Surviving Breast Cancer, special guest Tammy Williamson (audio & transcript)

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Amy Watson 0:00
She told me that she thought the machine was broken. Or perhaps the technician was brand new, and just kind of learned in her way. It was just after her 40th birthday. And the mom of six probably found the day spent at the doctor as a huge inconvenience annoyance. Her children ranging from ages 10 to 17, or no doubt at home, wonder where Mama was, and what was for dinner. She described the ultrasound and how she laid on the hard table and a probable cold room. She talked about when the technician took a multiplicity of pictures, and then left the room, returning only to capture additional images. When the phone call came a few days later, the voice on the other end, described her diagnosis as invasive, aggressive, unusual. She described the gut punch, because she heard that news as a mom of six, and the word stroke, fear and all of her because the doctor said you have cancer. She thought of their six children who were dependent on her who had raised them, who would teach them the ways of the world who would keep them safe, who would be there for all of the hallmarks, the graduations, the weddings, who would teach them all of the things that was her responsibility? Aggressive, invasive, unusual. She told me that that’s a good description for maybe some character traits or something else but not a diagnosis. She told me how it felt to lose her hair, and how that made her feel like she was losing her identity. She told me how she had her husband shave her head. She told me how they both sobbed. She told me about her throat closing up as she had an allergic reaction. After her second chemo treatment, she described the fight that often ensued because she had several fainting spells. Sometimes in front of her children. She told me of the radiation. She told me of how she just continued to wonder who would be there for her kids who take care of them. She told me she wasn’t afraid of dying. She told me she wasn’t afraid of meeting Jesus. She just wanted to be a mama to their six kids. But then she told me what Jesus did in the form of his people. She told me about the piece that only comes from him. She told me her story, and she’s here to share it with you today. Today, Tammy Williamson is here to give us the hope of her story as she finishes the rest of the story. The rescue story. This is the Wednesday’s with Watson podcasts. And we are in October of 2021. Let’s drop into this episode with Tammy Williams and as we observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but more importantly, the hope that comes Starr.

Hey guys, and welcome to our bonus episode, Wednesdays with Watson. This is October of 2021. And this is the month that we highlight breast cancer awareness. And so today’s episode is a interview with a breast cancer survivor. It is a bonus drop. I hope that you enjoy this conversation was dropped to that right now. Okay, so today I have here with me, the young lady that is going to represent for us this year and the year 2021 As we highlight Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Tammy Williamson. Hey, Tammy, welcome to the podcast. Hey, thanks. It’s so funny because you and I have some connections that are interesting. Your mom and dad worked at the children’s home that I was in. They were not my house parents because by then I had left I was working there actually but so you come from a family of people who love kids you yourself work in and maybe we’ll have some time to talk about what you do you also work with children and at risk youth it seems to me and then we also went to the best College in the world hashtag we are Clearwater, Clearwater, Christian College Alumni right here. And perhaps the moderators of the Facebook page, the CCC memories will allow us to post this episode because we are Clearwater Christian College alumni. And so well, let’s just jump right into it. And so I have one question for you. Because this is, this is just something that everybody’s gonna want to know. And I especially want to know, you are a mom to six kids. And okay, and they range from right now what ages do they range from?

Tammy Williamson 5:32
The youngest one is 18, and the oldest one just turned 26.

Amy Watson 5:36
Okay, so six kids. So did you always want a big family?

Tammy Williamson 5:41
No, well, no, we were gonna have three.

Amy Watson 5:44
Yeah, and then, and then not. I wanted one more. And then Surprise, surprise. Gotcha, gotcha. And how do they break up between boys, boys and girls?

Tammy Williamson 5:54
boy, girl, boy, boy, girl, boy. So we have four boys, two girls.

Amy Watson 5:58
Wow. Very, very cool. And so I bet that makes life interesting. Although you’re kind of on the back nine of it now with your 18 year old is that is your 18 year old in college or a senior in high school.

Tammy Williamson 6:09
He is leaving maximum for the Air Force.

Amy Watson 6:12
Oh, my gosh, thank you and him for that!

Tammy Williamson 6:15
he will be our fourth military child.

Amy Watson 6:18
Wow. Do you guys come from a military family?

