Thursday, February 25, 2010


Tomorrow is a word that can hold so many emotions, expectations, possibilities, and defining moments. Remember some of the fun ones with me: Tomorrow I graduate from high school... Tomorrow I start my new job... Tomorrow I leave on vacation... Tomorrow is our first date...Tomorrow I move into my first house...Tomorrow is Race for the Cure. Tomorrows can also instill less pleasant emotions: Tomorrow is the big deadline at work... Tomorrow is the licensing exam... Tomorrow taxes are due... Tomorrow we get the test results from the doctor.

Over the last 9 months I have had some noteworthy Tomorrows: Tomorrow I turn 35...Tomorrow I get my mammogram... Tomorrow I'll tell them that I have cancer... Tomorrow is the surgery... Tomorrow they extract my eggs... Tomorrow I start chemo. The word tomorrow, at least for me, is one that is pondered most at night. It might be thought of some during the day, but the majority of the anticipation for tomorrow happens once I'm in my pj's and working towards going to sleep. That's when the excitement, or butterflies, or stress, or worry is at it's purest. My thoughts of tomorrow are often based on what I know, or at least think I know and what I need to do to "be prepared" for tomorrow to the best of my ability. I believe God has a plan for each of my tomorrows, so my prayers are for strength and comfort in the situation; and that God will guide me, teach me, uphold me, and use me to serve others in the midst of whatever tomorrow holds.

So, now I'm in my pj's sitting on my bed thinking about another milestone: Tomorrow, Friday Feb 26th, I finish my chemo. Tomorrow my perspective shifts from bracing myself for the biggest test my body has ever faced to instead throwing my arms up and saying "I made it!" There are still some steps ahead including more reconstructive surgery, 5 years on Tamoxifen (an oral medication), and follow up appointments to monitor for recurrence. While tomorrow isn't the "end", it will be a day that I stand in awe of God's provision for my every need and how far he has carried me.

One of the lessons that has been reinforced for me along this journey is that no matter how huge, intimidating, life-altering, or frightening my tomorrows may be, God is ever-present to hear my prayers, comfort and calm my anxiety, and assure me that He has a plan for my life. Since June my pj's and I have contemplated some major "tomorrows", and there have been many nights that my pillowcase was drenched with tears. It has been hard. It has been overwhelming. Most importantly, it has been a beautiful lesson in faith that I will be thankful for every day for the rest of my life. Hebrews 11:1 says, "faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Every tomorrow has been an opportunity for me to choose faith, to believe God is good even when my circumstances include suffering, to trust in my heart that His plan and timing are best for me, and to be certain that the coming tomorrows will hold all the things I have hoped for.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Are We There Yet?

We've all been there... the ridiculously long road trip, the one that feels like it will never end.  You try to be a good sport about it... you pass the time reading, napping, maybe even singing silly travel songs, but eventually after miles and miles the question that continues to dominate your thoughts can no longer be ignored:  ARE WE THERE YET?!

There is a countdown happening this week... countdown until Friday, Feb 26th which is the date of my final chemo!  It's the finish line and it's within reach.  I want to be excited about it... I am absolutely grateful for it.  However, if I'm being completely honest with you in this moment, I just feel like a whiney kid on a long road trip.  My body is tired from this journey.  And I got my booster shot today to help keep my counts up, so currently I'm aching from my teeth down to my toes. I want to be positive and keep things in perspective, it's just hard to write when all I want to say is "I don't feel good."

There is a bible verse that I was taught at a young age, it says "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." (Galations 5:22-23)  Patience is not a strength of mine.  God has been trying for years to give me lessons in patience, and I try for  a while to learn, but then get frustrated and impatient.  At the beginning of my diagnosis, I thought that this whole cancer thing would be a great opportunity for God to work on helping me to grow and finally change.  And yet, here I sit months later with one recurring question:  ARE WE THERE YET?!

Please don't misunderstand me... I have learned many things in this process, and my life in many ways has been enriched by it.  I think the reality is that the trait of patience will always be "under construction" when it comes to me.  And that's okay.  Because one of the things I did manage to learn is that God uses us in spite of our weaknesses.  He is able to take us as broken people and mold beautiful stories in our lives.  I'm just so grateful that He is incredibly patient with me.