How are you?
A question I often dread hearing...
A question SO many people ask...
A question that people that really know me also know they might just get more of an answer than they have the time or energy for...
A question that my friends never expect to hear "fine" but have heard lately...
Truth is, I think I've simply forgotten what feeling good, really good, feels like. Yet, I'm also very sick and tired of being tired and sick. Some days when all I want is to surround myself with friends, I end up closing myself into my room. Some days my thoughts seem to be more along the lines that if I just distance myself now then when I die it will be easier on everyone. Other days I want to make the most of every moment I have but because I'm still not allowed to drive I find myself trapped at home when I could be eating lunch with Kirstyn at her school or meeting David near his work for a quick lunch date. And then when I find a ride I struggle to get dressed because after being on steroids since June I have gained 40 lbs and then when I do find clothes I stand and cry because I can't even begin to cover all of the bald spots that were left after 6 weeks of radiation.
(This week I did go shopping at Arl Resale with a friend and got 5 pairs of jeans for $16, 3 fit now and the other 2 will fit when I loose a little weight cause I'm still a LONG way from last winter's clothes. Also, my mother in law went to Ross and sent me sacks full of cute dresses to try on and I kept 5 of those! Kirstyn has been so excited the last couple of days to get home and find me wearing something other than yoga pants and a too tight tank top or tshirt. Her complements have been so honest and loving... )
The rest of the truth is, I'm terrified. I've only known two women in their 30's with cancer and both of those amazing women are now in heaven. They both handled their journey so much better than I feel like I am. They were better people than I will ever be. Their families have continued living life... I'm scared to be too honest with anyone for fear of hurting them in some way. It hurts David when I try to talk to him about life for him and the kids without me. Truth is, none of us know when we will leave this life, but it has been rather devastating for all of us to learn how I might go.
So, when you ask me "How are you?".... If I hesitate, it's because I don't really know. I do know, I'm trying! I'm trying to have more faith than fear. I'm trying to make the most of every moment even when I'd rather be napping or watching mindless tv. I'm trying to put on makeup, I'm trying to eat healthy, I'm trying to say 'I love you' more often, and I'm trying to ask for help when I need it even though I don't want to because I want to be strong and independent and not a burden! I'm trying to let you build my faith by letting you be the hands and feet of Jesus for my family right now.
P.S. Don't expect too many blog posts from me... this one made me cry too much!
Thanks for your prayers! Right now I am half way through my 4 week break from Chemo and Radiation. I have an MRI on Sept 27 and then appointments with Dr. Fink (my oncologist) and Dr. Barker (radiation dr) on Sept 29 to find out what's next from the medical point of view in this battle for my life. We are prayerfully asking HIM to heal me and selfishly asking HIM to heal me here and not there with HIM, not yet....
I'm going to leave you with one of my favorite quotes that I am desperately trying to apply:
"Most men and women will yield to the strong currents sucking them into the seas of ruin. Only the strongest in mind and spirit will swim against that current." ~Character Thomas Hunter in Ted Dekker's 'Circle Trilogy'
Thank you for posting such an honest update, Natalie. We are still in constant prayer for you and your family. There are people all around you who want to help, and though it's not easy to ask for it, they just want to do SOMETHING for you, so take advantage of those offers!
I think of you daily..you inspire me to slow down and simply appreciate. Fight fight fight girl...the weight will come off..you know what to do, your body will allow you to do it soon, as soon as it's ready and healed. HUGS!
Oh Natalie... this is so beautifully written. I know I don't know you in real life, but I still count you as a friend because you were such a great support back in our WW days. You are an inspiration. I'm pulling for you and wish you all the best as you go through this journey.
Okay, so the first thing I wanted to tell you is that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 31. Next March will be 25 years since then and she is still cancer-free. So, I just wanted you to know that although your amazing friends are now in heaven, that does not mean that is how your story will end. Secondly, I wanted you to know that I am in awe of you and the way you are handling this. You still go and work out, you still take the time to encourage others with your kind words, and you have maintained your sense of humor. I don't think I would be able to do half so much. You may be experiencing the hands and feet of Christ, but you are being used by Him too. Don't give up and Don't sell your self short on everything you have done thus far.
Love ya, girl!
I also don't know you, but I've been touched by your story, first by your struggle with your weight, and now this. I can understand that it must be terribly hard to post, but the updates are appreciated. I'm amazed by your strength and by your trust in God. I don't think that I could have the same faith if placed in your position. You're doing the best you can, and that's all you can do. Everyone has a different road, so try not to compare yours to others too much. Don't be so hard on yourself. They may be strong in some ways, and you may be strong in others. It's all a matter of perspective.
Natalie. I will be including you in my prayers. Honestly, I haven't been to your blog in probably a year but I found the address tonight on my favorites bar and clicked. I am in shock to hear of the recent events going on with you. I will pray!
Every time I read a post from you I am amazed at your strength and determination. God knows exactly where you are and exactly where you are going. You are in my prayers!
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