Not going to lie, today has been pretty crappy. Due to the introduction of some new infusions into Days 1, 2, and 3 of each round, I will now be receiving “the mother lode” of my specific Chemotherapy on Day 1. This includes two new drugs, and an addition of about 3 hours into my normal routine. Due to the delay of my Port placement surgery yesterday, we put off Day 1 of Round 2 until today. Dr. Dreyer had decided that the load probably would have been too much, and we simply didn’t have time to do 6 hours of chemo. I described to my Mom earlier that I felt like I had been hit by a truck. A feeling of utter exhaustion, post pain from my Port placement, and the scary sight of 4 or 5 tubes hooked up to me at a time, all sending fluids into my body. My mom and I will now be in Houston until Friday because of the push back, but if it keeps my body in the best shape possible, I don’t mind at all.
We’ve asked ourselves some questions today. Why now? Why me? Why cancer? It’s especially easy to ask the questions of “why” when you sit in the silence. in the somewhat empty hospital hallway with the occasional nurse passing by, and the constant noise of the infusion machine fixing you. pumping all of these liquids into your body, that a month ago, you never even knew existed. how could a machine that creates such simple small and quiet noises seem to captivate your thoughts and appear as loud as a train horn headed straight towards you? a trainthat you heard and saw in the distance but never thought it would make its way to you. these liquids that come in bags of different colors and different sizes that you know will both break down and build up your weak but mighty body all for a chance to ring the bell, say goodbye to machines, and finally....completely realize what God had in mind for your crazy story.
I wanted to share something special that I came to realize a day or two ago. My sweet friend Madalyn Georgens shared with her mom on Monday night, who shared with my mom, that Madalyn had written about me for an english assignment in school. The prompt for the assignment was whether or not we "choose" happiness. Madalyn, you are right. I am sad to be missing out on the end of my senior year, getting to walk from class to class across campus, and simply parking in the school parking lot. I miss seeing friendly faces and smiling at people in the hallway that I didn’t really know, but just thought they might have needed a “pick me up” in that moment. Thank you Madalyn for reminding me of a promise I made to myself at the beginning of 2018, and hadn’t come to realize until now that I had been working so hard to pursue. At the beginning of the semester, I completed an assignment in my English class that required me to decide what my “word of the year” would be. Not wanting to be lame or basic, I got on my phone to look up big and adventurous words that would set the path for how I was going to live my life in the year of 2018. I quickly decided to put my phone down, that I was being silly, and to just go with the word that my heart had chosen in the first place. I had chosen Joy. Madalyn’s words reminded me that though this whole situation is not what I had planned, and is not where I want to be...all I can do is choose joy. Choosing to be joyful in things does not mean that moments of defeat and weakness still don’t appear in our lives. Choosing joy means that we strive to look past the moments of sadness and towards the happiness. Towards those “ring the bell” moments and those moments of feeling successful. So today, Madalyn, and everyone reading, I ask that you choose joy.
“Having joy is not being happy all the time. Having joy is an underlying sense of knowing that the Lord holds us. Just we because we have moments where we cry, or feel frustrated or say “this sucks” Doesn’t mean we don’t continue to stand firm in our belief that our Joy comes from Him. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” -Heidi York (My amazing, strong, and beautiful Mom)