Quote from "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. E. Prentiss

"She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other.

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other dear darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, wondrously blest!"

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chemo day # 4 of 8

We had a great vacation with family.   We returned Monday and now I'm sitting in a recliner at the oncologist's office receiving chemo.     I am so thankful to be half way finished this round, and at the same time it feels like I'll never be done.   By the time I finish and have surgery, I will have a whole year consumed with cancer.   Consumed was really only the possibility.   We didn't allow it to define our family.  To be such a difficult year, it has been a fantastic year.  We did have interruptions, but we tried to keep everything as "normal" as possible for the children.   I am laughing inside at writing normal.   What is normal for a large, home schooling family?
Silly faces

Today I thought I'd write about my iliostomy.    That has been one of the hardest adjustments during this journey.   You are vomiting from the chemo, and having to deal with your own smells.   It's like a cruel joke.   Everything else in life I decide I am going to do it and I do.  But dealing with this new attachment took me a long time.   When I decided to home school 24 years ago, my family thought I was nuts.   However, once the decision was made that this was the path for our family.   I studied, prayed, and even now continually learn to strive to do a good job.  When I decided to join a Protestant church after growing up Catholic, I did it.   When I decided not to do all the vaccines, I did it despite the protests.  When I decided to have as many children as God gave us despite our income, 7 years of infertility, and the 5 losses, we welcomed all 8 children.  Although I never knew anyone who nursed when I had children, I decided to nurse.   I wasn't successful with the first but was determined to figure it out with the next.   When I decided to have a VBAC 19 years ago, I did against the odds.  When we decided to home birth, we figured it out and did it.  Over the course of our marriage to save money, I learned to make our own bread and yogurt.   I learned to stretch our income to make healthy meals from scratch.   Stating all the above not to brag, but to say I am always willing to learn, change, and overcome odds to do what I feel needs to be done.   But when it came to this bag I had to wear, I allowed a friend to come to my home every 3 days to change it for nearly four months!!   I willingly inconvenienced someone because I just couldn't deal with it.  Now she will tell you it was her pleasure, but it was still one more thing she had to do two to three days a week.   Unlike myself who normally sees what has to be done and figures out how to do it, I was really good with the set up.  However, one night, the bag made a huge mess in my bed and I couldn't bring myself to call her in the middle of the night (although I had called her in the past near midnight).    I knew it was time to face up to the stoma and do it myself.   I knew what to do, because I prepared everything before she even came.   It's now just another normal part of  my schedule.   (Although I still look forward to the reversal in the fall after chemo.)   What did I learn?  1) that surprisingly I would allow someone to serve me for that long.   2)   Eventually you have to face up to the hard stuff in life.   3)  That God will enable you to do what you thought you would never do.  4)   If you look, you can still find Light in the dark days and there really is joy in the journey.
P.S. A special thank you goes out to Christine Rutherford, my faithful bag changing friend, who literally dealt with me and my crap for 4 months with a smile.   I no longer have to call you and say "hey, can we talk crap?"   Love you!!

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