Many people have asked me to describe what this journey is really like. Past the smiles and declarations of hope - which are real by the way. But there's another side to this reality as you can probably imagine. I can't tell a story here....or write a succinct blog about what I think is going on. In my hardest moments all I've been able to do is record a running a tab of my feelings so you can catch a brief glimpse of my many moments and I can keep a reminder for later. Its raw. It's a bit messy. It's sometimes a little blunt, and often I don't even have the right words. But I've found it helps to just jot it all down. These are my uncensored 'jottings'...
1st Chemo Round
No words really. They say a picture speaks a thousand.
Day 1. Not much really. Its in there, I can feel it. It doesn't feel great but I'm not overly struggling. There was challenge in becoming prepared and allowing this thing happen. More about that on this blog.
Day 2. It feels exactly how I thought it would... Like I'm being murdered from the inside out. And there's nothing I can do to stop it. Only pray it doesn't take my spirit life. There's a battle going on - between my mind and body. My mind is struggling to remain under the authority of the spirit that lives within me.
Second and Third Day. Can't even write sentences. Just words. This is my day - it is a combinations of have to's and can't do's; Lie down. Relax. Rest. Sleep Can't sleep. Sore bones Achy muscles Dry mouth So drink- you know you have to drink heaps of water. But it's such an effort to drink when I don't feel like drinking. And that means I have to get up. Argh. Tummy sore Is that nausea? Am I hungry again? So sore. Yes your hungry, so go and eat But that means I have to get up. AGAIN. And get food ready. Do I have to!!? And brush my teeth AGAIN. I can barely move let alone do all that. Get up. OK I'm sitting up. Mind over matter. Get moving. Ok mission accomplished. Crawl back to bed. Lie-down Go to sleep Finally.....sleep!! Damn it now I have to go to the toilet. Pull myself out of bed. Which means I won't go back to sleep. Because it was a miracle I went to sleep the first time. Wake up. Start crying. Why am I so emotional. This is crazy. I am crazy. Everyone stay away from me I'm a basket case. My poor kids. My amazing husband... How long can this last?
I wait for the Lord. My soul waits. And on His word I do hope. Psalms 130:5
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Romans 8:11
Oh God help me.
Then I end up in hospital, get out, and all is well for the next two weeks. I CAN BREATHE.
2nd Chemo Round
Got a PICC line inserted the day before to help my stubborn veins. I have to have it in for 3 months but at least there will be no more digging around in my arm with those blimin needles from now on - thank God!!
I forgot about this feeling.
Creeping at first. Then roaring in my ear drums until I can't make out anything else. It begins by pinching my emotions, like those nasty little fish with the sharp teeth that dart in and come and take a nibble out of your flesh, before swarming in on you once they get a taste. You're stripped to the bone, and nerve screeching raw before you even know what the hell hit you. The stark realisation that you are at the mercy of a deadly poison quickly becomes all consuming. By the time you finish the chemo session it's literally flowing through every single one of your veins and invading every single one of your cells for the foreseeable future. It is unstoppable now and even though you bought the fare and climbed aboard - you can't stop the train and ask to be let off. It's a one way ticket so you have only one choice. Hang on for dear life and cling to every ounce of hope and faith you possess. This is real. This is as real as it gets. It's a hard...nail destroying, finger-tip bruising, knuckle aching grip. You spend most of the time desperately clinging to faith when your body is screaming questions at you.
It's not easy. I'm not sure it's meant to be.
But then I remember something God told me before the drip started dripping. He gives strength, healing, and leadership to the spirit, mind, heart, soul AND body. It's time to believe with all my heart that he can protect, renew, and revive all that HE created. This earthly vessel. This also is his domain. I cling to this promise in my deepest waters.
This pain though. Surely this to will pass! It always does. It's just for a moment. An ugly black hole of a moment. But nonetheless - a moment in many moments we are given in this life. And although the blackness is thick and terrifying... I CAN see the light. It glimmers just faintly enough to convince me of refuge, and reinforce my hope.
The light is not at the end of the tunnel.
It is within me.
Although dialed down dim in my darkest hours, It can never be be extinguished and only needs to be turned up by someone who has the power to do so. You see, my light was a gift. A gift given when I gave my life to Christ. I know what it is to live with it and without it. I know what it's like to have it dim, and have it bright. It's mine and I will never EVER give it up for anything. I only ask for it to be increased... Not just for me but for others. Because that's my heart right there....And if you really must know, it is fuel to my light.
It's hard to come out of yourself, especially when you sink too deep.
So the lesson is this; Cast your thoughts away from yourself as often as possible. Cast them toward God and his promises for your life. Cast them upon your loved ones while you still can. Cast them upon your friends who have their own bundle of hardship to carry. Heck cast them upon the people you don't know. Or even don't like (ouch). Do these things in preference to yourself and suddenly life doesn't feel that hard.
Please don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and making yourself (your health and well being) a priority when needed. Nobody ever helped anybody by not looking after themselves first. But going too far and living at the other extreme end of the stick is just as damaging - and if your there, you better climb back up into 'balanced-land' lest you become overly consumed with yourself. That's the quickest way down the rabbit hole and those dark cramped smelly holes (with no light at the end of the tunnel) aren't designed for humans who have enough light within us to silence the darkness in this world.
Darkness cannot overcome light.
It's scientifically impossible.
I am personally at my best when I'm being purposeful with the life that has been given to me. Not dwelling in my stinky cramped rabbit hole. And yet, if I'm honest, another lesson I've learnt lately is this; the hardest thing for a purpose driven soul is to just sit still and be loved by Him. The lessons just keep piling themselves on top of one another.
Keep bringing it Dad. xx
So far that's it. No doubt I will update this later...
If you can handle it, keep an eye out for some more uncensored realness ;-) And check out my new fav song. Thanks to the hubby for introducing it to me. Have a listen. WOW. Bex