Tag Archives: God

A New Me

I am writing this eight days since my last chemo. I have not felt this well in months! There are still some lingering side effects. I do still struggle with neuropathy in my fingers, but it does seem to be improving. I’m hopeful it will eventually go away completely. There is still some loss of taste, but I’m thrilled to report that is slowly returning as well. Fatigue is still a struggle, but I’m not sure how much that is chemo related and how much it is because I’ve basically done nothing since September and have no stamina. As Eli gets bigger I find it hard to hold him for more than a few minutes because my arms are weak. Walking wears me out. I naturally like to run everywhere I go and I get winded and have to stop to catch my breath. That too should improve with time and movement! Building up muscle tone will also take time. Who wants to lift weights with me? No one, okay I understand!

I wanted to share a fun text I got yesterday. A dear friend and I had been texting back and forth and then she said, “Guess what today is!” My first thought was that it was April Fool’s Day and wondering how she had pranked me…I replied with, “April Fool’s Day.” While I waited for the gotcha moment…She quickly replied, “No, it’s Thursday and you have no chemo!!” I absolutely love how so many close to me jumped on this rollercoaster and have taken the ride alongside me. She was celebrating with me as many of you have. It sure makes a girl feel special! And as a side note, I don’t think I even wore pink! I’m giving other colors a chance.

Instead of having chemo, I went for a radiation mapping appointment and I will do a separate post on that. I then went to work and had a great afternoon. We were made aware of a “Future Raiders” baseball game at the high school and I wanted to take Isaac, but I wasn’t sure how tired I would be after a full day. I was feeling okay so I cooked dinner and proposed going to the game to the family. We hadn’t done anything like this in a while because of me and COVID, but we decided to go. I am so glad we did! I can say I would much rather be outside enjoying a perfect Texas night spending time with my family than asleep in bed feeling horrible after chemo! I was still not that tired after returning home and enjoyed relaxing with Chris and watching pointless YouTube videos. It was such a huge difference from the 12 previous Thursdays.

I titles this post “A New Me” because it is truly how I feel. I am settling into my new jobs. Yes, jobs. Both are going great and God is doing some amazing things. I never intended to go back to work full-time, but these two part-time jobs will keep me good and busy during the days. It has felt so good having something to do and feeling productive.

This week has felt…normal. I know that thanks to 2020 it’s a new normal, but it’s the most normal I have felt in a year. I am working. I am attending baseball practices with Isaac. We are going to watch baseball as a family. Six months ago I wasn’t sure those things would ever happen for me. There was so much uncertainty as to if I would be around to do those things.

While my fight isn’t over, the hard part is done. Surgery and chemo are behind me and by mid-May I will be done with daily/weekly doctor visits.

To quote the lyrics of one of my go-to songs, The Father’s House, “My story isn’t over, my story’s just begun” I cannot wait to see the chapters God is going to write for me!

Isaac taking in his first “real game”

Taxol Treatment 9 of 12

It has been a minute since I’ve updated. I feel I just repeat the same things over and over, but I know a lot of you want to know how things are going. I am working on a few different posts and would love ideas on what you want to know. If you have a question, leave a comment. I plan to do a Q and A post soon!

This past Thursday I had my 9th Taxol. It went much the same. The doctor has been giving me an extra bag of fluids each treatment which seems to help my energy levels the day of treatment and the day after. I came home and slept for several hours, but then slept zero Thursday night. The lack of sleep does a number on me emotionally. In addition, the medications mess with your hormones which too makes me emotional. There are times I feel like crying for no reason at all. I feel like if I start crying I may never stop. This has been a struggle the last two days.

The expected pain has started to set in and I fully expect tomorrow to be the worst day of it. That seems to be the routine. By Tuesday I am usually feeling much better and ready to tackle it all over again by Thursday. Okay, that’s a lie. I am never ready for treatment day….Just when I start feeling better I have to get knocked down again.

I keep telling myself I have been doing this since October and there are only three weeks left, four counting recovery, but it feels so far away. I am tired. Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally. I want so bad to be done….but then a whole new scary journey begins. I know what to expect now with chemo, but what will radiation bring?

I feel I don’t talk about the emotional struggle enough on here. My family and close friends see it, but I don’t share enough about it. The is almost as much about the mental fight as the physical, if not more. I want to quit. I want to feel normal. I want life the way it was in July of 2020 when there was nothing wrong with me. The reality is, my life will never be the same. I will forever be post-diagnosis Carrie. My families lives will never be the same. They will all have gone through this with me. It’s hard on them. They put on a brave face for me, but I know they hate it and are tired too.

So how do we make it? God! We pray. We lean on our friends and family when we can’t support ourselves. We keep a positive attitude and find the good in whatever we are dealt. When I can’t see positive, someone else helps me find it. We keep a sense of humor about it all. Sometimes people may be put off by us laughing or joking about my cancer, but laughter helps. Sometimes laughing is all we can do to get through.

