Sunday, January 31, 2010

It's late...I sure hope this makes sense

For years I’ve been asked if I enjoy writing because I’m “so good at it” (not my words...I promise...I’m truly not that narcissistic). I always answer yes because I really do enjoy writing. It comes naturally to me so, like most, I enjoy what comes easily. It’s incredible therapy and an excellent way to tell my story plus, I get the side benefit of the prayer support I so desperately need. Writing can also be as painful as labor and I’ve definitely had experience with both. Eventually, however, a beautiful blessing is delivered. The beauty of this blessing steals your heart more than it ever will anyone else’ matter how much they love you.

My faith journey has been a lot like my writing journey. For the most part, it has come naturally. And then I have those days where I deal with the pains of labor...without the benefit of an epidural. This past week I’ve desperately needed an epidural and none was to be found...until last night (Saturday, January 30th).

Here’s my latest story...

Monday, January 25, 2010 (written after the fact)

Like every other Monday for the last many, many, many weeks I had chemo. I.V. drip that is. I’m still taking daily chemo pills so, I have some form of chemo in my system 24/7. On top of this, Reed has given me a total of 10 shots in 3 weeks to boost my white blood cell count. My red cell count has been low for a while and it is really affecting my fatigue level. I was determined to boost the reds with food. I’ve eaten more red meat in the last month than in the last year. It didn’t work. Yesterday, I was in bed the ENTIRE day because of severe light headedness and weariness. I had too many late nights last week (for a VERY good cause...and I would totally do it again) and am paying for it terribly. So, when I went in for chemo, I was already super wiped out. Oh yeah, I had physical therapy (for my hip/leg) a couple of hours prior to chemo so... At PT and at chemo I was told that I looked really tired. Hmmm...shock. My nurse gave me a shot for my reds. I was so tired by the time I got home that I ate, got ready for bed and hung out in my bed hoping that I would fall asleep. No such luck. At about 10:30 (through a series of random thoughts) I realized that something really special to me was missing out of my house. I “ran” downstairs with Reed racing after me to make sure I didn’t fall over. We ran into the bathroom to find out that yep, I was right, it was gone. I was DEVASTATED. Why would someone take this out of my house. I’d only had it for about a was a gift. Sentimental not expensive. And yes, we are 99.9% positive it was taken and not broken. Reed and I searched the house, questioned the boys, and the next day questioned others. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. I was heart broken. Finally, we went back to bed. I laid there feeling horribly violated. Why? Why? I couldn’t stop crying. And I’m not talking sweet little whimpers. I’m talking LOUD uncontrollable sobs. I couldn’t calm down. The rest of my house slept and I didn’t want to wake them. So, I left the house (in my chemo pajama state) and drove to Balboa Pier. I sat in my car crying and listening to the waves crashing against the sand. It was dark and late and beautiful. God created the power in the waves and I needed to be reminded of that truth. I drove home, fell asleep and slept peacefully until about 5:30. That’s when I remembered what happened and that’s when I lost it again.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 (written live-ish ... I love “ish”)

Today I had a follow up with my neurosurgeon, Dr. Duma. Three months ago he declared that I was NED ... No Evidence of Disease ... so I wasn’t concerned. And two Mondays ago (I think it was could have been three Mondays ago) Dr. Link told me that my tumor markers had gone down. So...I really wasn’t concerned about the results. I dreaded, dreaded, dreaded going in however because I’ve had needle issues at this facility. Plus, I’m not a big fan of having my head/face in a cage to keep it still while undergoing an MRI. I want to believe that doctors can truly grasp how hellish it is to go in for follow-ups but...I just don’t know. If they did, they wouldn’t allow nurses to give you the results of the MRI and then not come into your room to confirm/deny these readings for roughly 20 minutes. How lame!! I know he was busy but for goodness allow the nurse to “read” the MRI and then you don’t come in to talk with the patient right away? So the patient gets to sit and stew and answer “lame” texts because she’s trying to keep from going insane?! And she’s trying really hard NOT to scream at the top of her lungs. Then the doctor comes in, confirms the findings, acts like it’s not that big of a deal because he can make it all better, tells the nurse to schedule the procedure then walks out to the next patient spending all of 3 minutes with ME! AFTER HE TELLS ME THAT I HAVE THREE NEW CANCER TUMORS IN MY BRAIN!!! To my neurosurgeon friend Steve...DO NOT do this to your patients...please. I might have to scold you. Man...I am getting so flustered as I type this. So what do we do now?? Before I can even make it out of the building, I am SOBBING. Again. I am mad. I am scared. I am terribly frustrated. Reed and I head to the beach so I can process. The same spot I went to a couple of nights before only this time it’s not dark so I (we) get out of the car and sit in the sand for a while...quiet. I’m listening to my iPod (crying) and Reed’s listening to the waves. Apparently, I have to have another Gamma Knife procedure on February youngest sister’s birthday...weird. We eventually make it home and have a nice evening with the boys. I go to bed feeling mostly ok. I fell asleep hearing the words of Pastor Brian Brodersen on the radio...”if, like Abraham, you are waiting for a promise to be fulfilled, keep waiting. God will come through.”

