Friday, January 7, 2011

Stillness - Appointment #2 - Beauty

My final pre-radiation appointment went so well yesterday....I'll get to that in a minute....

Last night a couple of inches blanketed our area. There is something so beautiful and peaceful about waking up to snow covered surroundings. Surroundings yet untouched by the hand of man. 

White, clean, pure, graceful, intricate beauty. 

The hand of God. His beauty. His perfection laid out before us for our eyes and hands to behold. 

The children quickly took to the hands part. 

Not really enough snow to snow to the shovels they went....

shoveling the driveway....

stopping for a rest....

and a photo opp........

a little bit of fun.....

some breakfast....(just kidding, we had pancakes just before)...

and one last line-up of smiles.....have I told you I love being a mother!
The kids are back in now. School underway. A quiet day lays before us....

I'm thankful for the quiet, even if but for a day.

Yesterday, God was indeed gracious and compassionate.

My same nurse greeted me in the radiation oncology waiting room with smiles, joking with me as she saw me in my wig (previously I've been in my winter hat - no wig), saying that I was trying to really confuse her this time.

We were off to a good start.  A light hearted mood took over the somewhat restlessness going on within.

The now familiar path from the lockers to the cabinet holding the gowns, to the dressing room and then waiting room quickly fell into my steps. No sooner had I turned the corner to the waiting room, and she was there bringing me back to the treatment room.

Monica met me upon entrance. She too, was joking with me about the long blond hair that had adorned my head just moments earlier and how it had changed my removed,  the quickly growing peach fuzz told a different story. The story that I am living.  I told her it was my "I really don't have cancer" wig with a smile.

A hat and a wig tell a much different story. Some days, I just don't want to be the "cancer patient" to the world and the wig gives me that option. There is much more behind that statement, as you can imagine.

The room was warm today. The chill that had occupied the room, now gone. Their touch was gentle, as both ladies helped me up to the treatment table, assisting me as my body was positioned just right. One on either side of me. As my head laid back into the body mold, they were attentive to my comfort, asking me if I was comfortable and how they could help. They grabbed for a folded sheet that they rested my head against, in the hopes that today, there would be no pain for the duration.

I felt like a person, not just a patient. Their words were kind. Their movements more relaxed.

My arms went overhead, my body grew still and once again, the headphones filtered praise music into my soul. My eyelids fell closed and peace washed over my body.

Ever so quietly, the nurse laid some towels over my arms, as previously, I had told them how cold I had become. Again, so attentive this time to my needs.

And as their job began, the filming, and imaging, as the lights went on and off and footsteps came and went....they did their best to keep me covered, under a thin sheet bringing warmth and shelter from the eyes that peered down.

I didn't feel exposed this time, I felt covered. Covered in God's love and grace. A blanket like no other.

The time passed more quickly. Pain, once again, began to permeate my arms, and this time my neck, as my head was held to the side. Tension would creep up through my body and at once I recognized it, I released it, allowing my body to relax in spite of the discomfort.

And I prayed. Asking God to bring me through. Thanking Him. Just sitting in His presence. Praying for a few sisters and friends that were that day in the midst of their own trials.

And it was at the foot of the cross that my current situation became insignificant and all that mattered was Him.

Worship and prayer have a way of doing just that. Putting our eyes and our hearts on what really matters most, Jesus Christ.

"You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength." Isaiah 26:3,4   

It is a favorite of mine. But in those words are strength, peace and power because in those words rests my Father. His heart and the very essence of who He is. Perfect peace and power. 

The imaging session came to a close. The right side of my chest had been marked and marked some more during those two sessions. Black sharpie marks mapped my body. 

The nurses came back in and once again, their words were coated with compassion. A few quick digital pictures had to be taken of the map they had drawn on me and then a few of those marks needed to become permanent....more tattoos....I think 5 or 6 of them this time. They wanted to put one up close to my neck, but I asked it there was an that would forever be seen in the future for eyes other than my own. They agreed. For now, I get to wear this for the next 4 weeks. The dot is a painted on mark covered by a circular clear adhesive. We'll see how my skin does through treatment. If it gets irritated, a tattoo will be needed.  

Tuesday will begin the next leg of my breast cancer journey, the next door's threshold ready to be crossed. 28 days will mark this part of the journey. Monday through Friday treatments ending February 17th, if all goes well. Please pray as God brings me to mind, that my skin will be able to withstand the daily radiation dose with minimal side effects. That my body will remain strong and that God would use the radiation to accomplish His purposes in me. Thank you. I am more grateful than words can express.

Just as the snow this morning blanketed God's creation, so too, He blanketed me yesterday. I am rejoicing in His goodness today and the beauty that surrounds His hand.

Much love,


Lynn said...

