For about a month now, upon arising from a chair, I walk a few minutes like Tim Conway playing an old lady. You older ones (like me) should remember this. It's quite disconcerting to actually feel like Tim Conway. I can not stand up straight because I am unconsciously trying not to put weight on my feet. I totter, I'm not sure why, but it seems that I can't put my feet out in front of one another. Again, this is all on the unconscious level. I noticed the longer I'm mobile, the more it corrects itself. So, there was good news this week. For the first time since my diagnosis I walked to Riley Hospital (about a mile) and had lunch with the fine lady above, Robin. We used to meet for lunch every other week, then cancer stopped it abruptly. After lunch, I went with two other sisters in Christ to visit a nursing home. Again, I hadn't done it since my diagnosis. It was a day of victory. The feeling of getting my life back. My feet hurt, but who cares. I can function and I'm getting out there. I'll tell you how it happened.
To begin with, another secret: when someone compliments me, I am very likely to think, "They are so nice. I bet they say nice things to everyone. I should be more like that." Although not a horrible thing to think, it robs the person of conveying a message to me. Maybe they were really trying to tell me what virtue I hold. Or maybe, God was trying to use them to tell me what virtue I hold. And so, on thinking about this, I saw the whole problem. If I listen to compliments, I will get, as my culture growing up would say, "full of myself". This is not my desire. But if being a Christian means to be busy about doing what our Father wants done, I had better know what my gifts (or virtues) are, right?
Anyway, being a Christian I know that any quality I possess is only because it was given to me. So, I thought some more and decided to take your comments seriously.
Well, I can't do much more than laugh at the comments of how great I look! I'm sorry. I'm just not there yet. But I remember how when my mother-in-law was dying of Alzheimer's some of the recreation staff would say she was "gorgeous". She sure did like that and I believed it. When you work in a nursing home, you see a lot of beauty. It's often in the eyes or the face. I can't always tell where, but there is an aura of beauty. And so I'll have to go along with all of you who think I look great. The thing I had to act on, though, was strength. Several of you say I am such a strong woman. I sure don't feel like it! But I decided to take it seriously. I'm learning the answer to my own question about what it means to fight like a girl. I've been pushing myself everyday in exercise. I don't always like it, but I want to move forward. I was feeling like I was accomplishing much. Then the radiation schedule got put back another week and I felt desolate. I cried out to the God. The Father. Then the Son. Then the Holy Spirit. Then Mary. I kid you not. I have never done this before. I said, "Enough! You've got to do something to get me out of this!" It was the next day that I walked to the hospital and went to the nursing home. I suddenly didn't care if the radiation people ever got my paperwork in order. I'm fighting a disease one day at a time and pushing myself to have as much of my old life back as I can. I am being strong. It's a purposeful decision. I had a great week. I cooked, saw 2 movies with Walt, and only had to take 2 naps. They were less than 30 minutes each. I'm back! If strong is what I am, then I'll use it.
Speaking of strong, my daughter Katie came to visit last weekend. She is the mother of 9 children. The youngest, Mary Kate, came with her. We had a delightful weekend and even got to play a little flute together. God is good!
Have you heard of short timers? They are people in the military who are counting their days until discharge. Mostly, they are not into their job anymore. In high school it's called senior-itis. Every school class gets spring fever. That's how I feel. I've got this radiation thing looming in my future, but I am so done with this experience! I will just keep remembering how the same power that conquered the grave lives in me, so I will be strong and get through what I need to. I will blog if I feel like it, but I hope in 7 weeks time to just tell you all that I am cancer free. Oh what a day! Enjoy the spring everyone. It has certainly sprung!