Let me introduce you to my ghost: her name is Desiree

Desiree was the most lovely soul you could ever meet! Her name was Desiree Dalton Cedillo, and she was from San Antonio, TX. She was incredibly beautiful on the outside, but she was beyond breathtaking on the inside. She radiated life and love and family. She was a much-beloved wife and wonderful mom to 3 young boys. Desiree was a devoted Christian and she had an especially strong bond with her father. He absolutely adored her: you could tell from the Facebook photos he posted of the family in pink “Team Desiree” tee-shirts. His name is Brad Dalton.

I had the serendipitous cosmic luck to meet Desiree through my volunteering efforts with other breast cancer survivors. Of course, I was probably 15 years older than she was and was divorced with no kids, but her spirit was infectious. We were spreading awareness about early detection at a local community college in 2015 (I think). She was so genuine and authentic. We both told our stories that day, me after her. She came up to me and said, since I was a two-timer: “Wow, I thought I had been through a lot, but I had no idea.” Can you see why I loved her instantly? I was going through my second divorce at the time. I was about to become a Nobody to Nobody. She became my Facebook friend after photos of that day were posted and tagged. *File this detail away for now*

I kept up with her through some of these groups, but I was going through some challengers of a different kind for a period and lost touch with her.

The last time I checked on Desiree on Facebook, I found out she was dead. She was in her early 30s, how and when did this happen? How could this happen? How could GOD allow this to happen? I still don’t understand why Desiree and Sarah JP (a fellow 29-year-old volunteer, newly graduated nurse who I last knew had metastatic brain cancer) were now Dead? They are both in the photo from that day in 2015.

Every day, I look at my surroundings and I say to myself: would Desiree’s house look like this? No way! She was so organized!

Next I say: would Desiree be wallowing in pity like this? No way! She was a True Believer until the end.

Throughout the day, I say: would Desiree be lying in bed because she’s in pain? No way, she was much stronger than that! And she’d be running after her three little boys and preparing dinner for her husband and selling those vitamins she sold on Facebook. And doing things with her Dad and family who loved her so much.

If anyone knows Desiree’s dad, could you tell him I’m SO SORRY!! I wasn’t even trying to survive, I didn’t even care and I still don’t. I would trade my life for hers in an instant if it would bring her back to you. She was so wonderful❣️ Please, please, please forgive me for still being here when she’s not. It makes no sense to me, either.

This Battle…Again?? 2012

“Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer at its earliest stages have a 93 percent rate of surviving for at least five years, according to the American Cancer Society. The survival rate drops to 81 percent once the disease has progressed to Stage II. If the breast cancer was at Stage III when it was discovered, the survival rate drops to 67 percent. Women with Stage IV breast cancer have a 15 percent survival rate. The American Cancer Society notes that every woman’s situation is different and that new treatments are continuing to improve survival rates among women with breast cancer.”

Thank you, Jesus, for bringing that little pea-sized pellet to my attention so early. I’m ready to war against this disease again, and I hope I learn something this time that will prove useful to others heading down the same path. I thank you also for the brilliant team of doctors you have assembled for me – even as I must depend on government assistance for their services. These men (the last time, in Dallas, you provided me with a gifted team of women) are truly a “dream team.” Knowing 3 members of this team will be diligently working on me for 6-7 hours next Wednesday confirms Your Presence in all things. I thank You that I am truly in the palm of Your hand – the safest, calmest, and most protected place I could hope to be. Thank You for giving me a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Anxious fear never comes from You, and though it tries to infect me with a vigorous and continual onslaught, I have only to praise You to obtain a blessed and calming reprieve. I know that you inhabit the praises of Your people, and I am proud to count myself as one of Yours. Please give me the guidance and supernatural strength to glorify You throughout this process…. let my words be Your words, and my steps those You have chosen in building a path for me. Lastly, Lord, I ask You to fill in for me where I fall short on this journey. For, even though my goals are high and spiritual, I am still bound by an earthly body of flesh and bone. And even though I want to resist the desires of my flesh, I am sad to be losing some very important (to me!) parts of that flesh. You alone can turn my mourning into dancing; You can bring addition from what is taken away; joy from loss and grief. After all, I’m just a girl – and a flawed one at that – but You see me as so much more. You’ve adopted me, justified me, cleansed me, and turned me into a much-beloved Royal Daughter. You gave up SO much more on the cross than what I am reluctantly parting with – and You did so willingly and absolutely! Thank you for turning me into a Princess the moment I chose You, despite what You know about me. For you have known me from my mother’s womb, even before the foundations of the earth. Still my fast-beating heart, Lord, and help me keep my focus on You. Amen and amen.

You’ll notice I don’t write about Jesus very much anymore. We’re not on the outs, we’re just taking a breather. 9/2021