Been thinking lately. Saw a pic of me just before diagnosis and boy I looked different...not necessarily healthy just different. I was so thin and a bit gaunt. I remember that weekend so clearly (25th high school reunion) because I was also very tired and even had a lot of anxiety. I was actually reading a book on how to redirect panic attacks in order to over come them cause I was having so many of them (it would be something that I find happens whenever the cancer comes back!). I wondered what was up but thought maybe I was just too stressed out with school, parenting, and life in general. I forgot how out of sorts I was feeling and had even considered not going to Montreal for the reunion. At the time I didn't think anything of it mainly because when you work in education and the end of the year looms close you just assume that the exhaustion is from the last ten months. If you haven't worked in a high school you can't imagine the amount of energy it takes just to be there each day....by June you are barely getting through the day. Ten years ago I thought that was just the case. I recently was reminded of how I had not been feeling well at the Prom that year. I had felt so bad the day of the prom I actually was scared about what was going on....I only shared it at the time with one person but had forgotten all about that till this past week when she reminded me of it. My girlfriend and I had been organizing it for about 4 months with a group of amazing young girls in grade 11. What a time we had...it was "Under the Water" theme and each piece of seaweed was hand made and strung....and we did it all in the Chapel. I am sure there were many who thought that a sacrilegious use of the Chapel, but I am sure that Jesus was enjoying the time as much as we were. The night of the Prom I had two really bad what I thought were panic attacks....a bad thumping in my chest and a breathlessness....it was actually frightening.....I wrote it off to nerves afterwards but I remember now how frightened it had made me. It would be less than two weeks later that I would be diagnosed with Stage III, Grade 3c, Ovarian Cancer.....notice the capitals,,,,,seems to be necessary to make it as shocking as it actually was!
It was during this time that I came to meet and become friends with one of my dearest friends today.....Sandy! I just spent a week with her in Florida and she has been such a blessing in my life over the last ten years. God really does put you in the right place no matter what you are about to face. I don't believe that God tests me or gives me diseases in order to build character, I believe that God allows me to be completely surrounded by people who will be vehicles of God's love during these times though.
So much has been going through my mind over the past few weeks. There are moments of great depression and then moments of great joy. I didn't realize how this would effect me.....but all in all I don't have too much to complain about. That hasn't stopped me though! I have at times had this horrible foreshadowing that I will not make it this time....for whatever reason. I have a hard time being so honest about these feelings because I don't want people feeling sorry for me. It is just how I feel sometimes. When I do things lately they just seem so vivid and alive it makes me think perhaps it is because I will not be doing them again. I sound so dark but I haven't been able to shake this feeling lately. I am sure that it is just a normal way of feeling, but I am not always able to express the negative...I like to be up and keep everyone thinking that all is rosy. But like everyone else, I have my very down times and I tend to keep these times very close to my chest....I don't want or need anyone discussing them with me or telling me I shouldn't feel that way....I just feel the way I do...sometimes great and sometimes really awful....isn't that just what being human is all about????
I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that my mind continues to go back to the time ten years ago when I thought everything was fine, I was just a little tired, and then my whole world fell in. Then I am reminded of the wonderful people that God placed in my life, and how different my life would be if they weren't my friends. I am truly blessed, and Sandy and her family are a very big part of that blessing.....and since meeting her ten years ago I have become friends with so many amazing women.....It is so wonderful to come to know how much you are loved in your lifetime......glad I dont' have to wait for the eulogy in order to know how blessed I really am......