Tammy Williamson 6:22
My dad was Air Force. But that’s all

Amy Watson 6:25
Wow. Well, thank you on behalf of a grateful nation, but especially me, because that is a heat. We know that the families also, you know, pay the price, you know, and it’s so interesting. As a segue, this is a podcast about post traumatic stress disorder. And one of the reasons why I started is because people just thought, hey, you know, PTSD is just a military thing. And we have spent I think, by the time your episode drops, it’ll be 44 or 45. episodes, telling people that PTSD is not just something in the military, and full disclosure, you have not been diagnosed with PTSD. But we are going to discuss today your breast cancer journey and how how you can help those people who are on the other side who have earbuds in right now who are listening to your story. And so let’s just jump right into this. So our listeners heard your story. At the beginning of the podcast, of particular potency to me, when you were telling me the story was that day when you and I got chills, even speaking to you right now, the day, when you were laying on what was probably a hard table in a cold room, getting an ultrasound, you’re going to be able to tell that story better than I can walk us through that day. So obviously, you had found something that the doctor said, we need to take care of this, you ended up in a room with an ultrasound tech. Tell me that story.

Tammy Williamson 7:55
So the doctor had said he was he was going to send me for some more testing because I had found this lump and I was already at the doctor’s office. And he said it would probably just be a mammogram, no big deal. And then if they need to, though, they might do an ultrasound, just wait and see. So I got there and they did the mammogram and the one side, she did like three images. And she was done. And she did right side where my cancer later they found it almost seemed like she didn’t know what she was doing. Because she kept redoing some of the tests and then having me move just a little more and doing it again. she’d leave the room, she came back, she left and it just didn’t feel right. But she wouldn’t say a word about it. And then after a few minutes, the next time she came back, she goes, You know what, Here, put this on, and she gave me like a little robot, she goes, we’re just gonna go down the hall. Like, I don’t think the machine’s broken. Here I am with my sarcasm like that I break it. Like what happened, you know, she still doesn’t give me any indication. And we go to another room and, and they do an ultrasound on it doesn’t tell me anything else just, oh, we’re just gonna do a quick ultrasound to double check things. And then she sent me home. And I had to wait for the doctor, like, you know, they’re not super fast to call you, like a week or so. And they scheduled an appointment, how many come in? And so not only did they call and say, Hey, we need you to come in, but they wouldn’t tell me anything.

Amy Watson 9:23
Wow. So when you because a lot of people are going to be listening to this because we’re going to promote it everywhere, you know, in 50% of this country. And there are men, by the way who get breast cancer, you know, are women and so there are going to be people listening. And we both went to Clearwater Christian College. So it stands to reason that we’re both Christians. And so I know that you believe in the star of the story that we talked about on this podcast, but can you can you invite us into your headspace for a minute, especially when she was walking out and walking in walking out walking in? I mean, were you just kind of like your typical Enneagram seven which we’ll get to In a minute, and this is no big deal, just something’s going on, or did you go to a dark place in your head? At that moment?

Tammy Williamson 10:08
You know, I started out with what is she doing? She does not know what she’s doing. Yeah, maybe she’s new and then I kind of and and before I even got there, I was like, it’s probably something stupid like an ingrown hair or a bot fly or something really ridiculous. Like I was just picturing just weird. And but then the more she came in and out, and she showed no expression, the more I was like, this is like a sucker punch to the gut like this is this is not right, whatever it is, I could tell. I had never had a mammogram before, but I knew that what was going on wasn’t normal.

Amy Watson 10:47
Yeah, cuz you were barely 40. It either just turned 40. Or what was turning,

Tammy Williamson 10:52
I found the lump the day before my 40th birthday. Wow.

Amy Watson 10:55
And so then the doctor when they finally did give you the diagnosis they gave, they use words like aggressive, invasive, unusual. Invite me into your head now.

Tammy Williamson 11:10
I believe I actually said to him, something to the effect of well, in fact, that might be a good thing as as a character trait or a way to describe somebody that is not one I hear what I want to hear about a diagnosis. anything positive, you can say about this. And if he he had no humor, and he just just kept saying all his other big words. And he’s like, Well, this is not normal. people your age don’t get this. This isn’t it? He didn’t. He didn’t make it sound like I was on my deathbed. But he also wasn’t encouraging at all. It was very surreal.

Amy Watson 11:51
Were you scared?

Tammy Williamson 11:53
It oddly enough, I wasn’t scared. For me. I wasn’t scared about dying. I wasn’t scared about meeting Jesus, I was scared. Just a minute, I don’t I don’t like emotions. And I was scared that my kids were gonna have to grow up without a mom.

