I've been reading Ephesians lately. The scriptures on being saved by grace have been comforting to me. Since getting sick I've had moments of "bartering" with God in my weakness. Moments where I've asked to be cured of cancer in exchange for lofty promises regarding my current and future behaviour. Of course I know none of that matters. Nothing I can ever do would even be worthy of sparing my life. I get eternity in heaven because of sheer mercy, right? From what I've heard from others who've been through an illness like mine, this idea of making promises to God in exchange for your health is a common one.
And speaking of promises, my little sister has gotten engaged and will soon promise to love her beau forever. And it just so happened that she, my mom, and my older sister all had one day off work to go shopping for wedding gowns-- day 5 of chemo for me. This is usually my second worst day in any given chemo cycle. But, I wasn't missing wedding dress shopping for anything! I did a little research and discovered that the Galleria offered wheel chairs, so we took advantage of that and I got pushed around the mall for hours. I was a little uncomfortable at first-- I mean, I don't really look sick so I wondered how many people might be judgementally wondering why I was wheeling around. And actually, as glamorous as it sounds to get such great treatment, I didn't like my lowered vantage point and was very unhappy with my inability to flit around the stores and pull gowns for Laura!
However, we successfully made it through the day and even managed to agree on a beautiful dress perfect for Laura's intimate, family wedding. And so I proclaim this the most successful chemotherapy session ever!
Unfortunately today I mis-read my stamina and I headed out to a store (the boys are playing with Aunt Emily today!) to shop for my own gown for the wedding. Fast forward about thirty minutes and I was sitting on the floor with my head in between my knees so I didn't pass out. Ok, so bad call on getting out today. But since I am now familiar with the sensations I get before I pass out I noticed them right away and took a time-out before things got worse.
It was a huge blessing to be able to feel less sick this time around. Like Paul said to me when he heard I was shopping Monday, "Why are we surprised by what God can do?" It was also a blessing that Terry continued to take care of me when I came home last night. I know it would be easy for someone to see me expend such energy on a shopping trip and then assume that I'm 100% better and decline to help. But, just like Terry's done since the beginning, he didn't ask any questions (or even raise his eyebrows when I originally suggested the idea of me going out) and he was graciously my care-taker. He made me dinner, helped me wash my face, got me into bed and rubbed my hands and feet until I fell asleep. How's that for loving?
But I was talking about blessings, not husbands (although in my case they seem to be one in the same)...
Getting through chemotherapy is a HUGE, huge, huge blessing and worthy of many "Praise the Lords!" I was spared many side-effects and although I endured too many hospital stays for my liking, I'm so very overwhelmed with joy to be on this side of this whole ordeal and still be in one piece. (And now I'm watching my naked scalp for any signs of life!)
When I came home from the doctor's office Thursday (the last time I have to see my oncologist for three months now that I'm transferring to the radiologists care!) Mel had delivered a beautiful end-of-chemo celebration basket! We got champagne, the new Jennifer Weiner book, organic snacks, DVDs, and a beautiful wall hanging about growing up 'Southern.'
And speaking of southern things, it just wouldn't be right of me to end this post without mentioning another blessing. The love and downright, southern hospitality of all of you who have traveled this journey with me so far. When I was embarrassingly sitting in Ross with my head between my knees today, I started running through a list of the people I could call on to come get me if I weren't able to drive myself back home. I'm happy, and even surprised, by the sheer volume of that list.
I am, after all, just a flighty girl who's too opinionated, too ornery, and too stubborn for her own good. Yet when I was faced with a disease that was too much for me, you all showed up and represented God's children, my brothers and sisters, very well. You were and are a huge blessing to me, my husband, and my baby boys.