Thursday, April 25, 2013

The First Pitch

Her name was Mary. I caught her out of the corner of my eye when I was waiting for instructions from the young volunteer organizing our event. Mary stood with authority, with certainty, with mastery and a gigantic smile as if this were the most important thing in her life. I turned quickly to see the full form of this powerful presence in my peripheral vision. The teal colored glasses, pink baseball cap and a jovial voice gave me every sign that she didn’t care if the world approved; she was comfortable in her own skin. Something about that gave me comfort and I didn’t even know her. But WOW!

The eight of us survivors gathered on a bright glorious Sunday afternoon to throw out 8 unanimous first pitches. It was the first time I dared to mingle with other cancer survivors. Until now, I would just prefer to wipe the dust off my feet, clip the apron strings and move on from this horrible frightening world of the unknown.  Something deep down said that if I hang out with these people who live with the same threat to their bodies that I live with, then I will never really live again. I’ll be stuck in this pit of sickness.

How can you live with a gun pointing at you all the time? If I get stressed, maybe it will come back. That makes me run for cover and avoid people who walk with flailing arms. If exercising is supposed to be cancer fighting, can you tell me what will happen if I’m too tired or don’t get to it? Does that mean I die? Ridicules thoughts… I know!!! Mary doesn’t think they are so ridicules though, because she has them too.

In fact, Mary is a 4 time survivor. She was told just 3 years ago that she only had 1 year to live. She laughs at the thought of not buying green bananas for that first year. She had to slowly convince herself that it was okay to buy toilet paper in bulk after the second year rolled on by and not a cancer cell could be found anywhere in her body. Her triple negative breast cancer had previously metastasized to her lungs… but no sign of cancer today. She said, “I am learning to live again,” as our conversation moved to the dugout while we waited for our signal to walk on the field.

I realized that the eight of us are playing on the same team and it’s time I get to know other survivors. Who else but my team would want to know the play by play details of the survival game? They can hear the same cheering or the same booing depending on the latest blood work up. These gals know what’s it’s like to wonder if IT will  welcome back and they are not afraid to whisper it from their silent screaming voices. Thank you God , that I can be okay in my uncomfortable skin while in their presence.

We won the baseball game that day. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Scar is a sign of beauty, really.

It's been one year and 3 months today. The focus is now on survival. My "TEAM" of doctors watch my health carefully with blood panel work ups and face to face meetings. What one doctor doesn't measure, the next one does. The appointments seem to be every month.  They share information and keep one another posted as I travel from office to office surrendering my blood and taking off my top to examine The Scar.

I think The Scar would horrify anyone but the person it lives with. One of my sisters who is a surgical nurse encouraged me to google mastercomy images so I could prepare myself before surgery. I think it brought on a hot flash when I first saw what it looked like. Go ahead and google it for yourself and you will see what I mean.. whew. Today, when I look in the mirror I see something very normal looking. I see a close call. I see abounding love. I see my unborn grandchildren. I see God's Almighty hand reaching down to touch my life and increase my days. I see cleavage where there is none!

Each doc educates me on how to watch  for cancer's possible return, in The Scar. They are adorable the way they try to describe it and the way they try to alert me without alarming me. They also encourage me to eat right, get rest, drink water... that's lots of water and exercise. KNOW your body! Listen to what it says, more importantly respond to it.

Keep your stress low! Now that's funny. This is a flat out crash course on letting go.
My TEAM, what amazing doctors and compassionate care givers they are. Me and my Scar.. we're going to be just fine living together. Thank you God!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Gone crazy, be back soon

My crazy is showing again! Top ten reasons why you are not yourself:

#10 You say, "huh" a lot when people are talking to you.

#9 You find yourself thinking about what you are thinking about. AKA over thinking.

#8 Concerned with ME, ME and ME.

#7 You misunderstand a party invitation which is immediately followed by being misunderstood.

#6 Your husband says a week later, "Are we still talking about this?"

#5 You want to crawl in a hole because you know your Crazy is loose and could devour someone.

#4 You don't really know what's going on so you assume the very WORST.

#3 Your loved ones want to help, so they tell you everything you've done wrong.

#2 You want to be in your right mind, but instead you've actually left your mind.

And the number one reason you know you're not yourself.

#1 You ask yourself and others, have I gone crazy?


This folks is what it looks like when your crazy is showing. This is war! It's a spiritual war which has been requested and approved. If I belong to God, nothing can touch me unless it is filtered through His hand. It's meant to reveal your crazy spot so you can grow. The bigger the war and chaos, the more we have potential for growth. After a non-stop crazy week of miscommunication, insult, correction and accusation I finally had some clarity.

These symptoms of craziness held the keys to a deeper truth when held up to the Light. When we stop trying to figure it out by way of reasoning or justification and stand circumspectly before God, we can get answers. This is the Lord's Dwelling Place where truth and honesty is revealed and where no fear of harm and condemnation can be found. In this Dwelling Place we can come boldly to our King and ask for examination. I know that His Grace is mighty! I brought my Crazy to His throne room. He took it and gave me peace in its place.

In the still quiet voice of my heart, I heard Him say:
Forgive unmet expectations; remove the idols from your life that put people and things above My Holy name. Don't bend in your integrity because it will cause you to have a skewed vision and misinterpret situations. Come under your husband's covering and don't walk outside of it- EVER.

The simple point here is that we must Abide in Christ. John 15:1-11 has the word (abide) 10 times. That's 10 times in 11 verses! When you've plunged into crazy, tuck, pray and Abide in His love. Remember His promise to restore you and protect you in ALL circumstances. This was just a test!