Breast Cancer Diaries | Part 8Laura Ann Miller
Breast Cancer diaries | Part 8 Light In the Darkness
NOTE: This is part 8 in this series, click for part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6 and part 7
February 12, 2022 | Saturday
One more round of the hard stuff to go. I’m apprehensive and glad all at once.
My first four rounds of chemo will be done, then I think there are 12 more to go, an easier medication, so they say.
I find there are moments of weakness and moments of strength on this journey.
I’m willing myself and praying for strength on this last part of chemo. Trying to find joy and celebration for getting through, step by step.
This morning I’m spending it photographing my blooming orchids on the tree by our patio. There’s one more delicate flower opening up on this orchid. We’re both waiting for the light.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1: 1-5
I believe this is the purpose of why I feel so compelled to journal this whole cancer journey. A way for me to find the light in the darkness. Over and over I need to see it. The darkness will not overcome me. The light still shines.
February 13, 2022 | Sunday
Mike and I went out for an early Valentines Day date. It just so happens to be Super Bowl Sunday as well and the most beautiful part is we dined outside just before kick off. What a gift for enjoying an uncrowded space to ourselves! I need to remember this every Super Bowl Sunday going forward… If my love is willing to give up a little bit of the game over and over again!
February 14, 2022 | Monday
I’m so grateful for the messages and prayers sent to me by friends and family.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
February 16, 2022 | Wednesday
I told Mike, on our way to the hospital, to remind me not to cry today because I’m wearing a new mascara and it isn’t waterproof.
I’m in a new section of the chemo room and have a new nurse. I’m in the corner by a turquoise heart painting, titled “Chained To My Heart Forever” and a wall of windows to my left with the tops of palms fluttering green fronds in the sunshine and wind.
I’m happy this is the last of this round of this medication, but I’m apprehensive. The IV in my port site stings and I’m not looking forward to how I’ll feel tonight, tomorrow, the next day…
My new nurse in encouraging and I felt inspired by her words… I thought I should write them down, but now I can’t remember what she told me already. I only remember the parts about the medication, that Pepcid and Tylenol will help me. And the fact that even when I’m the most sleepy the next few days I should get up every so often and walk around the house before I lay down again. These are all helpful bits of advice in lieu of inspiration…
She also asked about my family, “How are your kids handling everything?” And it’s a bright spot here to brag about them- How my August Grace helped me cut my hair several times and made it fun instead of dreadful, how my Ethan prayed for me last night. None of us want to go through all of this cancer stuff, but I’m glad I have them to go through this with. I am blessed to have Mike, Ethan, and August by my side.
But right now the ones at my side are fellow cancer patients. There are eight of us in this section today. We lay back in recliners covered in warmed white blankets hooked up to the pumping IVs. And a few hours later, one by one, we are disconnected and carry on our separate ways.
Today everything is different, my location, my nurse, the order of my medications… I learn this is not important, but I can’t help but wonder if this will change how I feel when I get home. Will I be more nauseous, more uncomfortable? I fear thinking about all these things is negative and bad for my recovery.
I am almost through it, forty five minutes to go.
These four rounds will be done. I thought this would be good, but I asked a simple question and was surprised by the answer- When I start the new medication will my time here be shorter since it only includes one medication?
I told Mike I thought it would only be an hour. I’m not sure why I thought this. My nurse told me to plan on four or five hours. They take it slow in case of complications or reactions to the drug. How is this easier?
One day at a time
Give us this day our daily bread.
Mike drove up and I climbed in to the car. I held his hand as we drove away and let the tears fall.
February 22, 2022 | Tuesday
This round of chemo has been harder than the others. The side effects have me down emotionally and physically.
But God had just the arrangements for a day like today. Love in tangible form.
A package in the mail filled with love and extravagant support.
And then a check in the mail. The first short term disability support check. Something I signed up for almost a year ago, never thinking I’d actually ever have to use. I imagined disability as something like a construction worker falling off a ladder and injuring his back, not a teacher assistant diagnosed with breast cancer. But somehow I signed up for all the extra insurance benefits… God knew our needs.
Later a hot meal was delivered to our door for dinner.
This day started with tears of sadness and ended with tears of joy.
Blessing upon blessing.
Thank you Jesus.
February 23, 2022 | Wednesday
“Moments of grief remind us that we were never meant to get comfortable here. We learn that maybe all this hard stuff is the big arrow that points to our true home with our Heavenly Father. We are just passing through. No need to… let life convince us that grief is our constant companion. Oh no.
Hope is our companion.”
-excerpt from Be Still 90 Devotions for the Hopeful Heart by Cleere Cherry
February 24, 2022 | Thursday
I need to keep recording the moments. In writing it all down and in photographs. There’s a photograph I took in college, a black and white self portrait I captured alone in my dorm room by window light. I don’t remember if this was a class assignment or not, but I developed the film and made prints in the darkroom.
I need to record myself here too.
I set up my camera today. Tripod, timer, window light.
I hope I can look back twenty five years from now at this photograph too and wonder about the girl in the self portrait. Who was she then? Who is she now?
I know it’s such a difficult time for you to record but somehow I find myself sighing as I read your posts because they are beautiful and honest and it makes me feel like I can see the tears running down your cheeks when Mike collected you, and wishing I was was the fly on the wall during your self portrait… love you
Writing it down and letting those moments and feelings go brings peace to this process. I’m thankful to have this space to share and have the love and support of you and so many on this journey. Love always ❤️
My name is Susan. Your grandma Betty Van Liere (who I met years ago at a writer’s conference) shared a link to your Breast Cancer Diaries, and I just read Part 8. Among other things, you are a very gifted writer. As I read entry after entry through my tears, I could sense your heart. May the Lord continue to give you the strength, peace and everything else you need to make it through each day. May His SON shine brightly as you bask in His Light.
Dear Susan, it is so nice to “meet you” here. Thank you for reading and for your encouragement. I’m leaning into and trusting Jesus each step of the way.❤️