It’s official, I’m done with radiation! So, if you’re keeping track that’s: Chemo, surgery, and radiation ALL DONE! All I technically have left is reconstruction and Tamoxifen, which is a drug I will start soon and am expected to take forever. Please pray with me that I have no side effects from it. If I do, plans might change.
It was nice to end treatment at Dr. Bolek’s office today. When I finished chemo I knew the people better, but the attitude was, “see you when it comes back”. At the end of radiation it was more of a “keep in touch” style.
You can probably guess how nostalgic this all makes me. Everything has completely changed, yet it is all still the same. Ten months ago, my biggest problems were so minor they were embarassing to even discuss with real people who had real problems. Since then, my problems became so insurmountable that most of these “real people” couldn’t discuss them due to feelings of inadequacy.
I guess I find myself back at the beginning now. I believe I was permanently and perfectly healed of “incurable” cancer, so I am not dying any faster than anyone else. God did it all, and His burden is easy, His yoke is light (Mth 11:30). All I had to do is pray and show up…so why do I feel like I’ve been through a war?
At the beginning of this blog I wrote a bit about how I felt like such a kid, saddled with a death sentence I could barely read, let alone “live” with. How I yearned for someone to guide me through it, to drown out the doctor’s bad reports with assurances that with God, everything is possible (Lk 18:27)! God gave me what I needed during the dark times, it just wasn’t always what I wanted. His will and plans are perfect though, and obviously turned out better than they do for most, so I have no right to complain. I wish I could say I feel light and airy after all this, because I learned how much I can trust God, and all the extra time I’ve been given is so freeing. Instead I feel…tired. Old. Worn out and broken. Ugly (inside and out). I’m impatient with the kids, disinterested in the mundane details of life.
Maybe I romanticized the old life I had, and now that I won the chance to keep it I’m unimpressed with the reward. Or maybe I just need a nap. I will have to get back to you on that one.
I would be a worthless hypocrite if I let myself drown in my (unjustified) self-pity now. My choices are to continue feeling sorry for myself, or to get it together. The word is clear: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice!” Phil 4:4. So, I will praise Him not just for His miraculous healing, but also that I got through all those treatments with minimal side effects, and for the chance to bond with so many great people throughout cancer. Both my parents proved themselves to be very dedicated by moving (Dad, temporarily; Mom, permanently) here to help babysit, and SO many more people than I could have imagined reached out to us in a variety of ways throughout cancer. I might not be more patient or kind than before, but I am stronger in faith, and that will help me more in the future. I have heard from a lot of people how my experience has changed their faith, and even one of those stories makes it totally worth it. We also got out of this without monetary setbacks, which is amazing given the huge expense of cancer treatments. Finally, I learned a lot about myself, human nature, and the nature of God, that will change me forever. I don’t want to die anytime soon, but I’m much more content with the idea of it now than before. I know I can trust God to take care of my family, and that is true whether or not I’m present.
I had a really hard time keeping up with formally thanking people, and even went through a time where I met so many people I couldn’t recall their names or even meeting them. So, from the bottom of my heart, no matter how much (or little) I’ve shown it, I really, really appreciate every email, every card, every note, every meal, every dollar, every gift, every thought, every blog reader, every kind word, and every prayer that has been shared with me or on my behalf. I am also so sorry to those I’ve unintentionally snubbed or forgotten to thank, etc. I just love you
all and have learned how to be more loving by the way everyone has supported and interacted with me throughout this time.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is
pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Phil 4:8