People try to make me a fixed star, but I am a wandering planet.
-from the movie Luther
Hearing that Jennifer Arnold has a rare cancer brings back all kinds of emotions. I too had that rare cancer. I was stage 3 Choriocarcinoma. When people ask what type of cancer I had and I tell them I usually get a blank stare. They’ve never heard of it. It’s scary having something no one has heard of. I remember thinking: why can’t I just have a normal cancer? As if cancer were normal. This is why I’m glad no one can read my mind. I’m praying for Jennifer and her family. Praying for her healing. (read her story here)
Going through old photos recently has been like looking at someone else’s life. Except it’s mine. I have no other story except this one. I am not the same person I was before. A pastor at my church has asked me to give a testimony on Christmas Eve and I’ve accepted…
[insert heart palpitations and nausea here]
Part of me wants to say no. I go back and forth about it every day. I’m scared to do it. I keep thinking of nightmare scenarios…like what if I say the word douche accidentally? Or what if I do my really ugly cry and can’t stop? I cried through a meeting the other day at church! Who does that!?
In thinking about what my testimony should be I’ve been thinking about what’s changed in me. I mean there’s the obvious….I went from girly to boy-ly. The rest….well, I’m struggling with how to put it into words.
It’s hard to pinpoint what changed and when. It’s like staging when I step back and look at it all:
“B.C.” Before Cancer: I was a happy person before cancer. I was motivated and hard working. If I work hard enough, everything will be perfect…one day.
Surgery Trauma: Suddenly I was thrown into the world of cancer. I thought I was pregnant. I don’t think cancer should result from the thought of pregnancy. It’s like taking the hope of the world and then turning it into doomsday. They were just going to go in with a camera and look around. I went under anesthesia and I woke up in ICU, looking all ragged and with someone else’s blood. Kind of like Frankenstein. The whole idea of “looking around” was all false advertising.
Chemotherapy: I started chemotherapy before I’d even had a chance to comprehend what had happened. And for the first time, I found that I had physical limits. I was forced to stop. I was reduced to accepting help. Pride goeth after a fall sometimes.
New Chemotherapy: The first line of chemotherapy was unsuccessful. So a second line started. I think that’s about the time I just stopped caring what they did to me. It seemed much easier to just surrender. I just found myself praying: Dear God, just don’t make it too painful. [Read more...]