As we do most Sundays, we attended worship at Cornerstone Church. Today was “step up” Sunday for the boys. Braeden moved up to 2nd grade, his first year in elementary Sunday School without Kyle. Kyle moved to our tween class, Club 56. They have their own room and are situated away from both the lower elementary and the youth. It was a big adjustment for both of them. John and I are loving worship with our new pastor, Pastor Brian. He reminds me of my youth pastor. His sermons are relevant and entertaining, not an easy combination for pastors to master.
Tomorrow we begin our 6th year at KTA (Kitchen Table Academy), the affectionate name for our homeschool. Since our learning occurs at the kitchen table, it’s given rise to the name. I really should come up with something that will look better across the top of a diploma, but I haven’t stumbled on one yet. I still have a couple of years. I mean, can you seriously see UC accepting a transcript from Kitchen Table Academy? I cannot believe Kyle is starting 5th grade. With the exception of some stumbling over double and triple digit multiplication, my son is a practically a middle schooler. Next year, he will be considered one at Learning Tree, our homeschool co-op. What happened to that little bundle I brought home from Russia? I finally understand the old saying, “The days are long, but the years are short.”
We are moving on this year in many ways. We are starting new grades. Mom is hoping to pick up more freelance work. Both boys are playing sports again – Braeden’s soccer team won their first game yesterday and Kyle starts flag football practice Tuesday night. John continues to hone his project management skills at Children’s. We are beginning to move on. Yet, I still get stuck. In a few weeks, I have my CA125 drawn to track my tumor marker, have my 6 month CT scan and undergo yet another exam. Yes, it’s preventative and given the results of my last CA125, I really don’t expect anything to show up. Of course, I never expected to have cancer either.
Pastor Brian spoke about the bad times in life. You know those times when life just knocks you for a loop and you can’t get back on your feet? I’ve always known that when faced with struggles, I have two choices. I can whine, moan and complain or I can face it head on. Cancer makes you do a bit of both. You have to face it head on. It’s now your reality. But I really don’t see how you can manage to make it through without whining, even if it’s just a little bit. I chose to cling to God’s promise that even in my darkest hour, he wouldn’t leave me or forsake me. He would lead me to those still waters and restore my soul. Yes, I did have those times when I yelled at God, quite a few in fact. My mentor, Pastor Linda Troy, once told me that God doesn’t care how much we yell at him. It means we still believe in Him.
When I got the definitive diagnosis, I prayed like I’d never prayed for myself before. I begged and pleaded with God to heal my body. I visualized His healing hands. I did it all right, but I still had a massive tumor on my ovary. Funny thing is, if I had been healed of just my tumor I still would have had the nasty blood clot in my right leg. It still would have probably broken off and, had I been anywhere but post-op, I probably would have died. Hmmm. Once I had the benefit of a couple of months of hindsight, I saw that.
That still leads me to why I had cancer. Why couldn’t I have just had a massive benign tumor? My oncologist told me that we will probably never know what triggered the cells to turn cancerous. Even if we did know, it wouldn’t change anything. I’d still would have had cancer. Okay. Here’s where choices really kick in. Do you chose to wallow or do you choose to move on? My friend Cathy told me I had to move on. No choices. I have 2 young sons and a husband. While they were good reasons to move on, the only reason you can move on is because you feel like you have to. God wants me to move on. Granted, He let me have pity parties. He gave me two wonderful friends who let me rant, rave and cry about how lousy I felt. I will never, ever be able to repay Cathy or Lisa for listening to me when they had their own lives to live, but they both took the time to let me do what I needed to do. Then I was able to move on.
Moving on means you accept you are not the same person you used to be. Unfortunately, I will always have the “C” word in my background. I feel a strong pull to work with ovarian cancer patients. I’ve always been interested in healthcare and often write on healthcare topics. Would I have found my niche without having ovarian cancer? Maybe. Did it affect me? Definitely. The person who entered Good Sam Hospital on October 17, 2012 is not the same one who left October 25, 2012. Nor I am the same person who completed chemotherapy on March 15, 2013. If we are open to things, God will continue to use our best and worst experiences to shape us.
So I need to be moving on now. Life is about being an active participant, getting in and getting involved. While cancer will always be a part of who I was, it doesn’t have to be a part of who I become. And if it comes back. well, we’ll just move on with life and kick it back to where it belongs, in the past. So we can get on with the future. Moving on!