May the peace of our Lord be with you always.. ~GOD is good all the time, and all the time God is good~

I have you in my thoughts and prayers Stacy...


babyrndeb said...

so glad it went better this time than it did last Tuesday...
And I will pray you are able to tolerate the adhesive and won't need a tattoo there.
You are definitely covered by God's love.
And I enjoyed the pictures of your kids in the snow. I think it is cold and dreary here with all the rain...not sure how we'd live in snow.
Keep hanging in there!

Debbie said...

I am soo happy everything went soo much better this time! It doesn't really take that much to make us feel like we are a patient rather than an object. I thank God for their compassion and care. Praying you won't need a tattoo, and that all goes well. It will go faster than you think I bet. The pics of your kids in the snow are adorable. You are such a good mom. Have a wonderful week-end. HUGS!!

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Ahhh the beauty of His purity and holiness all around us this morning! I loved it too. Kids were still asleep and I went out to take some fun photos of me and Lexi. :-)

You remain close to our hearts and in our prayers!

Much love,
PS The girls are all shoveling now and having fun! :-)

Donna said...

So blessed to know you and call you 'sister'...I am praying for you. Your life radiates the Life of Christ. May your reward be great as you encourage others in their own walk with God. Bless you, Stacey

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Bless your heart... so close to the finish, yet seemingly so far to go. My heart will be with you this next month as you soldier on toward your healing. I've got a lot on my mind as I bring the chemo to a close; a lot of questions as well. Praying that God reveals some much needed answers very soon.


Rachel said...

Oh my friend.

I remember.

Not as the one in the room, but as the one waiting outside the room as my husband was mapped for radiation. Mapped. Such an interesting word for such a challenging time. The Lord knows your map. Just as he knew my husbands.

Todd has his tattoos from radiation. At first they bothered him, but now, five years later they are scars of victory. I pray the same for you.

Let me know if I can do anything. Please. And remember that you are in my prayers.


Melissa said...

I am praying with you and for you. God's love spills from you! I am so thankful that he brought you into my life through your blog your words touch my soul deeply. Thank you for ministering to others through your journey.

Your children warm my heart. thank you for sharing them with us!

Much Love in Christ,


Sara said...

I am so glad that you were wrapped up in the Lord's presence today. And I am so thankful they were warm and so attentive to hour needs, it can make such a difference. Praise God!

Stacy, I am praying for the Lord to strengthen your body each new day as you plunge forward into radiation. I remember when g started his radiation 18 years ago now. You are such a bright shining witness of His love and encouragement to so many others!

Loved the snow pictures! Makes me miss Wisconsin:)

Praying in earnest for you right now!


Ashlee said...

I'm a new follower....I'm praying for you! You're a beautiful woman who seems to be so in tune with what God wants to do through you.

Love and Prayers,

Genevieve Thul said...

I didn't realize how little your kids were. This puts something in perspective for me...thanks for being open about it. I have wanted a tattoo of a butterfly ever since my diagnosis day in 2008, because the part of me they removed then is the shape of a butterfly, and also because of the symbolism of transformation, metamorphosis, beauty from ashes, life from death. But my husband objects...mostly because my immune system is shot due to my cancer & treatments, and he is afraid of infection. I feel a little - well. I wish I could have my way! Your cancer tattoos are different and not desired, but necessary. It makes my wish seem petty and helps me cope with another loss of "self" to this disease. Love to you!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

The pictures of the kids in the snow are just wonderful, I love the snow angels...we even had snow today! Ours will be melted by in the morning.
I am so glad you felt God cover you with His blanket of love and that He sent precious, compassionate nurses through this treatment.

Blessings and continuing to lift you up in prayer

A multi-dimensional life said...

I loved the pictures of your kids and the snow...especially the snow angels. Precious memories being made and such blessings!
I'm so glad this treatment went so well and you felt cared for. I pray it will continue to be so and you will continue to heal!

Jennifer said...

Just finding your blog from Debbie's and what a testimony - I have enjoyed looking around. I will be praying for you this next path of the journey begins.

lisasmith said...

Ahhhh... the infamous tattoos. I have really only heard of them. I had Sharpie marker in four different colors: red, green, blue and black. There were lines and angles and x's all over me!! My son even exclaimed when he saw them, "Mommy, you onny uhpposed to to draw on papah!!"

The good thing: They are now all washed off. The only reminder on the clothes they stained.

The bad thing: The tape, all of the marks were taped with water-proof tape, irritates the skin something fierce and when they rub off, you go through all that prep time again. I think the small dot will do great. Mine mostly lasted through two beach trips and the sweat of the Texas heat!

I pray the sessions go quickly and God strengthens you for this leg of the journey.

Much love and tender hugs,

He & Me + 3 said...

What precious children you have. Isn't snow so pure and beautiful. So much fun to play in. Gorgeous pictures.
Praising God for all He is doing in and through you.
Praying for you!