Much to the amusement of my family, yesterday I got my car stuck in our driveway of all places. The reason it happened is because I was too lazy to wipe off my windshield completely and sort of “lost track” of the driveway. Humbling, since I scold Drake all the time (and just this past Sunday) for not wiping the snow completely off his windows before heading out. Richard was going to pull me out, so I figured no one would find out. I forgot the boys both got out of school / college early yesterday. They took full delight in razzing me. I was thinking, “really, it is not that big of a deal”. The important part of the lesson is how I handled the situation. Months ago, an incident like this would have thrown me in a tizzy and sucked my joy for a few hours. Excessive, but true. Now, I was able to realize I wasn’t meant to be out on the roads and just needed to cancel my appointment.
I envy all those laid-back, type B, personalities who couldn’t imagine getting worked up over something so trivial. People who know me know that I have always been squarely in the Type A camp. I have been mocked for my color coded planners, my organized clothes closet, and planning my kids’ summer activities by weekly themes. So yes, I like to plan, organize, manage situations, and know the outcome from the beginning. While I am slowly being weaned of these traits, I do revert back now and then. Yesterday, I was trying to wrap up my future in a neat little package. My next oncologist appointment is only three weeks away and it is probably going to take that long for my voice to heal, so why not get that PET scan scheduled so we can have an answer about my future by Feb. 12th. Apparently, this is not going to happen as insurance may balk if the PET scan is too soon from the last one. So it looks like the end of February. This is a mixed blessing. Most of me dreads this PET scan because this is where the rubber meets the road. If the cancer has metastasized, it will show up on this scan and that means more surgery, or worse yet, no surgery depending on the location. However, what I am believing for is a clean scan! More patient waiting, but I plan to use it as a joy, peace-filled time!
Last week I developed a new symptom that was concerning and needed to be checked out with the oncologist. Yesterday, I found out it was not cancer and there was a logical explanation. But the part I want to focus on is the strides I have made in finding peace through these trials. While I have not perfected overcoming fear, I now have tools to work against it. I use to question that my faith was not strong when fear overcame me. However, several christian authors / speakers have admitted to being brought to their knees when faced with a serious illness and there is no condemnation in this. I now know that I can have strong faith in my heart even if my mind is not always aligned. In today’s Jesus Calling devotion, it states “rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times, whereas you are meant to go through them only when they actually occur. Do not multiply your suffering in this way. Instead, come to Me, and relax in My Peace. I will strengthen you and prepare you for this day, transforming your fear into confident trust.” This is exactly the mindset I am striving for!
I was doubly blessed yesterday when my thyroid doctor called. I have been feeling increasingly fatigued and weak over the past week but again felt it was a “mind” thing due to the the above mentioned “symptom”. Every time I would think, “I am so tired”, I would make myself say “I am full of energy and well-equipped to do all things”. It did help me accomplish some tasks around the house, but truthfully I was dreaming of my warm bed the whole time! Anyway, to the point, Dr. Borreson stated my thyroid hormone levels are off based on my blood-work and my medication dosage needs to be increased. It felt good to be validated that it was not all in my head and there was an actual physical cause. I can’t wait to go back to Lack’s and open the bathroom door. That door is soooo heavy and that is how I gauge my strength these days – the ease with which I can open that door! I just want to know who designed that dang door in a cancer center of all places!
I have met another woman from out of state through the American Cancer Society’s Survivors Network who has the same cancer as me. She has endured a lot but is two years out and going strong. She is my inspiration, and it has been wonderful to connect with someone who understands what I am going through. God just keeps providing!
1 Chronicles 16:34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever.
Just Pamela here. I have been thinking a lot about communication lately and how much we take it for granted. Obviously, being a speech language pathologist, communication is near and dear to my heart, but even I took it for granted. On Friday, my phone quit working and I realized I was at home all alone with no phone, no car (two of them wouldn’t start that morning), no voice to yell, and Amish for neighbors. Talk about feeling vulnerable! Drake reminded me that I still had the internet. However, since I don’t have facebook, that left me with email and waiting for someone to read it. We had a good laugh. Bottom line is that I love to talk and even text, and I miss my normal voice and my phone! I know it is not the end of the world and I have been using this time to focus on God and my family more, which was probably the ultimate plan anyway.
I have been asked when I plan to return to work, and I have stopped trying to put a date on it. God’s timing is perfect, and I believe He will let me know when it is time. Drake has been naming my changing voice. Apparently, I went from the “old lady smoker voice” to the “helium-sucking munchkin voice”. It is all very humbling but really a small issue in the bigger scheme of things. For all of you strong voice people, make your voices be heard today: whether it be standing up for what is right, encouraging another person, or just telling someone you love them!
Ps 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pure and pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.