Wednesday, October 5, 2011

...stretching myself...

Prayer for a Normal Day

Normal day,
let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me learn from you, love you,
bless you before you depart.
Let me not pass by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
Let me hold you while I may,
for it may not always be so.
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth,
or bury my face in the pillow,
or stretch myself taut,
or raise my hands to the sky and want,
more than all the world, your return.

Mary Jean Iron

Like the leaves dropping en masse from the trees in the yard, I feel bits of myself slipping away.  Its like when your skin starts to shed its summer tan and it sloughs off in grayish-brown sheets in the shower like a snake molting its skin.  

But what I am shedding isn't something seen from the outside.  I feel it more than I can show it.  

Each chemo week I have to answer a survey about how treatment with TDM1 affects my life.  I've always been in the "not at all" category when it comes to some of the side effects.  Recently, I became a sometimes.  Or on the flip side, in other categories I am an "always," kind of gal.  And lately, I have to admit I'm a little more "not always" even here.  I finish the questionnaire and see that I am no longer a perfect "zero," and have moved into a whole new category.  They've warned me this will happen.  Long term chemo stores up in your body and the effects begin to linger, longer. 

Fatigue has been nagging me.  My energy never really catches up to all that I want and/or need to get done in a day.  Slowly, I see the cracks deepen into fissures that feel like a bottomless pit. I lie down for a nap, and get up feeling just as tired as when I first lay down.   

I walk blocks instead of miles.

My puppy is too heavy for me to lift anymore, and when he pulls on his leash, pain sears through my back. 

I gave myself a "gitz" pep talk the other day before I even put my feet on the floor. 

And so I wonder... maybe I am meant to slow down?  To spend my energy more thriftily.  To shift my focus, to what I can do, instead of what I can't do?  To empty myself, so that I can fill again.  To shed the tan of summer, so that the healthy and new underneath has a chance to be revealed...  

I wonder...



  1. Strength and uplifting hugs do I pray for my sweet friend, Vicky....
    Whatever the reason for your waning strength, know what I lift you up and hold you in my dearest thoughts. "God, my Lord....I pray for my sweet friend, Vicky, right now. I feel Your Presence, Lord...and I ask you to put your loving Arms around her and hold her tightly as she regains her strength. Thank you, my Lord...I do thank you for answering this prayer. Amen."

  2. I think your wondering is correct and you need to slow down's okay! It's necessary! Everything you said here is so right Vicky. Lean into what you are going through. It's hard I know, but there is so much God is revealing through it all. Empty yourself and let Him fill you. Well said, friend. Well said. You are a treasure and you bless me so. Thank you for these gifts you give me. You are a part of that filling God is doing within me. :)

  3. I hear it loud and clear: Your body is telling you to slow down, to take it very very slow...The poem you chose is the perfect recipe, for each day to unwind at a turtle's pace.
    Sending you loving energy and hugging you so tight from afar :-)

  4. You have clearly answered your own question, dear Vicky. Pain and fatigue can sometimes be an important signal that needs to be attended to ...

    It's challenging to find that balance isn't it? - to adapt to our changing internal and external circumstances. Occasionally if we don't listen to the body's signals, our body has to come up with a way to force us to rest.

    In your place, I would listen to my body's messages.

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful poem in your post!

  5. Yes Vicky, You are a treasure and you do bless each one of us with your words and your heart..the author of this mornings devotion spoke of God's providence working through.."loss and that there is a ministry to us in the fading of things" and that He gives us the "Gift" of emptiness..and while I really don't like this fact, I find it to be true...."Great faith is exhibited not so much in doing in suffering." You are a gift to all of us who are blessed to read your words Vicky and I will continue to lift you up in prayer and pray for God's comfort and strength for you. Hugs to you :)

  6. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are worthy of resting when you are tired. Do what you need to do for you to be happy or satisfied in the moment. One minute at a time...xoxo

  7. Such a beautiful poem...

    And yes, Vicky...let yourself be still when you need to. Rest, and heal. Believe your body when it's telling you what it needs.

