You can read more at my other blog, PTEN, Cancer, and a Thing Called Hope. See you soon!
Pain unrelenting. Doctors dismiss my pleas, ushering me quickly out of the office. I struggle into the hallway and call my husband. Other brush past me, looking on curiously.
The medicine is needed for life, the pushing back of cancer’s return. And yet pain fills the void, making even small tasks impossible.
Fearing the future, I huddle on the couch, pull out my Kindle, and read:
“Somewhere along the line, I come to believe that fear has brought its best game. It is roaring like an ocean in my ears and I take as deep a breath as I can and force the sound of waves crashing on rocks to fade.” —Don Hoesel
Breathing and waiting and praying. Ready for change.
Quiet settled in among us as I said those words, that truth that I had been denying. Pain spread through my chest.
Struggling to exhale, I looked at them both. My own desire to please had caused their heartache and my regret.
Afterwards, I attempt to read through smudged glasses. I find a quote from Dr. Peter Eldersveld:
So many moments when I could have turned differently, followed another path.
No tests now, just waiting. Waiting for the next step in this cancer journey, the next surgery and treatment.
Time enough for thinking and remembering. The year has brought loss and pain, many many endings. Desperate to press forward despite it all.
My youngest kitten snuggles closer as we listen to the wind chimes outside. Wind and chaos and rain fill our evening. But the storm and the falling leaves also prompt the chimes to add music to our hours.
Picking up my Kindle, I read:
“Our present circumstances will not determine where we will go; it merely dictates where we will start.” —J.C. Ryan
I wrap myself in a blanket and wonder about the future. Perhaps a new beginning after all of this struggle and heartbreak?
Days without word. Calls placed, leaving unanswered messages.
Thoughts probing the unknown, imagining the cancer’s spread. Worry fills nights with sleeplessness, with restlessness.
No tasks to be accomplished. Thoughts tangle into twisted masses.
Novels entertain, occasionally enlighten. Reading one day, I find:
“An unknown threat lurking in the shadows can wear a man down faster than a known one.” —Douglas E. Richards
So very tired of the waiting and wondering and pacing. And then. Finally, a call. The end of the relentless time in between.
Radiation today and the burning. Hope for a future.
The days when there is nothing to fight, no appointments or treatments. Nothing but time to consider and wait, knowing the pain that will come.
In this quiet there is tension, the swishing of a cat’s tail and the approach of a storm. I text a friend to wait until safer days to travel. There is the bitter temptation to quit now, to lie down and await the overcoming illness.
Rest rather than confront cancer yet again.
Swallowing some water, I read:
“It may be that the best and most rewarding decision you can make is to stay the course, even when it would be so much simpler to turn and walk away.” —Craig Groeschel
The past months have taken their toll, adding scars on top of scars. But I will continue to fight.
Shifting, I punch the pillow in an attempt to get comfortable. Pain and the sense of the unknown have stabbed me into wakefulness. The swelling underneath my arm still remains.
Things continue to fall away. Cancer has taken most everything this time, leaving only suffering and scars. And fear.
“There is nothing to fear in the wilderness of suffering–it is the land where God woos. The crush of crisis is but a passage into communion with Christ,” says Ann Voskamp. I rest the book on the couch.
Shaking, I trace the jagged incisions with my finger and then desperately grab my phone to read a few Bible verses. Pushing back with faith.
When misery and loss leave us breathless, we can choose God.