Monday, April 25, 2011

One Month Later

One month ago today I finished my treatment plan.  I'm sorry if it seems I finished and then just stopped communicating.  I've wanted to share how things are going, but every time I begin to write the words just aren't there.  Physically I am healing more every day.  My legs were so weak for the first couple of weeks I could hardly make myself get out of bed and leave my bedroom.  My mind was fuzzy and overall I didn't feel good.  Now I feel more like myself every day and am able to go through a fairly normal daily routine.  I think this is partly what feels difficult.  It feels so odd to have my life, and many other's lives, revolve around doctor's appointments, treatments, hospital visits and then suddenly it is just over.  The physical hurdle is behind me, but there seems to be an emotional hurdle that I have to deal with. 

I feel so much gratitude to my Savior as He held me close for 5 1/2 months and gave me the strength and peace I've been able to carry most of the time.  I'm grateful to my husband who has held our life together and provided as much normal as possible for our children.  I'm grateful to so many who have given us the gift of prayer along the way; and to those of you who have helped with practical things like meals, gas cards, cash, child-care, housekeeping, groceries and paper goods.  I know without a doubt this process was much easier because you were willing to sacrifice and help us get through it. So when I start to feel frustrated, impatient or discouraged I've realized it is because there is  no closure.  Perhaps this is an odd way to feel after going through so much and being on this side feeling pretty good, but I've realized I'm just waiting to hear "You are cancer free!" These words will help bring closure to all of this in a way that allows me to celebrate and get over this mental hurdle!

I go back to Oklahoma City this Wednesday to meet with my Rad-Onc and Gyn-Onc there.  They previously told me that I would need to wait at least two months for the inflammation in my body to go away.  If there is inflammation the scan could show a false positive for cancer.  I know that my body isn't healed yet because of many little symptoms I deal with each day, but hopefully they'll give me a better idea of how things are going this week.  I'll update more after this appointment, but in the mean time wanted to let you know I'm doing better every day and greatly appreciate all your notes and cards asking about us.

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Because of You!

A high school friend gave me this adorable purple book with the encryption "Believe" on the front cover.  This is a book of inspirational quotes and one many are familiar with by Mother Teresa.

"I know God won't give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish He didn't trust me so much."

There's another quote by Bruce Barton.

"Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared  believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance."

Going into my treatment last week I knew that my mind would be tested.  I would lie alone in a room, while in pain and discomfort, and battle many emotions, thoughts, ideas. I know the verse in 1 Cor 10:13 that says God will give me what I need to endure anything that tempts me.  In this case God would need to give me control of my mind so that Satan could not make it his playground. 

I don't know if you've ever been alone with your thoughts during a difficult time and realized how Satan can play with our minds to infiltrate doubt, worry, fear, discontentment, self pity, etc.  Usually when this has happened to me I've been able to get up and go play with the kids, work on a project, piddle in my garden.....anything to get my mind busy on something else.  This was not the circumstance where I could run away.  I had to depend on the foundation of my faith  and the belief that this faith was superior to my circumstance.  It was a circumstance that God did not save me from; He allowed me to face it for whatever reason.

Right before my treatment began, at about 2 pm a week ago Tuesday my husband and sister, Amy, kissed and hugged me good-bye.  As I watched them walk away I thought I might not be able to breath.  They were both so upset and I knew it was harder on them than I.  They had to walk away and go on with normal life as they pictured me there.  I put on my brave face as the doctor explained how she was activating my internal radiation.  My husband drove to his parents house to care for our children.  Amy made the 3 1/2 hour trek home where she posted on my blog the details of Day 1 and put out a prayer challenge.

As I checked my phone I didn't realize this prayer challenge was in place, but I continued to get e-mails from people committed to pray for me and sending encouraging words my way.  All through the first night I read over these verses, words, commitments.  At 4:00 am my mom texted, saying "we're up, if you want to call".  I called right away and mom told me about the prayer challenge on my blog.  I watched your words roll in over the next two days via my blog comments and facebook and I know that my faith was strengthened to endure the 47 hours of treatment.  My spirits were lifted so I could smile and visit with the nurses and doctors that stopped in occasionally.  My hope was restored and renewed as I kept my mind focused on our Savior and His work through you.  It's because of you and your prayers that this treatment was easier than I expected.  If I could repay you I would, but for now all I have is a very humble and heartfelt...thank you!