Amy Watson 12:18
Yeah. And I want to let that breathe for a minute. Because I think that that is going to resonate so heavily with our listeners, is that you are afraid that your kids are going to have to grow up without a mom. And so as we were going back and forth on preparing for this episode, we talked about this. And I gotta be honest with you, Tammy, one of the things that I did not see coming when I developed the Wednesday’s with Watson podcasts. And this keeps happening is that my guest began to enter into even more healing as they tell their story. And it’s just the power of story. And particularly if you’re a Christian, the power of story to impact somebody else. And so, so I dive down a little bit. And this is the second time I’ve heard tears from you. And I cried when I first heard it, because we process this over, over Voxer. So I pushed a little bit, tell the listeners this story about your daughter. And the question that she asked her dad, and then I want to lead into something else from there.

Tammy Williamson 13:27
So we raised our children in a Christian home, and they were all in Christian School to different schools at the time because of their age ranges. But she was at a Christian High School 15. And she was at the same school where her father taught. And one day right after a couple of days after the diagnosis, it might have been like after their chapel or something. She she went and found her father in the hallway. And she was emotionally a train wreck. And she just buried her head in his chest. And she said, Why did God give my mother cancer?

Amy Watson 14:07
Another thing that I want to let breathe because from from the mouth of babes, right? And so this was in 2000. And it was 13. Right? And so then, so as you and I were processing through this, you sent that same daughter a text message because I said, I asked you I said what did Jeff say back to her? And you said about oh, no, let me ask her. So I want to read. So when you reached out to her and said, What did your dad say to you? When you asked that question, this was her text exchange with you. And I’m going to read the text message with your permission to do that that she sent to you. He said something along the lines of I don’t know why. Sometimes God puts us in hard situations in our life to grow us into teach us and ultimately to draw us closer to him. I don’t know why He chose to give us his heart situation and the form of mom’s cancer. But we need to trust that he has a bigger plan than we can see. And that was a good answer, because he just said, I don’t know why God decided. And I think that was, that’s the best thing a parent can say. So then after that, you thanked her. And then after that, this is what she said. She said, I was 15. And so this is for those of you out there, maybe with a mom who has cancer, she said I was 15. So if I were to give another 15 year old advice, if they were in the same situation, is that I wish that someone would have told me that it wasn’t about me, I wasn’t the one sick, I wasn’t the one in pain, I should have thought of what I could have been doing for you. And for the family. Too many people kept checking on me to see how I was handling it, which made me think that the situation was about me having a sick mom, I wish someone would have showed me how I could have been more of a help to you or the family, I was so consumed with the fear that I might lose my mom, and what that might look like for my future, instead of what my mom was actually going through. The best advice I have for a child going through what we went through, is that it’s important to be persistent. And to remember, the person is sick is probably more scared than you are. And so that is her message to children out there who have moms with breast cancer or really any terminal disease. And then you sent me another message from your son, who also is given advice, I would say, and he quotes life is unknown and painful. But we have right now at least spend as much time with people or the person that you love as you can while you can. Because we never know what tomorrow may hold. Anything can happen at any time, no need to worry about what may happen when things are uncertain. He goes Idk. And for those of you don’t know what that means, I don’t know. That’s tough. And so I’m really grateful that your kids was able to give us messages. And that was just two of your six that gave messages to children out there whose moms are have breast cancer or really any other terminal disease. I do want to ask you, though, on that first text that your daughter sent you. Was that surprising to you? Like she thought it was about her? How did that hit your mom’s heart this many years later?

Tammy Williamson 17:45
It wasn’t surprising, because she she was a little more standoffish and she was like I was always checking. Are you okay? How’s everybody doing? You know? And I guess I didn’t know that she felt like that. But I don’t think I was super surprised. Her sisters reply. I was a little more surprised.

Amy Watson 18:05
Do you have that right there? Can you read that to us?

