I love Thanksgiving and I really love Christmas, but I'm having a hard time getting in the mood. I feel as if I'm going through the motions and putting one step in front of the other, but feeling nothing. I was numb before my last doctor's appointment, which I do believe was God's mercy so that I wasn't full of anxiety as I waited, but this is different. My heart is usually one that is full to the brim with emotion. I'm either completely thankful and happy, or sad, or disappointed, or wishful, or dreaming of what's to come. Very rarely do I not feel the moment in a personal and meaningful way. Right now I'm sad because Billy, our kids, and I had a wonderful Thanksgiving week-end with family, but my heart felt unengaged in a way that hasn't happened before. Since my last doctor's appointment so many people have told me how blessed I should feel and in my mind I know this is true. Deep down though, I don't feel it. I feel somewhat angry, sad, tired and confused about my next step in this journey.
When the doctor gave us news that this cancer had not spread it was such an instant relief. I realized I'd been harboring fearful and unspoken thoughts.
- Riding home with my family from church we were talking and laughing with my silly kids and in my mind I felt afraid of what my family would look like without me. I pictured it and knew my dear husband would do well. He would rise to the occasion with strength and my children would be okay.
- I tried to tell myself that I wouldn't feel the pain of Billy remarrying if I didn't make it.
- I knew my sisters would help Alyssa through puberty and boyfriends and her wedding. They would help her find balance between being strong and being gentle.
- I knew that Isaiah's gentle personality would be protected by many, but he would be encouraged to find confidence and leadership so that he would one day grow into a man after God's own heart.
- I knew that Billy, our family and friends would help my little children remember me. What I liked and didn't like, my personality, my quirks.
The hard part is that as soon as the doctor said the cancer hadn't spread he moved into treatment of radiation and chemotherapy and the hardships of that. He spoke of some lifelong effects of radiation. He said the success rate of this cancer is not 100%, but that it is high. Although I was so incredibly glad to hear this news, I still walked away with a shadow over me because of what is still to come. I've been feeling like this is wrong for me to feel this way as so many others are rejoicing and I'm not yet.
Over the last several days I've felt burdened as we decide where to go for a second opinion, where the treatment will actually be done and if that will be close to home. I meet with my gynecologist today to ask his unbiased opinion on where to have the radiation and chemo done - locally or with special equipment called ProCure Proton Therapy in Oklahoma City? I am hoping to get in for an appointment in Oklahoma City this week to meet with another oncologist and radiologist for their opinion as well. As mentioned before I have two upcoming appointments with a local radiologist and medical oncologist.
I'm praying for patience as I'm tired of appointment and decisions. Today I claim these verses.
"I will guide you along the best pathway for your life, I will advise you and watch over you." Psalms 32:8
"I prayed to the Lord and He answered me. He freed me from all my fears." Psalms 34:4
Thank you to those of you that walk this journey with me. I am so grateful for your strength, your tears, your help and your listening ear as I deal with the emotions of this journey. Please know I never mean to take you for granted.