My son turned 14 years old today. It's bittersweet to look at the photos of his toddler years ... oh, what a challenge he was! He is now an amazing young man with a gentle heart for God and his people.
My dad passed away two weeks ago at the age of 84. I thought it would be "easier" to let go, given his age, but his death has hurt the core of my being. I grieve and I wonder, "Will I be next?" and I wonder if my dying experience will be similar to his.
My children start back to school next week. It literally seems like just yesterday that they finished their last school year.
I had disease progression early in the summer and changed treatments. I've also undergone 20 radiation sessions which has brought on extreme fatigue. It will take about four weeks (time) to regain my energy, but an improvement should be obvious some time next week.
Meanwhile, we are waiting to see how responsive the cancer is to this new treatment. There's that time thing again! I am feeling much better now than I was at the beginning of summer (no pain at all) and my tumor markers have dropped a bit, but not as dramatically as hoped for. However, I am gratefully accepting the daily miracle of waking up and being able to live a relatively normal (for me) life.
I will have scans on September 15 with results given on September 17. The medical team is quite conscious of time and try not have long waits for results.
You know that you've lived with a disease for an extended period of time when the employees of the medical center know you by name. The blood lab, the cancer clinic, the infusion center ... my name is known. I know their names as well, but alas, there is a lot of turnover, especially in the cancer clinic. I'm on my third nurse practitioner and she will be leaving on maternity leave soon. They all admit that losing their patients on a regular basis takes a toll on their emotions. (My doctor works primarily with metastatic breast cancer patients ... those with the cancer that kills.) Recently, the beloved scheduler in the clinic died ... and we were all stunned. The patients don't expect the caregivers to pass away first.
I have a long list of things that need to be done around the house and I call them the "At least one useful thing a day" project. However, it's also important for me to remember that my being given this miracle of life isn't about the things I get done, but is about the love given to me by God, thus giving me the opportunity to love others. If my "one useful thing" is an act of love with no physically tangible result, then that's okay, too.
I like to tell my children, "It's all good." They understand what I mean. It breaks down into the reality of "God is good, but life is hard" and there are few greeting cards to fill the emotional ramifications of hard times. However, we use what limited resources we have (like the condolence cards and emails I received ... thank you very much!) to express our care and concern as we share life together.
I have only one-and-a-half chapters left to do in Judges. It's a very difficult book to stay in for extended periods of time. I am very much looking forward to getting to the book of Ruth!
And so we wait ... and we do ... and we rest ... and we laugh ... and we love. All because He first loved us.
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously--
take God seriously.
Micah 6:8 (The Message)