Yesterday was rough. There’s no nice way to put it. All afternoon I felt like a dark cloud was hanging over my head. I still feel a bit sick from chemo last week, but it’s getting better. I tried all the usual things to lift my spirits….but it didn’t seem to help. It was a beautiful day here in Michigan. We took the kids to the park in the afternoon and I tried really hard to cheer up…..we took a walk, sat in the sun, but it just wasn’t there. I told my mother-in-law….I felt clausterphobic…..like I was in a tight space and couldn’t escape. In the afternoon I went to get my mistletoe shot and Jeremy called….he was close to the office so he came by to meet me. As we waited for the shot I lost it. In my tears I just wanted to scream….”I don’t want cancer!” I just don’t want it…..I hate it and I’m angry that it is invading my body and making me so sick. I hate that I don’t know how I got it or where it came from or how to stay away from it. I hate that I have this mastectomy surgery looming over my head. I hate that I have to wake up and look at my bald head every morning and be reminded that I have cancer. I hate the scarves….I’m either too cold or too hot with them on. I hate all of it. I just want it to go away. I want it to be a bad dream. I’ve wanted it to be a bad dream since day one. I look at other moms at the park and I feel so envious of their hair, health and seemingly happiness. I enviously wonder if I’ll ever be like that again, or feel that good again. Good enough to run after my kids or push them on the swing without feeling tired….or tired from chemo.
This claustrophobic feeling actually got me thinking about a funny story (one of many) from our honeymoon. (They say laughter is good medicine right.) Jeremy and I went camping in Northern Michigan (I know, I know…..not very glam huh). One thing I REALLY was looking forward to was going canoeing together. Well…we located a river and a canoe rental office and we signed up. Actually Jeremy went in and signed us up. He came out and told me he had purchased the 2 hour trip, rather than the all day one. I, however, wanted the full day romantic meandering trip together, so I sent him back in to get the REAL DEAL. The loving husband he was, he did it.
Well….from the very start, we were in trouble. Jeremy got so sick of me trying to steer that he made me sit in back. He figured if I wanted to steer…he’d let me! It was no meandering gentle river and we kept running into fallen limbs, getting caught on rocks and running into the bank. That wasn’t the worst of it. From the start we had these nasty deer flies biting us. As we floated along, they gathered in number, and in energy, because it was out of control after a while. They were swarming us. They were still swarming us when we passed the 2 hour trip marker (where we could have gotten out had we purchased the SHORTER trip!) and Jeremy pointed it out nicely to me. There was no one there waiting for us….sigh…so we had to keep going. After a while I covered my head with a towel and my new, and loving husband paddled furiously to get us to the end of our torturous canoe trip.
We never stopped for a romantic lunch, we never chatted about the beautiful nature surrounding us….nor have we ever gone canoeing again. We made it to the end in less than 3 hours, when it was supposed to take 4-5. When we got back to our campsite we crashed and slept all afternoon….bitten and bruised from our adventure.
I guess that’s how I feel a bit. Like I’m trying to escape those darned deer flies and they won’t let up or leave me alone. I want the trip to be over. I want to hang a towel over my head and call it quits.
But I can’t. There are so many reasons to keep going. My kids, my husband, my family. So many things I want to do and see and experience. If only the days I felt sick didn’t feel quite so long. They say when you’re having fun, time flies. Well….I can attest, when you have cancer it feels like sick days last for a life-time!
And then I remember that simple word “trust.” I can’t even begin to fathom God’s plan in all of this. I don’t believe for one minute God wants me to have this cancer, but I do believe he can make good of it. Beauty from ashes, strength for tears. (Isa 61:2-3) And I have to trust Him (Proverbs 3:5). Trust that healing will come in whatever way He wants, in the time He wants. I keep trying to steer the canoe. I keep putting down my paddle at the wrong times and it leads me astray. Somehow thinking I can figure it out. This disease is so much bigger than I can ever understand or fathom. I want to know answers that I will probably never know. In my frailness I want the how, why and what….and I want it now! I’m going to need to stick to the basics…..that He loves me, He cares about me and wants healing for me. I’m going to cling to that in these hours of darkness.
I’m up a creek without a paddle…..and well….I have to learn to be OK with that.