Well, I never blogged before, but I’d like to have the opportunity to tell a few secrets, share a few thoughts, and give glory to God as I move through this new journey with Christ by my side. Let me start at what I remember as the beginning:
Three years ago I was called back after a routine mammogram. My reaction was, “What a waste of time. I’m not the kind for that. Not me.” The diagnostic study showed nothing. Two more years of clean routine exams. This year I got the call and I heard the words (not through the phone), “This is yours. Own it.” Wooah! Well, that’s how I remember my breast cancer coming into reality for me. This voice actually gave me peace; the peace I’ve only known from Christ. I walked through the myriad of further tests with no surprises and everything confirmed for me that 2015 was not going to be as we had planned. My poor dear Walt. He loves to travel. Good-bye first trip to the Holy Land. Hello Simon Cancer Center. It's less than a mile away on campus. Bless him Lord.
Here’s my first secret. When I was about to deliver Katie, our oldest, I got rid of anxiety by going to the mall. Every time I’d see a woman pushing a stroller with what looked like an infant in it (I wasn’t a mother yet, remember), I’d think, “Look at her. She’s talking. She’s smiling. She did it! I will survive!” My first day at the oncology office was like that. Women with their hats and turbans were talking to the person who brought them. No one was sobbing. The human spirit reaches for peace and encouragement. At least most do. I felt sorry for the only woman there alone. I hoped she was alone by choice. I said a prayer.
I had my first dose of chemo (three different meds over 5 hours) on Wednesday. I had prayers from all over the world counting over 300 from Facebook alone. The side effect list is awful but I feel great. I could say I'm just down a couple of gears. (Some have thought I was in too high a gear for a long time.) Thank you friends and thank you Jesus! Keep up the prayers for me and all those with illnesses. I was praying before I knew about all this, and I was thinking about the apostle Peter leaving the boat to meet Jesus on the water. He started strong and was walking on water, then he started sinking. I want my story to be that without the sinking. I want to be brave. I want to leave my familiar and look to Jesus and keep my eyes on him. He has never misguided me. Your prayers give me that strength. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you like detailed intercessory requests: Week 2 starts Wednesday for me. That’s when my blood count will be dipping way down. I need a real change in behavior to guard against infection. I have had my fingers in my mouth since I was a baby! Ok. Secret #2? I get food stuck in one space of my teeth. I have cuticles that need “help”. You name it. It must stop. I also need to learn to like antibacterial gels. I hate alcohol on my skin and my skin is destined to get drier during chemo. Pray for behavioral changes! They are hard!
What did I do before my first treatment? I had a fun week!
Melanie brought her kids: Isa, Xavi, Diego, and Lucas from Dexter, MI for a visit!
Katie brought her younger half: Michael, Mary Kate, David, and Tim. They are also from Dexter, MI.
Brian, Mary, and George came from South Bend, and I can't believe I only have this picture!
We celebrated "Pie Night" (before students leave for Thanksgiving) with the Campus Team.
Awesome entertainment and dessert folks!
And my Mom, my sister, Laurie, and I took an afternoon after everyone left to go to the Penguins 3D
movie downtown. Because: girls really do need to have fun.
Thanks again for being with me in this. I love you all.