A Somewhat Less Than Cheery Post

A little chipper I captured earlier this spring

A little chipper I captured earlier this spring

Well, I’m still here, more or less, for better or for worse.  I apologize for not commenting more on your blogs.  I think about you often, but the truth is, I haven’t felt well for a few months now, so I’ve saved my energy for the countless chores the summer season brings (gardening, mowing, weeding).   Commenting (and writing emails) has always been very hard for me anyway—it literally takes me hours—because in the same way that I find talking difficult (and I do), I find commenting so, as well.  It’s too much like talking.  I can write an essay more easily than I speak.

I assumed it was just my heart acting up again.  I’ve had arrhythmias in the past (and had catheter ablation surgery for it), so I worried that I’d have to have that again.  It finally got bad enough that I went to the doctor for the first time in nine years.  They did find heart irregularities (mostly related to sleep apnea) for which they gave me medicine, but they found something else, too.

They found breast cancer.  Invasive lobular carcinoma, in fact.  Unfortunately, lobular is a sneaky kind of cancer—it tends to not show up on mammograms.  Mine didn’t.  It showed on ultrasound just enough to do the biopsy. Next week, I’ll have a breast MRI (which is the most definitive imaging technique for invasive lobular carcinoma) to see if it’s also in the other breast (which loblular often tends to be).  This will help me decide what kind of treatment to have.  I have hard choices ahead.  Surgery is a certainty—either lumpectomy with radiation or a mastectomy, depending on what the MRI shows.

Initially (in fact, right up to this very moment ) I wasn’t going to share this on my blog.  I honestly felt I couldn’t bear to write about yet another crisis in our life.  After a while, you start to feel like a freak—like there must be something seriously wrong with someone who has such bad luck, and you feel something close to shame.  So you withdraw—at a time that you most need a loving hand to hold.  I’ve told very few people so far—mostly those I’ve known for years, whom I trust to love me no matter what.  I’m afraid I have no words of wisdom or inspiration right now.  I’m all spent.  Truthfully, I’m posting because I want to sincerely ask for your prayers.  Or if you aren’t the praying type, your very best thoughts.  I think I’ve never been in more need of it.

It’s funny that I say that because I’ve never felt more angry at God than I do now.  There, I’ve said it.  Might as well–He knows it anyway.  And I can’t seem to pray for myself.  I can pray—easily—for others (and I do).  But not for me.  Every time I try, I start crying and can’t stop.  But, despite my anger (which, in part, is born of faith—how could you be angry at someone you don’t believe exists?), I still believe in prayer.

And yes, yes, of course I know I should be thankful for all the good in my life.  Trust me—I am.  I’m human, so as humans, we’re subject to crazy, conflicting feelings.  “What the heck, God??” can co-exist with “Thank you, God.”   So along with my screaming “Why?” I whisper, “Thank you.”  Many times a day.  In fact, just now a mockingbird, still young and breast-speckled, landed in the shrub next to the window, looked in at me, and cocked his head.  He looked so comical, I laughed out loud.  And said, “Thank you.”

I don’t know when I’ll write again.  After the MRI, when they’ve gotten a better look under the hood, I expect things to start moving pretty fast.  So if you write me, and I don’t write you back, please don’t think I don’t appreciate it.  It’s just that now, I’m trying to stuff my addled head with enough information about breast cancer treatment to make an informed decision about my own care.  There’s a lot to read, and it’s hard reading.  Not only because it’s full of medical terminology that makes my head spin, but because the stories that so many brave ladies tell on the Breast Cancer Discussion Boards break my heart.

So, if you’ve read this far, I thank you for not turning away.  And I’m grateful for every single good thought and prayer for me you send into the firmament.  I can’t seem to bring myself to plead my cause with God, so I need you to do it for me. Please.  I’ll take all I can get—greedy supplicant that I am. And I thank you with all my heart.

20 Responses to “A Somewhat Less Than Cheery Post”

  1. Betsyfromtennessee Says:

    Oh My Gosh… Beth, I am so so so sorry… I know it’s hard for someone like me who has not had cancer to give you my thoughts at a time like this. BUT–I’m an old woman who has been around the block a few times. My life wasn’t always rosy–but, with God’s help, I made it through the rough times… SO–I’m giving you my thoughts today. You might just want to delete them .. BUT–maybe something will help…
    -First of all, I will pray FOR you constantly… When we humans can’t pray for ourselves, then it’s up to those who love us to pray for us. I will do that.
    -It’s okay to be angry… BUT–it’s not God. We humans live through many good and not so good times. God is always there for us –during both good and bad times… BUT–even God will take your anger –and will still love you and be there for you, even through the anger.
    -Life is about our ATTITUDE…. I truly believe that if we keep a positive attitude even during the hard times (and the not-so-fair times) –that we will be able to get through those times a much healthier person.
    -You are a writer…. IF it helps you to write your feelings, then do it… Write a book–even if nobody reads it but you. ANYTHING which helps you is something you should do.
    -I have a good friend who has breast cancer –and has gone through alot of chemo/radiation, etc. She has journaled all of her journey –and does hers on Facebook. She has a huge following of us friends who love her and pray for her. Her attitude is incredible. I happen to think that the more people who are there for you and praying for you –the better!!! IF you want her email, I will share with you…

    Well—I’ll stop my thoughts but if you ever need to talk, just let me know. I haven’t been where you are –but I’m a good listener….

