Thursday, November 7, 2013

Daily gratitude

It has been four weeks to the day since I was laid out on an operating table for 9.5 hours to remove the tumors from my colon and liver.  This is my first attempt at a blog entry since then—so it may be marred with random medicated rants and fits of tears and moments of off the chart emotion that I cannot identify.  These four weeks have been the most horrendous part of this battle.  I absolutely did NOT expect this—this much pain, this much time to recover, this slow of a process, this much sleep (mostly interrupted and pain induced). I knew before that I was a control freak, but I now know (and so does the rest of my family) that I am an extreme wild beast of a control freak.  Not being able to roll out of bed, tie your shoes, do your own laundry, make your food, shave your legs, read a book, sleep in a position other than your back, drive your car, pick up your own purse, take care of your kids’ needs—it is beyond frustrating and….the list goes on.  And everyone gets the brunt of my misery.  Especially as time wears on and the pain doesn’t seem to abate.  I have a scar from my sternum to my pubic bone and the scar is healing decently, yet the pain rips up my spine, my core, my torso.  I take my drugs at the appointed times, and watch the clock until I can take them again.  I cry at the littlest things—when my son flops on my bed after school to tell me about his day, when my friend shows up at the door to drive me to Walgreens and I just see her face, when I get any number of texts checking up on me and I just yearn to be able to go out and feel GOOD again. 

I am in pity party mode and it is time to get out.  I really am beginning to understand what it means to “consider it joy” in all circumstances….because I have not felt happy or content in quite awhile.  So it has to go back to the circumstance issue.  It isn’t about my circumstances—it is about my relationship with Jesus.  Right now I am frustrated and feel like I am in a vast desert.  And it doesn’t feel good at all.  But if my faith were based on my feelings, then I wouldn’t have much faith at all. These pain filled moments point me to my Savior, and even though I am not that thrilled with my circumstances right now, I do know that I have a Savior who lives and who loves.  At these times when I am cranky and unlovable and downright unlikeable, I have a God who adores me. 

But instead of looming in the darkness of this pity party, let me remind myself and all my readers and friends, that this surgery had a purpose.  That purpose was to get those cancerous tumors out of my body.  And that was accomplished!  Three tumors removed—two in my liver and one in my colon.  No cancer in the margins or the lymph nodes or any surrounding areas.  Despite this painful recovery, the cancer is GONE.  Now that is something to celebrate!  Nearly eleven months ago, my OBGYN found a mass and now, despite huge odds against me, the cancer is gone, the tumors are OUT!

Many people are celebrating November as gratitude month—it is a tradition—be grateful in this month of Thanksgiving.  But we all need to be grateful every day and not for just one little thing and not for just one little “first world” thing.  Seriously.  I need to get on the gratitude wagon.  Yes, I have serious pain, but I don’t have cancer tumors in my body anymore.  I have a new lease on life.  I need to remind myself of that every single day, every hour, every moment.  I am blessed.  I need to remind myself of that every single moment. 


Kate said...

Love your honesty! Cancer and all it brings about sucks big time! Though you may not be feeling it now, please know what a difference you've made in my life these past months by your blog posts. It has made me feel gratitude for so many things I took for granted and has made me look at my petty complaints and rethink my priorities. Though we have not seen one another in over 30 years, your journey in all its parts has made a difference to me. When I've prayed for you it has helped put so much in to perspective for me. I would not wish cancer on you or anyone that has been touched by it but do know that your journey has touched my life in a positive way. Sending warm thoughts and continued prayers to you and your family.

Irene said...

You are entitled to a pity party, it is healing. Joy can only be known, truly known, because their is pain, hurt, frustration, angst and yes pity. This "snap-shot" of time is not the whole. The whole is all that you bring. So yes, you beat cancer! Your medical team removed the monster. Your beliefs will bring light and joy, tho perhaps dim because of the "low battery" but never off.

I admire in ways that defy words your tenacity and the miracle that is you a woman filled with joy.

Many blessings to you Kirsten. Love and Light - always.

Unknown said...

No one can imagine what it is like to go through what you are dealing with unless they have been through the same experience. I am so happy for you that they have gotten all the cancer out of your body and that soon you will be able to really celebrate and appreciate it.

When you are dealing with the pain it is probably hard to be patient and take your time recovering. Hopefully by the New Year you will be able to put this all behind you and look back on this experience and realize how amazing and strong you are.

You have touched so many peoples lives with your faith, courage, and strength. Please continue to share The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly with us!