Friday, June 5, 2009

Stop the world, I want to get off.

Nine days ago I discovered I have cancer.  Wow, so much has happened in such a short time.  My emotions are pretty volatile.  Most of the time I am calm and have such a sense of God’s peace and his protection about me.  Then suddenly I am angry, or extremely irritable, or grieved and crying.  The littlest things can set me off on one of these emotional breaks.  I am not sure how to manage my normal life when something so all consuming has taken over.

I am an introvert.  I need time alone to process, to recuperate, to restore my soul.  The past nine days I have been overwhelmed with people – doctors, nurses, technicians. accounts payable, pharmacists, lab techs, friends, family members, and phone calls.  I try to remember that cancer is a “family” illness, but sometimes I want to scream, “I am the one who is sick here!  Can you all just get away from me and leave me alone”  I have been poked and prodded, and probed way too many times in unimaginable ways.  People casually discussing my private body functions.  I know they do this every day, but I don’t.  

Truthfully, I am eternally grateful for their knowledge, skill, and expertise.  I am grateful for their compassion toward me and their desire to see me well.  But I am very tired of people.  Right now I just want to crawl in my bed and hide from the world.  

In my short experience with cancer I have found that cancer doctors, cancer nurses, and cancer patients are the kindest people I have ever met, seriously.  I hope people will be able to say this of me too.

Today I went back to the radiation oncologist to have my simulation done.  This is the process where they measure my body and mark my skin to show where the radiation beams will be directed.  They also made a custom immobilization device for me that will be used to hold me in the exact position each time I receive radiation. 

During the simulation, I was lying on the CT table and was overcome with emotion.  Reality seems to break through in tiny spurts, I guess because God knows that’s all I can handle at once.   What am I doing here?  How can this be my life?  This is all so surreal.  I start to cry.  The nurse brings me a tissue and reassures me.  They begin to move the table into the CT machine and tell me to remain still.  How can I be still when I’m about to start sobbing?  Focus, Laura, breathe deep, God is here.  So I begin to sing “Jesus Loves Me” to myself.  Not out loud or they will hear me on the intercom…I am mouthing the words over and over.  I sing all the songs I used to sing to my children when they were babies.  Keeping my focus on Jesus.  He is here.  I can do this.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

“…whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy.  For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.”  James 1:2


  1. Hi Laura! Just want you to know we're praying for you and the fam. You are so brave to share your journey to allow God to do amazing things with that beautiful spirit He has blessed you with! Sending my love as I hit the "Post Comment" button! Mari

  2. Oh Laura...I can't imagine! I think if I were in your position I would just face cancer all alone. I couldn't take all the people in my business with no time for me to be alone to process. I am praying for you to have a little "peace" in this area, that God would give you quiet moments every day to be with your thoughts....

    Love you!

  3. Those are the very songs that Jim said he sang to himself during the very early days of testing. The very foundations of our faith are often the only thing that enables us to put one foot in front of the other. We continue to pray for you and yours.

    Jim and Rebecca Patterson

  4. What a beautiful family! You are blessed among women. "I tell you, you can pray for anything & if you believe that you receive it, it will be yours." Mark 11:24
    Marilyn Lewis

  5. Laura, you wouldn't know/remember me; I am one of your brother Steve's friends from high school days. He and I were recently re-united through Facebook, and I saw his praise report about your PET scan.

    I just want to let you know that I will be praying for you, and will ask my friends to also pray for you.

    I also want to tell you that I will be following your blog to see real faith in action. I am so sorry you are going through this. It's really, really horrible, and I struggle to understand why Steve's little sister has to have cancer. I know, though, that I will be edified from your sharing. I waste too much time reading pointless stuff on the internet. Your faith and decision (that I'm sure is daily and moment by moment at times) to trust our loving Father will be an inspiration to me.

    Have His peace, Dear Laura.

    Maura (not Tracy as it says at the top)

  6. {{HUGS}}

    Love you and praying for you always.

    TJ & Kristy

  7. Still don't have the words...I love you...

  8. P.S. You are beautiful...I love your pictures;)

  9. What a powerful post! I cried reading the ordeal you are going through and wondering how I would handle all those emotions. I too would want to get off that roller coaster of emotions ride! Thank you for being transparent and sharing.

  10. I'm praying for you from Nacogdoches, Tx. I'm going to school here but I love coming to COF when I come home and always watch online while away. It is a breath of fresh air and I love the feeling of having a big family. I love reading your story and want to thank you for letting us come on this trying journey with you. It is a reminder to all of us about how precious life is, how God is our rock, our strength, our inspiration, our joy, our everything.

    My coworker has an inoperable brain tumor but has experienced the amazing power of prayer. Without any medical intervention her tumor has shrunk dramatically and her faith in God and the many prayers from family and friends has been vital in her battle against cancer. My prayers go out to you and your family.

    Just on a side note...I was at the dentist on Thursday and as I felt a tiny sting of pain I being singing "Jesus Loves Me" in my head and a wave of calm and peace washed over me and I hope that it is doing the same for you during an experience that far surpasses my small trip to the dentist.

    God Bless

  11. Thank you Lord for this new week..
    I ask that you help Laura this she goes in for kimo.

    My you ease the pain she'll have to endure & wipe away her tears as she gathers her strenght to keep on claiming her healing.

    Thank you for the Victory.
    Thank you Lord.
    Thank you.

    Thanking you ahead of time for Lauras healing.
    In Jesus Name, Amen.

  12. Matthew 18:19-20 (NIV)

    19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

    20For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.(A)

  13. Thank you Laura for being a GREAT example of what God wants us to be! I have learned so much from you & your testimony of strength & courage!

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