Friday, May 10, 2013

2 Years and Counting

Two years ago I was recovering from 2 surgeries and getting ready for chemo. I still had my hair. I didn't know what was in store for me. And wow - it was so very hard. The hardest thing I've gone through - physically and emotionally. Hard for Sam and the kids. Hard for my mom and dad and Sam's mom and dad. Just Hard.

I had my yearly scans in the past 3 weeks and I'm pleased to report there is no evidence of malignancy. Yippee! Along with my yearly breast MRI I also had a mammogram. I went back forth about having this scan. I've read many many many articles about the risks (it's radiation after all) and the benefits (it's helped detect early pre-cancerous tumours). My family doc supported me not doing it. He felt that I didn't need to be exposed to the extra radiation and that I was covered with the breast MRI but I couldn't say no to it. I tried but it left me feeling exposed and vulnerable. Crazy right? So I had both.

And they're clear! (Well - the mammogram report isn't back yet but I'm holding out hope it will give the same report as the MRI.)

I feel like I can breath for another year. I can plan for things and live.

But I also have felt a little bit down. Not all days are as positive and hopeful as this one is. Some days are a struggle. I struggle to get out of bed, to do normal activities. Some days I'm just sad or overwhelmed. Some days I lack motivation for anything. This spring I've had a hard time being the organized control freak that I usually am. I don't know what we're having for supper and I don't clean my house as regularly. Some days all I want to do is watch Grey's Anatomy on Netflix or read a whole novel. From what I read this is normal and while I'm grateful to be normal I'm ready to be sad less and joyful more often. But it's coming - I can feel it coming!

Monday, March 25, 2013

to savour: enjoy completely

Have been reading one thousand gifts and feel so heart swollen - tears threaten to break over at random times when I think of it. Her writing yes - but also the idea of gratitude being the catalyst for a fuller life. A life that savours. Isn’t that what I’ve been wanting? What most of us want? 

My tendency is ingratitude. Or at the very least a gratitude that is flippant and quick. The kind I don’t think about, not really. I love the authors idea that true thankfulness slows us down. And isn’t that when the savouring can happen? The growing, the intentionality?

It’s sort of like lifting your eyes to the sunlight, breathing deep, smelling spring. But every day. Even when it’s raining and grey and your floors need washing and the dishes are piling up and you haven’t done laundry for a week and you know you’ll have 15 loads (this could or could not be the case right now in my laundry room :).

It’s about finding the sun in the doldrums isn’t it? Learning to find the sun, not just being able to experience it when it magically appears. 

I have so much to be thankful for when I think about cancer and living. This week is 2 years since my first surgery to remove cancer and I am healthy and active and alive. But so many days I forget that I’m thankful. I stew and complain and give into frustration. I’m ready to learn to find the sun. 

I’m glad I overcame my prejudice against the overly marketed ‘next best thing’ and picked up this book.  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Sun and Shield

For a few weeks now the words from Psalm 84 have been popping up everywhere. I'll think about them when I wake up in the morning, as I'm stressing about what to make for dinner and as I look out the rain streaked window - especially as I look out the rain streaked window.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield (vs 11). 

Often when it rains - and it has sure rained a lot around here these past weeks - I find myself rushing from my van to the house or to the grocery store, dodging puddles, praying I won't get hit by a car and that my hair won't have the little style it has rained out of it. My head is down. The world is grey. 

But on the odd day the sun splits through the clouds, all that changes. Rushing turns to strolling, I don't mind waiting for the light to change or the car to pass. I lift my head, close my eyes and feel the warmth. The sun can change me. Give me strength, bolster my emotions, even turn listlessness into energy. And I always take the time to stop and look up, to enjoy it, to feel it.

The Lord God is my sun and shield. So why don't I stop more to enjoy the Light. To feel the warmth of His presence on my face, to let Him infuse me with his strength, power, grace, love. I need to stop more for that. 

And the shield part? Well I sort of see that as the Lord God is my sun and my sunscreen. I could sit out all day under his glow and never fear of getting burned. He's the fire and the protection from the fire. He's all we need.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


This word, along with a song by the same name, has been on my mind lately. There are many things that have made me feel awake this past month: a family trip to Disney and along with that good connections, activity, exercise, being fully present in different moments. All very good. And on the heels of that, a trip home to my family for Christmas. So very good. Connections, time spent, relaxing, chatting, eating, chatting some more, eating some more. (my juicer is getting a good workout these days as we come down from the Christmas festivities!) I came home tired in body but refreshed in spirit. I felt very awake.

The kids and I arrived home on New Year's Eve. Sam had been spending the day at a conference called re:TURN and we joined him for day 2 on New Year's Day. It was the perfect way to bring in the new year. Letting God touch and restore, heal and revive different parts of my spirit and heart. I felt myself awakening.

God clearly spoke to me, through others and through my soul, some very healing words. And they really worked to bring me fully present with Life. I have dreams, hopes, ambitions and desires. But they've been on the back burner. Not even simmering, but getting cold and congealed and unappealing during the last few years. 'I have not forgotten you,' was one of the words that stuck out to me the most.  'i have not forgotten my plans for you, my purpose.' Those words were definitely awakening.

But lets be honest here for a minute. It's hard to hold onto those words constantly. To always feel like I'm moving forward. This week was back to the grind of school lunches, daily suppers, laundry, cleaning. And it rained - a lot. And I felt blue on more then one occasion. Like I have this opportunity, or even obligation, to really Live. I feel like I've been given a huge wake up call - Don't waste your Life! I know this and I want this but it often overwhelms me to the point of inactivity - so I'll just sit on the couch and read a book or watch stories on tv about people who are actually Living (even if it is fake!). And a whole week goes by and I haven't pursued a dream or even maintained one.

But I do feel more awake then ever. I hold onto the passion I know I have, even when I don't feel it.

Slightly shifting gears: I've wondered for a while now what this blog will become now that I'm cancer free and my life isn't taken up with the grind of appointments, treatments and tests. I'm not going to blog about any one thing. I'm into healthy eating but this won't be a food blog, I like decorating but nope - not enough to blog about it. I read a lot but I won't do book reviews, I'm learning to quilt but this blog won't be about that either. Every day is a chance to grow. Every day is a chance to be something different then you were yesterday. And I know that God is changing me minute by minute if I let him, if I'm open to that. So this blog will continue to be my journey through this life that I don't want to waste. Some days might be funny and light others heavy and sad. Maybe I'll blog about one topic multiple times while I process my way through it. Or maybe I'll jump around a lot. I don't really know :)

I guess we'll find out what this blog will become, together!