that crazy cancer girl

My journey through cervical cancer

What Mask are you Wearing?

on June 30, 2014


I remember the first time I saw a clown… To be honest with you I am still deathly afraid of clowns! I don’t think they are funny, cute, friendly or any of the above, I seriously would have a heart attack if I had to be up close to a clown. It was at VBS for our church and I remember this family would come in and conduct our VBS each year. They drove this huge old suburban packed full of puppets, costumes, backdrops and a huge treasure chest full of prizes.

The guy who was in charge would put a mask on before he came in the sanctuary and he would be a clown. Most of the kids loved it, I spent most of my time hiding under the pew. One night I was out in the foyer and I saw the guy heading into the bathroom and was peeling off the mask. It freaked me out, but I noticed he wasn’t smiling under that mask with the painted on smile.

At the end of the week the family would pack up and move on to the next church, but the fear of clowns and their mask has never left me. When I think of that I think about how many mask we all wear daily. I know I wear one regularly… I hate to admit it, but I don’t always walk around with a smile. Many, many people ask me daily, “How are you doing Sarah”? With a huge smile, I usually answer, Oh I am just fine, doing good, thumbs up…

Man I am a terrible liar! To be honest with you, the pain is sometimes unbearable. The cramping from the growth of cancer sometimes feels like I am giving birth with no drugs. However, I am so quick to put on that mask and say, I’m just fine! You see I have always been one to do for myself. My life theme has been, if you want something done the only person who is going to do it right is me! I am so independent that people have ask me all through this journey if they can help with this or help with that and I say no because I think I am lowering myself by letting someone else do something that I should be doing.

I am wearing that mask that I hate so much. I don’t want people making me meals or cleaning my house. I don’t want anyone driving me to treatments or taking care of our kids. I hate that mask of pride! That’s all it is… pure pride. Last week I was very sick and I have been fighting yet another infection for a little over a week. I probably should have checked myself into the hospital, but my Dad is here and I didn’t want to spend our time in the hospital. I don’t get to see him that much, so I wanted to be around while he is here. So I pushed through the pain and taking my antibiotics and started cleaning our home in preparation for Dad’s visit.

My sweet friend ask me what she could do to help me get things ready. I told her I had everything under control. (Insert wearing that mask) She was persistent in helping so finally I told her if she wanted to come over that I just had the basics to do, sweeping, dusting and just straightening things up.  She said she was coming over and no lie y’all, I broke out in a cold sweat!! I started to rush around and try to get as many things cleaned up as possible before she got there even though she was coming to help me clean. I know, makes no sense at all!!

She got there and I let her dust and sweep and felt so bad about it the entire time! It was the first time in my life that I had allowed any of my friends to help me around our home and it was humbling! I have come to the realization that I have to take off my mask. I’m not okay, I am weak and I am in pain and most of all I need help! When we were done cleaning I realized how wonderful it was to have that help. We laughed together and it kept my mind off of the pain that I was in.

Slowly I am learning that people do really want to help and I just have to let go of my pride, take off that mask and allow others inside my bubble. I need to continue smiling even under my mask knowing that others are there for not just me, but for Darin and the kids. I do thank all of you that have helped us since last September. I know I haven’t allowed to many to help out, but with this aggressive chemo coming up, I don’t know how my body will react, so don’t be surprised if you ask me if you can help and I take off my mask and say, yes!

What kind of mask are you wearing tonight? Are you just like that clown and frowning under your mask? It’s so hard to allow people to see the real us. Whether it’s pretending we are someone that we are not or just telling everyone that you are okay, even when you know that you are not. God wants us to show ourselves to be friendly. Allow others to help you, be real to those who ask you how you are doing. Take the mask off and be the beautiful person that God made you to be. You are never alone in this life!

P.S. That about made me break out my nerve pills just to add that clown picture above!!

Proverbs 18:24

A man that hath friends must show himself friendly,

and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.


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