Wow - can't believe I haven't posted in a year.
Warning...this post may cause sadness and/or tears.
It's back. I hate It. A product of the evil one, that's for certain. I hate sickness, sadness, illness, pain, sin in general. And I really, really hate cancer.
When we first found out, I spent the week waiting for a treatment plan feeling as if every inch of my skin was cracking open, sort of like you see in pictures of the driest of deserts...deep gashes with pustules sprouting up and oozing dread. When the doctor gave us his prognosis, the me inside my head ran back and forth for days, tugging and pulling at my hair, screaming at the top of my lungs, wild-eyed and frantic.
More recently the me inside my head is that 5-year-old little girl with long brown hair who just wants to hide behind Mama, entwined around her legs and tugging at her dress.
When I get to heaven I know who I want to talk to, besides the obvious (Jesus). I want to sit down with Abraham and understand what he was feeling when God took him to the altar to sacrifice Isaac and did not stop him until the last minute. How could he go forward with such a command? What did he feel? Was he crying so hard he couldn't see? Can I be that in love with God?
I will not give an inch on my faith. I will stand firm and hold on, remembering that God did not lift his hand for Daddy until the last moment; that He did not halt Abraham until the final moment. He is a God of promises, and as much as I love my Mom, He loves her even more than I.
I will stand firm, though it is with constant nausea and the voice of a 5 year-old.
I realized today that I have finally, completely, given up hope. I'm too tired to fight anymore; I just don't have it in me to wage the war or even one more battle. I can only resort to basic survival now.
It isn't that I'm in constant pain; it's that I'm on constant guard against pain. The list of things I can't do seems ever-present in my mind, first and foremost is don't laugh, even a little. I had long ago accepted the fact that my heart was broken beyond repair, finally coming to terms with living with it pieced back together like a glass bauble held together with tape - not mended, but with all the pieces held in place. This was fine, because I was able to focus on things that made me laugh as the bright spot in my days. Laughter has been my healing balm, my drug of choice, my medicine for an ailing soul, my gift from God. Now that, too, has been taken from me.
An act as simple as sneezing, coughing, clearing my throat, or bending over to pick up something I drop on the floor can ruin my day. And I am alone in this. I know Christ loves me, for scripture tells me He does. But I can't see it, and I can't feel it. And other than my son, I have nothing. How did I get to this place? How did I get to be so alone? How is it that I spend so much time listening to others and encouraging them, yet I can't even finish a sentence without interruption or seeing their eyes glaze over or have them change the topic of conversation?
Hope is gone and in its place is....emptiness.
She wonders what there is to life,
Why her world is colorless - not clear, not opaque, but without color, hue, or shade.
Her thoughts dip and swirl, turn back upon themselves - chaotic, then still.
What if there is no point? What if this is all there is? Standing on the outside looking in, caged in a prison without color,hue, or shade.
Our fur-baby, Thumper, passed away on Monday. Alternately known as Tumpy, Tumperoo, TumpTump, and Slobber Slinger, she was with me longer than I was married, and for all of Boy Wonder's life. She brought us great comfort; she loved tuna, turkey, and vienna sausages. She was afraid of mice. We miss her greatly, and still have moments of great sorrow; I think it will be some time before we are able to go through a day without coming near to tears. We laid her to rest under a tree in our yard where she will always be in the sun.
Miss you Tumpy.
So Boy Wonder has been battling the flu all week. I stayed home with him up until yesterday - he seemed to be doing much better, no fever, so we thought he'd be back up and at school by today. Staying home yesterday was just a precaution, or so we thought. Last night his fever returned to a new high of 102. So I bathed him in alcohol and continued to check his temp until about 1am. This morning he's back down to 99, thank goodness, but I'm staying home with him just in case. And of course now I'm fighting tooth-an-nail against getting the full-fledged flu. I've got the razor blades in the throat feeling, and a nasty chest-cough, which send my chiari over the edge and gives me a lovely moose-sized headache. So I'm investing heavily in DayQuil and praying for the best. I just don't have time to be sick.
So throughout all of this I make regular calls to mom and dad to let keep them updated on Boy Wonder. Nothing makes me feel as good in times like this as talking to one of them and knowing that they love and care about us. They have helped me raise my son, really, and I wouldn't trade anything for that. I try not to think about the day when I will be without them, but I know when that day comes they would not dream of leaving Jesus' side for anything.
I read this in a devotional yesterday:
"It is when heaven's heights are in full view that the gates of hell are the most persistent and full of deadly peril." Wow - what an image. The enemy's last ditch effort to run us down, take our joy, ruin our soul. But, as always, He has a response...
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Gal. 6:9)
So next week I take my comprehensive exam. This is basically a 5-question test, applied in nature, with a 5-10 page requirement per question. I have been nearly crazy, tied in knots over this. It doesn't matter that I have a 4.0 on my classes; all I can think about is that I have only 2 chances to pass this test. If I don't pass it in those 2 shots I'm out of the program. That means $60,000 in debt and no degree; everyone at work knowing I failed. It makes me want to barf just thinking about it. But I have been praying diligently for wisdom, and reminding myself that He did literally save me from death those few years ago when the local docs nearly killed me. And He has brought me through every class, every assignment - He has earned every "A", not me. I ran across this verse this week on a devotional a sometimes read, and it has been a great comfort to me:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. II Corinthians 2:5