On July 5, 2016 the doctor told me that the spread of my breast cancer, now consider metastatic breast cancer, gave me a life expectancy of 3 to 5 years. That was, of course, after the 20 months that I had already spent moving my way through 3 types of chemotherapy, 30 sessions of radiation, and 5 surgeries.
I have made it through Year 1 which included 10 sessions of radiation and 1 surgery which has thrust me firmly into the grips of surgical menopause. Again, I repeat from my last blog post that estrogen is a beautiful thing…
Be grateful for it.
For when it is gone, His grace becomes your life-line of daily hope for any and all mercy that is received and granted to all those in your path.
As I reflect this Year 1 milestone, I ponder on just one particular thought despite so many blessings of grace and lessons of humility:
I am disconnected.
How do I begin to explain this thought?
I do not know how to re-integrate myself back into this world that continued to spin on its axis while I was forced to focus on all things cancer.
I do not want to re-integrate myself back into this world that continued to spin on its axis while I was forced to focus on all things cancer.
I remember thinking the other day: What in the world possessed me to agree to the ‘required’ first mastectomy?????? (Excessive question marks denoted my utter dismay.) Would it not have been better to fight my cancer proactively in ANY other way than to amputate my body parts?????
As I attempted to articulate my horrified bewilderment to Football Fan, he reminded me that we did make informed decisions at the appointed times and he gently guided me to understand that, potentially, one of the reasons the doctors move you through treatments at an alarming pace is because getting caught in the ‘paralysis of analysis’ is a difficult place to be.
Making the decisions and living with those decisions are two different paths spread over fifty levels of difficulty. That is the portrait of cancer, just as it is also the portrait of life: choices directed by beliefs.
I made the choice.
What was my belief???
Learning to live with those decisions while feeling like a foreigner to myself and the world around me is way past intense especially when you cannot even connect with what ‘intense’ feels like.
The only true thing I comprehend is that my non-sense meter for all nouns (people, places, and things) is elevated way past my normally extreme level of being the type of person who cares too much.
Explaining this to you all could amount to many things. Some will take it as an affront to their dignity, their rights, In other words, offense. Some will take it and pondered what in the world I am trying to convey. Some will understand instantly, even though they may word my thoughts differently, because they have lived the spirit of experience through their own situations and circumstances.
I will say only this one thing, in conclusion: What you believe determines what you choose. I have many friends and family, but there is only one who has seen me as no other. He is what I believe:
My Creator who knew me before I was a thought in my mother’s womb.
He who met me at my lowest point, broken and contrite in my sinfulness, and showed me His perfect Hope. “Choose,” He quietly whispered to me, “Choose my perfect Hope which is full of perfect grace and perfect mercy.”
And even now, in the aftermath of all my choices, He continues to point me to the foot of that cross where His perfect Hope fulfilled the requirement to justify my sinfulness. “There,” He points, “Lay it there. Lay your uncertainty, your lack of care, your loss of sense and self, your disconnected life…
I, the only One who knows ALL of you, meet you there.
It is there I will remind you of my perfect love, my perfect grace, my perfect mercy, my perfect faithfulness.
All that you believe to be true.
All that you know to true.
All that is true because I AM.
‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.’ (Rev. 22:13) I am “the Author and Finisher” (Heb. 12:2) of what you believe, your faith.
I AM so that you may know how to choose to live with this imperfect condition in this imperfect world.”
On to Year 2…