This is Me!

This is Me! The good, the bad, and the bald. You get it all! But I have hair now. This spring I'll be rockin the pixie.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mixed Bag of Feelings

I have many mixed emotions heading into the final infusion.  It's kinda surreal to think about.  I don't think I'll fully get it for a while.  

Disbelief comes to mind when I think back on how long this season has felt at times.  The fact that it has stretched beyond a year is almost unbelievable.  In some ways, last year was like a blurr. Some things I don't totally remember and that's ok.  

Relief to be completing the recommended course of more invasive treatments ( minus the pills of course but I'm not counting them).   I never thought this was something I would add to my list of life experiences.  

Sadness and I realize this may make no sense at all, but there is a sense of purpose in actively treating the thing that was trying to kill you.  I think there is an emotional let down after being so up for the fight for so long.  

Happy to see my children rise to the occasion of supporting someone and picking up the slack when I needed extra help. Or just being around with me when I didn't feel well. 

Fearless like I have overcome something huge, And am ready to live! And live big. 

Thankfull to have walked this road because it allowed me to realize a purpose for which I feel so called to now. I want to help others who are in a similar place.  I can offer a bit of an understanding ear in a way I couldn't before.  Also, so thankful for all the amazing caregivers at the cancer center and all the new friends I have made both cancer related and not. 

Grateful that my cancer was treatable and hadn't spread. 

Blessed to have an amazing supportive group of friends and family. 

Amazed at the goodness of God in supplying everything I needed along the way including friends who had been through this before me.  And peace to weather the storm. 

Anxious to get it done and go celebrate. I think that's what inspired today's art   We were given a prompt of some photos of sailboats out in Bellingham Bay.  I was very intimidated by this idea until I added my perspective. I imagined where I would love to go to celebrate and decided to paint it.  Hmmm I'd love to be on those green waters.

So with my mixed bag of emotions...  I take another step forward. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Almost There...

I have been feeling so well lately that I haven't hardly sat still long enough to tell you about it.  I had treatment on Monday and then went back to volunteer on Tuesday.  As of now, I have two infusions left.  TWO!  That's it!  It is almost inconceivable to believe I have been doing this for over a year now.  What I once new nothing about, has now become common place for me.  Who would have ever guessed it.  We just don't know where these roads will take us. 

My hair is growing back.  Verrrryyyy slowly.  But it is growing and it is kinda crazy curly with a mind of its' own.  Oh well.  It is kinda fun and funky.  I just go with it. 

The volunteering has been truly amazing.  It makes me think of another passion I often write about. Gardening.  Every year around February and March, I gather my seeds from various resources.  Then I organize my plug trays for planting and make sure I have enough dirt  for everything I want to plant.  Now I am ready to get at it.

A gardener has to have hope.  We purchase packages of seeds, which are dry, dead, pieces of formerly living plants. They bare little resemblence to the plant they came from, and unless you are really familiar or are planting beans, peas, or corn... you wouldn't know what to expect.  Each seed is placed in it's own little hole, gently covered with germinating mix, and then lightly watered.  At this point, I simply have to sit back and wait.  Sure I can adjust the temperature and amount of water they receive.  I can even place them under grow lights, but I can't really force the process beyond that.  They will sprout when they are ready.  

This last year, I feel as if in some ways I underwent a similar change.  A part of me has dried up and died in this process called cancer.  Now, don't start thinking I am looking for pity cause that couldn't be farther from the case. The part of me that died was the fear.  In the past I attempted to deal with this issue that would plague me from time to time, but I was unsuccessful.  It wasn't until I was finally diagnosed with an actual life threatening illness that I released my grip and let it go.  The ultimate realization that I have only so much control over things hit me square in the chest.  

That seed of fear that was dead and lifeless, fell into fertile soil.  I think I surrendered my goals and ambitions and allowed God to water that little seed with hope, compassion, and an abundant peace.  From it has sprung a new passion and love of people I might never have experienced with out the Lord's leading.  I have heard it said many times, that you know your doing the right kind of ministry when you leave after serving and feel energized and refreshed, ready to do it again. 

My tasks are simple and easy: Keeping the hospitality areas tidy and full of fresh hot coffee and water, and keeping the goodie tray full.  I replenish the blankets in the warmer.  I make copies when I am asked.  I go hunting for a travel magazine because that's what helps him pass the time.  I bring tea in an extra cup because it is hot and I don't want the sister to burn her hands.  I check the kitchen for sugar free options because the patient is diabetic and needs to watch his sugar intake.  I bring granola bars for the patient and her two friends, then return to grab peanuts because she is alergic to wheat.  And sometimes I sit and visit a while.  I answer questions about the types of chemo I had and how it affected me.  We talk about hair loss and how it makes us feel.  We compare side effects and symptoms and share all attempted cures.  I listen to concerns about the prognosis.  We embrace because we can relate to one another and a connection has been made.  A connection that would never have happened with out my pink journey this last 15 months. 

My seed died.  It was planted in God's goodness and by his grace it is growing and flourishing.

Philippians 1:6
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.