Wednesday, October 7, 2015


It was two weeks ago today I went in for surgery.  In some ways it seems like yesterday, in other ways it seems so long ago.  Depends on whether or not I am experiencing an "aftershock".

Joel and I have described the diagnosis of breast cancer in the middle of our focus on a desert move as an earthquake.  It was sudden, shook our whole world upside down and left us dealing with a lot of what felt like rubble.  Now that we are through the endless exams, doctors, procedures, and surgery, I am experiencing a few aftershocks.  With time to pause and take a deep breath, physical and emotional tremors and aftershocks have been keeping me a bit unsteady on my feet.

Physically, I was doing great at first, moving forward at top speed into recovery, leaving cancer behind.  And that top speed is what probably did me in.   I needed to rest more than I did.  Rest has been one of those 4-letter words that I have avoided since healing from Lyme.  Saying goodbye to chemical sensitivities, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, thyroid disease and Lyme was so freeing...........but the past still tends to have me looking over my shoulder at times to see what is chasing me.  After 30 years, it is hard to shake it off.  So when I need to rest, it stirs up memories that I would rather ignore. Instead of resting, I push myself.

On this journey, pushing set me back a bit and opened the door for a virus to take up residence.  And then my back went out majorly for the first time in several years.  I had to get out the cane to be able to stay upright and get around the house.  A weak back makes for a weak body. (One of the procedures put me in a position to irritate the back and eventually it became an "issue".)

Emotionally I found myself feeling pretty darn vulnerable.  Limitations, incisions, more decisions on treatment, exercises to avoid complications, etc.  Aftershocks.  My back going out and a virus coming in.....aftershocks.   Unpacking our stuff because moving is not on the table for now.....another aftershock.

How do I/we deal with all these "aftershocks"?   I'm thinking I need to focus on what I know to be true when an aftershock attempts to knock me off my feet.  It comes down to "counting it all joy." Gratitude.  Ann Voskamp writes in her best selling book "One Thousand Gifts", about how journaling our daily blessings changes our life into one of joy.  There is sooooo much to be grateful for.  I am cancer free and will not need chemo.   I have had good care and surgery went great.  I am recovering well.  We are blessed with family and friends who love us and believe in the power of prayer, and we have a God who heals, and who loves us even more.  Endless blessings abound.

All of us go through earthquakes in our lives, and often aftershocks come into play.  They make us unsteady on our feet, but when we remember God has a firm grip on us, when we remember He loves us and wants the best for us, we can count it all joy~ God in the midst of it all.  All joy!

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