31 weeks since learning my diagnosis.
3a staging (I dont’ understand all the numbers involved in cancer staging).
3 port attempts (which my husband counts as surgery) 🙂
5 self administered shots for 1 blood clot.
1 cat scan, 1 doppler, 1 dye study.
10 neulasta shots.
Lots of IV’s and even more blood draws.
2 surgeons, 1 oncologist (and his colleagues), numerous RN’s, and more caregivers than I can remember.
Hundreds of cards and gifts.
More meals delivered than I can count.
A myriad of friends. (Isn’t myriad a great word?)
1 strong and amazing family!
Oodles of capes!
A few buckets of tears.
And now…one more treatment.
I am sure I am forgetting many other numerically measured items and events that are associated with the past several months. One more treatment! It is so hard to believe. My emotions are jumping all over the place and that really isn’t new. It has been normal to not know when tears would appear. Sometimes they have been tears of tiredness, sometimes of pain and sometimes of tender reminders that I am loved.
I have purposefully tried to take life one moment at a time through this trial. I have jumped ahead on occasion to do some dreaming…and scheming, but overall it has been a deliberate decision to take the day as it comes and not look at the big picture that the calendar presented. As September started, it struck me that this is the month when it should be over, at least as far as treatments are concerned!! The light at the end of the tunnel was suddenly visible.
I still don’t want to do another treatment. However, it is so comforting to know that I won’t be on the roller coaster of the tough week followed by a better week to be back to the tough week and so on. Emotionally it has been hard at times to enjoy the better weeks as I knew the tough week was coming. It was such a delight when I would have normal-ish moments when I forgot all of this routine.
Here’s my faith disclaimer. If you don’t go for this sort of thing, I won’t be offended. So you can choose to stop reading now and know that I still appreciate that you took the time to read thus far.
I’m a word person more than a number person. But as I consider the numbers listed above, I also consider Psalm 90:12. The Psalm is perhaps the oldest of the Psalms recorded in the Old Testament, written when the Israelites were wandering in the desert — for 40 years.
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Some of my thoughts on this verse it that the Psalmist is asking for God to help us understand the need to not only take account of each day but to make each day count. Our days are limited. In gaining understanding of this and realizing the value in each day, we gain insight. By reflecting on the brevity of life, I am drawn to the eternal. I’m no theologian and my scholarly endeavors are not vast, but I will choose to grab hold of these words as there is a connection I see in recognizing my human limits in terms of time and grabbing hold of the value of that time. There is wisdom that comes from this as it acknowledges something, Someone greater than my limits.
I am entering the next treatment, the final treatment, with the acute awareness that I don’t know what is ahead. I hope I can continue to take days as they come, moment by moment, with a heart seeking wisdom and a desire to make the days count.
Several years ago I was near a piano as a friend and musician was sharing a song he was working on. I count it a privilege that he shared his work with me that evening. Early in this whole mess involving cancer this song came to my mind and it has stuck with me, playing through my mind on a very regular basis. The moment was so similar to the track as it was just the piano and Dave’s voice.
I am thankful beyond words for the numerous, vast and countless ways support and love have been demonstrated to me and my family. I was brought to gentle tears by a card I received yesterday and a message sent my way today. Words have been shared that have caused me to reflect on the power of responses. I could have never known that my responses to this “Plot Twist” would be viewed in a way that could make an impact. It is such a strong reminder that our responses, our choices, are powerful. Let us choose wisely.
I am humbled by the gracious words shared. Thank you for the encouragement to battle on and the belief that I can make it! Thanks for walking beside me and donning the capes, whether visible or not, to help me along. Thank you!
There will be more tests and screenings ahead. I know I can count on that. As those events approach, I hope to make the days count!
My usual editor read this and wondered if it was my last one. It may sound that way, but I don’t think so. It is my last post prior to my last scheduled treatment. (GREAT REJOICING!) but I anticipate a lot of life and with that there will be more learning and sorting that comes through writing. 🙂