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I wake up late and slowly. Get up and push through the emotions to get my day going with the boys. Then the nurse calls to give me the date/time of my consultation for the “procedure”. Before I even get off the phone, I’m in tears again. I lose it and spiral to a deep, deep depression - the deepest I’ve been in up to this point - ending up in bed with just enough sense to send out an S.O.S. text to three of my friends (please don’t be offended if you were not one of those three...that’s just how it goes). Stayed in bed until late afternoon then forced myself to get up, bathe, get dressed and prepare for my sister and my nephews to stay the night.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Have to get up to go to PT. It’s a good thing but I’m still filled with the emotions of the week. Cam came home to study, Reed’s home working, and all the boys (including the nephews) are doing school. The sounds of life are all around. It’s beautiful. We’re supposed to go to Bible study tonight but it’s not going to happen with the nephews here and all of the older boys gone for the night. Plus, the size of the Bible study is FAR larger than I’m comfortable with. I like groups of around 10 max. There are about 60 peeps in this group, most of them I don’t know. I can’t deal with that right now. I need to be in safe groups. So, we gladly stay home for the night. Then I decide last minute to go to a friend’s house to watch a movie. Maybe that will help me get through the emotions. Or not. I’m tired. I can’t fall asleep for hours.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Slept in...until 1:00. Maybe if I just sleep long enough the emotions will be under control. Get up...the nephews are a wonderful distraction for me and the boys. They’re playing and working hard, Reed’s doing yard work and I’m doing laundry. We decide to go to tonight’s service at’s going to work better with our weekend schedule. Someone sitting behind me gently taps my shoulder. She says, quite hesitantly, “I’ve been praying for you. I was hoping to pray for you last night but I didn’t see you.” Last night was the Bible study we didn’t go to. She hopes that there is an opportunity after service to pray for me. I’m does she know me? I’ve never seen her before. After service I ask for clarification. Apparently, she saw me at the Bible study a week ago and felt strongly that God was telling her to pray for me. That I was ill but she didn’t know the details. He had a specific message she was to pass along to me. After I quizzed her long enough to be certain she was passing on a legit message, I listened intently and this is what she told me. “God wants you to know how much He loves you, yes we know that God loves us but He specifically wants you to know how much. He wants me to pray for you to have strength. For you to hold onto the promises that He has given you. And for you to NOT listen to the lies of Satan.” What she didn’t know was that just moments before, I had been sitting on the ground, in a corner near where I was going to take communion, earnestly asking God if I needed to accept the reality that I might die from this cancer. I’ve never believed that before...I’ve never allowed myself to believe that...but last night...after this disgusting week...I felt that maybe, just maybe, I’d been wrong in what I’ve heard for the last FIVE years. So, to come back to my seat and have someone I’ve NEVER seen before (yes, we’d been at the same Bible study but she didn’t see me the first week and it was a LARGE group) who “just happened” to be sitting RIGHT behind me at a service she nearly never goes to and who was in absolute shock that I was sitting right in front of her after she had been praying for me for a week who knew she was supposed to pass along a message to me and was bummed that I wasn’t at the study Friday night and the message “just happened” to be an ABSOLUTE in my face confirmation that what I’ve been hearing for FIVE years is absolutely the truth??!! What?? Are you kidding me?? God whispered it to me Wednesday night via Brian Brodersen but THIS was in my face. And I desperately needed it. It was my epidural numbing the pain of the week.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

It’s late and I really NEED to finish this so that I can fill out lame medical paperwork. I have my gamma knife consultation in the morning, then PT and then chemo. It’s going to be a crazy day and the only part of it I’m looking forward to is the PT. I feel normal there...and I see positive progress. Every other medical office I walk into seems to be full of bad news. At least for now. I seem to be in a near constant state of light headedness and fatigue. But at least now I can again fall asleep with the peace that all the promises I’ve been hearing are indeed true and that eventually all this disease will be out of my body. Am I looking forward to what these next months hold for me. NO, NO, NO!! I despise the waiting. I HATE CANCER!!! My ears ache and constantly have a rush/rush noise with the aching...weird, my nose has big sores in it, my digestive system can’t figure out whether it supposed to push the acids up or down or if maybe they should just stay where they are and cause massive stomach aches and indigestion, my body wants to sleep all day and my brain wants to work and enjoy life...and...and..and...I hate needles. Needles, needles, needles...EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!! I’m pretty near my wits end but apparently I still have to wait. It’s been five entire years since I first received God’s promise of healing. Five. A lot of life happens in five years. I’ve been on chemo for 1 1/2 years with no end in sight. I will once again have to have screws put into my skull just so I can have massive gamma rays shot into my brain. But, I still have my hair.

On a totally different note...Reed’s little clothing line is going really, really well for it’s age. The test order went well so a larger order was placed and will be tested in more stores. No money coming in yet but the doors opening up are shocking. Waiting on that too. 30 minutes it’s February? How?


P.S. Happy Birthday Lisa :)