How is it possible that life has been so full and crazy and all the words synonymous with busy (because I really don’t like that word; it seems like such a contest word to me. “I’m so busy!” “You think you’re busy? Look at my busy!” Gah! Stop it!) that our cancer journey is not the number one thing on my brain these past couple weeks? I’m a working mom with a job that doesn’t really have 9-5 office hours (a fact, not a complaint. There’s a difference.) with end-of-the-school-year activities, field trips and projects (this weekend it was a snow leopard habitat), rocket launches, talent shows and honor choir performances all converging right at the same time. Good grief, I haven’t even been able to attend Corey’s last couple injections or infusions with him!
I’m pretty sure that doesn’t make me a horrible spouse. At least I hope it doesn’t.
And I’m pretty sure our City Councilwoman hasn’t missed me and my agenda-item requests being present at her husband’s chemotherapy sessions either. Maybe I should attend a city council meeting… Anyway, I digress.
It’s a weird phenomenon when you feel like the universe should slow down so you can deal with your ‘upside-down life in a right-side-up world’ issues… but it doesn’t. Oh, how I wish it would. Our Marysville campus pastor walked into my office the other day and caught me in the middle of a prayer that the sun would stand still for 24 hours like it did for Joshua. (Joshua chapter 10, look it up. Very cool story!). I had to laugh – and I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m crazy.
As of this moment there are T-W-E-L-V-E school days left. I can make it. Right? I. Can. Make. It. RIGHT?? The fun snow days in the middle of the winter suddenly don’t seem so fun, now that they’ve been tacked on to the end of the school year. We didn’t have snow days in California. All my California friends are already on summer break. And now it seems like we’ll never get there! But I can do this, right? Somebody tell me I can do this!! And then somebody else remind me how I’ll be loving life when we don’t start back to school until after Labor Day, like we did in the “olden days.” August and September are crazy gorgeous in the PNW. So, I. Can. Do. This.
Is it horrible that I’m actually considering letting my kids skip the last two days of school to go back to Coeur d’Alene with their grandparents who will be in town for our niece’s high school graduation? They spend several weeks there every summer and if I did that, I wouldn’t have to make the 6-hour round-trip drive a couple days later to meet them half way and make the swap. Hmmmmm……
I know my friend Becky in California is yelling at me right now, “YES! For the love, let ’em miss the whole last week!” She does not have the same hang-ups I do. It used to make me cringe; now I look at her and think, “I CAN do that, can’t I?”
Hang-ups suck. But one-by-one I’m letting them go.
You know those “memories” that pop up on Facebook? This one from two years ago popped up today and stopped me in my tracks. I honestly don’t even remember what was happening in our lives two years ago that would’ve prompted me to post this, but boy, this rings true today.
What can I learn? How can I grow? What do I need to make it through this? All variations of the same, very good question. Yesterday it was for strength. I was asking God for greater strength because I don’t feel very strong these days. Most days I feel like I’m falling across the finish line much later in the night than I’d like to, face-first and battered. But as my dad reminded me one day, “Hey, but you’re crossing the finish line. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”
And you know what? God does “supply all my needs” (Philippians 4:19), just when I need Him to. Just like with the manna, He gives me what I need, when I need it. He doesn’t promise to supply “all my wants,” but “all my needs.”
The other day I was driving home from the office in a rush to prepare for the “next thing” on the agenda for that day and Corey’s doctor called. They always email Corey’s test results, so this was either really good news or really bad news. I braced myself and literally almost cried with relief when she said the results from this one particular test were so good that Dr. Lukas wanted them to call to deliver the results right away. There are several proteins in Corey’s blood that are W-A-Y out of whack, or were when he was initially diagnosed. They retested for one of the proteins at the outset of Round Three (which we’ll wrap up this week) and there was such a dramatic drop that even they were super excited! This particular protein shouldn’t be present in the blood at all and was at a ‘3.0’ when they last tested. This time it came back at ‘0.03.’
That. Is. Amazing!
She said that with the way he’s responding to treatment, they really believe he’ll reach remission after just 4-5 rounds, as opposed to 6-8, like they originally cautioned us may be necessary. Such. Good. News!
There are so many other issues in my life that aren’t getting the same good results. A chronic medical issue I’ve been dealing with for almost 14 years, family and friends who desperately need deliverance, healing, answers.
But then I listen to the Author and Perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12) who tenderly answers my prayer for more strength…
And I keep running.
One foot in front of the other. He doesn’t ask me to take on the whole world, just what’s unfolding before me today. I’m beginning to wonder if my cape, the one the “color of letting go” isn’t a single-use cape. I’m beginning to think maybe it’s supposed to be tattered at the end of each day, because that’s a sign I’ve gotten up and engaged in the fight. I’ve “run with endurance” the race set out before me. If my cape was in pristine condition, that would signal that I’d stayed in bed, under the covers all day.
And that, my friends, is just not an option.
After all, there are snow leopard habitats to be built, rocket launches to attend and field trips to chaperone!
So I’ll tie on my cape and get done today what needs to be done today. I won’t think ahead to the next phase of treatment and the painful infusions that are coming, or the fact that Corey will have to be quarantined and away from us for who knows how many weeks. Instead, I’ll let go my hang-ups and go to ice cream an hour after bedtime to celebrate Daddy’s good test results, because that’s the first time all day we’ll have had the chance to sit together. And I’ll shush that inner control freak telling me, “You. Can’t. Do. That!” Because you know what? Yes, I can. And then I’ll lock myself away on Monday morning after everyone’s gone to work and school and catch up. And I’ll choose to be thankful that I’m blessed enough to have had a super full (not busy) weekend celebrating with family and friends and surrounded by the people who love and support us – and who rather like my tattered, single-use capes.