Ok, so there comes a point when you’ve committed to blogging where, say, you don’t for a while and then you feel completely and utterly overwhelmed with all the updates, pictures and little ditties that need to be said to bring everyone up to date, but then you realize that not only is this bit about blogging going to be a TOTAL run on sentence and grammatically incorrect on a million levels, but that it’s been over 2 months since you updated last, and then you just sit and stare at your computer screen in a coffee shop surrounded by a lot of other stumped bloggers and think, crap… Facebook updates just aren’t cutting it, I just need a total cleanse. A blogoscopy.
This is my view right now. Mrs. Cheryl McIntosh is on a mission to detoxify me. AND she just scowled at me because after detailing all the the kinds of sugar I can’t eat anymore, I popped a sweetTart in my mouth and laughed. Stubborn? No. Deliberately rebellious? Nah. <insert another sweetTart here>
So instead of “Rice Krispy covered french toast”, she’s using words like: enzymes, burdock tea, yeast flakes, beets, dandelion root, liver and colon. And where she thinks she’s hilarious by making a play on words using the word Whey. Like, let’s make some “whey delicious pancakes.”, uh huh, you’re funny.
So here we are, in February. It’s been a freakin’ doozy of a lot of days and weeks filled with a lot of stuff that has been both really good, and also, really lame. We’re in over 6 months of this stuff. For some that may seems like no time at all, but for us, it’s been life altering on every level and unfortunately been the cloud over just about every single day.
It’s ALL we talk about. I’m kind over it. The last several months have been filled to the brim with downers and hope (mostly hope) but the downers are enough to sweep you out at the knee and knock you flat. Here’s the cool part… all of us in this together… we know more this year than we did last year, on SO many levels we’re just more wise. Confucius says … “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. So much has been experienced and only half of it has anything to do with cancer.
After a return to the hospital by ambulance for a crazy week of ANOTHER abdominal surgery, NG tubes, an ER visit for a busted open incision and our final (God willing) dose of chemo (this time, Carboplatinum, errrrr harf) … I will, with no pride, admit to being completely wiped out. I’m tired both physically and in my soul. Way deep down. Physically, I know I’m in for the long haul for recovery… emotionally, I’m turning a very wide corner… finally. I can finally see beyond today.
My friends have been incredible. Months and months later, still here, fighting along side me, literally tredging through no different than I am, providing everything from their smiling presence, to bags of fresh oranges, from homemade dinners and gift certificates to hospital visits and kiddo pick-ups, from cards, emails and weekend visits with plans to only chill and devour entire bags of chili cheese Fritos to homemade hats, wraps, jewelry and beyond, from midnight texts and charity benefits, to entire Fridays in the sun … it’s all a constant reminder that we ALL are intimately loved by the God who has infinite resources, that come in the form of these amazing people, these helping hands… adding strength and courage to any fight. I swear, without them, I wouldn’t try this hard. They are there for my sad days with endless solace and support and on the blessed victorious days, with tearful cheers. So much grace has been extended… I am constantly reminded that, I too, have so much of it to give. What a lesson! And while I struggle with letting down my walls again, with letting (just about everyone) too close to me, while I stand at a distance and prove daily, that this walled-up girl, isn’t always so tough…. always trying to keep hearts safe and the hurt and fear far away… while still trying to live out in the transparent open air of what life really is– with all it’s treacherous risk and unknown potential.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
So now we wait, to see how my body responded to all these months of ca-ca and ick, and pray, that God will keep it forever gone — and while that seems SO incredibly NOT easy; I keep thinking how hard it must be for our God… who waits on US constantly. Daily. I know that His best work happens in the dark. In the depths. In the despair. In the worry. In the fret. When the foundation is burnt down to ash. The rebuilding begins. Teaching us to lean on Him and Him alone. My gosh, I’m learning this the hard way, always one that is constantly aware of my own limitations and others’, my own flaw, my own mistakes and short comings… only now, nearly 37 years later, that only He is consistent and steadfast. His endurance and my trusting dependence that He knows better than I do, is sufficient. Because there isn’t any amount of darkness that even one small candle can’t brighten and in that, faith and hope are rising. Right. Now.
Less me :: more Him
I keep a trail of imagery on both Facebook and Instagram, it’s a simple way to document the little stuff… to which my friend, Lena is making me an album of as we speak! I took this picture at one of my favorite little Bend spots and instantly posted::
and then found myself quietly praying….
“Jesus, there are so many changes taking place. I know change can be a good thing, and I am trusting you to show me the way and give me the strength to embrace thatchange and to be and do all you have called me to be and do.”
Oh, if it were only so easy… I wouldn’t have to pray for it.
So for now, while I struggle with being ridiculously anemic and nursing a sore incision, missing my kids on the days they are gone so much it literally slices right through me, having so little energy that I actually get frustrated with myself and how little I can do physically…. I focus on what I CAN do.
Like my dad said to me on our last day in the ER after I growled in teary frustration “ughhh, why can’t ANYTHING go right!?” … he simply said “it has… you’re ALIVE.” Oh yes… THAT. And he’s right. I am still here, my kids are healthy and happy, I am swarmed with true friends and united family so committed to seeing this through, that I have absolutely no room to bark.
Difficult… but not impossible.