Sunday, February 13, 2011

His Story

Recently I've received some gentle harassment because I haven't updated my blog.  Nothing new had happened so I figured it wasn't necessary. I was wrong.

The last several months have been virtually identical.  For 5 days in a row I take my Temodar (chemo) pills.  About three weeks after I've taken my last pills, I go in for my monthly checkup - an exam, blood work, good conversation, and continued good results.   Each month I freak about the little pains I have believing each one is a new cancer cell getting ready to engulf my entire body.  Sinus issues become cancer eating holes in my brain. Pain in my hip area becomes a hip replacement. I talk myself off the ledge or reach out in desperation for prayer, remember God's promises, live as if I'm not fighting cancer, then start the cycle all over again. 

I don't get as fatigued as I once did and am slowly becoming the productive person I once was.  I have a LONG way to go and I don't even care, which in new.  I don't want to be the anal person I once was.  I'm enjoying the freedom of not feeling the need to have my house perfect prior to going to bed.  Of not needing to reset every picture frame that's been messed with. Of not worrying about all the baby roaches I see in my kitchen.  Okay, that one still really grosses me out.

On the other hand, I've recently found myself far more jumpy. Sharp or unexpected noises that never previously bothered me now cause me to jump and my heart to race.  Very random nonsense things cause serious anxiety.  I don't know where this is coming from but I do know I despise it! I'll wake up with anxiety in the pit of my stomach and often not be able to figure out why it's there.  Or I find that it's simply that day's "to do" list stressing me out in a ridiculous way.

But then God will give me a day like today and I quickly realize that my story is being used in a way that is terribly humbling and the enemy will do whatever he can to cause me strife.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 (The Message)

 2-3And then God answered: "Write this.
   Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters
   so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness
   pointing to what's coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
   And it doesn't lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
   It's on its way. It will come right on time.

If you're someone who has followed my story for a while, you will likely recognize this verse as one I've posted before.  This verse and Mark 5:34 are the two most common verses God uses when confirming what He's already told me multiple times.  Mark 5:34 is an easy verse to understand - "Daughter, you took a risk of faith and now you're healed and whole.  Live well, live blessed, be healed of your plague". But the Habakkuk verse, not so much.   

I trusted God and I trusted the people he used to bring this scripture to me but it bothered me that I couldn't understand what I was being told.  

I understood the "vision-message" part - that was His original promise to me.  I understood the "It aches for the coming - it can hardly wait".  In so many ways I was aching and was so desperate for His healing to occur.  I LOVE the "And it doesn't lie" part and totally agreed that "it was slow in coming".  I was always encouraged by the "It's on its way. It will come right on time."  But I never really understood the "write it out in big block letters so it can be read on the run" part.  At first I took it to mean that I need to send out an email and let people know what's going on.  But, I was already doing that so...?  I thought I'd transition to a blog format.  

After that, I read the scripture to mean that I needed to be more literal so I created what I think is a beautiful piece of art boldly proclaiming this truth.  It hangs in the entryway of our house right next to the one I made with Mark 5:34 on it.  I felt I needed the daily in-my-face reminder hung in a spot that is impossible to avoid.

I journal, I blog, I make art, and I want to write a book.  I need to find the first few years of email updates to write a book though.  Anyway, this brings me to monthly appointment.

My follow-up visits are simple but often emotional because of the reality that I always receive results of some sort.   I really only like for Reed to be with me because of the intimate nature of the visit.  But he wasn't able to go this time because he was out of town...freezing in Kansas City.

I was sitting in my exam room waiting on my nurse Donna.  Typically she does most of the exam and then Dr. Link will come in to check on me.  This time however, Dr. Link came to do the exam.  This actually threw me off and made me nervous.  Dr. Link assured me that all was still well and continued with his exam.  Afterward he wanted me to go with him to his office.  This is abnomal too because usually when we've gone to his office it's to discuss bad results or plan out the next treatment plan.  So I was joyous when, as he was bringing up something on his computer, he looked at me with an enormous grin and said "you're going to be the most famous breast cancer patient in California!"  WHAT????

Apparently, I shouldn't be alive.  And because of all the various and unusual treatments I've had the joy to experience, and because I'm getting better and better,  my doctor is currently writing an article about me to be submitted for publication to a medical journal.  I don't know which one but I know when it's published, I'll be asking for a copy!!  In case your curious, my identity will not be revealed.

There's more to the story though and this is what I'm most excited about.  

I've often talked about my nurses because in so many ways, they have been the medical glue that's kept me from falling apart.  I've had some of the most amazing conversations with my nurse Donna because she is truly interested in the parts of my life that have nothing to do with cancer.  On Thursday Donna asked a favor of me - one that I would never say no to.  She asked permission to write an article, separate from Dr. Link's, specifically about the spiritual side of my journey!!

I am THRILLED and honestly couldn't believe what I was hearing.  For me, this is my Habakkuk scripture coming to life.  For me, this is what my long, long journey has been all about.  God has made it clear from day 1 that my story would be used for His glory.  I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!  What a crazy way to tell the world who He is.  To tell His story.