Thursday, February 23, 2012

Not what I was expecting

I now have a standing weekly appointment with my grief counselor. There are several words that you don't really ever expect to add to your personal vocabulary. Grief counselor and oncologist are two of them. Now I have both. Debbie has been wonderful. She has been an amazing listening ear. There is something priceless about an hour in which I get to talk just about how I am doing.

This morning, Debbie and I spent an hour talking about something that I've recently just embraced. I don't think it was a huge surprise, and probably won't be to you if you've followed my story throughout the past year. But it is something I'm not sure I've verbalized. Nor am I proud of. But guess what? I'm afraid to die. With a capital UH-fraid. That's probably not a very *Christian* thing to say. I'm pretty sure it's not the "what comes next" part of death that scares me; but rather, the actual dying process. So we started to scratch the surface on that one. It was heavy. Yet encouraging. Weird, right?

In the midst of that conversation another thing was un-earthed. She referred to my last year and a half as *tragic.* And then it dawned on me... I've been living through a tragedy, and I didn't really see it for what it has been. I guess in my mind I've understood that the loss of both of my parents has been devastating, yet have often said to myself, "Everyone loses their parents." I've also acknowledged that my cancer and the treatment was rough. Super rough. But then reminded myself there are lots of people around me who are battling some kind of sickness.

But now that one of my dearest friends is facing cancer, while pregnant, it feels like I'm staring down the barrel of a loaded gun called loss once again. Yes, my last year and a half has been a TRAGEDY. Not just hard. Not just an event that in and of itself would be hard enough, but an unfathomable, sickening tragedy.

I've not thought of it like that. And in some odd way, finally quantifying it with that word might be the beginning of a long, painful yet freeing process. Pray that I would find the strength to move through this emotionally. It all sounds so dramatic to me. But I sense this is the new part of the journey that God is setting me on to head me toward freedom. And freedom sure does sound refreshing!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What a week

Six years ago my sweet baby girl came into the world. It was cold. Super cold. We went once and were told to go home and wait it out. We went back a few hours later. By early evening I held Olivia. Is it bad to say I might prefer having a 6 year old to a new born? Anyhow, happy birthday to my amazing daughter. Pictures of her gymnastics party to come.

In fact, I'm pathetically behind on many pictures. Although this has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life, there has been plenty of fun stuff as well. In light of Susie's health crisis, I just haven't had the *umph* to blog. Sleep has been poor. Crazy neck, shoulder and back tension have consumed me. I've been a bit of a basket case. Today felt a bit better. Please continue to pray for Susie and for me. Please check out their website for the latest update. On the website they have posted a video of Ben, Susie's husband, where he tells first hand their story and the prognosis. I'm thankful to be able to post the link, because honestly, I just don't have it in me to re-tell the story. We really, truly need a miracle!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sigh of relief

The good news is that Susie is on the other side of surgery. The baby seems to be fine. The doctor declared the surgery *successful* and word on the street is that she was awake, recognized her husband Ben, asked some questions about the outcome and even made a joke. Ahhhh.... my friend is still in there! The pathology was inconclusive and we are still waiting to find out if it is cancer. They did some treatment as if it were. Prayers still welcome on that front.

It was a long day. About 7 hours in the waiting room. Tears. Prayers. A few laughs. Lots of stress. That must have been what it was like a year ago for Steve and a handful of friends. For the person in surgery it's like a nano-second. For the others its like an eternity. Then it all flips. Surgery over, relief for the others, pain for the patient.

It's going to be a long recovery. The dust will settle. The *excitement* over. Now it's my turn. To be a good friend. To be there when needed. To shed tears. To feel helpless. To cheer on. I came to grips with the fact that I must mourn yet another loss (although this one is temporary.) But a loss nonetheless. My friend, whom I text 7 times a day and see several times a week, is out of commission. Life is such an ebb and flow of role change. I'm not so good with change. But this event has reminded me of something; my cancer experience and the death of my parents were all things that deepened my friendships. Susie became like a sister as she walked through those events with me. Perhaps we would be where we are today without those sufferings, but maybe not.

As I debriefed some of this with my grief counselor today, I realized this is something to be thankful for. And at some point I will see the good in this hard thing too. Something good will come of it. I just kind of want to hit the fast forward button. For her and for me. I can't wait to see her. I can't wait to shed some happy thankful tears with her. I can't wait to hear her crack a joke. I can't wait to crack one back. Then I will really know all will be well!

Monday, February 6, 2012

A few thoughts

There is a lot going on right now. Lots to write about. But honestly, the feeling just isn't there. I wouldn't say I'm depressed. I definitely would say I'm busy. Writer's block isn't the correct word either. Overwhelmed? Can that be the cause for not wanting to blog? Overwhelmed in my schedule. In my emotions. Not necessarily in a bad way. Life has just brought a lot my way over the past week or so (or two years, whatever). Some good, some fun, some not so much.

My friend, Susie, heads in to brain surgery tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 7th) at 7am. That feels overwhelming to me. Is this how people felt last year for me? It has surfaced some internal battles. How much to do I call? How much to I text? Am I on the *inner circle* (you know what I'm talking about, right?) Insecurities rise. My inner 7th grade girl has been channeled. Vain imaginations. Self-centered ugly. Yep, it's in there. And then I remind myself... Hello! This is not about me, its about my friend. Love. Protect. Guard against the enemy. For me. For her. For her family. Not to mention, my friend is about to be out of commission for a short spell. And quite frankly, I need my friend. To talk to. To laugh at. For her to laugh at me and bring balance and perspective that is unique to her. I have some very incredible friends. I have a group of friends that (in my humble opinion) others should be jealous of. Dare I say, sisters? We will rally around her like they did for me. I have no doubt. I am just sad. Fearful. Angry. Statistically, should I have not taken the hit for our group with my situation last year?

I know the *right* answers. I firmly believe God is in control. I know I dare not question. But that does not stop my emotions from flowing. Nor will it stop my continual prayers and cries out to the Lord on behalf of my friend. Please join me in praying for a successful surgery tomorrow morning. For the health of Susie and her baby. For a benign tumor. For this to be a blip on the screen. For me as I try to get past myself and my ugly and be there for my friends.