Post Chemo Update!
It’s been a long time since I’ve been here. On one hand I feel a bit guilty for keeping to myself, but on the other hand I am so liberated to be putting first things first. For example I am not feeling pressure to write, and I need that break right now. I have given myself permission to just live, and boy am I appreciating it. I’ve not been writing, but it is not because I have forgotten about you and how you have loved me through it, you cannot fathom my gratitude, but I am just defragmenting (computer lingo for getting rid of things that aren’t necessary so the things that are necessary work more efficiently).
I wanted to give you an update in case you are wondering.
My days are focused on healthy things. Today I went to Curves, (I am the youngest gal there for sure but it’s a quick easy workout). I was told I’m an inspiration, who wouldn’t love that? I still include regular Yoga, I raced in the 10-mile bike ride that I was hoping to do and I joined Weight Watchers. I gained 20+ pounds on chemotherapy and am squeezing into my clothes; the medical staff was elated that I was not wasting away (go Immunical) but who wants to gain weight?
I’ve been going to ALANON, I’ve mentioned a lot that I have alcoholics, whom I love dearly in my life; I am so thankful for the program. I am learning a lot about myself and ways to grow into a healthier person emotionally. I’ve been going to counseling to get a few things shaped up and I’m well enough to attend church regularly which is icing on the cake.
I have my first high school graduate, who will set sail for Dublin in the fall and launch his degree in business through North Eastern University. Of course there are three other boys (one of which is headed to Ghana this summer on a missions trip) and the love of my life who I’m beginning to do things with, out in the world for a change. I will be facilitating a Bible study this summer and going to a novel writing boot camp! I am receiving requests to speak and I am delighted to do so. It seems like a lot, but unlike my past life, I feel free to get in bed when I need to. I leave things alone (even if they are not perfect), instead of wearing myself out. I am striving for balance, space, tranquility and it’s beautiful.
It’s been about a month since my last chemo, and parts of me feel like it never even happened. Unfortunately I am developing neuropathy (numbness), in my hands and feet and it’s been a bit uncomfortable. In addition to being numb, it feels like electricity (similar to hitting your funny bone) is rushing through my f
ingers and toes. I can type, but I feel like I’m developing arthritis in my hands and holding a pen is becoming a challenge. My other joints are getting a stiff too and my brain feels affected as well, I am really struggling to remember names etc.
In my heart, I m done with cancer and ready to move on, my body keeps saying, “Hey wait, remember what we just went through, take it easy!” Best of all is the surgery that is less than a month away; it will be my ostomy reversal. Oh how I can’t wait to live without my bag, the closer I get to having it removed the less graceful I am about living with it. I’m not scared of the surgery but I have to have tests ahead of time to make sure the reconstruction went well, I’m horrified at the contrast enema that awaits! At first all the things that I had to go through weren’t so upsetting but I’ve had it at this point, and the idea of have one more thing inserted into my lower body is pretty upsetting. I guess I need to focus on the fact that I’m alive and just be thankful. For all the blessings I’ve had.
So what about you? As I strive to gain health and balance I am aware of how others around me are not. They are peddling down the road to nowhere (just as I was) and putting themselves last. It’s like waiting to get yourself together before you go see God, when all He wants is to restore our broken selves. Or perhaps waiting for things to smooth out before we get the help we need; outside of our heads, it makes no since. Putting others first seems biblical, but it’s false humility the way we usually do it. And it is
not honoring to Our Lord or the body He so generously gave us. Jesus stopped and replenished over and over, it is not God’s will for us to work without rest (remember honor the Sabbath is one of the big) or suffer without getting help.
I want to challenge you, no matter how old you are. Do you need to go to ALANON, AA, Weightwatchers, yoga, Counseling, the gym, Curves, reconciliation? If I had not gotten my cancer diagnosis I would no more be caring for myself, but I learned that this life is fleeting and we all need to put first things first. I will continue to run with perseverance the race that was set out for me, but I will pace myself so that I will be a more effective athlete for the Kingdom of God.
Still praying? I am sad about my neuropathy, and would be grateful if it went away. Also the weight gain is a bit distressing (yet not all consuming the way it has been before, praise God!). I know I’ll loose the weight, I don’t know about the neuropathy and the arthritic symptoms.
Please pray for those who were sent here (Charlotte’s Heart) because they have begun their cancer journey, and please send people here who need encouragement. May we all feel the love and adoration of Christ. I intend to start writing more, so come back soon.
Click the link below to watch this video of my 14 year old’s testimony of my cancer journey