Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stage 2 and Other Life Stuff

 You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.

Life still happens even when you have cancer. Of course it would, but it seems strange to feel totally normal and then all of a sudden realize that you are not normal, and things are not normal. The world kind of seems to tip sideways in those in between moments for me. Like, to be fixing my hair to go somewhere, braiding it or drying it - just like I always do - and then have the thought that in just a short while it will be all gone. Or I will be hauling a beau-coup of kids around and doing a million things at once for them and in creeps the thought that I won't be able to do this, with this much energy, for a while - through Thanksgiving and Christmas, and beyond. And that even though I feel just fine, I am really dying. And if I don't make myself sick, I will. It's weird. They are sort of clashing thoughts that are going through my head.

Really though, I have so much to be thankful for. I don't have stage 4 cancer. I have now been diagnosed with stage 2 cancer. The biopsy results of the inguinal lymph nodes came back negative for cancer. The CT scan of my abdomen showed no abnormalities. And my echo-cardiogram showed that my heart is strong enough to withstand the treatment.
Praise the Lord!

On top of that, there are so many other mercies and miracles that God has been doing in my life during this past week and a half, and even before I knew I was sick, such as orchestrating the timing of my family member's lives so that they are completely available for me for the next several months, laying doctors in my lap that I feel comfortable with and trust and putting amazing friends in my life that find joy in taking care of me, that I have no doubt that He has gone before me and behind me - completely hemming me in - with His plan and His presence.

And look at my boys. They treat me like a queen. My oldest turned 16 this past week and just going out to dinner and celebrating with family gave me such a sense of joy. I have no doubt that moments like these will continue to happen whether I feel sick or not. 
Even with cancer, I can truly say that I am a blessed woman.

So ,what is next?
This week I have been finishing up a myriad of tests that need to be done before I start treatment, and I am wrapping up things around the house. I would like to think that I could organize everything perfectly so that I can take time off and things will stay in their places. Yes, I am completely dreaming. Still, I am battling a perceived need to get everything ready.

I did finally finish the last commission that I will probably do for some time, two pairs of hinged hoop earrings. Remember this tutorial on ear wire hinges I did a while ago? These are pretty much the same thing. I love them and think they are a nice end to my work for the time being.

Next Monday, I will have a minor surgery to put a port in my chest so that they will be able to access a vein with out pricking me a gazillion times, which they have already done these past weeks. I can't say that it is awesome to be a pincushion.
Then next Thursday, I will begin chemotherapy. It will be 8 treatments, each two weeks apart. So, that is four months. But it sounds better when I say 8 treatments.

Already, friends have been bringing me meals so that I can just focus on all the doctor's appointments and whatnot going on. I am sooo thankful for those meals. I have had tons of people ask how they can help, and I am blessed with a dear, dear friend who set up this meal-train for me so that meals can easily be organized. If you are one of the people who wanted to help, this might be something that you could do, especially after the chemo starts. Click here for the link.

And again, thank you all for loving me so well. Thank you for your comments, your encouragements, your stories and most especially your prayers.

Until next time...


Janet Coats said... don't know me but I know your in-laws and I know Seth. I am praying for you each and every day and I have every confidence that your body will soon be rid of this hideous disease that has taken up residence. You know God only picks special people to face this test he picks those who are strong and can take this difficult time to go on and teach others what it takes to be strong..and to withstand the difficult challenges that they will have to face in their lifetime and you are one of the chosen ones! You will take this challenge and run with it. I have never met you but I know you must be that type of will NOT lay and feel sorry for yourself you will learn from this and you will become stronger and you will pass this test with flying colors. You will go on to become a even better person and you will TEACH others what God does and can do in a person's life! You will be able to educate others first hand on his blessings and you will ride this challenge into the future and the people who come in contact with you in your future will become better people for knowing you from the lessons you will take from this! This will serve as a blessing one day as you will look back once your body has perged itself of this disease and you will thank God for the chance to face this head on and beat it down as the person you will become will be ONE INCREDIBLE BEING!!! I pray that God will surround you with healing & loving arms and protect you in the coming months and he will give the Dr's the knowledge & skill to treat you in the best way they know how. May he hold you gently and cleanse your body and make you whole once again. May he return you to your family who treasure you better than you were and stronger than you even expected! God bless you and your family and may you take these wings of flight and go forward and become that special person who God has chosen. You will go on to do great things when this passes of this I am certain! Love from a friend..Janet Coats

Amanda Conley said...

Thank you Janet.

Kim Robinson said...

This made me cry....not only for your illness, but in spite of your cancer, you share your blessings. I hear that while reading this. The strong truth of living with cancer and the stronger truth of living with an AMAZING GOD. I think of you daily and pray for you often. I am planning to hop on the meal train. I don't know you personally, but I love you. Covering you and your family in prayer. Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts with us. Have a blessed at a time.

Amanda Conley said...

Thanks so much, Kim.

A said...

Your post is so touching Amanda. You are so beautiful, inside and out.

Amanda Conley said...

Oh, thank you, Agnes. You are too kind.