Yesterday I ate Japanese food, my FAVORITE! It almost tasted right. It’s hard to believe that two weeks ago I would drink water to have something to throw up, took my fluids by IV every few days, and couldn’t eat. I am in awe of the body’s ability to heal. I am also in awe of how crazy side effects of treatment and medication can be.
I think my body thinks I’m pregnant. Because I was radiated so close to my pituitary gland, I think my hormones/systems are confused. During treatment I kept comparing my symptoms to morning sickness. Thankfully the nausea has gone away, but this week I have cried at Good Morning America three times (Actually I have cried about everything three times. Not sad crying, just crying.) lactated, and I may be nesting. But my house is looking better each day!
The taste of chemo Everyone in my life is worried about my weight, except me. My theory after having babies was that it took 9 months for my body to get that way. It should take 9 months to get back (It actually takes two to twenty years to get some resemblance of your body back.) It took 7 weeks to loose 15 pounds. It’s going to take that long to gain 10 back. Even so, there are a lot of precious people concerned about my waify build who don’t understand why I’m not gorging on doughnuts 🍩 and other foods people over 25 try to avoid. It’s because they don’t taste right. Postchemo taste is like eating texture instead of food. Here is the best way I can explain it, imagine a loaded baked potato in front of you. Butter running over the sides, savory bacon cut into little strips, shredded cheese lays limply over the top, and on the top, a dollop of sour cream. You inhale the smell and it fills your soul with delight. Your body anticipates the savory goodness, but your tongue doesn’t agree. You taste the texture of the food. You experience each grainy particle of potato. The salty butter and savory bacon are reduced to the slimy grease that coats every surface of your mouth. The sour cream is just the sour. The joy of the bite is gone. It’s disappointing at best & revolting at worst. So, you find what you can tolerate and move on. I have been able to add a new food each day this week. Rice and beans are my friends.
Weakness Someone asked me if I was able to do any ministry while I was in Houston. Outside of writing this blog, the answer to that question is no. I wasn’t. What I learned in Houston was how to be weak. I learned what it was to come to the end of your body, mind and spirit, and still be loved. I learned what it was to depend onmy husband for food, rides to the doctor, times for medications, and memory. The prayers and support of my friends and strangers sustained me when I didn’t have words to pray. It also made me appreciate the beauty of praying in Spirit instead of my mind.
Cary didn’t love me less in Houston in my weakness and vulnerability. Instead, I got to see just how loving and kind he really is. I have never needed him like that, so I never got to see how deeply devoted he is to me. God didn’t love me less when I was in bed crying. Instead he sent people to text, Cary to hold me, his peace to know He was with me, and that I was loved every bit as much as when I am praying or preaching. God wasn’t disappointed in me for being vulnerable. I think this is a lie we believe, that God relies on our strength. He doesn’t. He’s strong enough on his own.
My daughter is very gifted in math and very driven. She is a great writer, but hates grammar. (Like her mama.) This week she was saying she didn’t feel smart because grammar doesn’t come easy like math. I explained that if she is best at everything then other people never get to be the best. She has to embrace her strengths and her weaknesses, and celebrate people who excel in areas she doesn’t, but equally appreciate and celebrate her own strengths. The key to success is surrounding yourself with people who balance you out, and being confident enough to be okay with them.
So, now I am home and life is returning to normal. Only it’s not normal. I cannot go all day and all night, and I realized last night I was ignoring my lesson on weakness. I have pushed too hard the last four days, and the last two nights I didn’t have anything left to give. I have to rest. That means I have to say no to some things I want to do during the day to be available in the evenings to my family. I have to be weak. I have to ask for help. I am terrible at asking for help. I fear the person will say no or grumble, and then I will get mad and resent them, so I just do things for myself, like moving large furniture and being two places at once. But this isn’t how God designed me to exist. He designed me to be interdependent, vulnerable, weak. There is beauty in weakness. We get to see the beauty of others and the strength of God in our weakness. So go, be weak my friends! I am going to seek out some personal healing over my difficulty asking for help and live this more balanced life.
Here is a teaching on Blessing, from Grace Center that is rocking my brain this week. If you listen, let me know what stirs in your spirit.