… in a cancer free world of several years ago, I was a sleeper. Like a pass-out-as-soon-as-you-hit-the-pillow-and-sleep-through-alarms-and-tests-and-exams-and-miss-flights kind of sleeper. But this kind of sleep is no longer my friend (or enemy if the morning involved a test, important meeting, or flight?). Sometines, it’s nice to gain middle of the night prayer time and even middle of the night blog writing but sometimes a girl just wishes she could sleep. Other times, He prompts me to just quit fighting it and redeem the time. So I’ve sent some texts about logistics for Linc tomorrow, bought him some Crocs from Amazon, responded to some overdue email, and now will write an overdue update to our praying and caring family and friends.
Here’s the short version: I feel pretty good, the antibiotic did wonders for the infection and my boob no longer looks like it could explode, poor Lincoln has seen me throw up a couple times and now fakes throwing up (this makes me sad and laugh at the same time!), we had an amazing 5 year anniversary trip and while we were gone crazy and kind friends and my mom packed our house for storage and moved us to our friends’ backhouse (with a pool that Linc invites friends to every day and tells friends and strangers alike that ‘we moved to a backhouse and I have a pool’). We are grateful happy peeps. And start the next round of chemo (for these drugs, ’rounds’ are 2 weeks on and one week off) today.
Longer version: For those of you who are up for more details, I can’t help but share some really sweet and a few hard moments. On our trip there was a sign in a store that I admittedly thought (and still think, actually) was cheesy but it stuck with me. ‘Life is not determined by the number of breaths you take but by the number of moments that take your breath away.’ As one expected to have many fewer breaths than some of you, it reminded me how great it is to really celebrate and cherish the many moments that take my breath away – especially during this season where His hand and kindness and provisions truly overwhelm me. Yall. Jesus is spoiling me!
Some of those moments that have taken my/our breath away are:
– friends making all the arrangements for our anniversary trip. We were brainstorming places and a friend suggested we consider Omni properties so we texted, from the chemo chair, a couple/friends that are part of Omnis holding company for their input on destinations. And, before I left chemo they had booked us at La Costa Resort in Southern California and we left 9 days later (we are advanced planners like that).
– seeing Scott so full of life and having so much fun celebrating Gods design in plants, flowers, the ocean, running, ‘befriending a sea lion’, and just hanging out. He has such a personality transformation when he’s away from city life and gets outdoors in pretty places that I had to finally confess that I was having a hard time adjusting to ‘happy hyper Scott.’ Shame on me. Cute on him. And for those of you that know him well, you can appreciate that hyper is probably not in the ‘Top 100 adjectives’ (or maybe 1000?) for Scott. Vacation is good for the soul.
– while on our trip, our friends Gigi and Steph casually informed us that instead of just ‘starting the packing’ while we were gone they had coordinated a few peeps -a friend of Stephs that I didn’t even know (who does that?), my mom and the Maxwells – and completely moved our personal items to the backhouse, packed 95% of the house, and ordered a pod delivered at the end of the week. Considering my idea of hell would be to move every day, this took my breath away.
– when we arrived back from our trip and went to the backhouse instead of our house, I found a huge, gorgeous beautifully framed picture of my family hanging on their wall ‘so that we would feel at home’ in their backhouse. Side note: we have really had fun designing our house and love our architect but the backhouse is so fabulous that Scott has joked that it may take an unexpected 24 months to finish the plans and finish construction.
– went to Whole Foods for sushi on Friday night and gave the guy a gift card to pay and he said ‘whoever gave you that really took care of you….’ and all I could think was ‘he has no idea how true that is and I have many more just like it!’ I explained that we have been well loved and taken care of during a hard season and couldn’t help but walk slowly to the car catching my breath and marveling at the Lords provision … So evident that the checker even comments on it.
– this past Saturday morning, Scott and I went out for a family ‘wog’ (we used to jog together but now, especially since bronchitis, I can’t keep up so I walk while he jogs … ‘the wog’) and as soon as Scott picked up the pace and Linc and I were alone I heard his little voice fro the stroller say ‘are you going to die? Because of the cancer?’ Bam. It’s out there and we’ve been telling him and he’s getting it. This is, as Scott perfectly describes it, a moment where you “simultaneously think ‘how sweet’ and I want to vomit’…” (first uttered by Scott on our trip while we talked about Lincoln and how others are already helping us prepare for his needs when I’m gone – like finishing the photo book and memories binder I’ve started). Lincoln then wanted to know where I got the cancer. From a frog? From a leaf? Yes, those were real questions after I explained that doctors don’t know why some people get cancer and others don’t. And, in response to his question about me dying from cancer it was another chance to be honest and trust him to the Lord as I said ‘probably so.’ I told him that we were praying for more time for me to be with him and trusting the Lord to take care of us.
– as if that wasn’t enough of a breath-taker-awayer moment, a couple hours later on our walk home from Starbucks he overheard me telling Molly, rather briefly, about how sweet my high school friend Angela has been to me (she’s a working single mom with 4 kids but comes from Prosper to join me and Jamie and Amy at doctor/chemo and even comes when I tell her not to!) and that she knows the ropes and is full of compassion and care because she lost a best friend from college to pancreatic cancer (diagnosed within weeks of my original diagnosis in Feb 2012) who has 4 kids. Lincoln overheard this and asked ‘do they have a daddy? does the daddy work? do the kids go to school? who picks them up?…’ Quite clearly Lincoln was trying to figure out who takes care of kiddos if they don’t have a Mama. Scott sweetly and perfectly picked Lincoln up and told him ‘find my eyes …if Mama dies, Daddy will take care of you. And lots of other people will help take care of you too.’ And, our not very cuddly little boy laid his head on his daddy’s shoulder and didn’t move for several minutes … Secure in his daddy’s arms. And I am likewise held and secure in my Daddys arms.
– along with these precious moments there were also the moments where chemo and meds got the best of me. These are breath-taking of another kind – because a girls got to breathe after she heaves. One morning, Scott got ahead of me on the ‘wog’ and turned around to find me throwing up at the entrance of this gorgeous resort property. And nothing kills the romance of a getaway weekend like your wife asking for your coffee cup to throw up in during your après-run coffee au lait time. And Lincoln and I went to buy breakfast tacos for the movers (that’s literally all I did for the whole day that our house was finished packing and loaded!) and I threw up out my car door while we waited. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I am hopeful now that I have finished 2 rounds of antibiotics (one for bronchitis and one for infection in breast) that my stomach will settle down.
To wrap up my update I will include a few pictures of the aforementioned peeps and events. None of them involve throw up.
Scott and the sea lion:
Celebrating that we survived the first 5 years of marriage – much harder than cancer but without the meal calendar! The blood, sweat, tears and prayers have been totally worth it and wouldn’t trade it. I am so thankful for how the Lord has grown and changed us!
My friend Angela, on far left, with Amy and Jamie at the hospital the last time I had chemo:
And, lastly, my boo and my boy on last Saturday’s ‘wog.’
I think and pray far more about these 2 than I do about myself. As I wrap up this entry and proceed to read Heaven (by Randy Alcorn), I am excitedly headed to be with Jesus. They, however, face a harder reality. I have the gifts of focus and clarity in this life and great hope for the next one. More than ever, I want my days to be marked by celebrating the love of God (which He is making exceedingly clear as He spoils me with his kindness), loving God and loving others. I want to experience the fullness of every moment in the this life while anticipating the next. He is good. All the time.
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. (Psalms 16:11 NASB)