Tammy Williamson 18:08
I do. Now her sister was only 11. Kira, she says I felt scared, mostly just scared of the unknown. I think I was 11. At the time, I wasn’t sad. I didn’t cry. Because I just didn’t know what was going to happen. I was scared of not having a mother kept picturing this sad image of dad holding our hands and crying and telling us you’re gone. That would instantly put me into a very dark mood. Didn’t feel like talking to anyone really, because what was there to say? We didn’t know anything about how bad it was in the beginning. As time went on, and we learned it wasn’t too severe and wasn’t necessarily life threatening. I felt a bit more peace, that seeing you become disabled and sick was hard. The Times you passed out or especially terrifying. But how do you as a child, protect the person that’s meant to keep you safe? It was a strange thing. I’ve never really had to sit and think about it. And you feel very helpless. Like you’re just a bystander watching the invincible force in your life fate. And watching you cry over your hair and your body was upsetting. I can’t put my finger on what but it made me cry. I wanted to shave my head for some reason, because to me hair wasn’t a big deal. And I didn’t understand. But you are a grown woman in your eras important part of beauty to you. If I were to give advice to a kid to go through this, I’d say protect them from the harsher parts. Give them the reassurance of your love for them. Keep them by your side during the times that you’re home healing and give them as many hugs as you can. I still treasure the memories of me and mom just hanging out into her room watching old movies and laughing and making snacks or going to the grocery store together and she let me help get the stuff off the shelf. That made me feel less helpless. I didn’t get that one on one time with her a lot I think gave me a lot of comfort in the moment. But she did, I think I sent you a little picture of her in the grocery cart pushing me at the grocery card, and

Amy Watson 20:09
I’m not crying, you’re not crying listeners, you’re crying. Wow, so powerful. And so while you’ve never been diagnosed with PTSD, and I’m not saying that your children would have either this is just me being a friend to you, it is likely that as you’re seeing that there is some residual effects to them. Because PTSD, by definition, is when your safety is compromised. And while my mom was an a great mom, and I didn’t live with her my whole life, I was 10 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. And I remember how I like I couldn’t have articulated it better than your daughter just did. And so for those listeners out there who have kids, Tammy is clearly on the other side of this and you and you heard that in the cold opening. That’s the spoiler alert is that she is a survivor of breast cancer. But you can see just he can hear in her voice, and I’m watching the tears and I’ve had tears and we’ve all had tears over this, but no breast cancer survivors out there. If you have children to watch for these things, we talk about counseling all the time on this podcast, this is probably a good time to get your children in counseling if you’re a parent, and particularly if you’re a mom with a terminal illness. There’s another story I want you to tell and then I promise I’m done making you stop crying is and your daughter they’re referred to shaving her head. I sobbed. When you told me this story, I want you to tell listeners.

Tammy Williamson 21:42
Ah, so the doctor told me that yes, I would probably lose my hair. But it would probably take maybe six weeks till it started fall out. I had really long hair. I’ve always had long hair. It’s very thick. People usually comment on it when I go places. So when he told me it would probably fall out, I cut it really short, like, almost to my shoulders because I didn’t want clumps and clumps of long hair falling out. I thought that would be easier to deal with. And I was horrified. Even with it short, I didn’t like it. So I was I knew once it came out it was I was I was gonna be very unhappy. But I thought I still had time. Two weeks, maybe it started coming out by the handfuls like, there was no way to hide it. There was nothing I rushed to the store the wig store and looked at all these wigs. I didn’t know what I was doing. I did a lot of them didn’t fit well, because small My head’s kind of small to have like little things where you can tighten them. And then while I was there, cracking my jokes as usual. I I thought you know what, I never dye my hair, I’m gonna do something different. So I did, I got a blonde wig. And I went, Oh, we’ve won like platinum, blonde. And short it was it was cute. And I went home and after the kids went to bed that night, I had my husband shaved my head, and I don’t think I’ve ever cried that much about myself that I can remember. Um, we both cried. We both sobbed. And then I think I cried myself to sleep that night. Because I felt like I was losing my identity.

