Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thoughts on today

My mom and I watched a movie tonight, one that made us both laugh and cry. Crying is not a bad thing, it actually felt refreshing just to release, even over a movie. I'm not a big "cryer," at least that's what I tell myself. My friends would probably disagree. Anyway...

I was thinking that within a month from today I could be bald. That's weird. Knowing that I'm a "silver lining" kind of person, I thought of this...just think of the time I'll save getting ready in the morning. I won't have to wash, dry, or style my hair. I'll spend less money on shampoo, and all the other stuff I put in my hair. Now, it would be perfect if the hair on my legs would also stop growing.

Yes, this is a scary time for me, but not without hope, even in silly things.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Almost normal

I'm sitting here, typing away, messing with facebook, having some coffee, and life feels almost normal.

Then I remember I was in an oncologist's office this morning, and the coffee is decaf. Something is amiss. And my mom has unloaded my car after more than two weeks at my sister's house, and I couldn't even argue with her to let me help her. Very unusual.

I nearly cried today, after seeing the oncologist. I was on a "tour" with the oncology nurse. She was showing me where we'd park when it was time for me to come back for chemo, showing me the infusion suites, the waiting area. On our way out of the waiting room, we passed a display case of scarves, wigs, and yellow "Live Strong" bracelets. None of that bothered me. What got to me was the nurse explaining that instead of wearing a pink ribbon (breast cancer), "we are teal." It hit me, in that moment, that I really do have cancer, and there's even a color people would think of when it came to the type of cancer I have. For whatever reason, I just came undone. I couldn't even stop & listen to what else she was saying, I had to keep walking.

I'm sure there are many times that knowing I have cancer will make me feel like coming undone, I just wasn't ready for today to be one of those days.

On the flip side, there is a woman who lives in the town I work in who makes free wigs for cancer patients. Any suggestions for what color I should get? I am told it is VERY likely I will lose my hair.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mission & ministry

This was the month I was supposed to travel to Latvia for 3 months. I was going to help plant churches, work with kids, and build the church there. When I changed jobs, the sabbatical I had been looking forward to was out the window.

I have been letting this get under my skin for a couple of months. How could I do the job I had been given when I thought I was called to go do "Kingdom work" in another country? I worked unenthusiastically at my job, just trying to get through one day at a time. I have had several conversations with my sister, about how I could serve the Lord no matter where I was and though I knew it was true, it did not make me want to move. I was stuck in serving my own self-pity.

Then I found out I was sick, and pretty sick at that. I have spent the last couple of weeks wondering what I'm to do with my diagnosis. Cancer. Hmmm. I bravely told my pastor that I guess this is what God had intended all along, for me to be His witness and his minister to other people in similar situations. I know that what God has for me is for my good and His glory, but it is just harder to see at times like this. I am certain that God knows what he is doing in this.

Yesterday as my mom was driving me to church, we were talking about praying for God's will. It was an interesting discussion, because for many years, I have been comforted in the prayer that even though I may not think I like what God has intended for me, He will make me content in it. This is more true now than ever before....

I probably have icky cancer treatments ahead. I will likely have recurrences of the cancers I have, even after rounds of chemo or radiation. I am a harbinger of the health problems my sisters and nieces could be able to expect. That is a lot of pressure for one person and her health, but I'm not scared of it. God is strong enough, even for this.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'm tired

Things are just really getting started for me, as far as doctors' appointments go, but I am already tired, just thinking about it.

Two oncology appointments next week, one here & one in Houston. One appointment to follow up on my surgery next week. Mammogram and breast cancer screening early the week after next.

If I'm tired now, I cannot imagine how I'll feel actually going to all the appointments and trying to pay attention to what doctors are saying. Maybe I'll borrow my mom's miniature recorder so I can process everything at a later date.

Monday, May 18, 2009

So far...

Don't really know what to say or how I'm feeling, so here is a jumble of thoughts from today.

I have not been thinking too clearly about having cancer. The more I thought of it, the more I could only imagine the worst. In God's blessing, it is not the worst, actually far from it. I spoke to the doctor, who told me that what I have going on is the best of the bad news. The cancer is relatively new to my body, and there are only 2 kinds of cancer present--ovarian and uterine. Of the 4 potential types I could have, I am really quite relieved there are only 2.

I had asked the doctor what the weights of the different tumors were, and what I know for certain is that my two ovaries weighed nearly 14 pounds. That is out of control. I am relieved they are gone.

I am not as scared as I was without knowing. My next doctor's appointment is Tuesday @ noon, at which point I will know when my appointment with the oncologist will be. We've started gathering medical records to get 2nd or 3rd opinions. My ulitimate hope is that the Lord would just heal me, and make me stronger in Him. Beyond that, I would like to stay here in Temple for treatment, just to be close to home, family, friends, and my church. I know, though, that the Lord will put me on the path that is best for me, and will provide the best healing.

Thanks for all of your prayers, calls, and visits. I am still fairly tired, trying to recover from round one, so don't take it personally if I don't respond too quickly. I just wanted each of you to know I love you, and I know you love me. I covet your continued prayers and I promise to let you know if I need anything.

PS-Say an extra prayer for Debby. I am so thankful for her love, her caring, and her tenacity to always keep asking the questions even when I think I don't want the answers. I am being very spoiled, so if you are thinking about coming to spend time with me, just know that the standard for me feeling taken care of is VERY high.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I have cancer

Today for the first time I said it out loud. "I have cancer." It was a scary sentence to say, even though now I've said it 3 or 4 times.

I don't want cancer to be what defines me. I have so much else in my life. I have great family & friends, I have a God who loves me, I have a hope for the future.

I don't want to be a person defined by the worst of her, but the best.

EDIT: So here's what I'm asking, in my selfish, ego-seeking state. Leave me a comment, heck , leave me 15, and tell me what you know of me that best defines me. When I get sad and teary-eyed, I want to know that there are lots of things about me that you think are the best.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

7 days

It has been a busy, overwhelming week. Last Thursday, went to the doctor for some general pain, and now a week later I've had major surgery that will take 6 weeks of recovery, I've been diagnosed with a-still-unknown form (or forms) of cancer.

Praise God that He is good. Even when I am most scared, most anxious, I know that in this, too, God will be a real presence for me. I have thousands of people (well, maybe hundreds, but still) praying on my behalf, and that God's plan is for my good and His glory. Though there are a lot of things right now that have me asking questions, this truth is not one of them.

Pray now for peace, for healing, for no fear, and that everyone will remember that their suggestions and criticisms do not replace prayer as the most helpful thing I need.