Larissa's Cancer Blog

Toss the filters journal 1/3/2022

New Years’s eve I sat quietly waiting with the clock to bid farewell to a year that was not the year many of us had wished for.  Now by no means did it come completely void of blessings, but many of us will attest to the fact we were faking a lot of our outer optimism.


With social media and technology we have at our hands filters that we use for all types of things.  Skies look brighter, teeth appear whiter, wrinkles fade away and we can paint a rosey picture of how we wish life felt at any given moment.


As someone who dabbles in photography I have been allowed to capture some of life’s most precious moments.  People spend a lot of money to make sure those photos are perfect. They use them to store the memories of something spectacular and they want them flawless.  To make it happen we bring in the filters, fake lighting, heavy editing and tossing  the less than perfect shots.


The photographer takes on this task, first through the hours that capture every moment them deciding what memories will make the cut. In editing our finger readies to erase the food smudges in the corner of a toddler’s mouth, delete the crying pictures of infants and attempt to decide how much wrinkle and redness to smooth from faces  weathered by life.


With regret we delete and alter each moment to create the clean, happy, stress free memories people long for.  Our hundreds of captured moments, your memories reduced to a fragment of the time spent together, our heart breaking a little with each hit of the delete key.


In life we can’t say good riddance to 365 days, we can’t delete the parts that do not fit into our happy bubble.  Every one of those days shaped us into who we are, taught us where there needs to be change, what we did well, what we were blessed with.  Our new wrinkles, grey hair, stains, blemishes and tears should be as cherished as our laughter and joy.


We are entering 2022, don’t hit delete on 2021 as we journey forward.  Take it with you, learn to gaze upon each memory not as one little, filtered piece but instead an entire picture that needs every piece to be whole.  


Toss the filters, keep the memories and let the world share in you just as you are.  Live each day of 2022 as the best day of your life!

3 people like this post.
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Not easy to do after a year like 2021, but I'll try!
Marcia likes this comment
Blessings for 2022 Larissa. I always enjoy the depth with which you create your posts. There is one particular filter I use, the only filter really, since I like my fine lines and greying hair and that’s the “red eye corrector”. (Your meaning of “filters” was not lost on me though; just threw a little crazy humor in). Blessings 😘
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He. Is. My. Tree. Journal entry September 26 2021

He. Is. My. Tree ….journal September 26, 2021

The day cancer came into our daily vocabulary was September 28, 2004, “survivor day”,  you are nearly upon me once again.  There has been so much going on in the world I have to admit you are sneaking in rather quietly.  I prefer this new you and I hope this relationship remains as understated as it has this past year.


In 2004 we watched Summer turn into Fall from a hospital room as our 17 year old daughter battled the ravages of a double kidney infection.  Her Dad stayed with her through the nights as I went home to care for our 12 and 14 year old children while fighting my own battle that had yet to be named.


In short I recall our eldest being packed in ice as fever refused to leave her, while I was sent to fast and prep for a colonoscopy.  I can barely grasp the memory of the army of people who stepped up to keep our lives and the lives of our little ones going.


I know within a couple of days we sat in front of our 3 and we told them  the news no one should ever have to share and a shadow passed over our home and pressed upon us.


There were rivers of tears, floods of prayers and one tiny seed planted in a Mommy’s heart.  “Please Lord, leave me here long enough to see her graduation, if I could just have that”.


She was just one week into her 17th year.  How do they grow so quickly?  Where do the years go and do we truly cherish them as we should?  That seed grew and I watched her graduate and that seed continued to grow as I was blessed to see our other children graduate.


It is nearly September 28 and that seed of hope I planted has grown into a mighty tree.  I have curled up next to it to rest, climbed it’s branches to see further down the path, leaned into it for strength in the storms and hidden in it’s shade when the days needed some protection.


Etched in the bark are 17 more gloriously cherished years given to me by God.  I can’t measure those days in good or bad as each day comes with joy tucked somewhere within it.  


That seed was planted by me but nourished by the love of a God so powerful that I have curled up next to Him when I need rest, climbed onto His shoulders to see further down the path, leaned into Him for strength in the storms, and hidden in the shade of Him when I needed protection.


This was a day He knew was coming, He knows the number of my days, He is my strength, He is my joy and above all things He is my God.


He. Is. My. Tree.

Carol threw a punch at your cancer.
3 people sent you a prayer.
Carol, Annabelle sent you a hug.
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Simply Beautiful!
Love you, my friend! ❤
I love reading your posts. I learn a little about your family and marvel at your writing and strong faith in God. You always touch my heart and soul. Thank you.
Amazing. Love to you and your family, and Our Father.😘
Larissa, may you continue to have annual rings of healthy growth in your Tree of Life. Thanks for sharing and reminding others that there can be a 'happy ending' to our cancer battles.
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Vital Info


August 29, 2009


Cancer Info

Colon and Rectal Cancer

September 28, 2004

Stage 3C

4.1 - 5.0 cm


That affects more than just me.

That I have more strength than I ever imagined.

left with mild neuropothy, balance and memory issues

Cedar Sinai in Beverly Hills California


Write things down, play memory games and games that make you think quickly

Since the first and 1 recurrence I have lived no evidence of disease


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