Thursday, September 18, 2014

becoming


"… In Union with Me, you are complete.  In closeness to Me, you are transformed more and more into the one I designed you to be…"  Jesus Calling~ by Sarah Young



As I sit throwing pictures into folders on my desktop, I look again at the golden goodness pics from a few days back.  The dog has been circling this tree all week.  I finally had to go and look at it. And there it is.  The one bright, red, leaf, daring to stand out alone, against a background of gold.  How does that happen? I'm pondering as I ready for my speech coming up on October 2nd.


Its been a couple of months since I've seen Dr. Panwalkar.  Yesterday, he strode into the exam room with a warm smile, yet instead of shaking hands and saying a big hello, he sat down right away.

He started getting the images from my scan to display on his computer.  There was the scan from nearly a year ago, that he was trying to align with the most recent scan I had.  We went through section after section, as he carefully tried to explain, both what he saw, and what the radiologist had reported.

It was a confluence of possible radiation scars, possible pneumonitis, and possible residual cancer.

When Dr. P started to ask me when it was that I had radiation to my lungs, I had to admit to him, I'm sketchy with dates of events like this, these days.  Not because I can't remember, rather, I've chosen not to hang on to it in too much detail.  I told him I understand I am purposefully in a bit of denial.  But he assures me "that's good," and I do see he is smiling, amused, when he says that.

Part of me wonders, if he too, lets go of trying to remember all he and I have gone through?

I like the sudden clarity I've gained.  I worry I forget things, because my memory is failing me.  Maybe it is.  But, maybe some of those things just aren't necessary to hang onto.


The decision to grow always involves 
a choice between risk and comfort.
—John Ortberg


My word this year, "become," is starting to make sense in some ways.  Like, "Becoming" less entangled with the advanced cancer that I have.  Who would have ever thought that?

So we turn back to my scans, layer by layer.  And I can't even relay to you his exact words. The harder he worked at aligning the scans, the more fussy they became.    But in a nutshell?  


A few spots seem to be the same and we will continue to watch them.

Two spots, seem to have disappeared, altogether.

And no new spots seem to have appeared from my neck down, in my lungs, my back, my liver, my kidneys, or any other place from what we can see on the PET scan.

I'm stable.

Still stable.

Still Mabel.

Still grateful! 


Still … we can't ignore the other part we haven't examined yet.  My brain.  So I mention to Dr. P I was released by Dr. Foster and I am completely back under his care.  I see the surprise register in his face, as he quickly begins searching my file online.   He reads quietly about my 3 little spots for the longest time.  "You need an MRI," he says, "we'll work on getting you in next week." 


He is quiet.  Absorbed in thought.  I had so many things I had wanted to share with him.  But  I oddly have very little to say to him now.  I also have no burning desire to know too much.  He suddenly glances up, smiles, and asks if I am ready for infusion? 

I am.


We'll continue on with the same treatment, with blood work and tumor markers checked more frequently.  



He quietly ushers me out the door and into the infusion waiting room, he smiles and nods at me as I go to sit down, and he goes back to his office.



"In closeness to Me you are transformed more and more into the one I designed you to be."


I think of that bright red leaf, daring so greatly. 

Maybe this is me becoming… all I am designed to be. 












39 comments:

  1. I love the quote you ended with. So true. So real. So needed to be read today! <3

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    1. Always good to hear that the very things that resonate with me- do with others too. Hugs to you sweet friend!

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  2. All we can hope for amidst life's trials is to be stable, but you accomplish so much more. As you know, I struggle with My Faith and my faith. Your posts lead me into deep examination and some reading. I want to believe, I want to believe...am I pretending or is THIS faith.

    So much love and hope (and dare I say 'faith') coming your way.

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    1. Oh Kass- struggle away! That really IS it, in my own little brain, that is it! Just being open to it, and then examining it as you are doing- and somehow coming back, again and again… I believe you'll find YOUR way. I wish you could see me beaming at you right now!

