I Think This is What the Bards Might Have Called a ‘Quest’

in memory 2.0


I am going to be honest with you—this past week sucked.

Monday: Spent living in fear that Wallace was going to die.

Tuesday Morning: Finding out that Wallace was not responding to the medications; his red blood cell counts were still dropping.

Tuesday Afternoon: Giving the “okay” to euthanize him. I watched Wallace pass out of this world. He was exhausted, just melting into the exam table. Leaving him behind in that room was by far one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

Saturday: Picking up Wallace’s cremated remains from the veterinarian’s office.

This week has felt like someone was performing a bone marrow biopsy on my heart. That is, to say, it has hurt beyond description.

Losing my Wally has made me question a bunch of things in my life—this blog for instance. Am I doing a disservice to my fellow cancer and transplant survivors by constantly writing about gratitude and having a positive attitude? I was born a pessimist; a positive attitude is not my natural state of mind. Positive thinking, however, is far healthier than fear and/or worrying. I will admit to using this space as a means of forcing myself to change my perspective. I fear that by doing this, though, I have diminished my struggle as well as the struggle of my fellow survivors. The horror of cancer treatment doesn’t end with the last bag of chemo or the last radiation appointment. The torture doesn’t end…but I don’t write about it because a) I want to shield you from it, and b) if I dwell on it, I’ll be sucked into the fear of relapsing again. I’ve been using this blog like a life jacket–and although I’m treading as best as I can–keeping my head above the water has been difficult.

I’ve also been questioning my role in this life. Why the hell am I still alive? What am I here for? There has to be a reason why I keep outliving my various expiration dates (July 2010, February 2017). People are going to start thinking that I’m some sort of android if I keep surviving all of this s*&t.

Maybe this is just my overwhelming grief for Wallace talking, but for the longest time I thought my purpose was to be a writer. Nabbing a literary agent, however, has proven to be a thankless and utterly depressing task. So, I have to stop myself and ask, am I doing the right thing? Am I on the right path? And if not this, then what?

Dear Readers, I have no doubt that my good MRI results on Thursday/Friday are your thoughts and prayers working. Last year, on this very day, I was diagnosed with relapsed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I told you that I did not have the strength to fight cancer again. It was the truth. I didn’t have the strength. But YOU carried me through. Now I’m asking you to lend me some advice (in addition to continuing to send light and love).

How did you know what to do with your life?

How did you find your purpose?

When you’re grieving, how do you find peace?

As always, thank you for your support. Your comments and encouragement have meant the world to me.


With Love,


10 thoughts on “I Think This is What the Bards Might Have Called a ‘Quest’

  1. I don’t know what to do with my life, really, I don’t. I change jobs frequently trying to find something that fulfills my passion (which is ever changing) and need to feel like I made a difference in the world. What I do know – not knowing and continuing to try is more sincere to who I am, than not trying and becoming complacent in a job I know I hate. It might sound crass, given the context of this blog, but I try to live in a way that if I died tomorrow, I would be okay knowing I at least tried and fought to figure out my purpose, even thought it’s exhausting. I found myself getting closer to my purpose through pure luck and insane amounts self-reflection, including self doubt. Not there yet, but feel it coming closer every day.

    I’ve never found peace in grief. In fact, I’ve found that the more I try to avoid grief, the harder it becomes. After years of avoiding emotion, I think that Grief is a real emotion that I should be felt and processed. With time, peace will come. I do however find that briefly indulging in a vice while watching crappy reality TV helps add moments of humorous relief to the processing.

    For what it’s worth – and I could never fully understand what it is you have gone through – I personally never felt that you were trying to shine a positive light on cancer. I thought you were trying to share and find positive truths in your personal everyday life, which has an uncertain expiration date. Also, there’s a very potent sincerity and realism that shines through your writing that would make a lot of aspiring writers jealous.

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  2. Oh Laura,

    Your sweetness is beyond words. I am so thankful to read what you write. It reminds me that we are all living a different life. Some better than others, and thats ok. Its always shifting. I live a good life, make a decent income and love what I do. But it isn’t what I went to school for, or really thought I would be doing. I am a finance manager at a REALLY awesome Subaru dealership. Like I said, I love what I do, but I thought I would be a teacher or a social worker or something awesome! Instead I am just me. And I am ok with that now.

    I didn’t find my purpose, my purpose found me. Through prayer and time, I have found that what I thought I was going to be wasn’t meant for me. Now I get to help people in a different way. I use my knowledge and grace to help lead people in a non threatening, truthful way. I feel like God gives me these people to work with everyday so that He can be a part of their lives too! I am told over and over again that I am something “special” in this industry. I think God has blinded me from seeing that so that I don’t change the way I do things.

    Now, grief…. Its different every time. I never grieve the same way. Its always ugly, but sometimes it is more destructive than I want. I try to control it, but it has its own way of doing things. I find that I have to just keep praying and asking God to take the pain away. It isn’t mine to hold on to forever. I have to remind myself that I am not in control. That I don’t get to play His cards. I have to remember that when I am in heaven I will be with the ones I love again, yes even my beloved animals!

    I will continue to pray for peace and comfort for you as you go through this. I know just how much our animals mean to us. And with such a sudden loss, I know it is even more difficult. You are loved!

    Ashley Sorrell

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