September was the month Shaun and I had ear-marked as being able transition from cancer to a new-normal life. By September I'd be a full two months out from surgery and we could start to move on from the intensity of last year. In September school would be back in session, and with all three kids gone for six hours a day I'd been praying about what I could do to best steward my time...working for money or in a ministry capacity or another foster child or whatever else God had. Soccer would be in full swing and Shaun and I would be running the kids around. I'd start sorting through my life, figuring out where I left off a year ago...what's the same, what's changed, what needs to change. With chemo and radiation and surgery behind me, I was excited about the next thing.
With the news that we'd be doing more chemo treatments, my hopes and expectations for September had to be adjusted.
One of the hardest aspects of the news of six additional rounds of chemo was thinking about all the people who've been involved with this and having to drag them through more, when we thought we were at the end. There are many who feel this so heavy for me, who think of me daily, who pray and give and worry and wonder.
In her book, The Hardest Peace, Kara Tippets wrote:
The exhausting, most painful, breath-stealing aspect of illness is the constant focus on self. Tests on me, results for me, appointments to deal with me. I'm so weary of my own story I could run away.
Though it is astounding to know I am loved so deeply by so many, I feel Kara's words.
Every time I get a card in the mail, or a text, or an email, or flowers, or a meal, or someone asks how I'm doing, I am in awe that still, an entire year later, people are so deeply committed to our story, to our family. I'm so very undeserving of the love that has been extravagantly shown. Its completely humbling and overwhelming.
Thank you for bearing this burden with us. Although we are (surely) nearing the end, we grow weary of the journey. Your prayers are sustaining us. We do not underestimate the impact and power of you going to The Throne on our behalf. We go Wednesday for the 1st/9th treatment and we covet your prayers, specifically that my body can tolerate the most ideal drugs for me.
I enjoyed a vacuum-free weekend, one of the few times I've been unattached from tubes/wires in the last two months. The 24/7-ness of it is tiring. On Friday when I picked up the kids from school I didn't even get greeted with a hello. Amanda just said, Mom! You're vacuum is gone!! It was hard to see how much the kids are taking in and how it affects them.
When the vacuum is not on, the wound dressing needs to be changed each day, which means the nurse has to come every day instead of every other. The nurse I've had the majority of the time and who only works during the week insisted on doing the visit both weekend days, since she is the most familiar with it. Such incredible care I've been given! I'll spare you the details of the wound healing progress but the hope is the vacuum will be coming off permanently on Wednesday, when we see the surgeon. That way I won't have to carry the wound vac AND the chemo pump around together. That would nice. ;)
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames
And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here