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  3. Oh, good news! My heart always drops just a tad when I see you've posted after results, but this is good news. I don't think your brain is failing you. I think it's grace - given to us so we can not only move forward, but also face the hard stuff again if we need to. In certain situations I have also forgotten . . . infertility, the hard parts of adoption, cancer treatment. And I think that's just part of living in the moment, choosing not to focus on the hard, looking forward to the future.

    And you've already got leaves turning color? They're beautiful!

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    1. Yay- you can post again- was concerned about that :) I know that heart drop so well… I try not to get too up, or too down… and yet I am so exhausted after appointments and infusion- I know I've been holding my breath :) I love what you said about Grace- thank you for that- YES- I'm going with that thanks to your keen insight. Thankful for your encouragement always friend!

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  4. Stable Mabel sounds great!

    Thanks for updating us, it's been on my mind and you are SO great about keeping us in the loop - it's almost like we're there with you.

    God is in the transformation business, and we can trust his hands, his plans. My challenge - where I trip - is when I leap ahead and forget that, as you say often, "he's got it". He really does!!

    Bottom line: your blog encourages me! Thanks. Still praying here in Germany :-)

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    1. "… love this Susan, "His hands, His plans." That is a plaque just begging to be made… perfect. And you friend- oh how you encourage me. Much love to you- back in Germany :)

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  5. Searching for your update today. Encouraging news. Your gift of writing is such a blessing to me. Your Godly insight is such a reminder to me to continually go to HIM with every little and big concern. The peace and comfort in you is such an example of what happens when you let go and Let Him....Thank you

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    1. MK- so sweet of you to say- I pray I am using my God-gifts and fulfilling some of what His purpose for my life is. Thank you for such insightful and encouraging words-they touch me so. Blessings and love to you!

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  6. I love your "red leaf' standing sperate and apart..daring to be different...shinning it's very own uniqueness through leafs of orange and yellow and greens...Much like you..beautiful you...go back and read your umm approx March 2011 post on breast cancer diagnoisis...you point out the it's funny how we dont really see the colors or the rainbow...and then we hold a our new baby in our arms and for the first time...RED is red and every color is manifested like never before...do you realize just how far you have come? that every step since 2011..you truly are becoming! It's in your writing..it's changed as you have chosen joy, embraced and become... I too have been checkin back...concerned at the latest..and my heart soared today...'my gut knows...this feeling' you are needed right were you are...and the lord knows your hearts desire...it doesnt mean it will be easy..it means you are here..you have time...HE LOVES YOU SO.... and because you teach so many a cancer journey placed in his hands...Could I? could any of us...truly do the same..with your prognosis and your journey? I would like to think...YES but could I??? and so your words take me to a different level..a level of honesty and soul searching and wisdom's. what a gift that level is...what a gift you are! right here, right now, today...a utter gift...and the Lord smiles down using your motto...a smile so brite filled with love...'All shall be well...!!!' love you and prayers will continue ...and now I think I am going to go grab me something yummy to eat in celebration...stable mable...I love love love HER!

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    1. You are so thoughtful to do this, Peggy, to go back through… and I may have a little secret I am keeping about some things happening to those very posts and some of these :) With some help, I hope to have something that ties all of this together- it may take awhile- but something is in the works :) And Stable Mabel is loving you right back!!

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  7. Vicky, I'm rejoicing....STABLE is good!! Praying...

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    1. Thank you Kay- it IS good- thank you for rejoicing with me :)

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  8. with tears of joy I am sending you a hug! Stable is good and NO news spots AMEN!! I will admit I first read "new spots" and I about lost it -- then reread and let out a "Alleluia"

    I am still praying for you - His will for you -- He has this - trusting!

    I love how your word is weaving into your life this year!

    All shall be well
    xo

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    1. Whew- glad it read the right way and you weren't unnecessarily worried! That word has been challenging to me, but its part of why I chose it, and I think it chose me right back. Love you girlie!

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  9. There is no "like" icon to click on...so, I'm creating one: {{!}}
    That's you, in the middle of a big hug.

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    1. Roxanne- I feel it! Thank you- hugging you right back.

