Day 56 - 12/4/18
Updated: Jan 17, 2019
The last few days have been somewhat routine for me. My strength has been rebuilding as the days have progressed. This chemo session has been easier than the last session, and I am grateful for that. I understood that the first one was going to be the toughest, and that appears to be true. I believe it has something to do with the amount of medication I am given in the first session, as compared to the other sessions.
As I awakened today, I took an assessment of where I am emotionally… And I was shocked to find out that I am distraught. I know I’ve been muddling through the last few days, but I didn’t see this coming. I thought I was just focusing on getting better, but, as it turns out, I am emotionally drained.
I am one of these regular “self-assessment” people, so my first instinct is to try to figure out from where this is coming. I repeat in my head a couple times, “I have been diagnosed with cancer.” My next thought, then, is a question. “How does this make you feel?” It was at that point that my emotions exploded. Fear… Anxiety… Sadness… Depression… Heaviness… Disappointment… Guilt…
I heard the words ringing through my mind, and the truthfulness of the words stung as I assessed them in my heart. As brave and strong as I would like to think of myself as being… Right now, I am feeling all of those things. Tears began to flow down my face, and I am faced with the reality of my own mortality.
Not everyone makes it through this. Based on my own diagnosis—HER2 positive, metastic breast cancer—the 5 year survival rate is 22%. That’s a scary figure. And I am admitting that I am scared. This is not how I envisioned my life. According to me, I would always be strong and healthy. Disease, and certainly not cancer, could ever take me out. Why aren’t the cells within my body listening to my thought process? Why is my body taking on a path of its own?
What has ALWAYS amazed me about God, is that He knows what I need BEFORE I need it. Today, as I am feeling this way, several people from work and church reached out to me—just to check to see how I was doing. I’m not ready to express these things to anyone, but this confirms that God knew I needed the encouragement. He had already put me on the minds of my support network and touched hearts on my behalf.
As I grapple with these feelings, I am very aware that there are people praying me through this--and I Thank God for that!
As I add this article to my blog, I want to make sure that anyone experiencing these emotions understand that it is ok to allow your emotions to overtake you. That is a normal, human reaction. And I encourage you to stay there as long as you need to be in that place. Allow yourself to be an emotional train wreck, if that is what you need. Admitting how you are feeling is not a bad thing. You’ll actually feel better once you have. But at the end of the day, recognize and embrace your faith that God has already planned this out. He knows what the future holds, and he has equipped you for it. Rest with the assurance of knowing that He has you in His hands. “I am the Lord your God. I am holding your hand, so don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” Isaiah 41: 13 CEV