    Love and PRAYERS,
    Betsy

  2. Sharon Harvey Scherner Says:

    Beth, I have been an absent friend by far, but I am still your friend in my heart and thoughts of you fill my heart right now. I think every single thought or feeling you have is something you are entitled to think or feel at this time. This is one of the “benefits” of cancer: you get to have thoughts and feelings and it’s okay! Holding you close, dear person.

  3. Pat Says:

    I think of you and your blog often, Beth. Sending prayers and the very best thoughts to you and your family.

  4. Ruth Says:

    Peace be to you during this challenging time and God will direct you ,as well as, your lovely family. I will also pray for you.

  5. Bonnie @ Bonnie's Books Says:

    Being angry at God is okay — God is big enough to take it and still love you. It’s human to be discouraged and upset about news like this. Of course I’ll pray for you. I’m holding your hands in my mind right now, and I’ve got a shoulder to cry on, if you need it. I’ll email you my new phone number, in case you need to talk to someone besides family. I wish I lived close enough to give you a big ole bear hug right now. I feel like we’re face-to-face friends and, even though we’ve never met in person, I love you and your family. Be strong and hold on tight to my hand, okay?

    Love,
    ~~~ Bonnie

  6. Chris Says:

    Praying for you. While I don’t totally believe in the Christian “God” I do believe in the power of prayer. May you find the blessings that this challenge in bringing you. I pray for complete and quick recovery of good health. Blessings be.

  7. Plowing Through Life (Martha) Says:

    I’m so sorry that you are going through this, Beth. I think about you all the time, and pray that you and your family are all doing well. I will pray that everything turns out well for you. It must. Somewhere in my future, or on my bucket list, really, there is a cross country tour of the US. And on that tour, there is a stop in your lovely area to visit with you, hug you and laugh with you. So I will pray very hard for you, for good health, for this vision to happen, for us to meet. Being angry at God is okay. He understands. He loves us no matter what.

  8. Linda W. Says:

    May you find all the strength you need! I am thankful for all the caregivers who will assist you. Bless you!

  9. Jayne Says:

    I too, have been remiss in keeping in touch my dear friend, though I’ve thought of you often. You know I am here… always. And, I will be sending up as much love and as many prayers as your heart can hold as you move forward with the decisions to be made. And, I am so willing to be your “nurse” as you face all the medical jargon. Love to you and your family. XOXO

  10. birdsandbenjamin Says:

    Greedy supplicant…haha…”supplicant” is a term in Linux used to describe a process which establishes a connection with a resource (WPA supplicant being the wireless service). So that made me laugh! You are sweet, sweet, sweet to the core. Embrace your anger, embrace your hard-won joy, and know that you have a friend in me. Always and forever.

  11. birdsandbenjamin Says:

    And I forgot to mention; lovely sparrow picture. It’s life size!!!

  12. Darla Says:

    Prayers and (((healing))) to you. Thank you for the courage to share your story. I truly believe that our visible vulnerability helps ourselves as well as others. “I’m trying to stuff my addled head with enough information about breast cancer treatment to make an informed decision about my own care” … I know that you will make the best possible choice(s)… (((big hug)))

  13. Jeff Says:

    Ohhhhhhh …… Beth!!! I’m so so sorry to read this! I will pray for you every day, in my own way, for your speedy recovery. Your anger is totally understandable but, as others have commented, God is big enough to understand and forgive. Keeping a journal sounds like a good idea to me. Try to stay positive, friend – there is power in that. Sending you a big hug!

  14. CountryDew Says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this, Beth. You are in my thoughts and I am hoping each day will be a new and brighter beginning for you.

  15. Debi Kelly Van Cleave Says:

    Beth, please try not to worry. Breast cancer is one of the most curable cancers. Please stop worrying about what we think when you speak and you write. Let us be your friend and let us love you like you have been our friend and have loved us.

  16. Kay G. Says:

    Dear Beth,
    Your post reminded me of Tevye from Fiddler On The Roof…always praying to God, even when he was angry.
    “God who made the lion and the lamb,
    You decreed I should be what I am,
    But would it spoil some vast eternal plan,
    If I were a wealthy man?”
    I love those lines, they always make me laugh!
    I am so sorry about you having cancer, and you can bet that I will be praying for you. Like most women, I think that you are much stronger than you know!
    I totally understand you seeing the mockingbird and that it made you feel thankful. I love the photo of your chipping sparrow too.

    Love,
    Kay

  17. Clair Z. Says:

    Tears. Love. Hugs. Prayers.

  18. eemilla Says:

    It stinks that you have cancer. I wish you the best outcome, and I send my love. I guess God is giving you a Job.

  19. Marie Cardwell Says:

    I just came to see your blog and read the last post. How my heart aches for you, and I will be praying for the Lord’s help and blessing. May He heal you and grant you great grace and strength.
    Marie

  20. Colleen@LooseLeafNotes Says:

    This is shocking. My sister was shocked to find out she had (peritoneal) cancer last year. She went through the treatment is fine now. I do hope the same for you. xo

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