So, I've been MIA the past few weeks.
Not because I haven't had anything to be thankful for, because trust me, I have. But I've been in a darker place following this past surgery. Thank goodness for phone calls and texting with Allie. It's always comforting to hear, 'I understand exactly how you feel.'
Surgery always manages to stir up emotions that I try my hardest to keep at bay. Probably because I have a lot of downtime to just think while I'm laying in bed.
As usual following surgery, I got a pretty nasty chest cold, and wasn't able to get into my doctor, so I went to the urgent clinic in our town. I was warned that the attending doctor there is 'cold', but I didn't care...I just needed an antibiotic, and I could deal with 'cold' for a 10 minute appointment. I needed to get some antibiotics in my system before hosting Kinsey's birthday party that night.
Since it was the first time I had ever been there, I had to fill out paperwork which included my medical history.
The doctor came in and starts looking through my paperwork. He asks me to tell him a little bit about my experience with cancer, and as I'm going through it all, tears start streaming down his face. He says to me, 'It's so hard to hear of that kind of struggle at your age.' Then proceeds to feel around on my glands.
I tried to 'cheer him up' by telling him about how great I'm doing now and how awesome my experience was on the 3-Day, but he didn't smile even a little.
As my appointment ended, we walked out into this common area, he turns to me and says, 'My wife died from breast cancer 15 years ago. Keep doing what you're doing, brave girl, you can change the world.'
I barely made it to my car before the tears started flowing, but in the moment I knew, I was right where I was supposed to be. That sweet doctor needed that release, and God put me there for that reason.
Later that day, Allie called me to tell me about a friend of ours who found out her cancer is back, and in her brain.
And just a few hours later, I learned that my ex father-in-law had an accident and had to be life lined to a hospital in Indianapolis.
So, here I am, hosting six girls and a birthday party, and having to take breather breaks to go in the bathroom and just cry. To say it was a rough day would be an understatement, but thankfully, because all the girls were here, they kept me occupied just enough that I kept it together for the most part.
I know He knew that'd be my day and He worked it out that way.
With the overload of things going on, Chris let my dad know. So, I ended up getting a phone call from my step-mom half-way through the evening, letting me know she was coming up to be with me. I soooo needed that. After I got the girls down for the night, Roxann and I had a long talk about everything.
I'm so emotionally invested in these wonderful people who've come into my life because of cancer, and even though I know God has a plan, it's so hard to not question that plan when those you love are suffering and dying from it.
Why them and not me?
Survivor's guilt rearing it's ugly face!
Sometimes it's hard to comprehend that I'm right where He needs me to be, especially when they are not right where I think they should be.
The questions begin to flood my mind, and He always, ALWAYS meets me there.
Where does he meet us in our suffering? What does the cross really mean? What good is an escape route if it does not open until the end of time?
I know the cross does not promise to free us from pain and suffering...not at least any time in the present. It, in fact, promises just the opposite. The certainty of pain and suffering.
So where is my joy if my world (the one I'm so deeply in love with) is so immensely filled with suffering? It's running straight through the heart of the pain and suffering.
My faith, at the very least, asks me to believe that the path to heaven runs through suffering. Through the sorrow of this world, through that fog of doubt. My God is love. And He is in control.
I know He brought me to this place in my life for a reason above it just being for a season. I knew that the moment I stepped off that plane in Atlanta and was surrounded by people who 'get' where I am in my life.
Standing in Survivor's Circle, embracing Allie, I knew I was where I'm supposed to be.
I came home, had surgery, went to that darker place...and it's been an eye opener in that I know not only am I supposed to be involved with the Susan G Komen foundation and bringing awareness to this disease, but I'm supposed to be doing something more.
When I had Kinsey, I gave up on college to get a job and support us. Over the past few years, I've toyed with the idea of going back to school for something different, but the past few weeks Chris and I have been in a lot of discussion of me feeling like I'm supposed to further my education with Chemistry. Now, the nearest major college is over an hour away, so I told him I was going to check into USI, and he suggested IU...since they are close to the same distance away. I mentioned that I know they don't have an engineering program, but I looked at their program list anyway. Low and behold, they have a program for Chemical Informatics.
So....without further ado...guess who's going back to school?
And guess who in a few years will, hopefully, be working in a Lab or for a drug company (and hopefully focusing on cancer medications)?
I really feel like everything in my life that has happened has guided me back to this place because this is where I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to be doing with it.