Wednesday, March 2, 2016

A Moment with Chelsie: On Puppies, Plans, and Pediatric Cancer

 My friend Chelsie is a pretty amazing woman. She is a boss of a blogger at Hey There, Chelsie, a makeup and fashion queen, and the type of person that is just inspiring. We met in a blogging group and I honestly feel like we were meant to be friends. I love her amazing content each week, and am honored to have her sharing her words on the blog today. They are especially meaningful to me because I witnessed my own little brother endure pediatric cancer at the age of 4. Thanks for sharing your words and your heart, Chels! 


Yesterday morning, Rosie (my dog) ran out of kibble. I didn't want her to wait all day for my husband to come home and go to the store with me to get her a new bag, so, feeling pretty confident in how my morning was going, I packed her up in the car and drove to our local Pet Club. I gave myself a pep talk on the way over: I was normal human being going to the store to pick up some dog food for her pet. Nothing was going to go wrong. I was going to be able to pick up the 30 pound of food, my credit card was going to go through the first time when I went to pay and we would be on our way back home within 10 minutes. I took my time crossing the intersections, I looked both ways when I took a left-hand turn into the parking lot and I took a deep breath before getting out of my car and walking into the store.

This is the life I lead, always fighting a constant anxiety about the things that could go wrong during my day, especially when it involves moving/walking/heavy lifting. I'm constantly terrified about taking one wrong step, tripping over something, picking up something a tad bit too heavy and my knee just giving away. I struggle with feeling limited and disabled. I am 25 years old, and I have a total left knee replacement. I'm 25 years old, and I'm a cancer survivor.

Pediatric cancer wasn't part of my plan my sophomore year of high school. My plan was to get Jordan Ward to ask me to the semiformal dance and then hopefully ask me to be his girlfriend right after. My plan was to get in the top 10 chairs in the flute section in the concert band I played in. My plan was to master the black eyeliner and convince my mom to let me wear skinny jeans to school. I had it all laid out and knew exactly how my sophomore year was going to go.


Here's the thing about plans: even the best laid out ones have a way of falling down mid-flight. Cancer turned my life upside down and instead of picking out party dresses, I was spending the better part of my year watching my hair fall out and my left leg get reconstructed. And even when the chemotherapy was finished, I was faced with a different life; a different "normal." I approach my days differently, I have to think long and hard about the choices I make and how it might affect my health or my leg. I struggle with being afraid of the world and wanting to punch the world in the face and tell it that I'm stronger then it knows. 

I guess it all comes down to this: my plans were forever changed the day on single cell in my left leg decided to go rouge. And although it wasn't what I had planned on, it has become clear to me that my cancer was part of the plan all along. The path I was on was totally different then the one I ended up on; the one that took me to my college, that took me to my husband and that landed me with a career I didn't know I wanted. And although this journey has been tough, I have learned to be forever grateful for it and the person it has helped me become.

Don't get me wrong, I still have some days where I have a hard time accepting the life I live now, but at the end of the day, I remind myself to look at the bigger picture. I'm alive. I have a life and it's worth living, even on the hard days. And there is still so much of my plan that I have yet to live out. It probably won't go the way I want it to, but I have learned that it's okay if it doesn't. It will turn out better in the end, if I allow it to. 

I am so grateful that Chelsie shares her story with such courage and vulnerability. What a great life lesson to remind ourselves of each day: that things won't always go the way we want, but that's okay. That there are better things in the end. And that each day is a gift. For more from Chelsie, head over to Hey There, Chelsie, or follow along with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest

If you would like to be a Moments Guest Post Contributor, contact me here! I have openings for the late spring and summer, and would love for you to share your words and hearts!

Currently,
Kelsie 

12 comments:

  1. Gosh I love that girl! She is so sweet and I love learning more about her story. She is an AWESOME guest blogger to have. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She is definitely an awesome, awesome guest blogger to have. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  2. I love Chelsie and think she is so incredible for sharing her story with us. I'm a high school teacher, so when she talks about her plans sophomore year, it made me smile because I see that every day. I see how these little things that will mean nothing in a few years are your whole WORLD when you're teenager, and I remember that for myself too. Chelsie is so strong, brave, and beautiful, and I'm glad to come across her guest post today on YOUR blog, which I adore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree, Lindsay! I'm a high school teacher too! Small world. You are so right, the teen years are totally like that. Thanks so much for your kind words, and for stopping by :)

      Delete
  3. Thanks for sharing this inspiring story... :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading! Chelsie has a great story to share!

      Delete
  4. Chelsie has a wonderful story. We need more bloggers in the world that can be so open and encourage others through their own strifes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen to that! It is truly an inspiration!

      Delete
  5. I love how Chelsie shares her story about cancer recovery, but also with anxiety. I also have an anxiety disorder and I think it is important to talk about these topics so they aren't so stigmatized. While I have never had a knee replacement, I do have osteoarthritis in my neck, back and shoulders and I know how emotionally taxing and life changing chronic pain can be!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that, Autumn. You are so right! We stigmatize so many things. I'm so glad you could resonate with Chelsie's story. Praying peace and healing for you!

      Delete
  6. I adore Chelsie - she is so straight-forward, strong-willed, caring, and friendly! She's beat the odds and look at what a wonderful life she's leading now - it's her perseverance for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love seeing bloggers being open and honest about real life. Thanks for sharing your heart, Chelsie!

    ReplyDelete

Have a question or comment?