Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Conflicted

Tomorrow is the big day. It's my annual visit to the oncologist. I'm struggling with my feelings. While I want to be hopeful and optimistic, I'm feeling fearful and filled with trepidation. 

Piedmont Hospital

Normally, these visits are uneventful. I go to the lab for bloodwork, where they do the typical tumor marker tests, and then I see the doctor. He usually sits and talks with me for about ten or fifteen minutes and then says, "I'll let you know if there's anything concerning on your bloodwork. See you next year!" And that's that. I leave the office and breathe easy for a while until it's time to do it all over again. But this time, I have several things to discuss with him, and since it's about time for me to have another PET scan, I'm expecting him to order one of those. 

And that's why I wonder, when and if, I'll ever be able to put cancer in the rearview. 

Today on Facebook, I got word of another friend whose cancer has returned. It seems every friend I've had, who shared a breast cancer diagnosis and took chemotherapy, has either passed away or had their cancer return. I, on the other hand, am still here. I can't help but wonder why. 

PET scanner

My faith, I'm sure, is the key factor in all of this. Without it, I imagine I'd be gone, too. But I keep telling myself God has a reason for me to still be here. There must be something more I'm supposed to do. 

This is a hard, hard time of year though for so many people. 

I was looking back through my iCloud photos from the past year and realized I've not only lost several friends, but I'd also had many friends who've lost their spouses. My heart grieves for all the losses. Sometimes, life is so hard. 

Our tree
Not only that, at Christmas, families are supposed to be together but so many are broken. And while I wish I could say mine hasn't suffered that fate; it has. Oh, if only things could be the way they're supposed to be, but all we can do is keep on praying and keep on believing that one day, wounds will be healed, and fences mended. 

Gosh. I didn't mean for this to be such a depressing post! I'm sorry! Don't get the wrong idea - I do have hope. 

Christmas is one of my most favorite times of the year. I love decorating! I love buying gifts and wrapping them. I love having some of my children and grandchildren here for the holidays. Sure, I'd love to have them all here with me, but they have families of their own and I have to be understanding. 

My advent wreath
I remember the days when my children were small. I had to split the Christmas holidays between visiting my parents and my in laws. By the time the day was done, everyone was worn out. One year, we decided to stay home and enjoy Christmas at our house. You'd think we committed a mortal sin by the way the parents and in laws acted, but I didn't care. I wanted my children to enjoy a very special time in their own home. We invited people to join us at our house and eventually, they came around, but I never heard the end of it. Sometimes you have to fight for your rights, even if it makes others a little miffed. 

Over the past few days, I've taken a step back from all of the hullabaloo associated with Christmas prep. I've asked God to shift my focus. Thankfully, since Hanukkah overlaps Christmas this year, I've been able to celebrate that along with Advent. Both of those have helped me think more about God and His wonderful love for us.

My menorah & nativity
No matter what news I receive from this oncology visit, I'm going to look forward to celebrating the new year by taking one day at a time. 

The Bible says none of us are promised tomorrow. Since I was diagnosed with cancer, God's given me the gift of being able to see that in a very real way. 

I'm so thankful He's seen fit to let me continue to live a little longer. I sure hope I don't any of the blessings He's given me for granted. 

Please offer up a prayer for me tomorrow and thank you in advance.

Many blessings, 

Bonnie

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