a place of abundance

"we went through fire and through water, yet You brought us out into a place of abundance" Psalm 66:12b

Nothing Can Hurry Time December 8, 2010

Filed under: post cancer — vivmabuni @ 5:02 pm

I went into my appointment already feeling emotionally wobbly. Julia’s classmate has a neighbor who died over Thanksgiving break from a four-year battle with ovarian cancer. Her daughter is Julia’s age. I heard about the choices she made to help ease her passing. She was insistent that the family spend Thanksgiving away from their home and with close family friends. She died over the weekend, not on Thanksgiving day. I imagine that she was thinking about not wanting the family to have memories of her death in their home or on a major holiday. I found her choices inspiring. A mother’s love demonstrated to the end.

So with this news as the backdrop, I went in to see my oncologist. I’ve been going on follow-up appointments every three months with my oncologist, surgical oncologist and radiation oncologist all year. It’s worked out to one appointment a month between those three doctors, but somehow the three have all landed in the month of December. I had my blood work done the Friday after Thanksgiving in time for my Wednesday appointment. As I walked from the car down the path and up the stairs to the office I had a rush of memories come over me. The waiting room, the smell of the air freshener in the bathroom, even the sound of my footsteps on the cement walkway all churned up a mixed bag of emotions for me. I was in a different place, feeling physically strong. The scars from the surgeries and where the port was placed for administering the chemo have healed over as much as they will. I was happy to see the nurses and my doctor, but really, really, really, really, really strongly disliked being back in that office.

My doctor was very pleased with my blood work. Everything all in range, even my vitamin D. My body has started producing estrogen again so I no longer am in pain when I get up from sitting on the floor and I can close my fists in the morning when I wake. I asked, with tears in my eyes, “When will I be able to move into the group of people who have battled breast cancer and now are living life merrily on their way?” She looked at me with compassion in her eyes. “What you are feeling is very normal. I have no reason to believe that you won’t be in that group. You have done everything possible to eliminate cancer. Your prognosis is excellent. It just takes time. Nothing can help but time.” And with that I thought, “Nothing can hurry time.”

So then yesterday all over the news I was hearing about Elizabeth Edwards dying from breast cancer recurrence. I couldn’t pull myself away from reading the articles and calculating in my head– first diagnosed in 2004, three years later it came back. And then I would replay in my mind what my doctor said. It’s brutal being in this in between place. All these things hit so close to home.

My dear friend, Leila (of the Awesome Threesome), wisely pointed out that this month is a rough month just because it was the month of diagnosis. When I thought about it, I realized that I have been edgy with the kids, kind of tuning out and going inside. It’s helpful to be aware of what is going on in my heart. I think what makes it hard for me is that I can actually go a few days now and not think about cancer and then think I’m ready to jump back into “normal life” and then I’ll be bowled over with an unexpected story or memory and feel flattened all over again.

Still would appreciate your prayers this month as I go in for a couple of more appointments and hit some of those dates that are “anniversaries” but not really the celebrating kind.

Thanks for checking in…


7 Responses to “Nothing Can Hurry Time”

  1. jddoug17 Says:

    Oh Vivian. May God’s peace and presence wash over you like a flood. May His grace lift you and encourage you and be far more than enough for the emotions and fears and appointments.

  2. Lisa Schuch (Miss Lisa) Says:

    My heart breaks for you. I appreciate your honesty and transparency. I know that the unknown is so difficult. I am waiting on the unknown for a totally different reason, but either way, it is easy to “what if” the worst-case scenarios, the fear of what the future might hold, the wondering how you will handle things. I need to remind myself all the time that God does know our unknown, and He is in perfect control. Sometimes it is a moment-by-moment need to take every thought captive to Jesus Christ. He is with you every step of the way, and He wants to take your every fear, your every care! In Christ. xoxoxo

  3. Ann"Betsy"Nate'sMom Says:

    Viv, You write so well and convey your feelings so thoughtfully. I appreciate you sharing your heart and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Peace, Ann

  4. Terry Baxter Says:

    Buried feelings never die–the title of a book, but a reality as well–I didn’t deal with my feelings for several years after–just stuffed them and then they started coming up and I stuffed them some more..what you are doing is so healthy for you and your family. In my eyes, what you are doing is as brave as fighting your cancer….I only wish I’d had your wisdom and gotten the help as you are doing…you are so much more than a survivor–you are the healing process…lived out…speaking what so many women won’t…thank you for being the voice of raw reality so many women can’t express. I love you.

  5. Dotty Chesney Says:

    At first I thought there was too much for me to read at one time (eye problems) than I started reading a little at a time, and your story held my attention, wow.Thanks for sharing your struggles. Yes, Dec can be such a hard month to go through with so many past memories and new ones that come along.I pray that your next two apointments will also be good news for you.My biggest struggle ( the newest) is trying to heal from my knee surg.There are some super hard days with more pain than others.Espec.
    after the P.Therapy exercises, the day after is not that easy either.How do I get by daily? Lots of frequent prayers and some crying to relieve the stress of daily pain. It is getting better but it just takes too much time to go by each day. I do look for the tiny steps of progess that happens. they are there, you just have to notice them and thank God for them.(this includes you doing the same in your life.) Love, Dotty

  6. Julie Eshelman Says:

    Viv, Thanks for letting us know how to pray! XOXO Julie E

  7. andy smith Says:

    i know it takes me alittle while to comment but you are truely a hero of mine and a HUGE inspiration to my heart.

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