It Could Be Worse

Matthew 6:25-27 That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life-whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothing to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly father feeds them. And aren’t you more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

In America studies have shown that stress and anxiety consume our society. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, approximately 40 million American adults roughly 18 percent of the population have an anxiety disorder. Yet we are one of the richest nations in the world. Even the poorest in our nation compared to other countries would be considered well off!  We have access to the some of the best healthcare, housing and food choice. Yet, we are the most stressed and anxious people on the planet. Why is this?

Lately, especially in this season worry and anxiety threatens to consume my daily life! It seems each week brings a new problem with my health or treatment, family life keeping everything together in our home with our younger children’s basic needs being met, the constant drama of having a teenager in and out of the home spiking an array of completely new challenges,  to the latest a job situation that is threatening not only our income but our health insurance (Which obviously we need more than we have ever needed before!) I wake up every morning with my head filled with about 20 different situations I must mentally prepare for and most of the time I have no control over half of them. It can be so easy to let my mind go to the mentality that life sucks and mope through it! I feel God has really been challenging me lately with a new perspective. It could be worse!

Last year if you would’ve asked me how life was going I would have more in likely responded very quickly with ‘Hard.’ Four kids pregnant with a fifth, living with my parents while we flipped a house that presented new obstacles every day, driving the kids almost three hours a day for 3 months to commute to school while we remodeled. I HAD NO IDEA!!! If I could I would go back to ‘That hard’  in a second.  I could list about 50 different things in five minutes about how cancer has not only turned our world upside down but made life 200 percent harder than it’s ever been! I have a new-found respect for those that have walked this road I am on! BUT…….

I am alive!

I have all five senses!

I have full use of all my limbs!

My husband is alive and right beside me (Keeping me laughing) on this adventure called life!

My children minus a few minor illnesses are healthy!

We do not worry about feeding our family!

We do not worry about clothing our family!

We go to bed safe in our beds every night in a home that is amazing!

Though I am not fond of cancer there is no denying the fact that my doctors care and treatment are top of the line and I have the medicine I need readily available to me. And so far, our insurance has been amazing and has covered the majority of my care without any issues.

The army of help that has covered us in this time and has provided, spiritual, physical, emotional, and financial support during this time is astounding!

These were ten things that I am so grateful for and that I take for granted daily (I know I did this with my health in the past as well.)  When reflecting this last week, I realized it could be worse! If any one of these things were taken from me I believe my quality of life would seriously be affected. I think if we were honest with ourselves and took only a few minutes a day to mull over all you have and then consider all that you could possibly have taken from you all of us would realize it could be worse.

The last few weeks I have had so many more good days than bad. And even when I am struggling I am trying to put things into perspective by reminding myself of all the amazing blessings I have been given and not allowing myself to mull over what I do not have. And it has completely transformed my my attitude.

Since my last update I have completed my third round of chemo. Before this treatment I went up the day before and had a port placed in. As many of you know I was very distressed about this procedure and the idea of having a permanent object fixated in my body indefinitely. I also have an extreme hate of anything that causes pain. So overall not a happy camper. My experience ended up being pretty good despite the circumstances. While I was being prepped for surgery my comedic  husband continually kept the nurses and I laughing even to the point he was trying to convince them that his name had a silent T and to refer to him as ‘im’. Thankfully this helped keep my calm leading up to the procedure. When they finally took me to the operating room I had come to terms with what was happening and was ready to just get er done! I was able to converse with the team of four people who would be a part of the procedure. They allowed me to choose the music to be played while they were working. I of course choose my staple Kari Jobe worship station which brought a very peaceful atmosphere to the room. Before they sedated me I asked to be able to pray over all of them and they were very open to this. I felt a little weird lying on a table leading a prayer over a team of doctors and nurses that were about to cut me open but hey if there is ever a time to pray over people I feel this is definitely the time and place!!!! The next thing I remember was being in recovery with Tim. I was very sore, and the rest of the day was pretty foggy. We met with my oncologist a few hours later discussed blood work and port placement and went over blood work approving the third round of chemo the following day. We stayed in Iowa City overnight and checked into infusion the next morning. I was told accessing my port the day after surgery would be painful, but my oncologist prescribed me some painkillers and honestly, I didn’t feel a thing!! Super happy and grateful for that! Third round went off without a hitch. The days following chemo feel very much the same I am getting used to reading my body and what is happening or what I need. My biggest struggle is the side effects of prednisone that I take for five days after each infusion. I have not thrown up and though my stomach is very sensitive I praise God how manageable it has become since the first time. The port took me a short time to get used to. The first week was a difficult adjustment I was unable to do much I was even restricted from lifting Kendrick, so I had to rely heavily on others. After the second week I began feeling a lot more comfortable and now I barely even know it’s there. Sometimes its still strange having it there inside me, but I know it will make things so much easier for the next few months.

As I continue on my journey I always want to come back to the title of this blog ‘It Could Be Worse.’ In the next few weeks we have some major issues that can be game changers in our lives and current situation. Tim is facing job transitions as well as we are preparing for testing after round four to determine how chemotherapy has impacted the cancer, whether or not I am in remission and how we will move forward with care. I am learning to take every step day by day to focus on the good and not the bad. And how I would be completely lost throughout all of this without my Lord and Saviour there is no denying I can get out of bed every morning and cast all my cares upon Him and have complete peace knowing He is in control of it all!



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