The Breast Cancer Diaries | Part 3Laura Ann Miller
November 22, 2021 | Monday
“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”
We made it to our mountain getaway. The little cabin in Blairsville, Georgia. It’s a spontaneous trip booked on a whim and a wish for a getaway. Thanksgiving has felt strange and unappealing the last couple years for so many different reasons. A short trip to North Georgia to experience fall feels just right.
I stumbled upon Restoration Retreat’s Bearadise cabin through an Airbnb search. Restoration Retreat sounded like the perfect name. I thought it might just be August, Mike, and me, but our little cabin is full today- Mike, me, August, Ethan, his girlfriend Julia, and Coco (doggy’s first road trip). How strange and wild life rolls along.
Today we rolled along with all of the goodness. We drove and drove through winding fall mountain roads to hike Tallulah Gorge together. Our hike was haphazard and full of stops. Mostly to take in the views and stop for photos. And of course try and ease Coco’s anxious excitement pulling us through the trail. We hardly had time to hike to some of the views we had planned because of all the photos we were taking. But there was a letting go of the plan that felt good. We were all just taking in the beauty of fall and each other and it didn’t really matter what we were doing. I’ve got to remember to do that more.
Ethan asked if I knew anything yet at the end of our hike.
I told him no. No call from the Dr. still.
But dad and I were planning to call again…
Mike and I packed the car for this road-trip with a resignation that we just won’t know the answer before we leave. We tried to let it go and just enjoy our time, but we both thought, maybe we should try calling again…
Ethan said, “No. don’t call. What if it’s bad news?”
I told him everything will be ok no matter what. We’ll be ok. We stood by the car and he just hugged me for a while.
August saw us and got worried. She wanted to know what was going on and I shared with her our conversation. She agreed. Don’t call. She didn’t want to know till after Thanksgiving either.
So our retreat is our hideaway.
We’ll take in the wonder and goodness of these few days here together filling ourselves up with the memories of a cold Georgia fall in the mountains.
“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”
Mike’s Note in the guestbook:
November 21-24, 2021 | The Millers from Fort Lauderdale, FL
We came up on a Sunday after waiting the better part of the preceding week for a Dr. call with test results that never came. It was one of those calls that can change everything, but by Monday, we somewhat stopped waiting and enjoyed the area – The cabin, the fire pit in 3oº weather, the trip to Tallulah Falls. The thing is, you don’t need to wait on a call to determine to enjoy the day in front of you, the people around you, the future that awaits you. Choose to be grateful and cherish the moments. These few days at Bearadise Cabin were a delight for us all and our pup Coco. We hope whoever reads this enjoys it as much as we did.
The Phone Call
November 29, 2021 | Monday 3:45 PM
“Remember that Jesus always tenderly cares for you… ask yourself what it would look like for you to be tenderly cared for today?”
-Caroline Williams, from 10 Minute Christian Meditation to Relieve Stress
This journey of Dr. appointments, mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies has been hard. When I look back, I think the what if’s started for me in September. My first Dr. appointment was on October 1st and now here I am on the edge of December. I still don’t have answers. And although the phone calls with the nurse in trying to get answers have seemed like the news might not be bad, I don’t know for sure. I’ve been relatively patient. Trying to give the situation over to God, but as the waiting continues on I find my stress levels and frustration rising in the fact I can’t get a phone call with results. I don’t sleep well and my hair seems like it’s falling out from stress.
So tonight after work I was unexpectedly dropped off at home, no car, no family. Just the quiet of home. Even the toddlers upstairs are unusually quiet tonight. I put on the Christmas tree lights and opened Day 2 of A Restful Advent from author Mindy Larson. I signed up for her devotion on November 16, the day after my biopsies.
“Whenever we are stuck in an anxious thought, a comparison game, a looping lie of insecurity, or fear we have the power to shift our focus to Christ and find rest… every single time, when we shift our focus to Him, to the truth that He is before all things and in Him all things hold together, we will find freedom and peace.” -Mindy Larsen
I read and then found myself laying on the floor doing 10 minute meditation for stress relief Mindy had included with her devotion.
Caroline Williams asks how Jesus might tenderly care for us and I realize this is it. My tension and anxiety are high and Jesus has given me this unplanned time to lay at his feet and rest.
I’m here, by light of the Christmas tree, quiet, listening to worship music.
I’m trying again to give over my worries to God, to lay those down and trust in him.
This small time alone this evening is a gift.
Help me Jesus to remember.
I got the phone call I had been waiting 11 days for.
I felt calm shock fill me as I tried to listen to what was being said. I jumped up to look for something to write on. I grabbed the little brown notebook on the computer desk. I listened and tried to write down what she was saying. And then I hung up.
I thought I was going to throw up. The tears started to fall and I heard the keys in the front door. I ran to it thinking it was Mike, but it was my beautiful girl holding our pizzas. Mike was close behind her. They weren’t even through the door. They knew.
But just like when you fall down in public in front of strangers and you don’t even know for sure how you are, but purely out of embarrassment and self preservation you immediately say you’re fine, I did just that. I started wiping away the tears and said, “It’s okay, it’s okay. I’m okay.”
We hugged and then I showed them the notebook I had found to write down what the Dr. had told me… daily disappointments.
And then we laughed.
I know we really will be okay.
I’ll be okay.