Amy Watson 23:31
Yeah, that will resonate with other people out there who, who you know what I’m saying? Cuz it wasn’t really about the hair. I think it was kind of about this emotional release. Which kind of leads me into this next question. We do not have you. I wish I could do a whole series on the Enneagram and trauma but you’re not part of that series. But I do want to address it because you said something a couple times. Now. You say you’ve taken the test and it typed you as a type seven, which I call the good time Charlie’s, which my memories of you is just that right Enneagram type seven because we want it we’re trying to help people know that if you’re aware of how you how God made you, then you could also be aware of how to process loss and trauma. So as an Enneagram seven sevens do not like to be trapped in emotional pain and they will do anything they can do to not be trapped in emotional pain. I have a friend and as a matter of fact the person that that will be our Enneagram seven in that series would travel the world and you know, some people abuse substances, food, all the things you clearly use that unbelievable sense of humor and sarcasm, didn’t you? Oh yes all the time. I everything everywhere I go everything I do. Yes. Yeah, it’s so so any gram sevens out there hear me you know when I say that? She used sarcasm and humor and all the things and Tammy is doing okay. You know, I’m looking You never hear on Zoom. And she doesn’t appear to have have been incredibly traumatized by this. But there have been tears because as you revisit this time in your life, it is kind of like that poem footprints in the sand, when at the very end when there’s only one set of footprints, and and Jesus says it was Ben that I carried you. And I don’t know about you to me, but I look back at my own breast cancer journey and my own life and my own all of that. And I think, how in the world did I get through that, and I get those words in my head from that poem, it was then that I carried you. And so for those of you out there listening, I think that it’s just by the pure grace of God, that when we’re going through something as intense as this, that we don’t feel the intensity of it, because we can’t really wrap our heads around it. But don’t be surprised at breast cancer survivors or any survivors of any trauma. Because that’s happened to me when you get on the other side of it sometimes, that is when you fall apart. That is when the emotions happen. And that is when and life wasn’t great for you. And that this is not something we’re going to cover on this podcast, because it’s not our story to tell. But life wasn’t great for you after this, you had a significant loss after this. And so So you’ve had a tough road, but you’ve just remained faithful. One of the things Tammy that this podcast also focuses on is the importance of community. And you gave me a couple of examples. And I just want you to pick one, maybe your favorite of how community showed up for you and your family during this time.

Tammy Williamson 26:31
Absolutely. It. It was amazing the amount of people and it was hard for me to choose just one. But I think the biggie the most shocking, amazing one. Mind you. We had six kids, we did not drive a minivan. I drove a mega van, it was how do you fit eight people. And one morning, well into the chemo and treatments and all of that. The van didn’t start and come to find out I believe we needed a transmission, which we were already strapped for money from bills, cancer bills to six kids in private school to, you know, food. So my children, you know, a Christian school they have, they had prayer time every morning with our class and the youngest one when they were the teacher asked for prayer requests. He raised his hand and he told them to pray about a vehicle wasn’t working. And he didn’t know all about what it was. He just the vehicle wasn’t working. And all the kids in the class already knew his mom had cancer because they’d already been praying for it. And one of the little girls in the class she went home and she told her mom and mom told her ladies prayer group, ladies prayer group prayed about it. One of the ladies and ladies prayer group has a husband who owns a local dealership. She went home and she told her husband about it. And he I don’t know what he did. He ran she had the thing towed to his one of his dealerships because he had multiple ones had it repaired. And when I went to pick it up a week later, they handed me this bill itemized and it was huge. They crossed out the final number. But everything I mean, I didn’t pay a dime, but they gave it back to me crossed out with with everything on there, what they did change replacing a transmission. In the meantime, the little girl the first little girl, her mother loaned us her father’s car. He’s a surgeon. He rode his bicycle to work every day that week. And I swear it rained every day it was rainy season as a surgeon rode his bicycle to work every day so that we would have a vehicle that can fit the kids and get everybody to school because you can’t put eight people in a Toyota Corolla. And and then while we had his vehicle, one of the guests window down and it didn’t go back up. And we had yet another friend come in, who owned a different dealership and fix that window and didn’t charge us for it. And wow, that day. I mean, it was just amazing.

Amy Watson 29:12
Yeah, and, and we know that we can’t do life. We just can’t do life without community. And you also told me of meals that were brought, and we could go on and on and on. And so survivors are people going through this right now. Do not forget the importance of community. I know that not everybody that listens to this podcast believes in Jesus or the star of the story. And in this case, this is how this has happened. This happened. This came from basically local church wood or a Christian school, that it came from the body of Christ and the way of community. But this question is going to be a little a little raw and a little hard for you to answer but you’re a strong woman. You have six kids Hashtag we are clear water. We’re strong, smart and dependent, well educated people. How was it for you? How did you feel when all these people were pouring into you given that, like I said, at the beginning of the podcast, your parents worked at a children’s home, you now are kind of in a similar vein. And so clearly you’re you have a heart for service. How was that like for you? I really, really want to know.

