So this is it, the end of an era for us. The blogging ends here… well, not here exactly, but at the close of this post.
My port was successfully removed a week and a half ago as were my ovaries. I am about to enter an amazing time… over two months until my next oncologist visit… WOW! I used to go to the doctor maybe once a year; the last year changed that perspective so markedly that having a three-month space between doctor’s appointments seems like a long time. I am back to a normal life… not my old version of a normal life, but the new version to which I am becoming accustomed. In a month, I’ll be a year out from my mastectomy and allowed to start lifting weights (I’d like to build up my chest muscles so when I go around without prosthesis my chest is not concave!). No lymphodema so far! The only ill effects from my treatment with arimidex to block estrogen and the oopherectomy are some kicking hot flashes but that is so much nicer than what I experienced during chemo that it seems silly to even mention it.
The year and change we spent fighting breast cancer
by chemo, surgery, radiation, and long-term medication
has left me…
1) Involved in a closer relationship with Jesus.
2) Counting the true blessing that my husband is.
3) Marveling at the speed at which my three sons are growing up and
how well they have coped with a roller coaster year full of changes.
4) Thankful and indebted to many family members and friends who have
sacrificed their time and resources for my family.
5) Grateful I live in the modern era where cancer can be treated.
6) Healthy (clear PET scan from December).
7) Physically changed (darker curlier hair, no breasts, no ovaries, 6 new scars,
menopausal symptoms, and on medication for a decade that will weaken my bones).
9) Unafraid to die. If it happens, I’ll see those of you who are in Christ on the flip side! As for those of you who don’t follow (and I don’t mean believe, I mean follow)… He’ll leave the 99 to find the one that has wandered away, that’s you. He’ll welcome you back with celebration, even if you’ve done terrible things (look up the parable of the prodigal son). Jesus died and was raised so that His goodness could cover anything you’ve ever done or thought, if you accept the covenant God offers you.
A final note to my fellow breast cancer patients (I’m still not comfortable with the word survivor)… God can give you comfort when no one else can. Ask Him. He knows the turmoil in your body and mind. Prayer is a beautiful way to connect with Him and receive His comfort in both your darkest and brightest hours.
And, so the blogging ends. It has been a roller-coaster of a year (and I detest any roller-coaster…and flying, well really, it is the landing thing, but I will have to get back to that eventually). So a year-ish later and I have to agree (“have to” may be a little strong, I mean I can do what I want) with my wife’s sentiments from above (spoiler alert, I read hers before writing).
It is my hope that through this blog, you have seen the love of Jesus and how we are affected by the gift we receive from Him. As that great group of philosophers and poets, for KING & COUNTRY, sing, “So let my life be the proof; The proof of Your love; Let my love look like You; And what You’re made of; How you lived, how You died; Love is sacrifice; So let my life be the proof; The proof of Your love.” This year has shown the sacrificial portion of love we display to each other and I am not sure that it was prevalent in the earlier days. The whole family has sacrificed in these days and we have received sacrificial love from countless family members, friends (yes, even coffee can be sacrificial), and countless acquaintances and strangers. Sadly, some of them do not know or do not follow Christ. Really, we would not have made it through this without Him and, I think that is the most important part of this experience has been that realization.
If I could leave you with some one-liners that sum this all up (∑) (That is a math joke):
1) Seize the day (Carpe Diem), even if it a concert by a band you have never heard of. It may lead you to Wobble, getting your Chainsaws Up, or going BZRK (Thank you FF5 for those and other songs now regularly sung in our household).
2) Put down the technology and hug you loved ones! First, I realize technology rants are ill placed in blogs. However, we went out to eat today and people were at occupying tables at the same time, but were not there together. We did not know that our world would be rocked in the way that it happened. I shudder to think that if we were techno-tized people that the growth of the past year would have been hindered by angry bird, candy crush, farmville, facebook, or any other website while our children are growing so fast and not knowing the numbers of our days. I can honestly say that I do not regret not knowing what my 500 “closest” “friends” are up to, attaining level “n” of game “x”; and we have some great memories! Speaking of which, the kids, they desperately want me to play outside, so it is time to wrap this up. So, on that note…
3) “Until that day when God deigns to unveil the future to mankind, all human wisdom is contained in these two words: ‘wait’ and ‘hope’!” (The Count of Monte Cristo).