Dreaming in Sci-Fi and My Year of Health

Well, this is it. I am 33 today. I am healthy, happy, and cancer-free. I have a perfect family, amazing friends, and a great love-life with our Creator.
Awful things happened this year. Great things happened this year. Things that would change me forever. Things that would remind me that I don’t know how long forever actually is.
I am not the same person I was when I turned 32. I am now stronger and bolder, but also weaker and more vulnerable.
Everything about me is older now. I just noticed that my profile picture on Facebook is unrecognizable. I “can’t” change the picture because I don’t like the updated photos I’ve been posing for. But the truth is, I don’t like the girl I see in those old pictures either. I was so foolish and shallow then. I miss the freedom to live like that, but carry a strong distaste for that lifestyle at the same time. So why can’t I say goodbye to her?
Maybe there are deep issues at bay here. Or maybe I haven’t fully embraced the two new roles I fell into this year: 1) terminally ill mother of two, and 2) miraculously cured child of God. I don’t want to ever go back to the first, but you can’t have a former without the latter. Just like I can’t go back to the “before” picture of me without dabbling into the “after”.

 “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecc 3:11

As you likely recall, I received my diagnosis at the beginning of the last holiday season. At the time I tried desperately to embrace Thanksgiving and Christmas as gifts of special bonus time I could spend with my family while knowing it would be among my last. Those holidays were HARD. God carried me through them but I can barely keep it together remembering my sorrow. At the time I thought that nothing could ever relieve that sadness for me. That even if somehow God healed my “incurable” cancer, I could never release the heartache of living as if my time was limited. All our time IS limited, no matter what any doctor says. But I am ecstatic to report that while celebrating my day of birth today, I never thought about my day of death. I don’t think I’m invincible, but I don’t waste my time thinking of how I’m not.

“Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” Job 14:5

So, on this day we celebrated my 33 years of life and began a dedicated year of health. It is more than safe to say that Year 32 included the lowest valley of my physical health thus far. There were plenty of things beyond my control, but I can control a lot of physical issues that can make me healthier. Not to make me live longer, God is the one who numbers and knows my days. But I see no reason that I cannot be the healthiest I have ever been this year. Physically, mentally, and spiritually. I have been praying about and meditating on criteria that would demonstrate those achievements, as well as small daily goals that will help me get there. My tentative decisions are to run a 5K in 23 minutes or less (in peak physical condition before I ran them in about 24 minutes), to write a first draft of my next book (discussed below), and to read the whole Bible with a deeper study than usual. I hope to accomplish these before my next birthday. If God intervenes I will have to change them, but I’ll keep working on the daily goals to achieve them on His timeline.

“All this I tested by wisdom and I said, “I am determined to be wise”–but this was beyond me.” Ecc 7:23

I rarely remember my dreams, but when I had both children I was awakened so often in the middle of them that I would recall what had been going on. I was so happy then. Time and time again I would wake up in the middle of a “sitcom”. It was almost always Seinfeld (which had ended years before), and I was dreaming of entirely new, hilarious story lines. I sometimes couldn’t fall asleep from laughing so hard. Times have changed a bit since then…I now dream in Sci-Fi. What’s that about? I have two recurring dreams that include tons of supernatural events. Nothing God-related, by the way. I don’t know what else to do with them so I’ve started plotting them out for my next book. I am generally the last person to write Science Fiction, given that I do not read it or typically enjoy such stories. But I plan to write a bit each day and finish at least one draft this year. I will NOT rest until this book is one that I am extremely proud of. I really enjoyed writing my last one, but I was not proud of the end product at all, and that made it impossible to market. So, I’m not going to waste the extra time God gave me on earth, writing some nonsense I can’t drag myself to talk up. Anyway, I hope this is the beginning of a fun, new adventure, and I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2

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6 thoughts on “Dreaming in Sci-Fi and My Year of Health

  1. Hi Erin, my name is Kendall and I'm 17. I just found your blog and its already helped me a ton by how encouraging you are and how much you love the Lord. I admire you for sharing this hard journey you've had in your life to all of us who can totally relate to you! My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple months back in May and she's already had all the surgeries except the reconstructive and she starts chemotherapy on Thursday. She is struggling but she's a fighter. If you could give her or me what would it be?

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  2. Hi Kendall, thanks for your note. My heart just aches for you, I'm so sorry you and your family have to go through this. My advice for both of you (easier said than done), is to never let yourself “go there” with the worst-case-scenarios. I felt a natural desire to plan for the worst while I still was able, but God didn't want that. He wanted me to spend time being positive, enjoying every moment together. The most consistent truth He showed me was Mark 6:34, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day brings enough trouble of its own.”. It also brings you down to think about the bad stuff, and it can be really hard to get out of that pit. Studies show how very helpful it is to stay positive, too.

    I know you're old enough to really understand what's going on, but that doesn't mean this is your burden to bear. People misquote the Bible and say God will never give you more than you can handle. That's very untrue, it says He will never allow you to be TEMPTED more than you can handle. He, in fact, DOES give you more than you can handle. This cancer is more than you can bear. More than your mother can bear. But it is nothing for the Lord, and He has allowed it into your lives for His reasons. HE will bear the burden though, you just both have to trust Him with it. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Again, easier said than done. But take it one day at a time. Don't feel guilty enjoying yourself when she's ill–she will feel better knowing you are happy. I promise the worst part of her cancer is worrying about you and other loved ones. That doesn't mean you need to hide your feelings, but neither of you need to feel miserable all the time.

    I can't access your email address through this, so if you or your mom ever want to talk more just email me at epetscher@gmail.com, or call me anytime, 850-322-1797. I'll always tell you anything you want to know, too. I'll be praying for you both.

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  3. Hi,
    My name is Mary and I am a breast cancer survivor and also a ‘Pirate’ with the “Pirates of the Cure-a-Being” in Denver, CO and I started the Breast Cancer Community at vorts.com.
    We would love for you to share your wonderful blog with our members, they will appreciate it!
    It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website… it’s a win win. You can also add Photos, Videos and Articles if you like. It’s free and easy.
    Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
    The Breast Cancer Community: http://www.vorts.com/breast_cancer/
    Thanks,
    Mary, Editor

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