Battle For A Smile
I have not written on this blog in over half a year. Now that's not to say I haven't been doing anything because I have. I wrote, acted in, directed, and produced a short independent film with my wife and local church. I'll embed the teaser and trailer. I've also been editing the third and final book in my Scar of the Downer Series. I've taught college and homeschooled my children. Yes, this summer and fall have been quite busy.
I was planning on writing a new blog post a few months ago when something unexpected happened that stole my focus. My wife had developed skin cancer. Unfortunately, the cancer didn't look like textbook cancer and so it went undiagnosed for some time. This allowed the cancer to "break off" with satellite spots. Has it reached her lymph nodes? We don't know yet. We are still waiting on the results of the biopsy.
What has been difficult about this more than just the typical cancer fears and worries is that she had to have major facial surgery to remove the cancer. This has come with months of bandages on her face and quite drastic facial reconstruction that has been stressful and painful for her. Even her smiles have been affected. (They're more like smirks now.) We have also made many trips to Philadelphia so that she can have the best care this country has to offer.
All this to say, this gigantic hurdle has made many of the things I once cared about seem pointless and inconsequential. While autumn is typically my favorite season, I'll be honest and say that it has been difficult to find the motivation to complete the mundane. It has been almost impossible to care about the things that had made me love this time of year. I've allowed cancer to rob me of finding happiness in the small things such as hanging up Christmas decorations or writing a blog post, or even reading a book. I've allowed the fears of this disease to steal small moments of my life, moments I cannot get back.
But it has also made me realize with even more certainty why I'm doing what I'm doing, and why I can't give up or give in. This battle has made me understand how world-changing a game of Monopoly with my wife and children can be; how a simple dinner with my daughters can turn into a lifelong memory; how the quiet moments with my wife can be a reminder to her just how much I love her.
It will change you whether you want it to or not. In fact, Liz asked me if I think things will ever be the same again, and the simple yet difficult answer is no. Our lives have been forever altered - emotionally, spiritually, and physically (she has the scars to prove it). That, however, doesn't mean that it has to be all bad. Things like this can return one's focus to what matters in life. It can renew and test the bounds of faith in God. It can open a closed heart and make an ungrateful one thankful.
I'll admit that I've always struggled for happiness, for smiles. In a sense, it has been like my white whale - something that has eluded me. I've understood that about myself. It has been a thorn in my flesh that I've struggled against all my life. Smiles have always been rare to me. Many people have commented on it in my life. That is yet another thing that I've realized. Just how powerful a smile can be, especially to my four daughters in a time like this. But what my family has fought in these recent weeks has made the battle for a smile all the more difficult, and yet, all the more necessary.
11/27/2018 10:55:37 pm
Beautiful. 🙂 Love this post.
11/28/2018 08:50:10 am
Love the post! Really appreciate your strength during some tough days for Liz.
11/29/2018 03:27:41 pm
11/28/2018 05:34:16 pm
Thank you for sharing insights from this difficult place in life and challenging your readers to consider the value of the simplest things, often taken for granted.
11/29/2018 09:03:29 pm
Thanks for reading, Theresa.
11/29/2018 01:56:51 pm
I'm sorry to hear about this and will keep you and Liz in my thoughts as you await the biopsy results. Thanks for the beautiful post on appreciating the important things.
11/29/2018 09:04:15 pm
Thank you, Elizabeth. I appreciate it.
11/29/2018 06:54:07 pm
A love story of life, struggle and coming out the other side forever changed. 💗💗 Thinking of you and Liz.
11/29/2018 09:04:36 pm
Thank you, Lena.
11/30/2018 07:38:25 pm
Thank you Scott for your heartfelt words. From someone who deals with Depression (me) this has helped me so much. Last year we did not even decorate for Christmas because I could not bring myself to do it without the kids around. Now I know I need to do this for me! Thank you!!
12/3/2018 09:54:34 pm
I’m glad this encouraged you, Donna. Thank you for reading.
12/1/2018 09:35:26 am
Scott & Liz, This journey that you have found yourself on is not one anyone would choose. It is hard and filled with what I fear the most...Unknowns! Rest in the promises of our Father that He will never leave us! I encourage you to look for the blessing! They are there! Be good to yourself! Cancer really does give you a new perspective!
12/2/2018 09:11:33 am
This woman knows from unbelievable personal experience - she and Liz are my heroes!
12/1/2018 12:33:24 pm
Scott, Please know there are countless others you may not know well (and people in their church groups) who have been praying for Liz & your family through this difficult time! We will continue...and God is faithful! May you & Liz be blessed!
12/2/2018 09:13:47 am
Love you so much, Bobbi!
12/3/2018 09:55:53 pm
Thank you, Bobbi.
12/1/2018 01:08:14 pm
So good when we can see HIS light through dark, difficult times. You and Liz are an example of true love and commitment, not only to your girls, but for the rest of the world to see. Prayers for full and speedy recovery and healing!!
12/3/2018 09:56:35 pm
Thank you, Melanie.
11/28/2019 09:01:40 pm
It may seem amazing to you that all through that year your family has given me more smiles than I am used to as I struggle with this as well - to be a blessing to someone in your darkest night is amazing to me and something God has done through you. You guys are so dear to me and I continue to pray every day for you. And I am LOVING your audiobook - I wish all three were out!
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