Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Thursday, May 22, 2014

For this I am thankful

This is is not just a boring cancer post. I promise.

Things can go downhill so fast. Today was a good day! Pain level was very tolerable, I was awake all day. Audrey and I made a short trip to the grocery store, had lunch, then picked up the boys for therapy. I was fine, though starting to feel a bit tired by the time we headed home.

Sat in the sunshine to watch the kids play outside (you all know how I've been needing the sunshine this spring! Don't worry, I'm being careful with my sensitive skin in the sun right now.) and thought to my self, "Self…I think you have the chills." Took my temp and yes I am running another fever, 100.8 so I called my clinic.

As it turns out there was one blood test that was not back until today. Liver levels are elevated. Plus Dean says my port site looks worse tonight than it did this morning. The rest of my counts were right at normal yesterday, so my doctor said I could wait until morning to come in. Then I need some fluids for the weekend and IV antibiotics, plus re-check my counts, particularly my liver.

I felt pretty ok all day, and  yet there was something brewing. I ended up in the Emergency room at 1:00 a.m.

Still, God very clearly showed me something today.

I am thankful for Cancer.

Cancer is part of my life story. By walking through this journey I am living out the plan that was pre-ordained for me so that I might become the person God intended me to be. I need cancer for me to grow. Personally I would have chosen something different, like winning the lottery or something, but I know God's plan is way better than anything I could ever think up on my own.

I am thankful for chemotherapy.

Yesterday, as I sat in the chemo chair getting rehydrated, I looked around the room at all the other people. Those who have been doing some version of chemo for months, others who were arriving for their very first time. I visited with the man next to me. I tried to hold myself together as he humbly told me bits and pieces about himself, about how he never thought he would have kids, but his only son is now 6 years old. My new friend will not be here to see his son's 7th birthday.  All these people have a story. Some will not be here next year, or next month. Some will still be celebrating years from now. God wants me to meet them. He PUT me there to meet these people. Yes, I would rather meet them on a cruise or while sitting on the beach of some tropical island, but God's plan is way better than anything I could ever think up on my own.

I am thankful for bone pain.

I know, right?

It is about compassion.

I know I have not always been the most compassionate person in the world. Yes, I can do a lot of things, but compassion is an area where I struggle. "Deal with it". Know what I mean? But in the past week there has been more compassion poured upon our family, with every day something happening that astounds me. Still I have had conversations with people who say the compassionate words but their voice says differently. It is what I have always done. I have said the words without always feeling them. The bone pain I have had the last week has shown me what true pain and misery is. Never in my life have I felt such pain, even after major surgeries. And still, I know there is pain worse than what I have felt this week. At some time I am going to need to care for someone who is in a lot of pain, and I am going to need TRUE COMPASSION to understand that pain and care for them the way God says I should. When you are lacking in compassion, God will find a way to develop that in you. So thank you, God, for bone pain.  God's plan is way better than anything I could ever think up on my own.


Tina Kacirek said...

While I hate you are in pain and would do what I could to take it, I know still what you are saying. Priorities come into alignment. Somehow simple things are more beautiful. And those who have had to persevere under pain they seem to hold a gaze in their eye...that I understand you twinkle. Its soft. This morning in the waiting room of patients talking to Cephas were many hurting people...with smiling eyes and well wishes and blessings on their lips. Somehow I feel more in touch knowing how very fragile life is. The gift of a day.... I am praying the Lord bless you more and more showing you His goodness as you battle beautifully in His strength. Love you

Tigger (aka Karyn) said...

In the past fortnight my husband has experienced a skin infection that caused him more pain than he has ever experienced before. For the first time in my journey he came to me and said "I don't know how you do it". God is teaching him compassion. And I, too, can say thank you Lord for cancer. I have changed so much since my diagnosis. Jesus has worked in me in incredible ways to challenge me, to change my heart and to make plain his path for me. Like you I would have chosen a much different path but as Romans 8:28 says, All things work together for good for those who know Him.

Unknown said...

Yes is a humbling journey!

Compassion, kindness, unconditional love....when all is said and done these quality are the most important! And it these things will stay with you after recovery!

Every time I met a parent Sean, from the school where my sisters kids attend, I almost break down in deep sobs....his kindness, compassion and willingness to take my nephews to and from school for a full year without us even asking for his help, brings me to tear!

You will have plenty of opportunity to work on your compassion Leah! Once you have received this gift in your life you are able to then pass it on!

Thinking of you and sending you love, love and more love!

Linda ( LinMac from Downsyn)

Jennifer Blanchard said...

Leah, Iove reading your blog. I found it via where I post as Jenwith4kids. Reading about your nuelasta bone pain makes me wonder if you have heard about the claritin/aleve combo that is supposed to help? I used it for four nuelasta shots and never had any bone pain. Though taxotere causes bone pain too it might be worth a shot, no? Ask your oncologist. ... look for it on the boards.

Leah Spring said...

Jennifer, yes I have been taking Claritin. Unfortunately my system seems to be hypersensitive to many things. My MO and I are discussing cutting my neulasta dose in half with the next round, and the possibility of changing protocols all together because of the severe weight loss and GI problems.