Friday, September 18, 2009

Between two friends...what it's really like

In response to my last blog post, my friend Jenny (my breast cancer buddy) emailed me this:

I just read your blog, and I cried….at work!! You put so eloquently in words what I haven’t been able to say for months. I’m really feeling a lot of the same emotions, but I’m not sure how to work through them. I’m tired of hearing “time heals everything” even though I know there is some truth in it. While my heart wants to give all of these feelings to the Lord, I’m not sure what to do with them while I’m waiting for Him to take care of them. Does that make sense? It’s like I can vow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to give it all to Him, but the feelings are still there when I’m done. Then what? I am having some delayed anger about cancer, and I despise feeling angry about anything. I despise that cancer has made me feel like I’m trapped in a 90 year old body with no energy to do the things that I WANT to do. I get angry when I feel anxious, because it’s cancer’s fault that I feel that way. Obviously I’m missing something, because I haven’t been able to snap out of it this time. This feeling is lingering and I don’t like it. Don’t get me wrong….I count my blessings each day and there are many to count. It’s like I first went in to survival mode when I was diagnosed, and it was all medical and physical. It was about surviving. Now, we have moved on to the part about LIVING, and I am having more trouble with that than with surviving. It stinks and I’m generally mad that I even feel this way!

None of that even touches how busy we are. Both of our lives are hectic, and that can be ok. But it doesn’t leave any energy to work through the rest of this or to do the things we love. Ugh! I really want a long vacation (oh, but wait, cancer took all of my vacation time! lol)

Ok, I’m done venting….promise. You are just the only one who truly understands that. I promise I will call you soon. Love you!!

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And I emailed her this:

Wow. I continue to be amazed at the fact that we are in this together, side-by-side. What great sovereignty from God! I don't really know what to say because we've both already said it. This is what it is. All I can do at this point in my journey is seek the Lord's face, despite my circumstances, pray, and talk it out. And try to ignore my issues otherwise, because that is when I get overwhelmed. It seeps out anyway, but I prefer the seeping over constant despair. I wish I knew more to tell you. I agree wholeheartedly that the hardest part is getting through it while we are waiting on Him to take care of it, but I think that is the point maybe: the realization that we need Him for the journey and He has us on this journey for some reason. I keep reminding myself that He grieves when I grieve so He doesn't like to see me suffer, but in and through my suffering, more glory is brought to His name...so I endure, so He endures with me, for His own Namesake. Does that make any sense? This is me on a good day. If you would have picked up the phone the other night, I'm sure I wouldn't be quite in the place I am right this moment. I've found myself really angry a lot too. But where does anger go? No where. So sometimes I take it out of its box and hold it and beat it up a little, then cry for a while, and then I put it away again. I can't deal with being mad all the time, it makes me crazy, just like you said. As Dr. Crisp (the Composition director at UALR) says, "What do you get when you're annoyed? Annoyed." I really like that because it is simple but so true. So I've been letting that run through my head lately, only more like anger in place of annoyance. My dad also said today, "You're doing okay, even if you think you aren't, you are. The reality is that even if you weren't okay, you'd still be okay because of Jesus. So you're okay." That was really good for me. No matter what, I'm okay. I don't like to think about the "what", but I know in my heart it's true. I hope all that makes sense and doesn't sound as jumbled as I think it does. ;) I'm grateful for you. I feel like this email is more me processing than trying to help you, just want you to know that. Sometimes I just need to think outloud. I'm grateful that I have you and that we are in this together.

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I thought it was worthwhile to share this because this is as real as it gets: two young women, married, with children, diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time, fighting everyday for health, peace, joy--against fear, sickness, sadness, depression. This is what it looks like to see life through my eyes.

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