Thursday, April 15, 2010

Life after Cancer

Well it has been almost 4 months since I have written anything at all. Wow what a process this has been. Right now I am on an airplane flying to Arizona with my sweet hub on a much needed vacation for some rest and relaxation.

December 22nd was my last treatment and the very last time I have written about my journey at all. I have tried a couple of times to sit and write but each time I would write I would delete it and walk away. I figured I have said all that needed to be said and no one wants to hear anymore about ME. It is amazing what lies satan will continue to tell me to pull me away from what God really wants to do in my life as well as others lives. The interesting thing is I believed him....My journey continues

As most of you know my last treatment was December 22nd. This by far was the hardest treatment out of the four I had to do. The recovery process was longer and harder. It took a lot out of me both physically and emotionally. Three weeks after my treatment was over and I knew that I wouldn’t be returning for another treatment I was ready to feel good. I was ready to get back to normal life again, whatever that looked like. I was ready for my hair to grow back, to start exercising hard again and just plain physically recover from the beating my body had taken since August. Just when I thought things were going to get better they seemed to get worse. Little did I know that I had been running on pure adrenaline for the past 5 months. I felt like I had constant communication with my Jesus through this whole process and He would never let me down, and that He didn’t. Combining the physical burden on my body with the emotional burden of my family and I, I became super weak, super tired, just down right exhausted. As I want to write and tell you that since my treatment has been done I have been fantastic, I can’t. I think the physical healing is much quicker than the emotional healing. Some good friends had told me this with the experience of it himself but until you go through it you have no idea!

After a month went by my hair started to grow back and I lost the hat and the scarves and was ready to rock the bald. I love it. I could look at my kiddos and reassure them that mommy was done with treatment and that I would start looking normal again to them. I could tell everyone closest to me that with my Jesus I had beat this ugly thing called cancer and I can now call myself a survivor! I could get on my face before the Lord and thank Him for every part of the process from beginning to end. I did all of those things and then went into deep deep depression. I have never experienced depression before although I had been around it. I knew what to look for but I didn’t know how to fix it. I would cry out to the Lord asking Him to spare me from it because I wasn’t myself nor did I even care to be. For someone who can make a quick decision and run a household of 5 with 3 busy kiddos, I found myself not being able to do either. I went into this attitude of poor me and soaked in my sorrows for quite some time. I stopped being social and if I was it was very surfaced never deep. I had no energy for conversation and I really didn’t even care to take the time to have any, not even with those I loved the most. I felt like I couldn’t be a good mom because I couldn’t even make the slightest decision for discipline or even telling one of my girls what to wear. It was exhausting. My poor hub was constantly looking at me asking me what he could do to cheer me up or make me happy and all I could tell him was PRAY. I couldn’t even pray myself. I would sit quietly with the Lord and tell Him “you know my heart and you know what I want to say Lord, I don’t have any words”. I kept telling myself that I just need time to be still. I “deserved” to be quiet and depressed for a while, whatever that means. I started painting again and found it to be therapeutic. I am considering auctioning all of my paintings to help fund people who have financial difficulty during cancer treatment. I always love to see what the Lord does with things like this when I give it to Him! Because Lord knows I would never do this without Him (hahaha).

As time went on I told Jeff I needed to go back to my oncologist and talk to him about side effects of chemo and the new drug I was taking tamoxifen. Jeff and I went to UCSF a couple of weeks ago and Dr. Moasser took me off of the tamoxifen to see if this is what is causing swimmy head, joint pain and depression. He said he will take me off for one month to see if these things stop. If they do, then we can look into alternate treatments instead of tamoxifen. I will go see him again in 2 weeks.

It has been 2 weeks since I stopped my medication and I feel somewhat back to normal! I feel like the big black cloud has been lifted off my shoulders and feel like I can function a lot better. I am still swimmy in my head a bit, but don’t feel depressed at all. Praise Jesus!!!!

Jeff and I had planned this trip away before I even started my chemotherapy and now looking back it was the best thing we could have ever done. As I sit and miss my kiddos, this is something that was really needed to reenergize my soul, my body, my marriage and my time with Jesus.

This journey has been amazing from start to finish. Even during the hard times it has been amazing. The latter of the journey has been the hardest because I do think that emotional healing takes way longer than the physical healing. Each and every step of the way I have felt the Lord’s presence even when I didn’t think I could. As I continue to walk this journey of life here on earth I realize more and more after each trial that this life is here for one thing and one thing only. I was put here to show the love of Christ to others and to be a witness for my Jesus. Even when it gets hard, those are the times that my faith grows stronger and stronger and I hear the whisper in my ear “Be Still and know that I, AM”. I hear “Hang on my child, this life here is so short compared to what it will be in heaven with Me”. I need to continually remind myself of all of this day to day because when I step out of that role this life here on earth gets hard.

Over spring break Jeff and I took our kiddos to Fun works before we left on this trip. Jeff had left and it was my three girls and I in a very crowded place. I was chasing after London my youngest in hopes she would hurry up and use all of her tokens. Out of the clear blue London stopped in her tracks and just stared at this woman. As my eyes slowly looked up to see what she was looking at, right in front of me was this beautiful woman fully bald. London turned around to me and said really loud “MOMMY, she is bald like you”. I did everything in my power not to lose it in the middle of fun works. I said “ your right London that is what mommy looked like, but now my hair is growing back”. I continued to run after London and the Lord continued to pull at my heart to go talk to this woman. Finally I just walked up to her. I asked her if she was going thorough chemo. She began to tell me her story. Bit by bit and moment by moment this woman began to tell MY story! My cancer, My journey. All of our “physical” parts of the story were exactly the same. Except she had 2 more chemo treatments left. She had 4 boys and is 35 years old. I don’t know if she knew the Lord and I don’t know where she was spiritually, but I do know that if I hadn’t been through what I had been through I would have been the person in the place just staring at her wondering what was wrong. The Lord put me there that day to reassure her that she is almost done fighting this ugly thing called cancer and that she could look ahead and look at my hair and know what she will look like 3 months out and call herself a survivor! These times are the times I say THANK YOU JESUS! Thank you for humbling me before you and letting me have this trial and experience so that I can be a light for you and do hear on earth what I was born to do!

Thank you all for the continued prayer even as I have sat quietly for the past couple months. I have definitely felt the Lord working in my life as each day passes by and know in my heart Jeremiah 29:11. You all have been a huge blessing my life and the life of my family. I will keep you posted as my journey still continues. One thing I want to leave you with to ponder on is this....... Why are you here on this earth? What were you born for???? What is your goal as you wake up each and every day? Are you doing what you have been called to do without holding back? I know I have had to re ask myself all of these questions several times through this, thats why I ask you?

Love to you all


1 comment:

  1. I was touched by your story. Thank you for sharing. Sharing is another way of helping yourself to carry on with everything. I would like to share this to you... "How To Find Inner Stillness" and hope this can help you in some little ways. God Bless and Enjoy Life!