At first I was rejoicing that I was so soon back the swing of things after my Monday, April 13 thryoid cancer surgery. I left the hospital Tuesday noon, that evening I went to son Jon's baseball game and took pictures. He had another game the next night. I did enjoy being cared for by my parents, my kids and all the dear people that brought by meals, flowers and gifts. I spent a lot of time that week doing gloriously nothing. But, by the next week I was back to homeschooling, tutoring, gardening, running errands, having company and housework.
Well, kinda' the housework. I like to play my cancer card when it comes to something I don't like. I tried it with daughter Gracie one day.
"I can't do housework, I have cancer," I had whined in a way to solicit as much attention as possible.
"No, you don't," she retorted. "It was removed, remember?"
Then, for awhile, I was wondering what the rush was. Why didn't I milk it a little bit longer? Why didn't I hang around in my jammies a little bit longer, sit on the deck in the sun a little longer? Why was I in such a hurry to get back into my busy, busy life?
Getting back into my life after being ill for a time was like trying to jump aboard a furiously spinning merry-go-round with the other kids at the playground. You want to get back on, that's where your friends are, you know it is going to be fun, but unless they stop it to let you get on, you have to take the risk and jump. Then, once on and you find it is spinning too fast for you there is NO jumping off. The risk is too great. So,you close your eyes and hang on for dear life.
When people try to encourage me about the busyness of my life, they always try to get me to stop doing something. It is well-meaning advice, but I just don't know what to eliminate. Which of the six kids? OK, none, I like them all. Cooking? Cleaning? Laundry? Personally, I would LOVE to give up the time I devote to cleaning, but what would that accomplish?
There isn't anything to cross of my list in my life - this IS my life. This is the life I love, the life I chose, the life I prayed for, the life I planned for. The Lord has given me all my heart has desired, and more. I have the husband of my dreams. I have the six kids I have wished for since I was 12 and received the much-desired Sunshine Family for Christmas. As I sat there adoring my dolls, I decided to not play with them much and save them for my kids. At that moment, I decided I wanted six kids. I wanted to homeschool since I was 18 and first learned about the movement and the reasons behind it. I am in a small church where we are needed and loved, another answer to prayer. I am writing again and am blessed to be a member of two Christian writing groups.
In fact, I want to add MORE things to my life. I want to create more memories with my children and grandchildren. I want to encourage more people. I want to have more people over for dinner. I want to plant more gardens, hike more mountains, conquer more dreams, collect more rocks, write more and more and more.
What can I cross off my list? Wasted time, wasted tears, wasted anger, wasted emotions. Anything that takes me away from my desire to serve the Lord with my heart, mind, body and soul. Anything that keeps me from being the best Christian, the best wife, the best mother, the best teacher, the best writer.
That is why I didn't lounge around in my jammies very long. That is why I didn't milk my illness, why I didn't take advantage of the situation.
So, I am on the spinning merry-go-round of my life, with the advice of a dear older and wiser friend, Lydia, avid writer and Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor, buzzing in my ears when I slow down long enough to meditate on it.
"Together we can claim Joshua 1:9, 'Be strong and courageous, the Lord is with you wherever you go.' Sometimes it's new territory -- chosen by God, not us. But, He's with us. And we can confidently take steps, one by one. He knows our names and holds our hands. May God's grace abound in your life. And it's OK to PACE, not PUSH! Relax! :) "
So, two months past surgery I am feeling fine. Don't we always say that first?
Emotionally, Scott and I have accepted that dealing with thyroid cancer could be a lifetime trial.
Spiritually, we are trusting in the Lord in all these things, thankful to be His children. We have learned when we don't understand the circumstances, we can always trust His character. He loves us. He has good plans for us. He comforts us.
Physically, I still have nerve damage from my right ear, along my cheek and neck down to my rib cage. It's the feeling you get when you are trying to recover from anethesia in the dentist chair. Numb. No feeling. Tingling. Painful to the touch. The pain is only a 1 on a scale of 1-10, unless I am driving or doing something to irritate that area.
My right arm is still the most painfull. It feels like tennis elbow. I have joked and tried to guess what they did during surgery to cause the pain. "Look, I can bend this arm to look like a pretzel!" The doctors aren't good about answering questions, they just vaguely let me know it will get better. Friends have told me there is often a lot of pain while recovering from anethesia. That was a new one.
I don't have an appointment with my ENT until July or August, I don't have to go through radio-active iodine until September or October. I told my doc I didn't want to ruin a good summer with cancer treatment, I would rather ruin a good school year. Spoken like a veteran homeschool momma who has her priorities straight. My thyroid dosage remained the same through this all, so I didn't have to deal with thyroid hormonal issues.
I am enjoying my summer and all the good things that go with it.
And, I am learning to PACE not PUSH.