Monday, July 26, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Tuesday was Chemo #6, the last one in a rigid protocol of treatments that many women are unable to complete. Knowing this, I feel slightly proud of myself and tremendously thankful that I was able to see it through to the end. The stamina it took to finish did not come from me, but from the power of God that was granted to me through intercessory prayer.
The effects of #6, however, are by far the worst I've dealt with. I am SICK. I have zero energy or motivation to try anything. When the boys come in to see me, it is as if I am divided into two moms: the best part of me wants to snuggle with them and reassure them; the worst (and most honest, hidden) part of me wants them to just go away because I simply CAN'T DO IT. I am unable and unfit to be the mother they need me to be right now. If you know anything of my heart and my affections for those 3 little cowboys, you are able to recognize the enormity of that admission.
The only thing that truly seems to make these days bearable is to sleep my way through them. I am on a constant cycle of sleep-inducing, nausea-reducing drugs. I slept my way through most of yesterday, and plan to do the same today (and tomorrow...and maybe even the next day). I have always thought that it would be the easy way out, and have hesitated in previous chemo rounds to sleep around the clock. This time I honestly feel like I might not survive if I have to be aware of how badly I really feel.
This pity party is enhanced by something we learned during chemotherapy on Tuesday. The term "maintenance chemo" has been tossed around in front of us previously, and I finally got up the nerve to ask Nurse Stephani about it. Of course, the final decision will be made after I have a PET scan and meet with Dr. M next month, but Stephani gently communicated that it is a very real, and highly likely, possibility that I am not done with chemo. To be fair, maintenance chemo will not be anything like what I am currently going through. It would most likely be a Taxol cocktail, administered 1 day a week for 3 weeks, then 1 week off before the next round. Two things that prick my heart: 1) A new Taxol protocol means that my hair will not grow back anytime soon, and 2) I just want to be DONE. As long as my name is still on a blue folder (for patients actively receiving treatment) in Dr. M's office, I am in a sad place.
"Relent, O Lord! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants..." Psalm 90:13
From the beginning, I have tried to make it a point to look for things to be thankful for. That seems much harder to do during these dark days, but here are a few things that are happening RIGHT NOW that make my heart smile:
1. My mother is sitting next to my chair, reading over my shoulder. She has been here through every treatment, taking care of my household and my boys while I am unable to. I am thankful.
2. I can hear the sounds of my three boys playing and laughing together in the other room. I am thankful.
3. My husband is in his man-cave/office working on a project for a job that we have been unsure he would be able to keep at times. I am thankful for steady work and God's protection of his job.
4. Even when I don't feel like it, the knowledge that is rooted deep in my heart tells me that my God is faithful and is in control of all things. I am deeply thankful.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
It was hard for me to pick just a few pictures to post, but I whittled it down to some of my favorites. Bear with me while I let the pictures speak for themselves.
Goliath and Little Middle walked Nana down the aisle; Baby was the ring bearer.
I could not have been prouder (or more thankful...whew!)
of the way they took their "jobs" so seriously.
He's kind of quirky.
as a tribute to them and in recognition of their long-lasting marriages.
When they weren't dancing with me, they were dancing with each other!
"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:12-15
When he was done, I offered some Words of Hope that came straight from my heart. I will share with you what I said at the wedding, because it is the best way to sum up what I feel about my sister and her new husband:
Jenny and Howie, you only have to look around this room to see the evidence that you have touched lives and are well-loved. My heart is full of joy and hope tonight, and I know I am not alone in wanting to share it with you.
I hope that you will strive every day to put each other first. I hope that compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience take root and grow deep in your marriage, so that you are able to honor and cherish each other every day of your lives.
I hope that you will make it a point to have fun together and seek out joy in all the little details of your lives. I wish for your home to be filled with tremendous laughter and happiness, and that you will take time to simply enjoy being together.
I hope that you, Howie, will be the strong leader in your household that God made you to be. I hope that you will seek Him diligently by studying His Word, and that you will faithfully pray for and with Jenny. I hope that you will be tender with her, always remembering that she is the greatest treasure that God has given you.
I hope that you, Jenny, will be the loving, caring wife that God made you to be. I hope that you will encourage and support Howie in all that he does, and that you will faithfully pray for and with him. I hope that you will bring as much joy and delight into your new home as you have always brought to ours.
I hope that the difficult times you face--and you will face them--will make you stronger. I hope that as you weather the storms of life together, that you will hold fast to the promises that you will make here today, and that you will come to realize the sweetness that “for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do we part” can really be.
I wish you a lifetime filled with grand adventures, unwavering love, unshakable faith, and boundless joy. You are both so very loved.Confidential to Jenny: I could barely contain my joy on Saturday night! What an amazingly magical wedding it was--everything we have talked and dreamed about for all these months. Thank you for asking me to stand with you on your day. It was my absolute privilege to be beside you as you committed your life and your love to Howie. I am so very proud of the lovely woman you have become, both inside and out. You deserve every happiness, and I will continue to pray that God would grant you favor as you open this new chapter of your life. I love you!
Friday, July 9, 2010
But tonight I cried.
We got our nails done. We went to the bridal luncheon. We had the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. She absolutely glows with excitement and happiness. I am thrilled for her!
But I still cried. I cried because I am tired. I cried because things will never be quite the same and I hate change...even the good kind. I cried because I remember the night before my own wedding day, and I wish I would try harder to recapture that feeling. I cried because my eyelashes are falling out, courtesy of chemotherapy. Because everyone keeps saying how much Jenny and I look alike, and I'm proud because I know it is true. Because I want to be healthy and whole, but I'm afraid that might never happen. Because not everyone has what I have, and I am grateful. Because my heart is full of love, and hurt, and longing, and more love.
When I wake up tomorrow, it will be Jenny's wedding day. I know I will never forget tomorrow...but I don't want to forget tonight, either.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
That's all I have to say about that, because this is a family-friendly blog.
Look all the world over and you will not find better fried catfish. YUM.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
After a few rounds, I asked him, "How are you and me opposites of each other?"
He said, "Well, you're big and I'm little." Right.
"You're a girl and I'm a boy." Uh huh.
"You're a grown-up and I'm a kid." Yes!
"I have hair and you don't." Ouch.
All the bravery and good humor in the world can't change the truth. And sometimes, the truth really hurts.