Feel the Music

This song came to mind as I was driving to my mammogram appointment Thursday.

As I mentioned in “Test of Faith“, Seymour saw me as ‘suffering in silence’, during the Chemo part of my Breast Cancer Journey. I did get quiet during The Red Devil part, but I want to assure you, I saw every message, email, and text come into my phone.

It was laying on the bed beside me, and would sometimes wake me up with the vibration.

My daughter’s bedroom is across the hall, and I heard her playing this song, as it floated across into my room. Those last two doses of Red Devil had me under a spell, and this song described exactly how I felt physically.

In the song, he is talking about leaving/dying, which I knew I wasn’t, but I was thinking. “This has got to be what dying feels like.”

It’s not that we want to be alone, and thanks to you, we don’t feel alone. I would pick up my phone, and look at it with one eye closed, trying to focus on the screen, but it hurt my eyes. I could see, and feel the love, but could not physically respond for several days.

Friends were reaching out, but I couldn’t respond.

I dedicate this song to the loved ones that want to help, but don’t know how. Your presence is known, even if it’s not acknowledged. We’re just soggy from the Chemo.

PS. Twenty-One Pilots remade this song as a tribute to ‘My Chemical Romance’, who is the original artist.

What A Year

I went to see my Breast Surgeon this morning for a follow up visit. She said, “You look great! You cannot even tell you’ve been through an all out war!” All I could say was, “God is good.”

She always hands me a list of my next steps. She wants me to wait a few weeks, and have a mammogram, but let my breast heal from the radiation. She said, “If you wait one month, you will have your mammogram exactly a year from when you had that first one.”

The journey began around March 7, 2016.

I had to stop Googling first thing.

That will scare the crap outta ya. Instead, I found Blogs written by women walking a similar path. This one woman was ahead of me on the Cancer path, and she was a comfort. She gave an in-depth description of the Chemo I would be receiving fondly known as The Red Devil. She is a truth-teller, and that is all I needed.

The last Cancer post I read, was written by a woman that was nearing the end of her journey. She was looking forward to it being over and feeling that sense of elation. I thought I would feel that too, knowing that the worst is behind me. It has been different for me.

It’s like everything in my life is more vividly colored, more intense. I notice things now, that I had missed before. I am more in-tune to my heart, and listen to my body, and soul.

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I have a myriad of feelings, but, “Whew! That’s over!”, hasn’t been one of them. This quote sums it up, “New Year, New Feels, New Chances, Same Dreams, Fresh Starts.

When I have my next mammogram, it will show nothing, which is better than something. It’s been a year.

The Potter’s Wheel

I was talking to my daughter yesterday about God, and how He has always taken care of us, and our every need. We don’t have any needs, and I don’t really see Him dropping the ball.

I woke up counting how much time I have today, before I’d be sitting in the Chemo chair.

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This whole Chemo thing has been a battle between God and me. I would like a softer, easier route, but He sees some things that need to be burned off. Stubbornness being one. I told my daughter yesterday one of the first things I learned through this is, I’m not in control of much. She sees the rough edges I so proudly wore being burned off, and made smooth.

I was also thinking this morning of when I first started Chemo, and was my perky, confident self walking into the room. After the first few sessions, I didn’t feel much difference. It was when I woke up one morning to a pillowcase covered in long brown hair that it knew it was about to get real. When I showered, it fell out and stuck to my body.

I recall trying to get it off my skin, but there was so much I just stood in the shower and cried. It was like the cleansing, Part 1, had begun. What may not have been affecting me much on the inside, was drastically changing what I saw on the outside. Knowing other things in my life I had been though, and won, I remember thinking, “I can handle this.”

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That was my first mistake. It’s not about me, and what I can take. It’s about God, and an opportunity to make me stronger.

The entire process started off slow, and relatively easy. After my fourth Chemo, I could feel it building up inside of me. One week in between treatment wasn’t enough. It was a gradual build, just like a slow spin on the potters wheel.

The spin became more intense, so by the time I had my 12th treatment, I didn’t know who I was anymore. I surely didn’t recognize the woman in the mirror.

After my 12th treatment, I had a three week break.

The doctors told me I wouldn’t see any hair growth until months after my last treatment. The mirror showed the edges softening. My eyebrows came back dark grey, and fluffy, and I have a thin layer of hair on my head. It feels soft, and fuzzy, like a peach, and it feels new.

After the 3 week break, the fire got intense. The Red Devil, (A/C) stepped in for the burn down. My thought has always been, God is going to burn this tumor down, and that will be the end of it. I guess I didn’t think that I would also be in the fire with the tumor. After today, just one more treatment. Can I do this? No way, but God can do it, and He will.