Tammy Williamson 30:28
It. It was almost awkward, like I had hadn’t been in that position very much. Because usually I was on the giving end of things and making sure everybody else was okay. I’m also a mental health counselor, I’m always making sure everybody else is okay. And most people don’t ask me and if they do, I say something witty, and we move on. So to be on that receiving end, it took a little getting used to the kids loved all the food, they were like, Wow, mom, this is better than i Whoa, let’s not go there. So, it but it was, I believe it’s harder for their father than it was for me to accept it. But it was just unusual. It was almost like being in an awkward situation where you don’t know what to say. I didn’t know what you know what to say?

Amy Watson 31:19
Yeah. Do you feel like that? And you can decline to answer this question. But was there pride involved? Like, I don’t, I don’t need a hand up or hand down or hand or anything. I don’t need this. I can fight this. We can do this. Was there any of that for you?

Tammy Williamson 31:35
I don’t think so. I just felt like I was so surprised that I don’t know why, because it’s the body of Christ. But I sometimes felt surprised that they would do so much. I mean, people from out of state that I barely knew from former churches were sending things. But I’m on the flip side of that, again, I was a mental health therapist, I work for a mental health facility, not one coworker, or employer sent me a note checked on me, gave me a paid day off, like, I didn’t get paid unless I work, nothing from work. Everything was from the body of Christ, from the Christian schools, to the church to family and friends from out of the area that were also Christians from work.

Amy Watson 32:25
That is so sad to me. And so, you know, again, we go back to church, which is one of the season our podcasts and the importance of church. The other see that I want to ask you about is did you ever, during or after seek counseling to process any of this?

Tammy Williamson 32:47
As a matter of fact, no, I am a mental health counselor and I, I did not. I’m very good at getting other people to tell me about their emotions. But I very good at not talking about mine.

Amy Watson 33:01
Do you? Can you when you look back on it? Do you see how maybe counseling could have been advantageous for not only you but for your children?

Tammy Williamson 33:09
Definitely. Especially for my children. I felt like I I wasn’t as worried for me. I was just wanting to make sure they were okay. And I spent most of my focus on them. So I didn’t have really a lot of time to worry about what was going on with me. I was just like, long as my kids are okay.

Amy Watson 33:27
Yeah, yeah. And so you know, and I don’t think that’s uncommon. I think that when, when you’re faced with a crisis like that counseling is not going to be top of mind. But for those of you out there listening, who are still struggling, or maybe did get PTSD, and we’ve talked many times why some people will actually get a PTSD diagnosis after something like this, and why some people won’t. It’s just the way your were made. It doesn’t have anything to do with how strong your faith is. It doesn’t have anything to do with, you know, how smart you are, how much money you have, some people are just going to be pushed outside of that window of tolerance that we talked about, and some aren’t. But it’s always good to go out and push it out in this particular case, particularly your kids. And I want to close the podcast with this story. Because I think it’s so powerful. You told me a story, because you brought your kids up several times now. And even when we talked about it, and you have six of them, and so they’re a big deal, right? You told me a story that I think that maybe people who are going through breast cancer right now would love this thing that you did as it pertains to your children. And it just speaks to your heart and the heart of mom who who loves Jesus and who clearly knows how to be a parent and that’s foreign to me. I have no context for this. And so when you told me this part, I actually kind of ugly cried because you were so concerned with your kids. What did you do that first Mother’s Day

Tammy Williamson 35:00
So all along the whole time, I was so worried about every event was could be our last because I didn’t know. I mean, I had heard that a lot of people survived it. But I also heard some people don’t. So every event was a, this could be my last. And so Mother’s Day that year, I insisted on taking the kids to lunch, we, we don’t go out much we never did it just, you know, it’s expensive. But I took them. And I, of course, went to a place that kids like, I didn’t pick, you know, my favorite restaurant and pick their favorite restaurant. And we had a fun little lunch and shakes and and then I wrote them on Mother’s Day cards, which most people are like, Why would you do that? Because I wanted to tell them how important they were, how unique they were, how loved they were. And I didn’t want them to have a question. That, yeah, so I wanted to make sure I’m and I actually, somehow along the way, I feel like I managed to steal each one of them back and I put it in their baby book so that one day they they will have that still because who knows where kids put things you know, like, under their dresser in the closet. So I just wanted to make sure she would something happened down the road, they still would have that little bit of an oftentimes I find myself when Mother’s Day come around. I don’t know that I’ve done it every year. But I wasn’t in the me to note something just unique. Just telling them why they’re so important not because of any thing they’ve done no trophy they’ve earned but just how I love them for them.

