As I reflect upon the events of the last month, I think one of the hardest things is just working through the unknown. Never did I imagine that I would be in this position, navigating cancer. Never did I imagine that our lives would be catapulted into this foreign array of tests and doctors appointments ad nauseam, foregoing my lovely normal life in favor of whatever tasks are at hand to rush to start treatment, while at the same time, wanting to slow things down so we have more time to make critically important life decisions. All the while, there’s the inner mind game of not giving into my worst fears and instead staying in a place of faith, peace and strength.
I am so very thankful that I have the support of the most amazing, loving people on earth to walk beside me and remind me of what’s most important. There’s my family, my loving husband Greg, my kids, Sarah, Michael and Val, my sisters and their families, my moms and dad, all there holding us up. Then there’s our lovely friends…expressing their love and support, FaceTiming with me, saying unceasing prayers and offering whatever they can; friends that are near and far, day-t0-day sisters and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sisters, who have surfaced after years and years to offer their messages of love and encouragement. I am humbled, honored and privileged to be on the receiving end of such generosity. I wish I could write back to every friend who’s sent me a message to express my gratitude. Hopefully in the days and weeks ahead, I will be able to do just that!
I’ve always tried to be someone who gave to others in this way in times of need. I thought my report card was pretty good in this area. However, I now know, there is so much more I want to give, and will give in the future to others to bless them the way that I have been blessed.
For example, there’s my friend Gail. Gail and I haven’t known each other long, but when she caught wind of my future with chemo, she hunted down my phone number to reach out and offer her help. You see, Gail just finished chemo treatment of the same kind cancer that I have. Being ahead of me, she’s anticipating questions I have before I have them…texting me with tips and assuring me of what is “normal,” giving me glimpses of what’s ahead. Also, there’s Maudi, who also had the same kind of cancer as Gail and me. She’s a few years out now, and she’s doing great…what an amazing inspiration she is to me, offering the hope I yearn for to know that life will be “normal”again. Then there’s my friend Kristin, who’s 10 years healthy from her cancer. Never did I imagine when I walked this journey with her, that she’d now be walking it with me.
I am well supported, informed and equipped to faithfully fight this battle. Most days, I feel pretty strong. Because of that, even though I expected to feel “not-so-good” after my first treatment, I tried hard to keep going, enjoying my life. (I might have tried a little “too” hard.)
The second day after chemo, Sarah and Valerie whisked me away to a sunset dinner picnic…great end to the day!
The third day after chemo, I went with Sarah, my Mom and Marcia to pick up my wigs (getting ready for the days to come) and then a movie. Later, I learned, first hand, that the third day after chemo, it’s best to lay low and not do too much. Last night I suffered a bit. I definitely felt the flu symptoms that I was warned of, running a fever and having stomach issues. But after talking with my doctor, and a good night’s sleep, I felt much better today. Lesson for the wise, don’t overdo Sandy! This is a marathon, not a sprint. Heeding this advice, today I just stayed in bed and napped.
I am feeling much better tonight than I did last night. That’s for sure!! Let’s just hope that this trend continues!!
Tonight I end with this scripture from my dear friend Lori, who encouraged me with this text this morning:
1 Peter 5:10-11: “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”