Kara’s Collection: Blissfully Normal

From an article originally posted September 14, 2012…

It has taken me longer to bounce back this round of chemo. I certainly took an emotional hit this round more than the last. I think it wasn’t until this treatment that I realized I have cancer. I’m not that sharp; it took me 2 months to face this reality.

A sweet friend brought me lunch Wednesday and stayed while I napped and cared for Story Jane. She sweetly and gently asked me what my prognosis is. She said she is often asked. I will tell you it is not a thought that I think often during the day, but I the evening I am often plagued with these thoughts. But it’s a question, I imagine, many of you have.

Last night while I was in bed I was thinking of the way I’m seeing my closest people deal with my cancer. There are those who are optimists who will speak of nothing but fight and positivity and looking forward. There are pessimists who expect the worst, maybe they have seen too much of sickness and cancer. They know all the harsh statics. Then there are those who are sentimental. They often look at me in tears. My cancer has caused them to love me fiercely and to treasure me in new ways. But mostly, everyone is a mix of all three. Most know the sober facts that cancer is a killer, that time is precious, and that today is a gift.

That said, we’re all new at wading through these cancer waters. There is no perfect way to ask a question, to express a feeling, or to know how to feel about someone you love having cancer. I miss normal living that doesn’t keep me up at night thinking, Maybe I should be recording love videos for my children in their older years. Seriously, the thoughts in the quiet are deafening. Trust me—in those moments, I’m extremely sentimental about y’all.

So, I never answered the question of my prognosis from my oncologist. If I were to only have surgery, I would statistically have a 30-40% chance of recurrence; chemo cuts that in half, and another 5-year treatment cuts that in half. These are kind of vague statistics. Please don’t send me links to others; it is a place I am trying to not focus too much on, but I do understand people wanting to know. So, the prognosis is bearable—it’s even hopeful—but I know there are no guarantees, no promises that I will be free of cancer at the end of all this. A lot depends on how well my body responds to everything that’s being thrown at it. And I also know I could come to the end of this and never have another run-in with this disease. It is not for me to know, and it has been clearly commanded to me in scripture not to worry. I certainly fail, especially at night, but I’m fighting to trust my moments, and cells, and future to the One that loves me best.

Now, I’m enjoying a blissfully normal day. I saw Peaks Pike majestically wrapped in a blanket of snow this morning. I, like a normal person, dropped my kids at school with a prayer and a kiss for a great day. I headed to a gloriously normal breakfast with my guy and my baby. Now I’m back in bed (new normal) listening to my kids having adventures in the backyard from my bedroom window. I am praying this nap will allow me to make it to my big girls’ volleyball match and maybe even a bit of an event with Westside Church. Jason told me the biggest challenge I face is not hugging people out in public. My white blood cell count is down and a virus would not be good.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
— Matthew 6:33-34

Ladies and gentlemen, these are red-letter words. That means Jesus said it. Those quotes came from Him. This needs to be my focus.... First, what? Seek the kingdom of God.

And after you start your seeking, because, guess what? The seeking and living in faith are hard. Hard, hard. Next, don’t be anxious. Trust the living God with your cells, your moments, your babies, your future, your LIVING. Trying to seek the kingdom today, friends.

Grace and peace to you this weekend. Seek the kingdom and treasure up love and grace and enjoy normal mundane living. It’s a gift.