Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Mustard Seed

It's been an eternity since I have been here to post an entry. So much has changed and yet, nothing has. It's hard to explain. Things have gotten exponentially more difficult with the recovery from chemo, but it's officially over. Friday I had the last round of the nasty stuff. It's a relief, but has wrecked me physically since then. I have been in bed the majority of the time and can't really do much for myself at all. Mom is taking care of Brayden at her house and I just rest under my electric blanket. It has been the only thing that seems to take the edge off the aching of my entire body. The exhaustion is unexplainable at this point. It means that I am unable to do so many things. I look normal, but can't walk 50 yards without sitting down. It's hard to explain to people. I think 1/2 of them think I'm making it up because it's so severe but you can't see it. I actually look pretty normal with the exception of the kiwi-like head of mine. My hair is growing back a little...just enough to look exactly like a kiwi.

I have a lot of support with friends and family and that helps immensely. But, I can't help but feel weary from the whole thing. My carpool buddies now drop me off at the door because I can't walk from the car to the door anymore at work. Brayden is dying to go to Walmart and spend his $30 of gift cards from Christmas, but we can't because I can't walk through the store. By the time we got from the car to the shopping carts I would need somewhere to sit down.

This is also the first time that I have had so much trouble with the nausea. I haven't been sick, but the nausea is always there, even with the drugs. So, all of the physical symptoms are much worse than before. I'm doing OK from a psychological standpoint though and that's a welcome change.

I haven't blogged in over a month for more than one reason. One obvious one is that I just haven't had the energy to get on the computer when I get home from work. I work so far away from home that I have to spend 2-3 hours in the car each day for my commute. So, a normal work week translates into 60 hours with the commute. Add in a little chemo...no way you can do anything but fall out at the end of the day. But, that wasn't all that was going on. This whole experience had taken a toll on me emotionally. The last month has been the absolute hardest of all. Those days were dark ones and I don't even want to try to describe them. Needless to say, I made it through thanks to a scripture, the memory of a charm, and a gift from my boy.

When I was a girl, my mother had a charm bracelet with a ton of charms from all of these places she had been and things that she did before I was born. I used to ask her to tell me about each of them sometimes when she wore it. I was always interested in this “life” she had before I was born. It seemed kind of mysterious. I mean what could she possibly have been doing before me?? Right? That’s so funny to me now that I’m a mom. Brayden can’t get the concept either. He still can’t figure out how his dad knows his aunts and uncles because he’s never seem them together. He can’t get past the fact that his dad was part of our family for over 10 years before he was born.

Anyway, buried between those charms from exciting places like West Virginia and Six Flags over Texas was one that I loved. I remember the first time that I saw it. I couldn’t tell exactly what it was. It was a little glass sphere that had this tiny round beige thing rolling around in it. It wasn’t any larger than the head of a pin. Finding that instantly intriguing, I asked her what in the world it was. That was the first time she shared with me the story of the mustard seed.

Mom told me that Jesus said that if we had even the faith of a mustard seed that we could move mountains. Even as a small child that spoke to me. It was tangible. I could see how little that was. It was so small, yet a mountain is SO big. How powerful our faith must be! I never forgot that.

Over the years that charm went missing. We don’t have any idea what happened to it. Mom has divided up the charms now. Michelle has some, I have some. But that one never resurfaced. I mourned that when it first happened, but had actually forgotten about it. Then came December this year.

This was by far the hardest holiday season ever. I've known people who struggle through the holidays. I know many have good reasons that the holiday season is hard. I have just never been one of them. Christmas in my family has always been a time that we look forward to and enjoy as the best time of the year. That's not to say they've always been perfect...We do have the year Nate dropped the Nikon, the year John ran away, the year I got my wisdom teeth pulled and permanently scarred my sister...Let's skip that story. Anyway, this year was different.

By Christmas, I was through round 5 of the chemo and not bouncing back. Christmas morning fell exactly one week after that round and with my immune system went a lot of other things. Emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically drained I wasn't looking forward to it and couldn't even fathom excitement for the new year. How could I have any? For the first time I just wanted to give up, check out, and quit the fight. After all, the whole year ahead is still all about the stupid cancer! I have treatment until September 17th, then I have to wait 60 days and have finial reconstruction in December 2010. So, I was facing Christmas with completely the wrong attitude and no hope for good things in the new year. It was the lowest of lows.

That changed a bit on Christmas morning. Brayden had gone shopping with Mom and was very excited about the gift that he had for me. I hadn't asked for anything this year, so I had no expectations. Now every mom loves a gift from their child. But like so many times before, he was about to bless me more than I could have imagined. His gift was a necklace. If you didn't know what it was, you'd never have a clue about the significance. But, I knew instantly. It was the outline of a small silver heart on a delicate chain, and encased in transparent center was a mustard seed.

It was exactly what I needed. With that I was reminded of how even a minuscule amount of our faith can do mighty things. At that point, it's about all I had. But, it was enough. Things are getting better, slowly. Each day is one more day past the last chemo, one day stronger, one day closer to recovery. And when I lose sight of that, I have a great little reminder hanging around my neck prompting me to go on and to rest in the reassurance that plans bigger than mine are unfolding. I just have to have faith.


Michelle Byrd said...

I love you my sister and pray every day about your recovery. Don't worry....I'll survive the horrible name calling, knowing where it came from. ;) I never remember that charm, so it must have been lost long ago. So glad that He and Mom knew what you needed. I love to read your posts.. So wonderful.....xoxo-M

Unknown said...

my dearest yvette...
it has been 6 months and today as I get myself up to go for my follow up I could not help but think of you! prayers have not stopped, but a real special one went up today. thank you for your simple inspiring words. you will know someday how much you have touched people! there is reward waiting, but you will not cash in on it for a long time!!!!!!!!!
Laura in Washington (state)


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