can’t imagine waving to my loved ones from the parking lot. Blessings to you and being cancer free.
(found you via Tea Rose Home)
Wow…I am so glad to hear that you are cancer free now! Congratulations!! After I had my third child, I had lots of complications. I was in the ICU for three days, and hospitalized for two weeks. Being separated from my kids was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced. Near the end of the two weeks I was crying all the time.
I am so glad that you are able to stay home with your loved ones and found some blessings out of the hard experiences. Thank you for sharing such a special story. 🙂
i just stumbled on your blog today. You have a beautiful way about you that makes me want to neglect everything that I am supposed to be doing and read your posts…. Anyway, I am so happy that you are cancer free. How wonderful to see where you have been and how far you have come. I am sure you are a blessing to your family. Your freezer jam looks yummy. I have been meaning to make some of that for our home.
I am going to follow you, looking forward to reading your past posts. Please come and follow me at thelittlebeansprout.blogspot.com. I would be honored.