Tag Archives: Friends

My year of cancer . . . uncommon peace

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One year ago on Friday, Jan 13th, I heard the words, “I am 99.9% sure the lump is breast cancer” I sat stone faced, I nodded and after what seemed hours I uttered, “okay, now what?”. I had just had a mammogram and then an ultrasound of a mass in my right breast. Minutes later, I was having a biopsy. They do not mess around in this small-town teaching hospital. Side note, who goes in for a mammogram on Friday 13th?

I drove home unblinking, walked in the door stunned and in shock. I looked at Tim and told him that I had cancer. He never blinked, he never wavered, “we will do this together”.

I remember we were supposed to head into work, we found ourselves at the ocean. It is the place I can make sense of the senseless, it is the place that soothes my soul, it is a place of healing for me.

Tim was true to his word, all the chemo, the week in the hospital, all the surgeries, all seven and a half weeks of radiation, all of it. He sat with me, sitting in the hard chair of the watcher. I have never loved him more. You know who else was there through all of it? My heavenly father, holding me tight, always.

This last year has been a blur of doctors, operating rooms, needles, chemo and radiation. I feel like I have aged 5 years since last January. It has also been a blur of helping hands, urgent prayers, physical and virtual hugs, and the abundant peace that Jesus provided.

I was exhausted, so exhausted. I was, at times, void of emotion and in an instant full of emotion. I was never afraid, I always felt peace covering me.

There are snapshots that flash though my mind:
Shaving my head
Laughing with the nurse before my port placement
Laughing with the same nurse months later before my emergency port removal
Loving arms of my husband
Faithful friend’s offers of help
Caring nurses
Caring doctors
Days that I felt well enough to be in the sun
Farm-fresh eggs from my boss
Family gatherings
Friends visiting
Months of not having to shave my legs
Sweet times with my heavenly father
I chose to shuffle through only the funny or encouraging snapshots. The others are there, but I choose to dwell in the grace and faithfulness I experienced through this year.

I still have a journey ahead, but the tough stuff is over. I have my one year mammogram this coming Friday, I am expecting an “all clear”. I continue to feel the peace that has covered me this last year.

As I look back over this year it is with a grateful heart.

Connections

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While working in my yard yesterday, I was posting some of my progress in Instagram, I was also checking on friends I have made through this medium of communication. There was a post from a friend who lives a world away, it was to me, about how she thinks of me when she picks up sea glass on her side of the world. I can’t begin to say how this touched me. We have never met, we probably never will this side of glory, but I know she has two adorable boys. She is an artist, a photographer, and she lives close to the sea, her sons are creative and love Legos.

I have met many wonderful people on IG, I would love to meet them face to face. They are scattered all over this earth, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, England, and all over the United States. We are fellow, knitters, crocheters, artists, photographers, parents, lovers of God, we are strangely connected through this wonderful electronic world. Many of these friends have hugged me across the miles as I walk my grief journey. They have brought me comfort, as well as laughter. We get little glimpses into each other lives, the good, the bad, the funny, the sad. It is all there, picture by picture. I share in the joy, the celebrations, and in the things that are not so joyful, but we encourage each other, sending virtual hugs, and encouragement.

I have met fellow bloggers, through my blog, I have met others through Facebook, the more I think about this the more amazed I am. I have watched as these friends struggle with life changing decisions, I have prayed for wisdom for them. I watch as they blossom because of these decisions, I cheer them on.

People talk about how as we have our noses in our computers we are becoming more impersonal, more isolated. For me it is so opposite, I have “met” so many people that I would call my friends, even though I have never been face to face with them. I keep track of family that is far away, even “in person” friends that because our lives are busy we don’t get to hang out as often as we like, but we keep up through this electronic world.

As I was writing this a friend I met through Facebook, posted a picture on my timeline because he thought I might enjoy it. These things bring me joy.

These communities are scattered over the whole world, but they are communities non the less. I am in awe and amazed at this world we live in.