Friday, September 29, 2006

I hate cancer

I really do hate cancer. I hate it. A lot.

We got some results from the surgery today and the news was not the best. I am not going to go into more details for her privacy, but we are disappointed to say the least. Please pray that the doctors would have wisdom for how to treat this latest development.

Thank you friends!!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Hey all

My mom's surgery went well, she is at home now recuperating. Please continue to pray for her healing, both physically and emotionally. I spent the day with her yesterday and today and I just wish I could take this away from her!

She will begin the next phase of treatment when results from some tests come back. Please keep praying for her.

Thank you!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I know that some people only read the first paragraph and then are finished, so I'll put the most important things up here. Will you please pray for me and my family tomorrow? My mom is having surgery for cancer...please pray the following things:

1) that the doctors would be surprised because the situation is much better than they think
2) that Jesus would comfort my mom and bring healing to her heart
3) that the doctors would be able to give us good answers and good direction for the next few months based on what they find tomorrow.

Thank you for praying! I will post tomorrow or Friday once we know anything.

For those of you still reading, I would like to share some things I have learned (well, it would be more correct to say I am learning them because I still am trying to process through it all). Tonight I shared with some women in my Bible study about the surgery tomorrow and how I'm feeling about it. Their reaction was to tell me that they know someone with cancer and that I just need to trust Jesus.

This has been a very common response when I share about this. And it has been a very frustrating response. As I drove home tonight I was praying about why it makes me so mad when people respond in this way and I have a few ideas.

1) Our society just doesn't know how to grieve themselves, let alone how to be with other people who are. People want to make me feel better and encourage my soul - they don't want to deal with me (or themselves or anyone else) hurting. So, they tell me, perhaps ultimately they are telling themselves, that I just need to trust Jesus and everything will be okay. This makes me so frustrated because I need someone to just tell me it sucks, someone to tell me it is okay to cry and be scared and sad.

2) There is an element of cancer being a very public and common thing. But it is also a very personal thing as well. So when I tell people my mom has cancer, nearly everyone knows someone who has also had cancer. I need to learn how to grieve on my to live in the reality that my mom has cancer. My mom. But when everyone reacts by telling me how their so and so had cancer, it takes away from my mom and our situation. This makes me feel like what I'm going through isn't that big of a deal, and that makes me question my reaction to it. I am sad and scared and upset...but that is an over reaction if it isn't such a big deal (after all, everyone knows someone who had cancer). Plus, all these people smile and tell me they know someone who had cancer, but everyone's all right now. (or even if they aren't all right now, they are still going to smile about it as they tell me). So is something wrong with me that I'm not smiling and I'm not okay? I started to think as I drove home that part of this is my fear that I won't be okay after all of this. Am I going to be at a point where I can smile as I talk about all of this? Do I even want to be at that point?

I so badly want to learn through this how I can better be a resource for students, or whoever in my life goes through a similar situation. My prayer (and please pray it with me) is that I will never be the person that smiles and says "my mom had cancer, I know how you are feeling. Trust Jesus and everything will be okay". I don't want to forget all of this and turn into that person.

Which, I suppose, begs the question of what a good reaction looks like. And I don't know the answer. What I do know is the people who have been the most helpful have been the people that don't know someone who has cancer. One woman, after I told her, said she couldn't know for sure how I felt because she hadn't been there, but she guessed I probably felt like it was all surreal and scary. She could have guessed anything and I would have loved her. She didn't assume, instead she tried to put herself in my shoes. Then she asked me tons of questions about how I was doing, how I was feeling. Instead of telling me to trust Jesus, she told me it sucked and she was sorry. I know that I need to trust Jesus, but before I can trust Jesus I need to feel what I am feeling and give Him those emotions and fears.

Thanks for reading my rambling! I'm still trying to figure this all out. Please pray for my heart, and that Jesus would heal me.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

lifetime lessons

I have been watching lifetime movies for a large part of my life. Last night, at about 2 am, this came in handy...

