Emotionally spent.  That about sums up how I feel.  Physically, I feel fantastic.  I am running again and that feels great.  I sleep well.  My body feels strong.  But my soul is starting to feel exhausted.  And anxiety pokes its head out from time to time.  This “job” of being a cancer patient is starting to feel tedious and unrewarding. 

I was listening to music the other day and an Owl City song came on and used the phrase, “when it rains, it pours.”  I feel like it is pouring in my life.  I had not “regained myself” after such an intense year of mothering infant twins and it leaves me wondering: How on earth am I going to be able to do this?  I am trying to figure out how to prioritize myself.  I have not figured out how to create spaces of quiet, of reflection, of meditation, and of prayer with the pressing of my family demands. I want time to be still; but the reality is I have daily treatments and I am still mom to 3 small children. So how do I find S P A C E?  Where can I retreat?  Right this moment I have retreated to my bedroom and yet Garrett is supposed to be napping in our closet, his makeshift bedroom, and he is not sleeping and my retreat zone is punctuated with cries.  And this is simply real life with one year olds. But, it is my prayer to be able to find a “place in the wilderness” to retreat to as Jesus did.

Sunday morning was a small, precious retreat for Ryan and I as we attended church while my mom watched the twins at home so we could be fully present in the service.  It felt powerful to be amoungst other people who believe boldly in the power of God.  And through out the service I was reminded to reflect on Advent.  We are in a season of peace and hope and joy and expectation.  God says, “My timing is perfect. I do not want you to suffer my child.  I will hold you through this. And I give to you afresh the gift of Christmas as you enter this season of healing your body, soul, and mind. I am so much more powerful than you could ever imagine, even as you begin to open yourself to my power, I am infinitely more powerful than that.”  My friend reaffirmed the promises of Advent for my life through an email later in the day.  Furthermore, the pastor spoke on prayer on Sunday, specifically one point was that the power of prayer comes from having a history of prayer.  I pray today because illness stares me in the face and its only worthy opponent is God’s mighty power.  However, I have been praying to this same God for years.  How fortunate I am to have a history of faith, spiritual support, and prayer.  And how ultimately comforting that my prayers extend beyond natural timing such that they have the power to go forward to touch my childrens’ lives even when I am no longer able to physically hold my kids.  My kids, I am praying for you in the name of a very powerful God!

I’ve been reminded that God battled for David to fight a giant and He will fight this giant with me too.  I am reminded that God has spoken: “ The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10) And that I can rest because God has promised, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91)  This is what I need. Shelter to be able to truly rest, a warrior prepared to do battle for me, and the promise of full life. 

So that’s my emotional and spiritual update.  As for the nitty gritty of daily life, here’s that update (sorry I don’t have much energy left to recap these so they will be brief).

Disney was absolutely fantastic and incredible.  I didn’t think about being sick at all.  I felt completely “normal.” Which made it a bit of a shock to reality when we arrived home at midnighton Wed and entered a full morning at the Cancer Centre on Thurs. including my first radiation. 

So far I’m tolerating my chemo and radiation just fine.  As I mentioned, physically I am doing great!  So thankful for that. And I’ve even started driving myself to radiation as I was given the all clear to drive.  This substantially frees up Ryan’s time.

I am thankful for:

– my parents visiting to help out.

– my physical health being so great

– my friend inviting me to an upcoming Advent retreat at Cultus Lake

Requests for prayer

– emotional fortitude

– Being able to find spaces to rest

– the radiation and chemo to find out and destroy all stray cancer cells

Thank you again, everyone, for joining me in this journey.