Five Days Later…

It’s been five days since I heard the words “You may have cancer.”  What have I been doing?  Thinking?

On occasion, I have wondered how I would react if I had to hear those words.  I pictured myself breaking down into hysterical sobbing, making out my will, writing my obituary, and planning my funeral.  I was certain I’d never be able to drag myself out of bed again and I’d be making arrangements for new parents of Maggie and Jonnie Katt.  I didn’t think I’d ever be able to stop crying, I’d drown in my own tears at night while sleeping.

In reality, none of those things have happened.  There is a peace within me, hope surrounds me, and I am finding strength in God’s promises and scripture.  I’m filled with optimism and feel certain all will be well and my body will heal itself of whatever is ailing.  I have surprised myself.   I still haven’t cried.

I’ve also learned a a few things about people.  There are people who are kind and tell me they are there for me if I need them.  Some of those people surprised me with their unexpected kind words.  Some people just want to be nosy…I expected that.  Some people don’t want to be around me, like maybe they don’t know what to say or they are afraid they might catch cancer from me.  The silence from some is deafening.  There are those who won’t say anything to me but are quick to talk about me and make speculations as to what is wrong with me and what type of cancer I may have.  And there are those who are reliving in their minds losing a loved one in the past and are very emotional.  They are still filled with pain.

I’ve also learned some things about myself.  I don’t want anyone around me crying and being sad, immediately thinking the worst.  If they cannot share in my faith of God’s healing, I’d like them to stay away from me.  I’m going to be quite selfish right now.  I believe in God’s healing power and prayer.  I believe God’s got this, that He will not leave me nor forsake me, and if I have faith as a grain of mustard seed, I can move mountains…and cancer.  It’s important that those around me believe right now, too.

I have learned that my trust has to be in God.  All of it.  I love the people around me, but when all is said and done and it’s the end of the day, it’s going to be God and me.  I cannot expect the world to stop for my friends, they have to live their lives.  God alone is my refuge and strength.

I’ve learned my faith is stronger than I knew, and my love of God is greater than I thought.

So what am I actually doing while I wait on my next doctor’s appointment?  I’m being kind to myself.  I’m resting, making time for things I enjoy doing, and smiling at strangers.  I’m hugging my pets every day and telling them I love them.  I’m reading the Bible down by the river, and praying.  Every morning on the way to work I thank God for another day, for all the shades of nature’s green, for sunshine, flowers, and a warm, gentle breeze.  I laugh at stupid things I read on Facebook, drink Diet Coke with wild abandon, watch The Golden Girls, and still wonder how Donald got elected President.  (Please…no backtalk from my Republican friends.  I listened to your whining for eight years; I’m entitled to my thoughts.) And I pray for others who are going through their own health scares and struggles.  I understand the journey.

One thing that has especially touched my heart is hearing from cancer survivors, those who have had the cancer scares, and those fighting the cancer battle right now.  Your strength, compassion, and kindness has touched my soul.  You are all in my prayers.  You are all amazing.

So if you see me out and about while we are going about our daily living, tell me a good joke and let’s laugh together.  Share a funny animal video with me on Facebook.  Sit down and drink a beverage with me.  Share your thoughts about life with me and tell me how I can pray for you.  Don’t be sad for me during this wait.  Rejoice in knowing we each can have a relationship with the greatest Healer.

God’s got this.


Take care of you…

Trish

Grey Hair, Gravy, and Lipstick

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Wearing my wig.

“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”   Wait, I stole that line from a soap opera.  But ain’t it the truth?  As a child, I was always told that time moved much more quickly as an adult.  I had no reason to believe that; I saw no end in sight to Fifth Grade. 

The days of our lives turn into the decades of our lives before my crepey eyes blink twice.  The sands of time pile up from a play box to barefoot on the beach.  Unfortunately, it took a few dump loads of sand before I realized this really wasn’t a dress rehearsal and the time I need to enjoy is today.

It’s been a trip watching and feeling the changes to my body as it has gone through each decade to its current latter side of 50.  It has grown wider, heavier, curvier, and given into gravity.  It’s been abused, and sometimes pampered.  Scars have been carved deep both inside and out.  Arthritis has settled in to stay, my gall bladder was sucked out and discarded with the trash, and gravy can no longer be tolerated on a daily basis.  I do miss gravy.

I’ve gone through a few identity crisis over the years.  One was about six years ago when my thinning hair became so thin I felt everyone was staring at my glaring scalp.  So I began wearing wigs, and they saved me for several years.  They saved me from self-esteem issues and gave me some peace of mind for a while.  They served their purpose and gave me a little confidence in living.

About three months ago, I was sitting on the deck on a particularly warm summer night, and I began thinking how lovely it would be to not have to wear wigs. How nice it would be to experience the freedom of driving with the windows down and not worrying about my hair flying off.

I began asking myself questions, like was I trying to capture the attention of the male species with a gorgeous, Raquel Welch inspired thick mane of hair?  Did I care what others now thought of me when looking at my hair?  Was I trying to impress anyone?  Did my self-esteem lay solely on Eva Gabor?  My answer to all those questions was, “No.”

So I began thinking that maybe, just maybe, someone could take a pair of magic scissors and do something with the impossible.  You see, only a couple weeks before, I had taken an old pair of dull, rusty scissors and chopped away at my hair with a vengeance. I figured it didn’t matter because no one would ever see it under the wigs.  I couldn’t let just anyone see what I had done to my hair.  It had to be someone I trusted and knew would care whether my bald spots were showing, and I knew exactly who to call, my cousin-in-law, Kris, hair stylist extraordinaire.  I made the appointment.

With quiet observation, Kris looked at my hair, gave it a wash, and then set to work.  It had been several years since anyone had touched my hair and the clipping of the scissors made me a little nervous inside, but I trusted her, and I knew the important thing was that I regained my freedom.  It was no longer about how I looked, it was about how I felt.  Kris made it easy.  No judgement, no shocked looks, no screams of terror.  She had a plan.

With what little she had to work with, I felt Kris had performed a miracle.  I walked out of the salon armed with new product and a sense of freedom I had not had before.  Traveling down the highway with the windows down and the warm air blowing against my face and through my hair, I smiled at the absolute joy of it.

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My new, natural hair.

 

Since that day, there have been a couple awkward moments when someone would see me and express a terrified or shocked look.  I grew to embrace those looks as much as I have embraced my crown of grey.  I am one step closer to being the me God created, and enjoying his creation.

With this new found freedom to be myself, I have discovered that freedom goes wonderfully with a lovely lipstick, in any color that makes me happy at the moment.  It’s my life, I shall use all the colors in the box to bring joy to it.

What moment changed your life?

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Blessings