I am house-sitting once again for some friends of mine. They have a sweet dog named Rosey, who I put in her kennel about 10 last night. I read for a while, then went to sleep. I was in the middle of what I'm certain was a really good dream when I woke up to the sound of Rosey barking. I have actually never heard her bark before, so it took a minute to realize it was her. I tried to go back to sleep, thinking she would too, but after a few minutes she didn't. Here is where things got tricky...

I got out of bed and walked to the door, intending to go down and check on her. But then my over active hypocondriatic seen-too-many-lifetime-movies personality starting considering what might actually be going on downstairs. The two biggest possibilities were 1) she needed to go to the bathroom, and 2) someone had broken into the house and was trying to lure me downstairs so they could kill me. I, of course, decided option 2 must be the situation. At that point, I began to cry.

I decide I must find a weapon to defend myself. So I sneak over to the master bedroom, hoping there was a baseball bat or something under the bed. Finding nothing, I return to the bedroom I am sleeping in and try to formulate a plan.

I decide that if someone is in the house they would have known by now that I was upstairs, so I can either go downstairs and confront them, or wait until they come up and get me. The best option is to go downstairs. I realize I can't call the police until I really know something is going on, but I also know that by the time I am sure someone is in the house it will be too late to call. So I dial 911, but don't press send, and keep the phone in my pocket with my finger on send. On some level I knew that even if I called 911, it would take them forever to find me because it wasn't a land line, but it felt good knowing someone would know I was in danger.

At that point I begin walking down the stairs. About half way down, I start to think about how in lifetime movies the women always make stupid mistakes, like wandering out in the yard in her underwear after hearing a funny noise at 3 am. They are always asking for trouble. I realized I was making a lifetime mistake - going downstairs unprotected to see about some intruders. My next thought was to run out of the house and run to the neighbors. I chose to keep going towards the dog, even though my instincts were screaming to run.

I get to the bottom of the stairs and turn all the lights on, then slowly walk around the corner to where the kennel is. I walk through the whole house, checking every corner and finally decide no one was going to kill me. I let the dog out to go to the bathroom, then put her back in her kennel and make my way back upstairs. You would think that by this point I would have dispelled any unmeritted fears of my pending death, but as I entered my room I realized that the killer must have snuck upstairs while I was down and was waiting in the closet to kill me. It turns out he wasn't, and I crawled back to bed, falling asleep to the sound of Rosey barking and crying herself to sleep.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

it's been awhile

Hi all! Sorry I have been so bad about posting lately. A lot has been going on. I will give you a few highlights...

1) I am still raising financial and prayer support full time. I have been learning a lot about myself during this process. I will write more about that later...

2) I am settled into my new apartment with my new roommate Jael. Ashley, the third roomie, will be moving in in the next month and we are so excited! It has been such a sweet blessing to be able to live in a community of believers after living alone all summer.

3) My family has had quite an interesting couple of weeks. I want to protect their privacy, so I won't give many specifics. But please pray for my family. One member of my immediate family has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and it has taken a toll on each of us. It is interesting how the world can be turned so upside down by one phone call. Please pray that God would perform a miracle, that my family would be united during this time, and that God would comfort our hearts as we mourn.

4) Yesterday I was telling a dear friend of mine that I am self-conscious a vast percentage of the time. We talked about it for a few minutes, and then she lovingly pointed out to me that this is a judgmental and self-centered way to live my life. At first I had that "i suck" feeling that comes up when I see sin in my life. But it quickly turned to joy as I realized God loves me so much that He would reveal to me things that aren't pleasing to Him and gives me what I need to turn from sin. So it was a huge wake-up moment, and I am excited! I am still thinking through this, so I will write more later, but for now I am excitedly thinking through my life, trying to find more ways I am self-centered and judgmental, so that I can confess it and be more who God wants me to be.

5) My birthday was Tuesday. I woke up to my sweet friend who lives in a country on the other side of the world calling me to tell me she loves me. Then my roomies brought me starbucks in bed, and the day just got better as it went! I love birthdays - mine and everyone else's - and love thinking about the people God has brought into my life these last 23 years. And I love chicken pad thai.

6) I just got the mail and I have a package from my friend Streit who lives in New Mexico. So, I should probably end this to go get it :)