Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

When you have had cancer, it seems like every little "new" ache or pain sends you into a small panic attack, wondering if your cancer has returned. Last week, on Wednesday, on my way home from bible study in Festus, I began to feel "funny". Like a pain on my right side, that was kind of in my lower back on my right side, but it came around to my side, and my stomach, but only on my right side. At another time, and another place, my first thought would probably be, "oh, I must have pulled a muscle". But in this post-cancer stage of my life, that always seems to color my thinking. It always seems to rattle me a bit, mess with my focus a bit, and depending on how tired I am, may even cause me to have a little panic attack. I laugh as I write that. Again, in my pre-cancer days, I would laugh at the thought that I would even have a panic attack. To tell you the truth, I never really believed in panic attacks, having never experienced one myself. But now that I have actually experienced one, I now believe them to be real, teehee. I feel like that line from the Amy Grant song,

"People say that I'm amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don't see inside of me
I'm hiding all the tears
They don't know that I go running home when I fall down
They don't know who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child"

I guess once cancer invades your world, it never seems to go away. When you are going through all that mess, you meet and chat with all kinds of people that are on their second and third recurrence. It kind of messes with the ideas you have that once you beat this, you will get on with your life. It will always be in the back of your mind, waiting for a weak moment, a pain, a lump, a twinge, anything that seems like it came from nowhere, and the next thing you know, you find yourself wondering, toying with the idea, that it is possible that your cancer has returned. Even though I had not been on any of the breast cancer web sites in quite awhile, I found myself going there again, and asking the girls if they too had these same fears every time they had a pain or twinge, and sure enough they did. Whew, that made me feel like I was normal, LOL! I know what you are thinking, what is normal exactly. Fine, I have never been normal, but at least the fears that I am having are common among those of us that have faced cancer. As Keith and I were discussing the pain I was having, where it was located, he was the one that reminded me that the kids did tell him that I had carried a two-drawer filing cabinet case downstairs by myself, that maybe I did indeed have a pulled muscle. I did take the drawers out first!! But yes, it was heavy enough that I only carried the one, then made Adam carry the other one for me. My kids looked at me when I came down the stairs with the cabinet in my arms, and it was Kimberly that said, "uh, mom, I thought you weren't supposed to be lifting heavy things". Everything in life is relative. Just when you think you have your focus back, and life is going along ok, a pebble is thrown, breaks your glass and your view is no longer clear, everything is out of focus. I remember thinking, when daddy was going through the Leukemia battle for his life, that I would be glad when life would get back to "normal". Then the Lord took my daddy home to be with Him. And I knew then, that no, my life would never get back to "normal". From now on, there would be a new kind of normal. This new kind of normal includes dealing on a daily basis with the fears that my breast cancer will indeed return and mess up my life again. This new kind of normal includes dealing on a daily basis with the stupid disease that has a death grip on my momma's mind....Alzheimer's. This new kind of normal includes me learning a whole new level of faith, and what it truly means to walk in the dark most of the time, with nothing to guide me except my faith. I don't know how people do it without faith, this life that is filled with fears that seem to cause even the strongest believers to fall to their knees on a regular basis. I love my Lord, and am proud to know that He loves me and calls me friend. I love that He still loves me, even when I fail Him on a regular basis, and He lovingly guides me gently back on the narrow path that He wants me to walk. He forgives me when I get lost in my pity party of "why is this happening to me, to my family?" He knows in my heart of hearts, that I love HIM and want only to please HIM with my life. I am grateful that HE continues to help me do that.

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