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  10. *stable* and *no new spots* Amen, Vicky. And I think untangling yourself as much as possible from cancer is an awesome exercise. It is not YOU, it's just with you. Make it take a side seat, you steer the ship. :-)

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    1. Great metaphors, Karen, and I am definitely trying to do just that. Thank you for cheering me on and always encouraging me!

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  11. Love your pictures especially the red leaf. I, too, can not remember a lot about the time I went through chemo and radiation. I think that is God's way of protecting me from many of the sad memories or maybe it is just old age creeping up on me (soon to be 72). Thank God for a LOT of good news you received from the doctor.

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    1. Oh Francis- 72! That is a huge blessing. Yes- I believe what you say has such truth to it- God's way of protecting us. Thank you for sharing that with me!

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  12. Oh sweet friend,
    I am doing a "HAPPY DANCE" as I let the words sink in...
    "A few spots seem to have stayed the same" and "two spots seem to have disappeared."
    Okay, let me be sure I read that correctly... "disappeared", are you kidding me, Hurrah!
    Praise the Lord! What an answer to prayer.

    And as always, my dear soul sister, you have the wisdom to say, "I have no burning desire to know too much." Ahhhhh...leaving it in His hands, again. You, like that gorgeous red leaf,
    becoming all you are meant to be. You, healthy with a side of cancer. You, knowing in your deepest heart of hearts and spirit that All is REALLY well!

    Sending you love and JOY and prayers, always prayers.
    To the moon and back!
    Linda

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    1. I'm just sitting here, reading your heartfelt words, and smiling, friend. All the way through to my heart- smiling :) Love and prayers to you too, friend!

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  13. Thanking the Lord for your good news of stability and nothing new!!! It always bring a smile to my face when I read about your good reports!

    Always praying and sending good thoughts and love.

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    1. Eileen- I'm smiling right along with you. So thankful and feeling blessed. I feel your prayers, friend, I feel them. Much love to you!

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  14. Rejoicing for your good news and your amazing insights shared with each of us. It is a privilege to see all that you are becoming. Prayers for continued grace in the days ahead.

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    1. Rejoicing, yes! So honored that you choose to come along with me and always so grateful. I pray you are well too, friend :)

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  15. Stable Mabel - just excellent! I will send prayers and positive vibes your way for your upcoming MRI.

    My mind does not work like it used to prior to chemo. I sometimes fear I'm "losing" my mind, but really wonder how much of that is a result of "chemo brain". I'm looking forward to that breakout session at the upcoming retreat. I'm really excited for Oct. 2nd!

    Love and blessings to you, Vicky!

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    1. I am so glad you and I will get to spend some time together at the retreat! Much love to you, Steph!

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  16. Stable Mable,

    This blog posts just took my breath away--first with the startling beauty of the red leaf, and then in how you ended it.

    I love your approach--it's like you're forgetting to fret. :)

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    1. Julie- love the phrase "forgetting to fret" - perfect description of where Vicky is!
      I always enjoy your comments on here. :)
      Blessings! Linda

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    2. Linda- isn't that great? Forgetting to fret… yes! So thankful for BOTH of you, Linda, and Julie!

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  17. It really disgusts me that there is a cure for cancer and they destroy the technology so people continue to suffer. They do the same with people who have the technology for gassless cars and these companies are so powerful that our governments can't control them. They own the government. Argh....

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    1. Ohhhh Vic, so hard to find the glory amidst all the hard stuff. The messy and the broken just stand out so much sometimes and its seems utterly unfair. Sharing in the ARGHHHH with you! Hugs to you friend~

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  18. Embracing you tight as I read your words. Stable is amazing!!!

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    1. Embracing you right back- and yes stable is rather amazing :)

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  19. Have you read Kara Tippet's blog? Mundane faithfulness. You are sisters on the same path. Both able to beautifully share your journey of Faith and cancer.

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    1. I have not heard of her blog Nancy, so thank you for pointing me in her direction. Thank you, also, for your generous and kind words. Blessings on your day!

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