I’m thinking back to a week ago this time, and at how very low I was, how small I had let myself get and how I had allowed myself to spin in my own reality, literally bowing down to anything and everything bigger than me. (which right now, feels like almost everything.)
My dad came over unexpectedly (probably because I quit answering my phone for days) the day before my first chemo round, walked into my room, and after I melted into a weepy puddle just at seeing him, ever so subtly, took on the role to kick my ass. “Get dressed, come ‘on, let’s go.” As we walked towards the stairs, he stopped me to look at a picture of me and the boys hanging on the wall that my friend Marla took of us in Florida 3 years ago, big giggling smiles, unaware of the trials ahead we were racing to, and he said “THIS is why… THIS is why you’re fighting.”
After that day of sitting in a diner booth, cramming eggs and ham down my throat at his every scowl, I just thought … “ okay, here we go.” I didn’t get all brave or upright. I didn’t stand up and proclaim courage and endurance. I just quit crying. What right do I have to complain about anything? I am not owed a damn thing and I deserve so, so much less. I’m sure we can make ourselves either happy or miserable. The amount of work is probably the same for both.
I think about what “joy” means a lot now, and where it comes from. He says to us …”that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Where have I forced my joy to come from? What have I focused on and allowed to feed my well of happiness that was wrongfully assigned? How often do I feel entitled or due? Whether it be a certain type of car, or those perfect pair of jeans or that one and only person that was made just for me, or that promotion at work, or going through my day without a grievance or complaint. “If only I had….”
So, this last week, I just started working on my freaking attitude. That is ONE thing I have control over. It doesn’t mean I poof into a realm of non-fear. (I’m freaking scared!). It doesn’t mean I’m not going to feel like crap.
(I do!) It just means I don’t have to feel powerless and anxious and full of worry. I can give that up, because He tells us to. Oh, how it’s the lesson of this season for me.
Ok… so. Chemo. After I just wrote a drawn out yawner about joy and non-complaint…. chemo freaking sucks. I keep telling myself it wasn’t as bad as I had myself all built up for, but I had noooooooooo idea it would hit me as hard as it did. So here’s the gig… since I have 3c ovarian cancer, that little “c” means I have tiny little specs left in my abdominal area after the surgery, scattered all over. Their best attack at that, is to literally pour chemo all over my guts. Yes, they actually roll me around to make sure it gets all over. So, I have this needle in my stomach and an IV in my arm doing normal infusion. For six hours. It’s kind of a double hit. Most just have the IV. But alas, they duped me cool enough to get the IV and the IP… um, at once. I’m going to admit, it’s not awesome. The exhaustion that hits is like a train, like a Nyquil train and the feeling that takes over your core is like a wooshy, heavy swirl that is just enough nauseating to make every smell and every food repulsive. Subsequently, I didn’t eat for 3 days which is not what I needed whatsoever. Around the 4th day, I finally started feeling able to sit upright and a smoothie even sounded appetizing. Success! It didn’t kill me. Now, for the next hit…. in two days.
Thank God, Brandy was here. With her bouncing curls and her knee high socks, she was this ray of sunshine that just appeared and made sure I was giggling and happy. She made the long trip here from Canada, then to Portland and back and sat bedside with me while I was literally dead asleep for 3 days. I think she may have seen my eyes open 4 times. She played with my boys and kept Jake entertained and kept my parents giggling. Perfect.
Jake has been awesome taking on the full load of just about everything. Kids, school, houses, errands, my meds… his mom has been here to help when he’s working and we’ve had an endless parade of meals and help from friends and beyond. SO, incredibly blessed and grateful.
What I’m praying for now, is for grace and mercy from my poor clients who have been waiting on me to finish their projects, the ability to get caught up with work and the strength to start planning ahead for new design work as it’s what I’m limited to for now. Praying God keeps my hands free and nimble from neuropathy so that I’m able to and that projects presents themselves as He sees fit. For understanding in the things that I don”t understand. For the ability to rest in things I”ll never be able to control.
….difficult… but not impossible.