Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Slice of Heaven

I think we all have our own holy place. Our favorite place to go when we want to think, pray, remember, plan. My place is the back deck. I love to visit with friends here or sit alone. We eat meals out here, had lots of summer birthday parties. I spent countless hours on this deck last year while battling cancer. This is my little spot on earth. It overlooks our backyard with two huge trees that provide shelter for the birds and a playground for the squirrels, there is a tiered water fountain that provides the soothing sound of water, birdfeeds that attract fire engine red birds, shocking bluejays, graceful mourning doves. It's my special spot on this earth.

Steve and I had planned to go to the Botanical Gardens after my doctor's appointment last week. I was looking forward to seeing the beautiful pictures Steve would make of the buds and blooms. The gardens are spectacular there and I like to visit at least a couple of times a year. But the doctor confirmed our fears that the cancer had spread to my lungs and the prognosis was to stretch my life for as long as they could. After that, all I wanted to do was get to my backyard. My safe place. We drove straight home and I went straight to my deck to let the news sink in. God prepares a place for us in heaven. I bet mine has a deck.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's been such a busy week - and it's only Tuesday! There is so much busyness going on and I just want it to stop. I want time to slow down so that I can savor every precious moment. The past week has been a whirlwind of doctor appointments, tests and then more doctor's appointments. I've spent my share of time in doctor's waiting rooms. Having two children and living 44 years, you seem to accumulate a lot of frequent flyer miles just sitting and waiting. I've never really minded the wait, but now it seems as if every moment is so important. It's not that I'm impatient. Actually, I am more patient now than ever in my life. I just don't want to feel rushed or in a hurry. I don't want to miss one single thing. How very sad it would be to miss a blue jay sitting on a fence post because you have to hurry off for an appointment.

It is also an exciting week. I have delighted in listening to my children the past few days. Allie has been writing her last papers, studying for her last finals, searching for a job. It is such an exciting time in her life. She has had a very good four years of college. I don't know of anyone that has ever had as good a time as she has had. I believe she has done everything that she has wanted to do. She has been very involved, made excellent grades and has made life long friends with students and teachers. Andrew has been counting down the time until he is on leave and can come home. He started counting a little over a week ago. When he got down to three days left he converted to hours. It's comical to listen to him...this child who never stayed home is counting the hours until he gets home. I'm not kidding myself. I know he won't be home the whole time he is "home", but I will get to see him. He is doing so well in the path that he has chosen. I believe he has really found what makes him happy...and that makes me happy. 25 hours and my baby will be home.

The news of my cancer has come at a horrible time. But I guess there really isn't a good time for that kind of news. It was hard to decide when to break the news to the kids. I hated to ruin Allie's last week of school, but I think she felt like we weren't very open with her with my first diagnosis, so I wanted to make sure we told her before she found out from someone else. We still haven't told Andrew. I just didn't want to tell him over the phone. I wanted to be able to hold him or let him hold me. He is so excited to see friends and family that I don't want this to ruin his time here.

I want to make good memories for my family. I catch myself thinking something is great and that I want to remember it, then it hits me...this is great and I want them to remember it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

My world has been turned upside down, but curiously I am calm. Steve and I received the news this week that we both knew we would eventually hear, but never thought it would be so soon. The cancer I fought so hard against just last year has spread to my lungs. Our minds were reeling as we talked with the doctor about treatments and quality of life. My first battle with cancer was about survival. I wanted to beat cancer and keep it in my past. This time the battle is about time. I want to squeeze as much time out as I possibly can.

My calmness may be due to denial. We have not had a good opportunity to tell our children. Allie has finals and is graduating from college next week. Andrew has a month of leave before he goes to Japan and will be home in a few days. This is just not news to share over the telephone, so I know we will tell Andrew next week when he gets home, but I'm not sure when we should tell Allie. In the time that I have before telling them, I pretend that I'm fine and that we are awaiting more test results. Is this lying? I know they want to know the truth, but I really want to be able to sit down with them, talk with them and start loving them through the process.

I hope I can remain strong for my family. I want to make memories for them. I want them to see Christ through me so they can have a closer relationship with Him.