Cancer really was a traumatic illness

December 31, 2009

“Morning by morning new mercies I see . . . “

That is what I woke up to this morning, the hymn, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”

I wake every morning to a new day; I open my eyes and I am alive. I woke every morning through all my treatment. I woke every morning in 2009 and I woke this morning to new mercies. A merciful God who was and is always there for me, He has never abandoned me – ever.

I feel it is time to journal apart from you for a while. Writing this past week revealed to me a traumatic event, an event that is part of my history. I need to allow this event to become a part of me and to become a part of my character. It is a hard reality to grasp, but this event is molding me into who I am. I need not fear it, hate it, ignore it, but allow it to transform me into this “newer” person. Can I say that? A newer person?

denial (2) What a struggle! I was finally able to acknowledge my cancer was a traumatic illness . . . phew! When I talked with my mom, I told her I thought of my cancer as having a cold, it is a nuisance and it will go away in 10 days. I never let myself realize how sick I actually was and I think this is how I coped for nine months. My denial was my protection.

When I had pulmonary edema nearing pneumonia, people, my family and medical staff, knew I was very sick and the situation could turn critical. I didn’t see myself that ill and I could not figure out why everybody was so worried and bustling all around me administering daily x-rays and blood tests, etc.

Today I do understand how sick I was, I was very sick. This morning I recalled how I could tell when my fevers were coming on. I would call the nurse and tell her I was about to have a fever. They would watch and wait until it peeked.  After peeking, the nurses gave me Tylenol and then I shivered and I sweat until the fever broke. I was so feverish one night, the nurses brought ice bags to put on my body while I slept. Wow. Nurse Po Ling (I see her face and hear her voice even now) was such a competent nurse.  She was  right there by my side as the fever rose and then broke. I thank God He spared my life during that time!

This last week I found relief, I don’t have to hide myself anymore. You don’t know what this means to me . . . I am thankful Dale said to start writing again; an avenue of release and some of what I wrote surprised even me.

All week long, I found myself remembering circumstances or situations that really bothered me, I mean really bothered me, but I didn’t voice my concern or if I did, it wasn’t loud enough.

My port was always a worry. It was so ingrained in our heads if we didn’t wash our hands well or if the medical staff didn’t wash their hands well, my port could get infected. And then Bob, the port guy, would tell us stories about patients whose ports did get infected and what it did to them.

So in remembering this, I recalled a night when the nursing staff was short. They called for a fill in nurse from a service. She came into my room looking unkempt and what freaked me out, her fingernails were dirty and she was drawing blood from my port! Bob, the port guy, said you need to wash your hands to the song “Happy Birthday” – wash them that long and so many fill-in nurses didn’t abide by that rule. Did I make my voice loud enough? No. I dealt with it.

There are other things that happened that scared me to death and now I realize how terrified I was. I never, ever want to experience the hallucinations I had from the narcotics to kill the pain from my mouth sores, sore throat and gut ache after my transplant again! I was so disoriented and desperately wanted somebody to rescue me from a night of hallucinations but I couldn’t speak. The nurses were there, but I couldn’t speak.

So I think I need to explore and write about what frightened me. I need to come to terms with my fears and pain. I thank God He sustained me during these times of uncertainty and fear! My!

God is my Faithfulness. He brought a new mercy this morning. I am now free to acknowledge my cancer and accept it. I grieved the Cyndi of ’07 and she is of the past BUT a newer Cyndi will emerge, is emerging.

There will probably be more hurdles to jump in the coming days and weeks, perhaps months and years. I don’t know.

My assurance is Great is thy Faithfulness and new mercies I will see!

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Blessing all mine, with ten thousand beside!!!

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