Monday, April 27, 2015

Doing Battle, Week 31

Week Two out of treatment and, for the most part, each day I was feeling a little better. Somedays I can hear the "Rocky music" start to play in my head and I want to do all things and be all things right now! And then my body bosses me around and tells me its not time to go full speed yet, somedays not even half speed.

And so, to keep me from getting frustrated, I dwell on what I'm getting back, not on what I've lost. For instance, I've been walking the girls to and from school each day, which is about 1/2 mile round-trip. Two days this week I was dressed up and out, during what used to have to be nap time. I've even added some basic strength training to my mornings, doing what I can and skipping the parts I can't.

Pain is no longer the main theme of each day, instead most days its managed with a little Advil here and there.

As anxious as I am to be back to normal life, it also scares me to think about integrating back into life, currently in progress. I'm afraid I won't be able to handle the demands placed on me, or more likely, the demands I place on myself. I'm afraid of what I'll see around me when this fog I've lived in finally fades. I wonder if I'll ever be able to look at life through something other than the cancer perspective.

Not that cancer perspective is all bad. I pondered this after attending a funeral this weekend. Cancer has given me the gift of understanding how fleeting life is. The knowing that we are here on earth for just a VERY short time, and one day each of us will die and the rest of our time will be spent in eternity. Of course we all know this, but in watching people go through life, I'm not sure how many people KNOW this. Know it in a way that changes the way they wake up each day and do life. Know it in a way that changes Who and what they live for.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 says You learn more at a funeral than at a feast—After all, that’s where we’ll end up. We might discover something from it.

We need to be thinking about how short life is and how it will end. Cancer makes it so you have to think about the end. I like that.

That reminds me of what is now (with the passing of time) a funny story to me. We got the news on a Friday (in the middle of September) and didn't meet with the surgeon until a full week later. While Shaun spent the week pretty sure his wife was going to die and his children would be motherless, I spent the week wondering how I could convince the surgeon to do surgery ASAP so I'd have time to recover and still run in my marathon the end of October. 

When we got out of the meeting with the surgeon Amy and Shaun were skipping and dancing, completely giddy with the news that I was going to live. Since I'd never considered that I might die (hello...its the 21st century!), the news that it was going to be a long, multi-step process was devastating to me.


I had a wrap-up appointment with Dr. K (the oncologist) this week. I'll still do multi-year follow-ups with him, but for all intents and purposes, his part is done.

From the start, he was so gracious about implementing the plan handed down from the Sloan Kettering oncologist...a clinical trial, really, that she's used with just over 60 patients. Its basically the traditional plan, but with the order of the chemo, radiation and surgery switched around.

Shaun did copious amounts of research on it and told me many times that in another 10 years, we'd be seeing this as the new standard. These months later, Dr. K admitted that he's been reading more and more about this new treatment plan and thinks that in the next five years this is how it will be done. I'm forever grateful to him and his staff for helping me get through the chemo piece of all this.

This song was on my lips this morning, even though I only knew one line:

You were there when it all came down on me
And I was blinded by my fear
And I struggled to believe
But in those unclear moments
You were the one keeping me strong
This is how my story's always gone

I have won and I have lost
I got it right sometimes
But sometimes I did not
Life's been a journey
I've seen joy, I've seen regret
Oh and You have been my God
Through all of it

Thank you for your continued prayers. You can't know the difference it makes to know people are standing with us. You have shouldered so much of this burden so that I didn't have to and you've been so faithful to love on us. My heart is full.


Melody said...

Love you!

Amy said...

Chemo and Radiation in the REAR VIEW!!!!!

The Bug said...

I remember when you were outlining what the treatment plan was going to be & you seemed to be focusing on the "multi-step" part of it, & I was paying attention to the "she's going to live" part - but then again I wasn't the one getting ready to live through all of it.

And now you're done with two of the steps - yay!

Ashley Beth said...

Praise God for perspective and progress and peace!