Sometimes (okay a lot of the time) I feel like when I write a new post that I am saying the same damn thing over and over...and I kind of am...because this season has been soooo long. Thanks for being faithful readers, supporters, friends through this never ending journey.
I had a set back last week. I had made it through chemo infusion the week before and the side effects were minimal (hard as always, but manageable). And then out of nowhere, on my OFF week, when I am supposed to get stronger and rest to go to yet another round of chemo, I had side effects that came like a torrential downpour. I will spare you the details, but for three days I could barely leave the house and I couldn't even sleep much because I was so nauseated. I usually book more into my schedule on my OFF weeks, and I had to ease back (which you all know me--that is hard to do). I had to be okay with lots of rest and restlessness and a lot of pain and misery. After the fourth day, I started to feel better, but I knew chemo was coming again and my mind and body started freaking out. So I called my doctor and asked for a reprieve from chemo this week and then I saw him yesterday. His discussion with me really helped me gear up for what is ahead. He said I have full freedom to take a break from chemo and that there have been some studies done of colon cancer patients who took three months off of chemo and their cancer did not grow or come back. He reminded me that I have been a super woman and he knows of few patients who have handled what I have both physically and mentally. He gave me lots of encouragement and hugs and a few tissues as I cried in his office. I tried to put words to my emotions and the best word I came up with is WEARY. I am broken down--mentally and physically and I am tired of the continued treatments and putting up with the side effects. BUT--it IS working, and I look at my beautiful life, my precious family, my incredible community, and I find hope. But this week I am allowing myself to be weary, broken, tired, frustrated, and simply NOT OKAY. My doctor gave me two weeks off chemo and gave me the green light to make it longer if needed.
As of now I am feeling better, but I know what is ahead and my mind goes to fight or flight and right now I choose flight. I just want OUT. So I am doing a lot of praying and reading and resting.
There are a number of songs out there that resonate with me, but a song came out about a six months ago by a band called We Are Messengers. The song is called, "Maybe It's Okay" and here are a few of the lyrics:
Maybe it's okay if I'm not okay
Cause the One who holds the world is holding me
Maybe it's all right if I'm not all right
Cause the One who holds the stars is holding my whole life
That is what I cling to right now. It is OKAY if I'm not okay and I cling to God's promises that He is holding me.
I urge you all to be okay with being NOT okay, and to give yourself permission to feel those weary moments, those broken dreams, those exhausting days.
If we all put on game faces every day and never share our struggles, we are living a fake existence. I know that is hard for some people, and I don't expect everyone to share their struggles and weakness through a blog. But I do encourage you, with whatever your fight is--to share with someone--whether it is a friend or a counselor. We are built to be in community which makes us vulnerable and can cause hurt or mistrust. But the alternative is loneliness and God promises us that we are never alone.
Hang in there my friends, with whatever your fight or struggle may be, and know that there is a God, a personal God in the person of Jesus who holds the stars and holds your whole life.