I know. It has been some time since I last posted something on my blog. I apologize if my absence has made you nervous or caused you to question my well-being. The past few weeks have been a season for me. A season where my journal has gotten more attention than this blog. My journal is for me. This blog is for public consumption. I promise that in the future, if things are difficult and warrant sharing I will share it here. If you do not hear from me for a season simply assume I am in one of those more introspective and private times of life.
I have been on a six week break from chemo treatments. At first I was very nervous and somewhat anxious about this whole break thing. I mean honestly, if the chemo is what is working to keep my cancer at bay who in their right mind would want a break? For the first few weeks I felt every ache, pain, twinge in my body and was convinced that it was the cancer coming back. Forget the fact that I am 48 years old and even on my best days was “blessed” with new and unexplainable aches and pains. Slowly I learned to relax and rest quietly, allowing my body to take advantage of this break from chemo treatments. This break lasted six weeks and by the fifth and sixth week I have been able to emotionally relax and be at peace with where I am on this journey.
THE RETURN OF “DAN”
Somewhere around week three I was on my way home from the office and I realized that it had been a particularly productive day. It brought a smile to my face. Mind you it was not anywhere near pre-cancer productive but it was much better than where I had been while in the midst of treatment. Slowly I have been returning to myself. I am able to read AND remember what I read like before treatments. My energy levels are up. This is in part due to the fact that I am living smarter. I pace myself better and I take time away much easier than I used to. When I get tired I take a nap. If I work a long day on Tuesday…Wednesday moves at a much slower pace. I have been forced to learn how to live within my energy levels and I am more productive because of it.
The truth is that there is joy in the midst of this journey. Joy as I have learned to be present and enjoy each and every moment God is graciously giving me. Tomorrow is not promised…so I work hard to relax and enjoy what is going on in the moment. So often we allow things, circumstances, other people to determine our level of happiness. If we do not have the right things…we are not happy. When circumstances or the struggles of this world press in on our lives we are not happy. We allow the thoughts, actions, words of others to give or take away our happiness. I am working to have a spirit of JOY in spite of circumstances, regardless of how others move in my world, and JOY that is not dependent upon material things. It is not easy. When my snow blower breaks in the midst of the snow storm (yes, again) there is the real temptation to allow that thing (snowblower) and circumstance (broken machine) along with the people (customer service) to rob me of Joy. I have come to the realization that I can say, “I will allow you to have my happiness…but you will not take my joy!” Cancer…you can have my happiness…you will not have my JOY! Joy is deeper. It comes from within who we are.
BLIZZARD of 2017
This week we were hit with the great blizzard of 2017. Predictions had us being buried in snow. Turns out we only got a few inches and then it all turned to ice and rain. The driveway still had to be cleared and I went out to give it a shot. I cleaned off the top part and then took five or six trips up and down the driveway before my snow blower gave out. After I overcame my unhappiness with the snowblower and regained my focus on the day I rejoiced. A few short weeks ago walking up that driveway once would have been a challenge. I could not have done it without stopping at least once. I spent a few hours out there walking behind a snow blower and only took a short nap. A few weeks ago if I had exerted myself like that I would have been napping for the rest of the day. I moved slower on Wednesday. It is how I have learned to pace myself. There was joy in my ability to do what I once took for granted. Now if we can only get that snowblower to work like it is supposed to.
Earlier this week I went to the doctors to have blood drawn so they could take my CEA. For the past few times it has been below 2. We are very happy with that as it started over 120. I will see my oncologist tomorrow to get the results. Based upon what we see there will be decisions made regarding how long my break from chemo will extend. Thank you for your prayers. Tomorrow will be a big day. Nancy and I are both a little nervous about the appointment.
God is Good All the Time…All the Time God is Good