Cry It Out

I just needed to write. There is something about it that pulls all the frazzled ends back into my tapestry of life.

waiting

This is one of my favorite pictures, and I used it in a Blog written one year ago. To think of it today reminds me, this has been my year of waiting. I don’t mind waiting. God has given me plenty of practice, so I’ve become relatively good at it. It helps when you know what you’re waiting for. This week it was a call.

A week ago Monday, I had a call from my breast surgeon to see when I wanted to schedule the lumpectomy. We talked about Chemo, how I was doing, and when was my last treatment scheduled.

It felt like two doses of The Red Devil had been harder on me than the first 12 weeks combined. I still had two more doses to go, and in all honesty I wasn’t sure my body could take it. She said, “Maybe we can go ahead and do surgery then.” A light came on at the end of the tunnel.

She had to talk with my doctor, but she felt confident the lump was plenty small enough by now to be removed. So, the waiting began. I didn’t expect it to take this long, but 10 days later I received the verdict from my doctor. He said, “No.” That was when I had to cry it out.

I don’t know what God’s plan is, but it broke my heart when He said, “No”, to that plan.

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Did I mention the part where I got so pissed off, I called and left a message with my nurse that I wasn’t coming to Chemo next week? I was nice, but it happened, and it got her attention! She called me right back, so I didn’t have to wait long at all on that call.

So, I’ve gotten disappointed, angry, and cried, all within two hours time. I’m over it.

I try not to let my emotions get the best of me. I have always tried to keep it all under control, and let things like this just roll down my back. It normally works because I know a large part of life is a test.

If I can look at it as a test, and God as my teacher, it really inspires me to pass that test. I felt like I was failing the test, but then I realized, this test isn’t over.

I will know it’s over when God gets the glory from this journey. He gets the glory every morning when I wake up, but He is a Master at showing off in my life. He knows I love spectacular endings, so that is what I’m waiting for. I don’t see it yet, but I know its there.

Back to Chemo

I fell asleep early lastnight. Netflix continually lost the audio of the show I was trying to watch, so I just gave up, and shut everything down, including me. Perks of adulthood.

I woke up around 3:30 am, and remembered what day it is. My three week break from Chemo is coming to an end. Today is the Monday before Chemo Tuesday. There are so many feelings that go along with that thought.

My first thought was, this is #2, out of four, so I’m almost halfway done. I am learning so much along this path, and one thing is, God is big.

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I’ve had  this Meme for a while.

Just pondering it’s meaning, and today I see what it means to me in so many ways. There are no surprises to God. He knows our life story, because He is the Author, so me going through Chemo is no big shock for Him.

Looking back, I can see how everything just fell into place. My daughter and I have lived on our own, with God’s guidance, for almost 4 years. It was my job to keep her safe, and care for her the best way I knew how. Living life together, one day at a time, has brought me an extreme amount of joy.

Today, it would seem, our roles have reversed thanks to Chemo.

I didn’t know I would be battling Breast Cancer this year, but God did. It gives me great comfort knowing He has already gone before me to fight this battle, and God always wins.

boat storm quote

John 13:7 says, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

My daughter started driving the day she got her permit. We were leaving the DMV, and she asked, “Can I drive?” That was about a year ago. She learned to drive with my Ford F150, and I told her, “If you can drive this truck, you can drive almost anything.” It was hard for me to sit in the passenger seat at times, but she never put a scratch on it. She’s an excellent driver.

Daddy stepped in at Christmas, and gave her a car. Actually, he bought her two. The first one he bought, was her dream machine. A canary yellow, 2010, Chevy Camaro SS. I was amazed, and told him, “Uh, No.” She had been dreaming about this car, and he had searched the ends of the earth to find it. It was the hardest thing ever for me to say no.

He then bought her a more sensible car. Still sporty, but safer. Great gas mileage, and a thumpin’  sound system which is vital to her. He still has the Camaro parked behind his office. I am sure she drives it every chance she gets, but she now sees why it was a no. It’s way too much car for her at this age.

IF she hadn’t started driving when she did, I wouldn’t have a live in driver to Chemo.

What started out as something that had to be done, has turned into something she wants to do. She wants to drive me, and care for me in this way. It was very difficult for me to allow this to happen, but I knew I couldn’t drive myself. Chemo has helped me surrender to areas of my life that I couldn’t before.

I have to let people care for me.

Today, I will clean house, and restock the fridge.

Even though I don’t know how I will feel after Tuesday, I can prepare. Healthy snacks are a must after Chemo. I think I’ll buy flowers too. The last time I encountered The Red Devil, I slept for 3 days. It took another 2 days to feel somewhat human again, and 6 days to have a clear thought.

I may not know much of God’s plan, but I know He has one. I would have never imagined Chemo would be a part of it, but this path is only temporary. He is teaching me patience, because we are nowhere near done yet.