we are entering a new phase. perhaps we've been entering this phase for about 6 weeks since my treatment officially ended february 8th. but i was waiting for my first official oncology visit to officially transition. i looked it up. "the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another." that does seem to best describe where we are at/going. it's a good place to be. it's also weird and strange and different. it's as if i've finally accepted not being in crisis mode. maybe in some twisted way i didn't mind being in that mode/phase. as i sat on the examining table at my doctor's appointment yesterday i was reflecting on how straight forward my treatment was. there seemed to be no questions about how they (the doctors) were going to treat me. chemo, surgery, radiation. those were the 3 words i heard from the very beginning. and that's how it played out. and now i'm done.
recently someone asked when i'd feel like i was on the other side of this. for me it'll be after my reconstruction. my body is a daily reminder of what cancer has done/is doing to us; how it's changed us. even after reconstruction this will be true. but other things are "getting back to normal" in a way. my hair is growing back. it even seems to be thicker. i "feel" good and have the energy to exercise and do "normal" things. i'm still having hot flashes many times throughout the day and night. another indication that my body is not "back to normal." that is why i say we are in transition. we are moving forward and changed.
one thing i don't want to lose as we move forward is my complete dependence and trust in the Lord. it seems when this storm came i knew i needed Jesus like never before. entering the cancer world can be overwhelming whether it's the fear or the bombardment of advice or the changes that happen to your body. it's easy to get tricked into trusting others and other things too. but i have to say that when it boils down to it what i have left is Jesus. he has not changed or waivered since those early days in the waiting room. studies and statistics do. i choose to trust him still. i know what "they" say about recurrence but there is so much possibility and what-ifs. i believe that God designed this for us and therefore i accept whatever he has in store for us even still.
one thing i forgot to ask my doctor yesterday is if i was "cancer free." partly b/c i forgot and partly b/c my other doctor said they would never use those terms. not sure why. i realize with a lot of things i don't care about the why. it seems everyone else wants to know if i'm "cancer free" or "in remission" or "all good" more than i do. the language of recurrence seems to communicate that something is gone. so even though i don't have an official-the-doctor-says-i'm-this-term, it's suffice to say i'm free of something. i'm free.
i've journaled a lot in this process and will continue to do so. there are a ton of things i've learned about myself, adam, God, others, my body, cancer, doctors, and so much more. breast cancer has been hard. it seems to be a "popular" cancer with all the pink and the boobs and the campaigns. but it's completely over-sexualized. the rhetoric used can sometimes be ridiculous. you'll see this all over. and yes it can be funny. oh, because we need to be funny. i, of all people, love to be funny. i know that God has gifted me with a sense of humor to "get through" tough things. but i've learned a lot about what is funny and what's not. i mean, if it came down to saving my "ta-tas" or my life, we clearly chose my life. to say i don't care about breasts would be a lie. but, mine weren't worth saving. let's just say i've been challenged in new ways. i've been living without my breasts for 4 months now. it's hard a lot of the time. it's liberating too. it's beautiful and ugly all at the same time. i saw something online recently and am awed and amazed. let me warn you that if you click on this link there are some images that may be hard to see. but they are brave and beautiful nonetheless. The Scar Project.
so, here we are...transitioning...moving forward...trusting...clinging to hope. life is full. adam and i are at a new and unique place. i wouldn't trade it for anything. we have a vivacious little lady that fills my heart with so much joy i might explode. i've experienced new levels of realness and intimacy in friendships. God has used this. he will continue to use this. i have the privilege to walk a road uniquely designed for me. i wouldn't take this back. i wouldn't. i trust God with abandonment. i know He is for me and with me. i know His love is deep and wide and high and long.