“There are 1000 ways to say something.” This phrase has been in my head for several days. I don’t know why, but it it is accompanied by this thought:
I can say
Cancer sucks! I hate this! I’m tired! I want to go home! Screw this, I’m done! My throat is starting to hurt, and I throw up several times a day at this point. My platelets are low, heck my everything is low. I have lost my sense of humor. I still haven’t heard if Aetna is going to uphold the denial. I miss my kids. I miss my life!
Or I can say
I miss my little house on the farm. Won’t it be lovely to sit in my hammock chair (note to self, buy a new hammock chair- yours broke last year) in April with the first warm rays of spring sunlight beaming on your face and the soft tickle of the new green grass brushing against the bottoms of your feet? Bow tie, the Lion dog, will scratch his back brushing underneath the swing before settling to nap in the grass. Ty will pull in the driveway and give me his gentle smile & roll his eyes when I ask him to go pick up his sister, who will want to go do something as soon as she gets home. Deacon will try to annoy me by spinning the swing or maybe he will just crawl in my lap as ask a question too philosophical for 8. And I will be home.
Both of these are true, and they both express my current situation, but at the end of the thought, one leaves me angry and frustrated, the other tearful and joyful and looking forward to good things.
I don’t want to write a preachy post, but Philippians 4:4-8 has transformed my life in the last few years, and since it is directly related to this thought… I would be remiss not to share.
How powerful our words and thoughts are! Just thinking about my tree, and my swing, and the view from that spot lifts my heart. So funny, I’ve spent years dreaming about moving from that very spot to a bigger city. I was afraid I was missing something. Here’s something I have learned during our time in Houston. If I am with Cary Mathis, I am home. There are good adventures and people everywhere. With him, I am with someone who is for me, and will fight for God’s best for me. If my kids are with me, even better (as long as they aren’t fighting or whining). If I feel good, great!
I’ve also learned that I live in a very white, and honestly segregated, world. In fact, I have a friend from Atlanta who said “Muhlenberg County has the whitest black people I’ve ever seen.” I don’t know what that means exactly. I would be a fool to weigh in on the statement. But I do see a difference between the families here and at home, all races included. I see a difference in the families. In Houston, when I go out to eat, I see lots of families together. African American, Hispanic multigenerational families, Chinese and Japanese families, young whitish (let’s face it, nobody is one race at this point) families pushing strollers and lugging dogs. The dads are plugged in. They are not ornamental pieces in the group, but carrying kids, wiping noses, having conversation kind of dads. It’s awesome. I feel like that happens in Muhlenberg County, but it isn’t celebrated like it is in the city. The intimacy of father relationships give so much identity to children. That identity is a hedge of protection around that child in a way we cannot understand for a lifetime. Thing is, we need to be emotionally healthy parents, and that takes work.
I love to hear my chemo nurses. They all speak English with me, but I hear them talking to colleagues in Aribic, Indian dialects, my favorite is the Spenglish conversations that happen as they pop between English and Spanish without missing a step. It’s beautiful & necessary because the patients at MD Anderson are from all over this world. They need providers who can communicate in their languages. I do mourn that I am not fluent in more languages. I could order food in Spain, get around in Monaco 🇲🇨, but I have never been able to be emerged in a language other than English, and I feel like I am missing something!
I want to readdress my first paragraph. But before I do, Lady GaGa rocked it out with amazing class! She surprised me!
Cancer sucks! – it does. I hate this sometimes. Most of the time, I’m thankful that I am in a place with healers and knowledge. I’m thankful for the two months alone with my man, and how good he is at taking care of me. I’m tired sometimes! But, I walk when I can walk, and I take naps. I want to go home– sometimes… it’s cold in Kentucky. It’s 85 degrees next to this pool right now! Screw this, I’m done! Sometimes I feel this way, but I curl up in a ball in the bed, and Cary curls up behind me, and tells me how close we are to the end, and says funny things that make my tears turn to laughter. My throat is starting to hurt, and I throw up several times a day at this point. This is true, but I have strategies to combat the pain: nasal rinses & Tramadol. My platelets are low, heck my everything is low. They are, but for the last three days, as I have been laying on the proton bed, strapped in with my lovely mask (Deacon says I look like a snake when I’m done) my favorite worship songs have come on Pandora to call my heart to worship from my broken place. It has taken great self control not to raise my hands in praise in the machine, which I think would cause panic with my technicians. And can we talk about my proton technicians? They have become my friends. Beautiful Russian Veda, with her naturally blond hair and quick smile finds me every day to walk me in to my treatment. She ask questions about my children, and I know about her daughter who ice skates, and her hopes to move. She moved to the friend zone the day she let me talk about the woes of bikini and armpit hair. Jay is a cancer survivor. He is especially attentive to tell me what is going on during my treatments. It is very comforting. He is preparing to head off to med school to work in oncology. He has such a sweet spirit, and I can’t wait to find out where God leads him in life. There are others who make me smile, laugh, who mother me as I gag and retry everyday to get my splint in my mouth.
And my chemo nurses. Every time it’s a different one, but every one is kind. They are So attentive. They take the time to find a vein that won’t collapse, and apologize for the needle. They explain how the drugs work and why they do things a certain way. Their kindness is a gift to me.
Yesterday Deacon left which is good because I can’t take care of him right now, which is hard. I am so thankful Mom was here to keep him entertained. I had an audiology exam, and learned that I have normal hearing. I haven’t had full hearing out of my left ear in three years! We are praising God for that! Last night, I ended up having to have fluids and Magnesium, which meant I was at the hospital until 10:00PM. This morning I started Chemo at 9:00. By the time I arrived, I was at the end of myself. When they called me back, I weighed and learned I lost another kilogram. I looked at the nurse bracelet. It said God is with you! I teared up, and thanked her for wearing it. A friend called with good personal news in her life, I started writing this blog, which means processing my thoughts, and I have steroids in my system. So, I’m no longer at the end of myself, but full of the hope of Christ and his people.
You can say something 1000 different ways. Choose wisely.