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.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wrestling In the Darkness

Lest you think this journey is easy for me because I often write of my small everyday victories, today I write from the darkness that hovers and threatens to steal my peace.   I think anyone who has battled cancer of any kind will attest to the fact that, there are times when the outlook seems bleak and your prognosis feels grim. It's with certainty that you acknowledge the dwindling number of your days.  Every twitch, pinch or pain is most likely an incurable tumor full of the cancerous monster. It doesn't matter that this line of thinking is in sharp contrast to what the doctors say or that it will not benefit me in anyway.  It is my now. The possibilities haunt me at night when I lay down. They rush in to cover me like a dark suffocating blanket. Stifling the oxygen that I need. I attempt to bury my fear deep in the comforting warmth of my pillow.  Here I find safety, familiarity, and rest... At least some nights.  On the other nights I anxiously wrestle.  I wrestle with my emotions and fears. I toss and turn with doubts and what ifs.  I get easily distracted down rabbit trails of pure deception.  And for that moment, I am lost. It is dark. It is cold.  And it is very lonely.  I am at my very core afraid.  Afraid "it" will come back and "it" will be worse.  Afraid I'm not doing enough. Afraid of what I would miss out on if...

At the end of every detour, along side every rabbit trail there are constant reminders that I don't have to tread this ground again.  I already know this. So why am I here again?  Why do I continue to join this wrestling match? Because cancer is scary and ugly.  It doesn't select only unhealthy people who "deserve" it.  It has no scale by which to gage worthy or unworthy.  It is no respecter of social class or political party.  And it certainly didn't care that I am a mother of 4+  who cooks almost all of our meals from scratch thank you very much.  Cancer doesn't care!  It simply hits, shatters worlds, and changes lives, forever.

In that darkest part of my nights, when the tears have come and gone and I have exhausted my list of mental gymnastics jumping through loop hole after loop hole looking for the way out, I sit quietly in stillness and realize once again, that I am still not alone.  He is here with me in this nightmare called cancer.  The scriptures begin to come to mind one at a time.  Some nights I have a friend who sends me reminders of the promises.  And my peace returns as slowly I retrace my steps back.

The journey is far from over, but I am 5 marbles closer to being done with this leg of the trip.  Tomorrow I turn in #10.  I have three more radiation treatments that will directly hit my lymph nodes.  The area at my collar bone is raw.  They anticipate it will blister this week and begin weeping.  This will then require it to be covered.   The final 7 treatments are called a Boost.  They will use special settings to concentrate the rays directly over the lumpectomy site.  Then they said to expect that all areas will continue to burn for roughly 5 more days.  So while the end is in site and I am close enough to say that I will be done next week, these next few weeks will be hard.  I keep my reminders close at hand and know that like everything we experience in life, both the good and the bad, This Too Shall Pass. 

This week it has been Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 

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