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Finally some time to write.  So much has been up in the air these many months, but things are finally winding down to the point where I can relax.  Allow me to itemize:

  • At the end of March 2017, I was diagnosed with Stage IIIC, Grade 2 Uterine Cancer.  It was a life-stopper.  This is considered advanced cancer and there were not very many symptoms at the time.  I have since learned from a nurse that this is known, if not a common place situation.  The symptoms that I had were misleading.  I was never post menopausal; as a matter of fact, my periods were erratic my whole life so I thought this was a normal thing for me.  Now that I am thinking about it, I didn’t have a normal period for years, but at the expected time, I had one day of what we would consider normal, then it would stop.  Minor spotting at times, but without pain and I thought it was normal and that I was going into menopause.  That’s right.  Place a permanent pause on THAT feminine side of me!  Anyway, that year I went through 3 chemo treatments and 39 radiation treatments.  Surgery was not an option and if you’d like to hear about that, please see my very first cancer post, “First Chemo (and other things),” and “Treading Water.”  My last radiation treatment was in the middle of November 2017,  I was expecting to head right into another round of chemo, but my oncologist wanted me to wait until the end of December because you cannot see the results of radiation right after treatment, it’s cumulative.  Instant Holiday Vacation~!  I was free to celebrate the end of year holidays and I was in an absolute jubilant state of mind.  When all was said and done, I was NED (No Evidence of Disease).  This was the end of February 2018.
  • So, while this was great news, I still had to look for a job and was now free to since my treatments technically ended back in November.  Stress, stress, stress all during this time because back in October 2017 hubby got laid off from his full-time job and we were on unemployment, which screwed something up and we were not receiving it for a while.  Thankfully that got straightened out and while it was supposed to end in April, we are still getting the portion we didn’t get for weeks.
  • Did I mention that we needed to move?  Oh yes.  Because of hubby losing his job, we could not afford living in this town, at this house any longer.  We bought ourselves some time to look for a place, but in the end, it was not that much time and it ended up hurting us in some real estate arenas.  I got advice from some people advising us and went with it, but again, we thought we’d have six months to move but that fell short by a few months, so without another place set for us we had to leave our home at the end of April 2018.
  • However, the beginning of April 2018 brought something wonderful.  I scored a position at the Raritan Valley YMCA~! You know such a long name can only be uttered from an employee who gleefully utters that phrase with each and every phone call.  It’s a part-time job, but this is exactly what I saw for myself with over a decade of being out of the full-time workforce; plus my life has changed a great deal and I just don’t have the luxury anymore to give my whole day to a job.  This has so far been a happy time for me.  I love going in to work and usually get there over an hour early, but I don’t go inside until at least 1/2 hour to 20 minutes to my time.  The one sad thing is that up until now, I have not been able to truly enjoy and be happy to work at such a wonderful place with such an admirable mission.  I am very grateful to be at a place I can be a part of and stand behind 100%.
  • Now the last piece is set to fall into place. We are set to sign a lease at the end of May 2018 and move in June 12th.  I am tearing up as I write these words.  Sometimes I can’t believe that all this is finally done with…. that I can finally dare to take a deep breath.

 

Juggling all these balls for so long has made my arms weary and given me an ongoing stressed out mind, heart and body.  I feel burned out, but hopeful right now.  Finally hopeful for our future.  It’s been a scary long and winding road but hopefully soon we will get to the end of it and start on another that leads to our door.  (Get it?).

img_20180309_151824547I realize that there are ends that are still hanging and I will attempt to tie some up.  Much  to our sadness and regret, we had to find another home for our Molly.  In April, we did not know where we would end up at the end of the month and had to make sure she was taken care of.  Thankfully, thankfully, THANKFULLY, our cousin Joannie took her for either herself or a friend of hers who had other cats.  She ended up with the friend and I heard that she was doing very well.  Understandably, my son was upset to the point that he doesn’t want to hear me talk about her and is that way still.  I know that I am responsible, but I simply cannot put an animal before my human family no matter how heartbroken I knew I’d be.  Those who know me know that I grew up with animals and they are considered family; but confronted with the fact that apartments out there simply do NOT want pets at all.  While there ARE exceptions, our possibilities opened up a whole lot more without having a pet. Actually, she is in a much better situation than she could be with us right now.  She has other cat friends now and a doting human mommie… and that I could never be.  Our new place does not allow pets at all, so this was the best decision for us to be able to move on.

My sister has been a lifesaver by taking in my son and myself.  That first night was rough but the second was much better and the feeling of anxiety started to ebb away.  She has put up with us, our needs and for that I am very grateful.  I’m sorry about Emma, I really am.  She has given us a home during a scary time when we had no home for the first time, ever.

My husband found a place in town, very close to his job and though it’s been challenging for him, he is doing okay.

There have been many, many blessings on this road, as well as setbacks.  God has worked in our lives with each decision, each step backwards as well as each step forwards.  I have had that belief for a very long time even before our current troubles and by God’s grace, we will get to where we are going.  Maybe in a future post, I will map it all out as I saw it happening, but maybe needs to be left alone to remain a part of the fabric instead of being placed on top of it.

Have a blessed day~!

Living with Hope

Photo by SDGimagery.com

Optimism and hope are radically different attitudes. Optimism is the expectation that things-the weather, human relationships, the economy, the political situation, and so on-will get better. Hope is the trust that God will fulfill God’s promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom. The optimist speaks about concrete changes in the future. The person of hope lives in the moment with the knowledge and trust that all of life is in good hands.

All the great spiritual leaders in history were people of hope. Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Mary, Jesus, Rumi, Gandhi, and Dorothy Day all lived with a promise in their hearts that guided them toward the future without the need to know exactly what it would look like. Let’s live with hope.

Henri Nouwen
Hoping this is not some sort of copyright infringement.  The above is taken from the Henri Houwen Society, a place of faith and understanding our world and our place in it, according to the Christian faith.  Henri J.M. Nouwen is one of my favorite authors.  Though he is gone, he will not be forgotten.
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