Friday, August 9, 2019

Day 2

It's been 24 hours since I found out.

I woke up expecting to see a sliver of grey skies out my bedroom window.
And I thought I'd hear the rumbling of thunder.
The "Storm of the Summer" should've been in full force.
But all I saw was blue sky.

I grabbed my phone and clicked on the weather app.


The God of Creation can stop a storm?
The God of Creation DID stop a storm?
The God of Creation STOPPED A STORM for me?
(Is everything all about me now?)
Did He maybe want to let me know He can do things.
Like stop storms before they hit the coast and also stop cancer from spreading to lymph nodes and bones and bladders?

I got out of bed.
Washed my face.
Brushed my teeth.
And then just couldn't face the day.

I needed to go to work.
But it was the absolute last thing I wanted to do.

Wished that wallowing was an option.
Just sit and stew about the unfairness.
There is NO history of cancer in my family. Not my great grandparents, my grandparents, my aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, siblings .... WE DON'T DO CANCER. It's my super power. The ace up my sleeve. My 'get-out-of-jail-free' card that I can turn in whenever there's a hint that something might be amiss. We do heart disease, diabetes, dementia. But not cancer.

Why me?
Why did I have to be the first? (Well, other than my mom's cousin, Rose. Who JUST DIED of cancer a few weeks ago. Waaaay too soon for me to be diagnosed with it too. She and I had a few things in common, our birthday being one of them. Please God, don't let 'dying in 2019'  be another date we share.)

Thoughts like these?
While legit and honest, are not helpful.

I went over to my new sitting area. (The boys set it up the night before. Graciously. Quickly.)
THIS IS NOT MY CANCER CHAIR I said to myself as I sat in that chair and thought about cancer. I need to make this a happy place. Even though the lighting is shit and there are no windows, I need to claim this space as a sacred spot where I come to hear from The God who gave the green light for this disease to grow inside me.

I'll decorate later.
I just needed to get into a headspace that would allow me to get myself to work.

I picked up my Bible and let it fall open to where ever.

The pull quote at the top of the page was Psalm 138:8 -
"The Lord will work out His plans for my life. His faithful love endures forever. "

And the three verses on that page that I'd already underlined on that page (in 1999 and 2007) were:

"I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart. I will sing Your praises."
"When I pray You answer me. You encourage me by giving me the strength I need."

"You won't abandon me, for You made me..."

He will work out His plans for my life.
He won't abandon me.
And He will give me strength.
And I WILL be thankful. Eventually.

I went to work.

Three people know.
Had long cancer-related conversations with each of them individually. (I was so ready for a nap by noon.)
And then I went downstairs and talked to a counselor. Helpful to have a counseling office in the building. Even more helpful is being friends with one of the counselors.

But with everyone else in the building, it was business as usual.
"Can you get some pricing for this?"
"When will that package land?"
"Do any of your designers have capacity for a small job next week?"
"There's a box from IDRS at the front desk for you."

The normalcy was nice. But to be honest, it was pretty hard to stay focused on the 1/3 page ad in the October Focus Mag when my mind was screaming "YOU HAVE CANCER IN YOU BOOB. And maybe somewhere else too."

The office closed early (Yay for long weekends), so I did some errands. Got cash. Gas. Groceries. A nice 18 year old Indian man threaded my eyebrows. And then asked if he could do the rest of my face. Which hurt like hell. Just like most of the activities I've been engaging in this summer. Everyone I encountered was friendly and happy; lots of conversation about the incredible change in weather. I guess that could've let them know they should thank me for the sunshine. God was showing off; reminding me He had power. My last stop of the day was to pick up some things for my evening with my girl.

The clerk ( early 20's, waist-length dreads, chest-long beard, knitted beanie), gives me a look.
"It's for a theme weekend," I explain.
He nods.
"We're going to see Mama Mia tonight, at Theatre Under the Stars." I say.
He nods again.
"And we're going away this weekend, so if we find the time, we'll watch it on DVD..." I point to the two DVD's in my pile...
"And I thought we'd listen to Abba on the drive in." I finish.

He points to the sale rack. "We've got the Mama Mia soundtrack on sale for $7.99."
"OK. I'll get that too. It's for me and my daughter-in-law..."

And then I ask, "How About Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants?"
A female clerk who's been hovering, says, "Your weekend sounds amazing. I'll go find the DVD for you..."

She brings it to me, explains that it has both movies on it (the first and second one) and asks how it will fit into my theme weekend.
"The second one takes place in Greece. Mama Mia takes place in Greece. My girl and I are hoping to go to Greece next year."

"Ahhhhhh," She nodded and understood.
I felt affirmed.

I met Dani at my mom's place at 5:30. After a quick dinner, she and I left for the city. She put in the CD and we sang n talked for the next hour. Then we wandered around Stanley Park before listening to/singing along/dancing to Mama Mia. SO fun. And so normal. And I almost forgot that there may be more cancer cells multiplying in my body.

During the intermission, I sat back in my seat, looked up at the sky, saw the stars and
1. realized how horrible the night would've been if it had been raining
2. accepted that it wasn't raining because God loves me
3. considered that this might be my last summer on earth
4. but hoped that this girl and I would have many more summer evenings of music and dancing
5. prayed AGAIN that this next procedure would be the end of my cancer journey
6. brushed away tears that were running down my cheeks


We talked about heavy things as we drove home.
And we talked about how lucky we are to have a faith in a God who's helping us carry those hard things.

I'm in bed now. And she's sleeping over.
My heart is happy and my soul is at peace.

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