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A Special Valentine’s Day During a Cancer Fight


I have been blessed throughout this life, so I can’t complain, however fighting cancer is hard. I’m giving myself permission to be sad about my cancer diagnosis as my family and friends watch my health decline rapidly and reminding myself that I have a right to be anxious and afraid about facing the chemo room some days. I also struggle with those reality moments Cancer forces you to endure and yet I see how those”reality moments”  allow me  greater appreciation and perspective for the beauty of this life; Hope or a Silver Lining of sorts that God paints the darkness with.My current reality is,  I have been battling and living with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer, and receiving the treatment to match that diagnosis. The reality is I am learning my body is susceptible to the hardships we’ve been told would come with treatment, and  it is difficult to grasp doing three more cycles when I have experienced so much sickness and pain. I have been told that the halfway point is when you really start to “feel it”, and  I do feel it! I am feel it so much that I am beginning to think about revolting. I am only kidding, I could never just give up, but doesn’t life on this Earth make it easy to want to sometimes?
The reality is I have Cancer, and my husband  Benjamin and I have
tackled and wrestled with this reality, but I will never forget the moment it
really hit us. It came relatively late in this journey considering our first
meeting with the Oncologist was 11/30, and that day we were clearly told “you
can and likely will die from this diagnosis”. Death is that often unspoken awareness that comes with Cancer and based on previous experience Benjamin and I have a keen awareness of the grief that accompanies cancer.
 There have been a lot of  “moments” during this fight where the reality of it all has really hit us, but none like Valentine’s Day 2013.  I had completed my second cycle and had enough energy to ride in the car to pick up Chinese take out with my sweetheart and take it home to watch a movie. As we were pulling out of the parking lot and headed back home, I heard a song on the radio and so I turned it up. It was Adele “Someone Like You”, the song is a powerful break up song, but at that moment it was like I really heard the lyrics. Adele sang out, “I heard that you are settled down, that you found a girl, and your married now, I heard that your dreams came true….”
As I heard Adele sing those words my mind and heart immediately ached and I thought,  “If God doesn’t heal me, I want to be in Heaven and hear that my Benjamin found someone to help him and make him happy”.  As I began to become tearful  the verse rang out “I wish nothing but the best for you, don’t forget me, I remembered you said sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead”. Quickly I was moved to tears, and realized I wasn’t going to be able to hide them any longer. At that moment we were driving by the cemetery we where earlier I had seen a man seated
next to his Valentine’s grave in a white lawn chair.
I decided in that moment that it was easier to tell Ben about the image I had seen at the cemetery than the real reason for my tears. Hearing the story of a man sitting by his sweetie’s grave moved us both to tears and into an instant where God allowed us to have a heartfelt conversation about the reality of Cancer. With tear soaked eyes we made our way off the road and to a place we could watch the sunset that God had shaped into a pink heart on this Valentine’s Day evening just for us.
Watching the sunset I told Benjamin the real reason I had began to cry over the words of the Adele song. Neither one of us could hold back a flood of tears at this point as it was extremely hard and emotional for both of us to think about. I don’t want to think about that, but I also know this world is but a snapshot of the eternity believers in Jesus are promised. Benjamin and I’s faith reminds us that we have hope in Heaven where we will see our loved ones again someday!As a dear friend once said, “love is eternal” and my love for my husband will remain forever!
  • SarahBech

    March 6, 2013 at 3:36 am Reply

    Tarah, our family – more than most families – know the realities of cancer. We have two very wonderful people who await us in heaven – and 3 very strong women who can say that cancer is in their past. I battle within myself the ideas of realism and defeatism. I am so proud of you. You're writing in the view of realism but there is nothing about you that is defeated. I am reminded every day of your spirit and your spunk – and I am so blessed that you are my cousin. I look up to you a lot, Tarah. I love you very much. – Sarah

  • Rick

    March 6, 2013 at 4:46 am Reply

    I tried saying something funny at first, but thought that my first post on this blog ought to be different. I just want to say that I am very proud of you. I feel very blessed to have you as my daughter. Thank you for turning me into a daddy. It's is one of the highest privileges of my life.


  • Dani

    March 6, 2013 at 6:24 am Reply

    I told Sterling that I breifly thought of reading this out loud to him and quickly realized that I wouldn't be able to get it out, out loud, due to the fact that my throat immediately felt the ugly cry come on! He'll be reading this one on his own! Love you girl! Keep up the good fight! Know that we, along w/ Oregon City Naz are all praying healing and lesser side effects for you!!

  • ghezal3

    March 6, 2013 at 9:52 am Reply

    Praying for complete healing and comfort along this journey. -ghezal

  • Becky Beals

    March 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm Reply

    When your Uncle Jim was diagnosed in stage IV colon cancer, one of the first things he said was, "Someone else is going to be called Grandpa by my grandkids." That was his way of grieving the what-if's of the disease. As time went on, though, he began to tell me different names of men he thought I should marry after he went to heaven. That was his way of saying, "I want you to move on but I want it to happen with those that I trust will be good to you." Now 4 years after his death, I have pondered that whole "moving on thing" quite a lot. If I could speak face to face with him, I would say "Moving on is much harder than you ever realized. When you have loved someone so much and have had such a deep relationship, it isn't found again in just any everyday relationship." Your blessing on Ben for the what if's is good. Your knowledge that God will walk beside both of you no matter what is good. Loving and holding each other close is what God intended when you said for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. I hope God heals you and you get to be the one who loves Ben for the rest of his days. I love you Tarah.

  • Lindsay Webber

    March 7, 2013 at 4:14 am Reply

    Ur words brought me tears and are breath taking tarah. I get to read what u write everday out loud to my husband. God bless you and your hubby. This journey was never wished upon but for everything it is worth I love you tarah. Life is not fair but your faith in god is a fresh breath of air.

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