  8. i can imagine how hard slowing down is for you. it would be for me too.

    perhaps you can find a way to welcome it like a new season. seasons come and go, and this shall pass. i have my friend holly to prove it.

    about sweet puppy...if you have a fenced back yard, why not toss him a ball and teach him fetch instead of walking him. he will adjust to your activity level eventually. wish i could be there to hold the leash and we could walk together.

    go easy on yourself, and let someone else do the 5a hockey run, for sure! HUGS...

  9. I know how you want to experience every moment and not miss a thing but you do need to get plenty of rest, Vicky. Sleeping and resting are two of the most important things you could be doing right now in order to help your body deal with the effects of chemo. As you rest and/or sleep, your body will have time to rebuild its strength and be better able to fight!

    Prayers and hugs my friend!

  10. Oh my dear! Pay attention to your body. It knows what it wants.
    Have a rope attached to a nail outside or a balcony, whatever you have, and let the dog out by just clipping him onto the rope.
    Rest as much as you can because the body needs rest and peace to do the healing/fighting job.
    Don't forget that you have a war taking place inside.
    It's bound to affect you.
    Right now is your time for you, to take care of yourself.
    For the husband and children it's a learning time to take care of themselves and you.
    In God's world this happened for a purpose and usually it's got to do with a learning experience. It was meant not just for you but every one around you.So let it happen and relax.

  11. Praying, dear one. Praying so hard. I hate that you had to give yourself a pep talk to get up...and I praise that you were able to do it and not lay down in defeat. I'm proud of you. Chemo stinks. Disease does too. I am asking the Lord to give you patience with yourself as you approach these new you learn to love yourself where you are you accept this. I'm here if you need anything, as one who understands the tired that comes from weeks of meds.

    Love you.

  12. You have such a way with words. Lovely.

    We've hired someone to clean the house over the last couple of months. She comes every other weekend, and this week I told Brian that I really thought we should cancel her. I feel bad spending money for someone to clean the house. But what he told me is that he'd rather I save the energy I would be using to clean bathrooms and mop floors to do something to make me happy, spend time with the kids, etc. And I thought that was a lovely way of letting me off the hook for some of the responsibilities that we as women think we have to be in control of.

  13. Dearest Vicky,
    I thank yours and my friend, Robin, for asking us to pray for you. She is a heaven sent friend, indeed! Precious, Vicky...I am praying for you every day...and, believing that God will give you His grace and strength as you travel this journey.
    I love you with the love of Jesus our Lord, Savior and Messiah!
    Carolynn (flickr)

  14. Hi Vicky, yes Your body is telling you to slow down and take it easy. Don't think of what you can't do think of what you can, maybe it is a time to sit and journal or draw or paint....I don't know if you do or can or even want to....just take it easy. I say a prayer every day, I am so proud to know you and see your strength every day. thanks for sharing the days you struggle too, God is with you and is holding your hand. hugs.

  15. Keeping focused on what we can do can be such a challenge when there are so many "want-to-dos" calling. Be kind to yourself, dear Vicky. You are going through a very challenging time.

  16. i think you've answered your own question. slow down. rest. relax. take it easy. be with Him in your quiet moments. you are rebuilding healthy cells - it takes time and energy, give your body those tools.

  17. What a wonderful and true poem you posted, Vicky. I think you have to have walked down a path few would volunteer for to fully appreciate it but it is so poignant.

    I'm sorry things are changing for you and you have to find the new normal and negotiate what that is each day, each treatment. I cannot imagine what you must go through to emotionally prepare yourself for that week when it's THE week and now you're also recovering from surgery. I can cyber hug you but it doesn't feel like much. I pray, instead, that there are many people around to literally hug you - gently - and when they do, may you feel my hug - all the hugs from all of us here - in that one moment of genuine warmth and caring.

  18. I know I'm a little late on commenting on this but I took you with me in my heart and mind when I did the breast cancer walk in AZ this past weekend.
    I think and pray for you often.

    Thank you for all your words of comfort for me.

    PS hope you had fun rockin out with your superman!!! :)


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