Thursday, May 5, 2011

Step by Step

If you've wondered what it looks like to get chemo... here's a picture for you. They try and make it as comfortable as they can. Pillows, warm blankets, tv's etc. Smoke and mirrors my friends, smoke and mirrors.

Truth be told, the getting of the chemo isn't all that bad (except the days I get it in my abdomen... that isn't my favorite.) It's the days following. The emotional state has been much more grueling than the physical state. I had no idea. And this week (as I ended my fourth round) I have really struggled emotionally.

First, our computer bit the dust (that is why it's taken me so long to do a post... I'm using Steve's work computer.) That has been a big bummer. Blogging really helps me get my thoughts and feelings out and without my blogging release, I find I've got some things bottled up.

With Mother's Day coming up soon, I've been a little sad as I re-live last Mother's Day. It was the last real visit I had with my mom. We had a great time, went out for a drive and for ice cream and laughed a lot. The following Tuesday she went to the hospital and never came back home.

Since starting chemo, I've mostly been relieved that she was not here to worry and fret about my situation. I've been so focused on my own stuff that I just haven't *gone there* about my mom's death too often. But I feel like in the face of these next few weeks that lead up to the anniversary of her death, June 11th, I can't help but feel deeply about the passing of my mom. I miss her so much and when I'm swimming in the raw emotion and fear of the last two chemo treatments (that seem utterly overwhelming and not do-able), I wish she were here to process with, cheer me on and snuggle me. The anniversary of her death will coincide with my final *rough week* of treatment and I fear I won't have the emotional resources to deal with all of it.


We celebrated 8 years of marriage on Tuesday, May 3rd. As we did, it was good to reflect on some fun memories. It was also good to process on the past year of our marriage, and what could have sunk many couples, has brought us closer together and strengthened our bond.

But it also made me sad. Sad that as we went out for a celebratory dinner, I have no hair (I did wear a scarf to dinner, but Steve wanted a picture of the two of us, me w/ no scarf, to document this point in our journey.) Honestly, up until now, having no hair has not really bothered me. But this week, even baldness caught up with me.

I feel like a weary traveller. I hate to complain. There are so many others who do not have the great prognosis that I have. Or they have a disease that has no cure. I have much to be thankful for, and I am. It's just that I've reached this part of the race where I fear I can't take one more step. The finish line is in sight but I'm losing momentum. I know, in actuality, I can make it. It is one foot in front of the other, right? But my feet are cramping up. I want to lay down and quit. And the reality is, I still have nearly a year of chemo to follow. This race, the really hard and brutal part is nearly over, but the full race continues. As does the faith journey. It's 5 years out until I'm considered cured. Can I REALLY trust for that long? I guess I don't have another choice.

Forgive me, friends, if I am a whiner today. I just needed to get it out so that I can take that next step. Pray that I will!

17 comments:

vwiller said...

Oh E!! First I love the picture of you and Steve! I think these pictures are sort of like pictures when you are pregnant...at the time you resist and don't really want any but later you wish you had some/more. I never feel that I have the words to help with this process. Just know that every day I am working on a gift for you that many hands have had help in and each part I pray, may be more then I have ever prayed for anyone in my entire life. I am wrapping you in a great big hug.

Karen said...

Glad you got to post this, and to celebrate 8 great years. Suffering... seems a theme in this season of life. God is giving you courage, and I'll continue to pray that He upholds you to the end! Crowns await, my friend. And, you look perfectly beautiful!!!

ALo said...

thanks for being honest, friend! love you so much!!

Steve and Julie said...

I know the Lord will continue to bless you and your family. You are in our daily prayers. I truly believe the Lord never puts anything on us we can't handle. We may not understand, but that's where the faith comes in. In his love.....Julie and Steve Searcy (Jen Ishmael's parents)

Heather Ruetschle said...

I am praying for you!!! Happy Anniversary. Just take the one step in front of you...

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. He will carry you one day at a time. Thanks for always being so honest with how you are doing. I love how you are keeping it all real.

Michele Braceros

H in Berlin said...

Woke up here at 4 am and thought of you. So be encouraged in the Lord! As you grow weary, He hears you! He can even wake up others in the body (even though we've never met in person!) to carry you in prayer. WOW.

This is also an incredible encouragement to me in pondering the greatness of our God and a specific time I will remember when I am tempted to despair.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)

Katie said...

i showed your pictures to my roommate as i was reading this post. she said you are really pretty. i agree.

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for sharing your journey with us. Congratulations on another week of chemo done and better yet 8 years of wedded bliss. It's amazing how time can make you love your husband even more than your wedding day...the day you thought you couldn't top.

Thanks also for trusting us with the pictures. You are as beautiful as ever! I can't imagine how vulnerable and raw it must feel to be going through this. You are being thought of and prayed for daily and often each day.

Enjoy your Mother's Day...I'll be praying for you especially as you remember your mom.

Carrie Fulton

Kelly Kimberlin said...

Hey Elizabeth! It's Kelly (Eason) Kimberlin. We have met before but it's been several years. I was with AIA years ago. My best friend is on a similar journey as you. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how you are allowing so many to go with you. You and Steve just look so darling together. Beautiful.

Stacie@HobbitDoor said...

You look super cute in your chemo chair. You and Steve are a gorgeous couple! Congratulations on your anniversary.

Thanks for sharing where you are at, it helps those of us who are praying to know how to pray. Praying for strength, endurance and encouragement. I am marveling at what God has already accomplished in you. I know He has so much more (good) in store.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Eph 3:14-21

taisleyred said...

E! Love your humor in the "smoke and mirrors, friends, smoke and mirrors"! You are hysterical! Don't apologize for where you are... You have come SO far in your whole attitude and acceptance and in leaving the panic attacks behind you (for the most part). We all can see how much the Lord has done in you to grow you and deepen your faith and it's a beautiful thing. Wish I could give you all my hair... It's drivin me crazy lately and I may just cut it real short. Love you friend and praying for you!!!!!

Sadee said...

Praying for you today, Elizabeth! You are so beautiful - and I am NOT just saying this - in that pic with no hair! I was like "Wow, she can seriously pull off being bald!! Beautiful!!"
Praying for you as you celebrate being a mom today on Mother's Day, and praying for you as you miss your mom. This is a blog post about motherless daughters that spoke to me http://www.incourage.me/2011/05/mothers-day-for-the-motherless-daughter.html Love and prayers to you!

Sara@www.tablegrace.net said...

The time after round 4 was my absolute hardest time. Solider on. Hold tight to His hand and know that He will carry you through. I'm thinking of you and keeping you in my prayers.

Rose said...

Oh E, you are not a whiner, you are a human being! A very strong human being, but human! Know that so many of us are praying for you and we hold you up while your feet are pooped out!

The Wellmans said...

E, thanks for being honest and real with us. You are such a fabulous woman, mom, wife, friend, coworker. Your beauty reflects on the inside and out!
Continuing to pray for you as you continue on this journey.

Marisa said...

Thank you for sharing what is weighing on you! I will be praying! Happy 8 years!