So, I made it through my annual scan and all the worry that comes with it! I can't remember if I wrote this on the blog or not yet, but dealing with this scan made me more frightened than I'd been even during the initial diagnosis. Hard to believe, isn't it? I think that the underlying reason is simple: Plenty of people are breast cancer survivors. Not that many are two-time survivors.
Which is exactly what I was thinking when, less than 24 hours after my "Clean and Clear" results regarding the chest MRI, my oncologist sent me off to get a back xray because of some chronic pain I've been having for three months. He said that he "gets paid to worry," and then told me that for someone my age, back pain should heal itself after so long. Which, in Oncologist speak means, "Let's rule out bone metastasis."
That was almost a week ago and I haven't heard the results of the xray yet. Which I think is good news. Although on occasion I think it means my file slipped into the trash and has long been forgotten!
Mostly, life in our house has been "too good to be true" lately. Which is both very good and very true. The way God shook up our beliefs and turned our outlook about so many things upside down has proven to be so rewarding! We still have slip-ups where we fall back into our old way of thinking, but that just makes me more grateful for those moments in the oncologists office when I feel "down and out." Those moments can be a real kick in the pants to remind me to re-gain focus.
I've been reading, Weird, by Craig Groeschel. And the chapter on "people pleasing" was both eye-opening and timely. Terry and I do look pretty weird to some people right now-- moving to a small apartment after selling a lot of our stuff, designating our money to strange, new places that we hope will further God's kingdom (which effectively tightened our budget in other areas, meaning we have to say "no" to a lot more social activities), etc. And making these weird changes has, at times, caused me to feel a little under-attack by well-meaninged people. Truth is, I've stayed up nights, racked with guilt over not looking like the "right kind of Christian" to other people. So, if you pray for me (and I hope you do!) add this to your prayer list: Sarah needs to worry less about pleasing people, so she can worry more about pleasing God!
A lot of these feelings stem from survivor's guilt. You know- God saved me from cancer for a reason-- now I have to live up to that potential. There's a tremendous amount of pressure that comes from that kind of thinking! Lately I've been feeling like I'm letting people down right and left. And maybe that's because I took too much on, too quickly.
But, I've got to point out (because I'm such a 'silver lining' type of girl) that all this pressure and judgement has made me turn to God more often and I've even started a prayer journal again. I haven't kept one since college, but these very lovely people, who read this very-unworthy blog, sent me a beautiful journal and I was inspired! Thank you so much Pauline, Estelle, Jimmy, and Peggy!
And thank you to everyone else out there-- all 3 of you readers who actually make it to the end of such long, wandering posts! There are times when I can't stand to think of writing about cancer or survivorhood. And then there are other times, like tonight, when I need to put my thoughts on paper and it's nice to imagine someone out there is listening!
Check back soon to hear my excitement over my reconstruction surgery being set! June 27th! So exciting!