Due to lack of time, I am reposting my caring bridge entry. Also, I have been inspired by the movie Julie and Julia to become a more faithful blogger...I was bemoaning to my son that I don't know when I will have the time and he politely stated...maybe you could not spend as much time on facebook games and devote that to your writing...hmmm...smart boy!
Poem of reflection by Helen Mallicoat
I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
Suddenly, my Lord was speaking:
“My name is I AM.” He paused.
I waited. He continued,
“When you live in the past,
With its mistakes and regrets,
It is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WAS.”
“When you live in the future,
With its problems and fears,
It is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WILL BE.”
“When you live in this moment,
It is not hard. I AM here.
My name is I AM.”
This poem was shared with us at church yesterday by Pastor Allen…it captured so many of my thoughts, feelings and emotions of this past month. I am not sure how many of you are familiar with the story of Jacob in Genesis 32, the verses where God and Jacob wrestle through the night. Not quite two weeks ago, I felt like I was Jacob, wrestling for the promise of tomorrow and like, Jacob walking away with a limp, I, too will always have the physical scars of this journey with cancer. January marks the first really big “scare” of reoccurrence of cancer. Up until mid December, I had started feeling really good, regaining my energy and spunk. Slowly, I had started to notice that I was getting more tired and a bit more apathy towards activities that typically charged me up. At the beginning of the new year, I began waking up with low back pain that would disappear during the day…as the days continued, the back pain became increasingly worse and more challenging to manage. It was odd, I could basically manage through the day, but the nights were getting longer and longer. I finally relented and emailed my oncologists and this began a series of appointments with specialists, biopsies, labs and x-ray testing. After one particularly tough night, I made a big mistake and goggled…bone pain at night—bad idea—of course; this is one of the main symptoms of bone cancer. The thoughts, feelings and emotions that ran through my mind and heart…can you imagine? When I tried to talk with God and ask the question, “Lord am I healed?” all I kept hearing is you have been healed emotionally and spiritually…I couldn’t get a “gut” feeling on if the healing included physical healing, too. After all, my body betrayed me once, what’s stopping it from betraying me again? And, I had the worst case of “urgency nesting”…kept wanting to get everything caught up and organized. (Things I haven’t touched in years.) The morning that I received my bone scan results, I made this statement to my husband—“It will be so easy to offer praises to God if the scan comes back negative, but will I be able to offer praises if the scan comes back with cancer?” After much prayer and meditation, I do believe that although I would be sad if the cancer had all ready returned, I was mentally prepared to offer praises to God, regardless of the answer. God is a good God and I know He wants the best for us all—I, once again, had to learn to trust! I had to learn to surrender! So….the results of the scan came back negative for any cancer (yippee!!), however the scan did show a rib fracture and TMJ. Neither of which I knew previously…the rib fracture is probably from the tissue expanders and/or radiation. Since I continue with a fair amount of discomfort from the tissue expanders, I am hoping the second stage reconstruction surgery on March 3 will provide some relief. These results still didn’t explain the low back pain. The day after the scan, I received a phone call at 430 in the afternoon from the gynecologists and he asked “Are you still in pain?”…it was so hard to not say, duhhhh…He then states “We do laparoscopic surgery at noon tomorrow to see if endometriosis is the cause.…” I wanted to say, “Back up buddy, surgery, me??? At this late notice, you have got to be out of your mind…” After all, anyone who knows me knows I over research everything…endometriosis?? What’s that? Where did that come from?? Can’t this wait until March when I have surgery? So, after a few quick calls to my oncologists and primary care doctor…I agreed to the surgery. (Maybe this explains the “nesting instinct” for the past few weeks.) The surgery went very well and Dr Samir was able to zap the endometriosis. The back pain going into surgery was about an 8-9, now it is probable a 2. Since surgery (a little over a week ago, now) I have noticed an increase in my energy, along with the desire to set more and more goals for my future!
Through this scare, I am still left with some pondering questions…how come a gentleman who is 40 was recently diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer or the 31 year old gal from our home town passed away from cancer last week…I ask myself why? I, can’t help but wonder, will that be me soon? Does someone just shake dice and if doubles are rolled on your turn, you’re out? I am by no means, questioning my faith or living in fear…just pondering the challenges…why do some experience physical healing now on earth, while others have to wait to experience it in heaven? Also, I have been asking myself, how do I make the best use of my days? (regardless if it is one day, one year, 10 years or 50 years.) How can I best use the challenges of this journey to help others?
Someday, as God’s children, we will know these answers…some day there will be no pain and suffering…but for today…I take great comfort in knowing that I have the gift of walking hand in hand with our Maker, I have HOPE and I have the PROMISE of God’s love…
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for my family and I through this journey. February is a busy month as I have several rechecks and a pre-op physical. I am hoping to update my caring bridge after these appointments and before my next surgery.