Kara’s Collection: The Dream

From an article originally posted October 3, 2013…

Over a week ago Jason told me about a dream I had in the middle of the night. He said I sat up in bed and had my hands raised and I was yelling, The walls are falling in, the walls are falling in! He said he held me and said, I’ve got the walls, babe, I’ve got them. I keep coming back to that dream. I think it’s the best picture of how I feel today.

I remember waking from surgery and continually asking every nurse, What was my tumor? I kept asking, and they kept avoiding my questions. They were trying to keep me calm and comfortable, but I was so agitated not knowing. I even heard one nurse on the phone saying, the patient wants her results. But no one would tell me.

They finally wheeled me to my room. On the way, I saw Jason. I gave no greeting, no sweet love, only, What is it? He looked soberly at me and told me it was breast cancer. I turned my head and wept. It was the worst option. My oncologist made it clear this would be the worst possible outcome. I entered a haze of sorrow and medicine that only allowed me to capture bits and pieces of my new diagnosis.

I am now facing stage IV metastatic cancer. There is not a stage V. My oncologist came, but offered few options for me. People around me clung to his options as good hope, but I feel like I could see through his words. When I mentioned I might take a different path to enjoy living instead the pain of fighting, my compassionate doctor looked at me with understanding eyes. It’s clear what I have is aggressive; it did not take its time working through my tired body.

We have had moments crying alone and crying together. There is a lot we cannot comprehend, I have yet to swallow this new pill. I have been in a stupor of pain medication and dealing with my painful surgery. I’m now home and resting. My energy is very low, but the presence of Jason and my children is such good medicine. Today a sweet friend came and quietly rubbed my feet and sat beside me praying for a long time. It was such a quiet comfort.

I have upset a few people with my blunt assessment of this situation. My options are limited, highly limited, but I’m not without hope. I may lack much hope for my time in this place, but I certainly have not lost hope. I may be dying, but I don’t want to be treated like the walking dead. I want to laugh, find joy, fight for my moments. I’m not giving up, but I plan to fight for a life that feels like living. One precious reader has offered me a unique gift that Jason and I are praying earnestly about. It’s facing this from the direction of building my health up with strength instead of breaking it down. I mentioned it to my oncologist and he was supportive. Please continue to pray for us as we determine how to go forward. We have a very good team together that we trust; please allow us the freedom to make these decisions.

I want to live in the richness of this day. I look forward to the joy to be found in tomorrow. There certainly are moments where the walls feel like they are caving in on us, but God has been so gracious in directing us and loving us well. We are trying to plan a time away with the kids once I’ve recovered from surgery. We long to find blissful normal joy with the kids, our community, and our friends.

1 My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments,
2 for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
— Proverbs 3:1-6