Kara’s Collection: Missing

From an article originally posted August 23, 2012

I have been a bit absent lately. Chemo is a bear, and just as I think I’m feeling better I take a hit. The other day a friend posted on Facebook, I hate cancer! I went on to espouse the good I have found in cancer. The many lessons, the care, the depth in friendship, but I’m a big liar. I hate it, too. I really hate it. Though I don’t think it was a mistake and I truly believe we will grow very near to Jesus through this terrible season, I’m done over spiritualizing. I am, in fact, going to fight for a right attitude and kind spirit toward my family and friends.

The past week after chemo has been tough. Nausea, pain, discomfort, and a blur of drugs to get through leave a person frustrated and discouraged. I think the hardest part for me is feeling so unhealthy where a week prior to chemo I felt excellent, never better. I cried to Jason about feeling so badly with the cure, where the illness never made me feel sick. Now, after a half-hour outing to the bank, I’m exhausted. I look at the beautiful pictures Jen Lints did of my family, and I feel like a stranger to the woman in her shots, and they were taken less than a month ago. That woman seems so soft and lovely, now I feel like I’m all corners and frail.

And yet, I feel so fortunate and blessed by the rallying of our community. I have had meals, childcare, flowers, house painting, house cleaning, visits, cards, gifts, and the list could go on and on. A day does not pass where I’m not completely humbled by the love of our community. I truly feel like they are carrying our entire family.

Today was my first day alone with Story Jane. We went to the bank to cash in our money jar of change for Pippi Gunshot, our new puppy. I arrived home to a friend bringing yet another treat for our new home. As we sat and talked, I felt my energy fading fast. She immediately offered to take Story along on her errands for the day. Story, always ready for an outing, was more than eager to head out with her favorite Miss Shellie. I am now fading in my lovely bed, about to take a rest so tonight my next hour of energy can be spent on the big kids.

So the terrible mouth tastes, the joint pain, the scalp burning, nausea, and hating how food now tastes really does stink. It’s terrible, no lie. But grace has shown up every day to bring a smile to my face, to show me the love of Jesus and community, and to help me not feel alone on this rotten journey. I’m dreading losing my hair. Dreading being seen as sick, not just being sick. But I know I have this amazing team of love surrounding me to carry me through. Thanks for following me on this journey. Thank you all who have signed up to follow me below. Writing has been such a source of encouragement. You have all carried me with your prayers and support. I’m not having to do this alone, and for that, I’m so blessed.

The kids are back to school and so tickled. They have found such love and support in their classroom. Ella has had several sweet girls from her class donate their hair to Locks of Love. The heart of Evangelical Christian Academy has really come around my children in this hard season. I’m beyond thankful for the school and their caring teachers. We are certainly blessed.