Amy Watson 36:41
You know, you bring up that that last thing that there’s less words that you just used is happens to be a lyric of one of my favorite songs that’s popular right now, where it says I’ve never been more love than I am right now it doesn’t take a trophy to make you proud. But I’ve never been more loved than I am right now and what you did, Tammy, and again, I have no context for this because I didn’t have a mom that that cared, or that needed to be a mom. But how precious that you did that for them. And that you and that’s what this podcast is about to is that you are known and seen and heard and loved and valued for who you are not because of what you do that because of who you are. Because God decided to wake you up that morning. And so I love that. And I thought that the listeners would love that. And I think it’s just so precious, especially that you kept it. And I just think of I think of a verse When I think of you now this now you have to kind of read the entire chapter of John chapter 11. Because when Jesus says this verse that I’m getting ready to say, he’s talking cryptically a little bit, right. But we can apply it here in some ways where it was when Lazarus was sick. And of course, Jesus didn’t come didn’t come. And he’d said to his disciples, and John 1124, it says, this sickness is not unto death, but unto the glory of My Father who is in heaven. And what I want to say to you, Tammy is that sickness, thank you, Jesus wasn’t unto physical death of Tammy Williamson on this planet. But today, on this day that we’re recording this podcast, and it’ll be out there in podcast land forever. This sickness was unto the glory of our heavenly Father, the star of the story, Jesus, who we highlight on this podcast. And so thank you for being here today. And I just want to I want to give the microphone to you as we close out the podcast or any message you have for anyone out there, who who is either diagnosed and surviving his children. The mic is yours for anything that you would like to say to people who find themselves in the position that you were in. Well, I

Tammy Williamson 38:48
found a lot of people when they go through something they they keep going back to why me why me and one of my biggest thoughts through the whole thing was why not me one an honor that God would choose me to use as an example for my kids as they hadn’t gone through any hard times before. Why not let them go through that in a safety of their home for for the people that I’ve talked to since then, that are going through stuff to help them through and to show him like, you can go through this gracefully however, I mean, probably wasn’t perfect. I probably really messed up a few times, but he got me through it, you know, why not? Me so that that that was kind of the biggie and, you know, spend a lot of time in prayer. Find find an older Christian lady to talk to they have a lot of time on their hands, they love that kind of thing. And then they’ll pray for you like nobody else. Go to a counselor. You need to tell get your close friends a lot of my Clearwater buddies like, we we get together twice a year and through that time, we we got together There are a couple times and it wasn’t just me gone through it, one of the girls daughters was going through cancer. So we I mean, we had that bond where we were there to support each other and pray for each other. And they check in on me all the time.

Amy Watson 40:12
So basically, Tammy is preaching the Wednesday was with Watson podcast message, she’s saying, Go to the star of the story, go to your community, get counseling if you need it. And I love what you just said, Why not me? So often, we will indict God and say, How can a good God give a mom of six cancer? How can that even happen? And if we flip that question of, I’m so honored that he picked me as a steward of this suffering. You know, one of my favorite verses in the Bible often quoted on this podcast is is Romans chapter eight, verse 58, where the Bible says, I want you to know that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. And the translation of that is like what we deal with down here cannot be compared with the beauty that is going to be made in eternity, the weight of glory, some translations say that this suffering cannot be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. And so thank you so much for being here with us today. We are Clearwater hashtag. I’m so grateful for you, I am grateful that you’re in this world. I’m grateful for what you how you show up in this world. And I hope that this experience has been somewhat cathartic for you as it has for me. And both of those things have been really unexpected for me on this podcast. And so I so appreciate what you do. I so appreciate you being here. And this episode will drop on the October the 27th 2021. And attached to that episode will be a little gift from me to you. And so I can’t wait for you to hear that. So thank you so much to me for being here with us today. Thank you guys, I hope that you enjoyed that episode. My friends call me William said, I hope that it brought hope to you. I hope that you gain some knowledge as to how to do life with people with terminal illnesses or illnesses that lives. While you’re at it, make sure while you’re on that podcast app that you if you’re not subscribed that you just open it up, follow or subscribe an apple podcast that’s the top right hand corner and other than that, I encourage you to head over into our patreon account where we have bonus content.

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