Monday, October 20, 2014

Wrung Out

It has been an emotionally, physically, spiritually gut wrenching day and I am wrung out. For the past two Mondays, I have had really super charged emotional days, with God just bringing me to my knees in humility, as He pours over me with His grace. I am still trying to wrap my head and heart around all that is going on with me. I know that my “answer” as the control freak in me wants it, won’t be in a neat package and won’t be flashed on a billboard. Maybe God wants me in a “searching place.” I don’t really dig that.  So I am just going to lay it all out and be raw, real, and reckless and I hope that maybe you might be able to relate.

Today I had my six week PET scan since my lung surgery. These are follow up scans to make sure that things are all clear. I have had scans, pokes, and prods for over 18 months now and you would think I would be used to it.  I was feeling pretty worn out and tired all weekend—even sweeping the floor and doing laundry wiped me out (well of course it does), but my lung capacity isn’t as it should be and I am not back to my three mile runs and Lake Poway hikes and I am frustrated with myself. I walk every day, and it is draining and I just want to have the strength and vitality I once had. So, I woke up, after a fitful night sleep, saw my family out the door, and just sat in bed in pity mode. I cried out to God—“I don’t want to go today! I don’t want a scan! I am DONE!” I started crying and admitting that I am downright scared. Because you see, after every scan there is a “result” and the results haven’t been in my favor.  For the first time in this whole journey I felt like I didn’t want to fight any more. I felt like my strength was gone, like I really wanted to give up.  And then for the first time in this whole fight, I pounded my fists on the bed and said “Why? Why to this battle? Why to the fact that five friends are still battling cancer to this day? Why to Noah’s friend and teammate’s mom having brain cancer at the same time I am battling? Why to these boys having to deal with this?” 

 It took a lot, but I rolled out of bed and of course I have to fast for these stupid scans so NO water, food or COFFEE!  This certainly didn’t help the morning at all. It took every ounce of energy I had to get ready, but I arrived at the medical office—exhausted and emotionally drained and it is only 9:45 am.  Then the nice sweet lady tells me that my co-pay for the procedure is $500! The co-pay has always been $100, so I spend the next hour in their office crying on the phone with Greg, insurance, authorization, and all—to find out that on June 30, all co-pays went up. Well thank you very much. The nice sweet lady asked if I would like to reschedule and I very calmly and nicely said, “No I would NOT like to reschedule—I have already paid thousands of dollars to have cancer and scans-- so here, take my card and add another $500 to it!” Yes, I was a nice Christian woman. And I did keep my voice rather low instead having a complete rager which I really wanted to have.  I can think of a thousand other things I would like to do with $500 instead of drinking chalky liquid and being poked with saline and iodine and going into a skinny tunnel to hold my breath 15 times with my hands over my head. And I think the whole time I was at the office and during the scan I was crying. I couldn’t stop. 

My plan was to come home and drink water and make a cup of pumpkin spice coffee with extra cream, but I just went straight to bed. I curled up in a ball and cried and cried and then when I had enough energy, I cried out to God one more time and I said, “What do you want from me?” What am I supposed to get from this?” And I didn’t wait for an answer or anything profound and I didn’t go to my journal or my Bible or my devotional. I just slept. After that I forced myself up to do “something productive” to get my thoughts off myself and my pity party. That something productive ended up reading and responding to a few emails and that was it. Done. When I was finished with that Noah came home. He knew I had a scan that day and he asked me why I wasn’t resting. And of course, I looked up at my first born son and I started to cry again. And he folded me into his arms and took me to the couch and just let me cry. And I told him that I just want to be the mom I want to be, with energy and strength and to do the things for him that I wish I could do instead of going into recovery from surgeries every three months. And he held me in his arms and he said, “You are the perfect mom”  (insert sobbing and bawling here) and I said, “ No I am not—this isn’t how I wanted things to be,”  and he said, (as he patted my back) “Mom, mom , you are the perfect mom for me.”  And that little conversation wiped me out again and I went back to sleep for two more hours.

When I woke up, I felt like I was ready to write, because when I reflect is when I heal. I had been thinking for the past 24 hours about the passage in Exodus when the Israelites had been in the wilderness and they began (not for the first time) to complain to Moses and Aaron. We had looked at this passage at church on Sunday and I kept trying to get my head around it.  There is so much in there that speaks to me, to us, and tells us about God’s nature. And God told the people that he would provide for them daily (manna) and they tried to trust, but they hoarded and they didn’t believe that He would really provide for them for each day. And what they hoarded turned to rot. Only what He provided on a daily basis was good and pure. Now it as at this point in my blog that I try to turn to my point on what God is teaching me, and there is a LOT. But I am just not there right now. I could say that my strength is in Him. I could say that He will provide for me daily—just what I need. I could say that Jesus is the Bread of Life. And all these things are TRUE-- for they are God’s promises. But right now I am just wrung out. I am just tired. I am not going to try to wrap up my emotions into some main point. I am going to admit that I had a really rough day and that I am going to have more rough days ahead. And that is just part of life. It is part of my reality right now and I don’t like it at all.  I wrote, I reflected. It helped me. I am going to share and it may not inspire, but that is okay, because I am just here to be real. Just me. Just me and Jesus. Having a tough day. That’s it for now. That wiped me out. I am going to bed. 


Anonymous said...

I read this at 10:25 p.m. right before I was going to bed. I have been having very difficult days and what you describe is much of what I experience....and I don't even have cancer. I guess life just produces some "bad" days that we are not necessarily meant to "work out" but to "live out" and hold on the the "this, too, shall pass." Thanks for sharing so honestly. "God bless you real good" as a pastor friend says.

Anonymous said...

I have had a many days as you discribe during my time in the valleys of anonymous...not fighting cancer but attempting to survive just the same. Thank you for being shareing your heart and soul with not only let us know that you need us right now but to let us know that we are not alone. "There is always gonna be another mountain" as the song says and God will help you climb it...he will give you the strengh, as he did for me, when I cried the tears that I thought some how only happened to those who went to hell. Those deep heart renching tears and crys from the soul. I will pray for God comfort and healing and strength. I will pray he stay very very close to you in this week and month ahead and let you really really feel is presence. Sent with lots of love.

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you and your sweet family. We will be praying for you.

Unknown said...

Kirsten there are so many people that can relate to what you are saying both with serious diseases and without, your energy is amazing and its ok to be wiped out once in awhile, you need that time to heal and rejuvenate to continue the fight. so many are inspired and blessed by your writings you have such a gift for it. Extra prayers and love this week for you!
kim P.

Unknown said...

Hi Kirsten, Thank you for being real and raw. We had our discussion last night on our book If you Want to Walk on Water you have to get out of the Boat. After going around the room in our talks we found we are fearful, selfish, grumbling, impatiently waiting, looking at the storm and not Jesus. So all this to say you are in good company. You are struggling with an illness and it sucks! We all struggle with how God likes to do things in our lives, even when we are healthy, so you are doing well. Run the course, fight the fight, keep your eyes on Him and he will sustain you. You are right where Jesus wants you. Lisa

Anonymous said...

Oh sweet friend, thank you for being you and for being real. My heart is with you and I wish I could come in and take your place so you can rest. Please know that I am praying for you and for great results on this next scan. Thank you for keeping us all in the loop.
Love you bunches,