Today I had a meltdown. I am tired of people hurting me and I just couldn't do it anymore. The nurse was great. She worked slow and easy waiting anytime I needed it. But I just am tired of it all. I don't want to have cancer anymore. I don't want to have anymore operations. I don't want to have my guts pulled out again on Monday. My emotional state went out of control. I guess I have known that things were out of control since the beginning of this journey but today my emotions caught up with that in a huge way. I couldn't stop the wailing or the tears.
My husband is my hero. He was a trooper to a babbling wife with tears streaming and no end in sight...he just held me. It was so much like what God does in these moments that I was amazed. We all know that Bill is funny and has a whacky sense of humor. He is talented with music like nobody I know, but today I remembered the main reason I love him so much. This sensitive side of him that most people don't get to see is right what I need when I need it. Most men I know would run from these kind of tears...or maybe call their wife a woman friend to talk to. Bill knew what I needed. He knew there weren't words to fix it. He knows me, like nobody else...at the deepest place. There is a powerful bond between us. I needed that kind of unconditional love today and he was there for me. Only God knows me better. I am grateful for my husband!
I have no great insights today...I was out of the house for the first time and it was wonderful! I went to visit my friends at school and did some back to school shopping, courtesy of the Governor's teacher $100 cash gift. It was exhausting but fun. It was just good to see my friends face to face. I will be sleeping well tonight! Tomorrow I get tortured again...so if you can pray it would be a big help.
My world is limited these days. I haven’t been out of the house for two weeks except to go to the ER for a urinary tract infection. Yeah! So I sit here in this room…my throne room… surrounded by cards from well-wishers and flowers from loved ones. There are bottles of medicine of all kinds right by my side so I can reach them. A Willow Tree Angel of Good Health, arms full of apples, watches over my recliner from a nearby table. My T.V. tray is covered with the remote, my cell phone, my cordless phone and my laptop. What would I do without all that technology? At meal time it takes me five minutes to clear the table to eat. The incision torture machine is on the floor reminding me with gurgling noises that the tube that connects me to it is still flowing. A special red heart declaring peace and shalom rests in constant view to remind me of the love of my mother and our shared pain. The T.V. is on to show me what is happening around the world and to remind me that lives continue on while mine is standing still. This is my window, my view from the chair. I am reclining, the only comfortable position, and thinking, watching and feeling everything around me. I am napping much of the time and surfing the rest. I cannot say it is fun here, but I am getting rest which is something I have had very little of the last few years…that is the bright side. I am letting those around me take care of me. I am treated like a queen in my throne room.
I was reading in Mark 2 when Jesus healed the paralytic. It is a great story about the crowds that came to watch and hear Jesus. In the parallel passage in Luke 5 it says “the power of the Lord was with him to heal the sick.” The Pharisees came to check this out. I guess they were worried. It was so crowded people couldn’t get in to see him. In the midst of this crowd along come some men carrying a paralytic. They realized there was no getting through the crowd so they went up on the roof and lowered the man down right in front of Jesus. You may already know this story, Jesus says “your sins are forgiven” then, after a discussion with the Pharisees he says “get up, take your mat, and go home.” The man walks away…healed and God is praised.
There is so much in this short passage but the thing that stood out to me was how incredible the friends were that took the man to the feet of Jesus. They knew this man couldn’t get there on himself. He was paralyzed, no walking, no moving on his own strength. All he could do was let his friends carry him. I bet you can see why this passage stands out to me at this particular time. I am paralyzed. A couple of weeks ago fear had me totally immobilized and now my physical condition has me stuck in this chair. But I have friends that carry me. They have great faith and they are not afraid to lower me down to the feet of Jesus because they know what he can do. Crowds cannot stop their determined steps. Pharisees will not hinder their requests to God. They know the “power of the Lord is with him to heal.” They are my hands and feet when I have nothing to raise me up.
I can sit here on my mat and be treated like a queen knowing that my King is hearing their cries on my behalf. I trust that mine sins can and will be forgiven just as the man in the story. And I pray that he will hasten the day when he says get up, take up your mat and go home. Right now I am on this mat watching all of my friends carry me and I am amazed. I am humbled that they would go to this extreme for me. Each one expresses God’s heart for me in his/her own unique way and with his/her own unique gifts. I am loved. I am carried. Thank you my dear friends.
Courage is an interesting word. I used to think of is as the absence of fear but now I know it is moving on despite your fears. Fear doesn’t mean a lack of faith, on the contrary…when you are afraid it requires more faith- more trust- more surrender. When you are afraid, faith is harder but it is in the difficulty that strength is built. The difficulty is what shows us where we are weak…it is only then that he can make us strong in Him, not in ourselves.
In this journey, cancer is not as much the culprit of my fear, though it is pretty high up there…it is being real with the fear that is hard. Feeling so out of control and realizing that my very life is not mine to decide. It is a fear of what God may allow. We all know that God doesn’t always do things our way as much as we pray for what we want. We have all known those that deserved better than what they got in life and that is the rub. That is what scares me in this journey. What if his outcome is different than mine? Can I still walk through this if healing isn’t his choice for me? I have hope. That is a Christian’s secret weapon…that is the reason we choose to give up our freedom and become his servants. We trust that he knows what is better for us than we do.
But when disaster strikes in one way or another do we really believe that? This is where the wrestling with our faith begins. This is the heart of it all. This is our secret fear revealed by one word from a doctor. My cover is blown, all the dark thoughts that make up my hidden fears are out for all to see. And so my choice is to hide even those fears or to live them out in a transparent form. God says to my heart, “Can you be transparent? Can you live out your weakness and let others in to see me hold you up? In your weakness I will show myself strong.” And so there are no secrets in this journey. No hiding. Tears ran freely and still do. There are no apologies for my tears. It hurts and they are real. And in my tears…he is there, holding me close knowing the ending that I cannot see. I choose to trust.
Many people have told me to write during my journey...but more importantly God has told me. My first lesson is in transparency. How do I go through finding cancer and facing fear head on while being real and transparent with my friends and family? I had the option from the very beginning to hide some of the truth from everyone. I had to make a concious choice to "tell all" and to share the tears and know that "in my weakness He will be strong." So here I am with my own blog of my journey through the refiner's fire once again. I hope to come out on the other side with the golden nuggets that are purified by fire. I hope you share my journey with the joy and heartache that are part of it. M.