Friday, July 31, 2009

Christi Update

I know I havent posted in a while... its been a crazy husbandless week.. I promise, I will update some new pics of my sweet baby boy! And I will add a Tasty Tuesday (on a Saturday or Sunday.. ha!) But this was way too important to not post immediately.

Its another update on my cousin Christi! Please continue lifting her up in your prayers. I, for one, am amazed by the strength that is she showing! And the complete dependance that she has in our Father. Gotta keep praying!

So I'm sitting here bawling my eyes out to this song. Good tears, kinda corny song, but good lyrics.

"There's always going to be another mountain
I'm always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I'm gonna to have to lose,
Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing,
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down but
No I'm not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm going to remember most yeah
Just got to keep going
And I,
I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on"

I got home from Houston on Wednesday night after two long days at the hospital (mostly spent in waiting rooms.) I had my follow up MRI and an oncologist appointment. They told me everything looks good. Right on track for the treatment I've been giving. We didn't ask if it was bigger or smaller because at this point everything is still swollen from the radiation (I was on an anti-inflammatory up until last week to keep the "my brain's swollen" headaches at bay. I still feel the pressure, but it doesn't hurt to the extent that I need medication.)

So why am I crying to the cheesy song?... well, first, I'm a girl. Second, it describes so much of what we've been through. It would have been SO NICE for that scan to have shown up clear. A miraculous healing. It happens!! Our first visit to MD Anderson, Adam and I were waiting on an elevator only to over hear a couple joyously calling all their friends to tell them that the eight spots on this man's liver (?) maybe kidneys (?) had inexplicably disappeared. Miracles happen.

Now I wasn't *expecting* the scan to be clear, but knowing it COULD have been but wasn't was a tiny bit of a let down. There will likely be a LOT of "could have been but wasn't"s in my future... there are a LOT of MRIs in my future :). And that's a good thing, because I'm firmly convinced that I'll be around for those MRIs and that the word future still VERY MUCH so applies to me. But still... would have been nice.

Then I heard that song again... "Not about what's waiting on the other side. It's the climb" and I was brought to tears. If I'm completely honest the tears were also because I'm tired. I'm tried of being strong. I don't have to always be strong and I'm okay taking a break from it from time to time. Sometimes it's just good to cry. 90% of the time I'm good. I'm happy "being strong" if that's what you want to call it... I call it living life. Cancer does not define me. Actually I forget that I have it most of the time... then I look in the mirror and see my lovely head scarf - or worse, what's underneath - and I remember what I went through (still waiting on those radiation-induced super powers by the way...) but it's good to be reminded... it reminds me that I've survived!! I've survived three brain surgeries, 6 weeks of having my head microwaved, 6 weeks of a toxic drug... (I start round two on Saturday, double the dose, but only for five days total this month). I've survived!! Better yet, God had brought me through and I'm trusting that He will continue to do so. The climb has been good so far. I need to not anticipate what's waiting for me on the other side of this mountain. Healing IS exciting and something easily obsessed over, but I need to be focused on the now. THESE are the moments that will define me. Once I'm healed I may very well lose the ability to see just how precious life is. I might even forget these precious moments of fighting. I think just want to be normal, but in all truth I never want to be "normal" again.

I'm reminded also of the story of Abraham. God promised him an heir. He had God's promise and yet he was so focused on the "other side of the mountain" that he slept with Hagar and had Ishmael. If he had only waited on God's promised and trusted him despite the odds (Sarah was very old and barren) then he would have had only one son - Isaac. I won't go into the trouble that resulted due to Abraham's doubt... the current day political ramifications... a.) I'm not a theologian so I would likely get some things wrong b.) I don't keep up well with the news so... well... I would likely get something wrong and c.) those exact facts don't really matter for the purposes of what I'm trying to say. (If you want to read it yourself, the story I'm referring to is found in Genesis 15-17 and know that Ishmael became the "father of Islam") but the point is that Ishmael caused problems and was not what God had in mind when He told Abraham that he would have a son. If we just wait on God's promise the outcome is always always always better.

So next time my MRI shows "exactly what we would want it to look like at this stage" I will rejoice in the Lord knowing that He's still taking care of me regardless of whether that tumor is in my head or not; regardless of whether that tumor is growing or not; regardless of anything. We only get one shot around this planet and I'm going to take mine praising the Lord... and singing corny songs that remind me of what I'm doing here.