My medical team at Texas Oncology is great. They are always positive, but real. They tell me what to expect and support me as those things begin to happen. But mostly, they are awesome because they get me. I feel comfortable being honest and telling how I’m doing. I know they won’t get upset if I didn’t drink enough water that week or lost some weight. If I say I was so mean this week to my family, and they assure me it’s the chemo making me that way. They are awesome because they laugh with me when I crack stupid jokes….or wear silly shirts! They cheer me on and are just as excited as I am that my chemo is almost over. It will be weird not seeing them every week! But they swear after this they never want to see me again (at least in the office).

I have said so many times that sometimes it’s okay to not be okay. This week, and over the past five months, there have been moments of not being okay. I want to thank those who have listened to me, cried with me, and picked me back up. For reminding me what I have already overcome and told me I only have THREE MORE TREATMENTS! 5 months of chemo done, ONE to go!

I saw this on Amazon and had to have it. The staff loved it!

God > Cancer!

A Faith Like Job

On January 1 I started a Bible Devotional that would take me through the Bible in a year. I know that there are so many of these out there and I have failed so many times to complete the entire year and entire Bible. Honestly, I think the farthest I made it in was Numbers…..Four books…FOUR. This specific devotion, Called The Bible Recap is different. In addition to daily reading, there is a podcast where the creator of the plan gives a recap of what you’ve just read. I need this, especially for the earlier books of the Bible, because I find myself confused and just reading the words, not understanding the content.

Within the first few days, I was shocked at what I had taken away from the first few chapters of Genesis. Stories we are all aware of; creation, Cain and Abel, and Noah. I was reading with new eyes and asking myself questions I had never asked myself before. It was so encouraging.

To stay in chronological order the devotional moved from within Genesis to the book of Job. I have never really read Job and for sure never studied it. But why? It didn’t take long before I began to understand why so many avoid this book. It is not a happy read. It is not an easy read. What it is, though, is relevant to every single person. Please stick with me for a brief overview of Job and a few takeaways that I learned from his story.

Job was strong in his faith. He was sure of who God was and what He was capable of doing. He walked as Godly a walk as possible. This aggravated Satan. Satan asked God for permission to test Job and God allowed it but within limits. Satan could not destroy Job.

The book tells of Job’s faith, the agreement between God and Satan, and then begins to tell the story of how Job is tested. In a very short amount of time Job goes from having it all, a wonderful family, a great home, and a job that sustained him. In a matter of moments, he lost it all. He was told his family had been killed, his farmland and animals were destroyed. He was left with nothing and was in great shock.

Three friends came to visit Job and help him through this tragedy. These friends had the best intentions but were not good at advice. Over and over again they gave Job bad advice and advised and said he must be to blame. Job, being human, questioned his faith. He asked how God could punish someone so faithful. He questioned what he did wrong. He blamed himself and didn’t understand what he had done wrong.

Finally, towards the end of the book, we hear from God. God tells Job that even in all his grief he remained faithful. He asked how could you question me? God went through and recounted the things that had been done in the book of Genesis and again said how can you question a God capable of those things.

The book of Job ends with God blessing Job with far more than he had lost including more children and vaster and more profitable land.

Grief is the main theme for this text. Job’s grief was large. Quite possibly too large for most to bear. Job went through all the proper stages of grief and for good reason questions why me? What did I do wrong? We have all had grief in our lives. To some, it’s the loss of a loved one. To others, it might be the loss of a marriage or a job. To others, like myself, it might be a cancer diagnosis.

Reading through Job’s story showed me that no matter the size of our grief, no matter how empty we feel inside, we are never alone and no battle is too large for God. The fact that he allowed Satan to test Job shows that he knew Job could handle it and that he would come out better in the ned.

God allows Satan to test you and me. He knows there will be storms in our lives, but he is also in control of just how bad that storm is. Satan was allowed to test Job, but even Satan had restrictions from God.

Storms are scary. It sometimes seems like the storm is too large and we won’t make it, but with every storm comes a rainbow. Even in the book of Genesis, there was a rainbow after the great flood. We must stay strong and know that God is in control of all our battles. We must remain focused on the end result, the blessing, the rainbow.

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I am not saying that every battle will end the way we want it because it won’t. People will lose their jobs. Marriages will end. People will die of cancer. What I am saying is that even in those horrible outcomes God has a reason. There may be a better job out there. You may find someone who needs you just as much as you need them. And if we lose someone near and dear to us we can rest assured that as long as they know our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, they are completely healed and living in Glory with our Lord!

This is a hard topic, but one that cannot be ignored. I encourage all of you to study Job and see what kind of things you can take away from his story. Leave a comment and let me know how you relate to Job.

My phrase throughout this journey has been “God > Cancer” but in reality God > EVERYTHING!