How did I get here?

It's been 14 days since the wedding. I ate the last piece of the left over wedding cake and now this morning I am tucked into the couch, feeling the warmth of the morning sun coming in through the window. I feel so still, like I can't move. Honestly, I don't even want to move. My gaze is fixed on my daughters dying wedding bouquet there on the coffee table and I'm wondering how did I get here? I am still so broken hearted that I didn't get to play a part of planning anything for my daughter's wedding. I showed up as a guest. Feelings of grief, loss, regret, shock, and disbelief are all still lingering. I am trying so hard to let it all go, but I'm struggling with it more than I want anyone to know.

The last nine weeks are all a blur. It is like someone pressed fast forward on my life. As present as I have tried to be, I'm sitting here silent, staring at these flowers filled with emotions that I can't even put into words. What happened? How? Why? Now what? I feel the tears filling up behind my eyes, there's a flood of feelings just waiting to wash over me.

Nine weeks ago I found out that the initial treatment was not working and that my cancer aggressively spread everywhere throughout my lungs, liver, and spine. I knew it wasn't working because I was struggling to breathe. Now, on a new treatment, I am living my life in three week increments. I have treatment, and I'm down for about nine days, then slowly I get back up, try to live my life, then back to treatment again.
Three weeks goes by so fast and within that time my life is both chaotic and quiet all at once. It feels like a summer thunderstorm. The clouds blow in and quickly darken the sky and the rain floods the earth. The wind blows with fury and tosses the trees back-and-forth. Then as quickly as the storm blew in, it disappears, and the sun is shining again.

"this is my comfort in my affliction, that Thy word has revived me."
~Psalm 119:50

Am I OK? I don't really know. I think I am, but to tell you the truth I'm not really sure what OK looks like when you have terminal cancer. None of this is fun, it hurts, the side effects are awful, the sadness… I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. When I stop and think about it … well, it is hard to imagine that anyone could possibly live through this. Yet here I am, rooted in the Word and sustained by the grace of God. Trying everyday to move forward one step at a time.

"but her delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law she meditates day and night. And she will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water." ~Psalm 1

My roots are planted firmly. I don't feel shaken in my core, but my branches are blowing in the wind and being tossed back-and-forth by the storm. My children, my husband, and my closest friends seem to be taking on the worst of it. I find myself in the role of comforter, wiping tears and wanting to protect them from the heartache. They need me to whisper truth in their ears, laugh, jump on the bed, dance, and crack jokes… maybe what they need is exactly what I need too. What I want them to remember the most is that there can be joy in suffering, laughter through pain, and peace in the midst of the storm.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."
~2 Corinthians 12:9

The weather doesn't look like it's going to change anytime soon, but I'm not afraid or moved. I know my strength comes from my weakness. I don't have to do anything. I can just wait out the storm. I can't change this for them and I can't change this for me, I can't make it better. In my complete inability to change any of this, there is freedom.

I can just be… faithful

5 comments… add one
  • Liz Schmitt August 6, 2017, 3:07 pm

    You must feel terribly alone, despite all that love from family and friends that surround you. I am so grateful that you have your faith. I think I only met you once or twice – yet I think of you so often now.

  • Andrea Strom August 6, 2017, 9:19 pm

    You are in my prayers daily. Thank you for your post it is amazing to read, and it is such a great privilege to pray. You are a beautiful inside and out, and I am so thankful for you. I thought the photos of you at the wedding were amazing and it is hard to believe you are ill.

  • Valentina August 6, 2017, 11:00 pm

    Louise, I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in where are, but I hope that somehow through your sadness and struggle, you have moments of happiness in each day. Maybe when your talking to your husband or one of your sweet kids, or perhaps when a doodle gives you a big cuddle or smooch. And I hope those small moments add up to hours and may that help distract you you from the pain. I’m so very sorry for what you and your family are going through. I am sending you all positive thoughts and praying for you that this new treatment will be helpful. xoxo

  • Quyen August 7, 2017, 3:10 pm

    Dearest Louise, what a beautiful post. You are one strong and beautiful person, mom, and friend. He is good all the time and what an impactful lesson you are teaching and demonstrating to your friends and family. There is joy in suffering, laugher through pain and peace in the mist of the storm. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for always being such a good friend, your children are amazing, and Michael loves you with all of his heart. You have left quite an impression in all our hearts. xo

  • Cathy A August 9, 2017, 9:31 am

    Honestly I can’t even imagine how you manage this journey. My heart aches for you and your family. I do pray this new treatment will help and you continue to find joy and peace in the middle of the storm.

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