Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Long and the Short of It

First, I know it's been over a week.  Put that down to a very busy schedule last week and a troublesome computer line.  But here we are once more...

The Long of It
The obvious point is that it has been a long, long time.  I feel sometimes like I have been on this path forever!  But it has also been a most amazing journey that has changed me.  Like anyone diagnosed with cancer, life looks different, feels different, smells different, tastes different, and sounds different.  You can't help but be changed by an event of this proportion.  Life changes to fear, fear changes to survival, survival changes to hope, and hope changes to life once again.  But you are always aware that the cycle could repeat itself at some point with a different ending.  The only reality is that you have made it through before, so you are somewhat familiar with the roads and paths along the way.

The lessons are fast and furious.  
  • You learn about strength: strength of faith, strength of character, strength of attitude, strength of relationships, strength of integrity and strength of endurance.  
  • You confront what is really important in your life; you change your way of looking at what is important; and you realize many things are not really important at all.  
  • You view relationships in a whole new light.  Most people are wonderful and supportive and "there" for you.  But there are some who will disappoint you, who will say upsetting things, and whom you cannot count on.  
  • You find that just when you think you have reached your "breaking point"; you need to change that boundary to be just a little further away; that you cannot "break", because it would be so hard to put yourself back together.  
  • You stop being so vain about your appearance and just be glad to get up in the morning and be able to get dressed and get out of the house.
  • You become very aware of God's voice and find yourself concentrating more to hear it.
I know there is much more, but these are the major lessons.  They are now a part of me and who I will continue to be along the way.  and I will continue throughout my life to be shaped by these moments.  The long of it is...the journey itself and all it includes.

The Short of It
Well, I am rather short (5 feet!)...but that is not the point (LOL).  The "short of it" pertains to those moments when I am "caught up short" by realizing that I AM a cancer patient.  Even going through all I have gone through, and carrying all that baggage up above, I still have moments when I am confronted with the cancer itself and don't quite believe that I am where I am.  For instance, three weeks ago, I was back at the cancer center getting my "every three week" Herceptin treatment.  One minute I was joking with a few of the patients, and then the next minute I looked up at the IV bag...and my heart stopped for a minute.  I thought, "What am I doing here?"...it just didn't seem right!  The other night I was taking a shower and of course, I looked down and saw the evidence of the cancer itself and thought, "How am I going to do this?".  But of course, I am already DOING it, so the answer is....by just putting one foot in front of the other, one prayer at a time.  The short of it is...each and every day I have and making each of those days count!

This last week was good as there was no surgery scheduled, no drains to bother me, just plain old life to deal with...and that is now the easier part.  The last surgery still seems to be holding.  I had a muga scan this past Monday to once again check heart function for the Herceptin.  I saw my surgeon today and he still thinks everything is "good to go".  It is a good week.  

Thanks be to God.       

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