Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Wordless Week

I'm taking a couple minutes this morning to sit at Starbucks, enjoy a piece of lemon pound pound cake and sip on my grande non-fat, 170 degree white chocolate mocha with caramel, no foam, no whip. This place is quite busy this morning, so when my drink was called and I went up to get it, several heads turned to get a peek at who ordered THAT drink. I felt the need to clarify, "My beverage of choice may sound high maintenance, but I promise I am not!" Mornings likes this will be few and far between, so I'm going to enjoy it. Maybe even order another coffee!

I love all the emails I've been getting from you, my friends (and my parent's friends and my sister's friends). I am also noticing a trend. The emails fall into one of two categories: One, they are apologizing for taking up the time I have to use to read them. To that I say, Stop. It. Now. I love the emails with the bible verses, with the quotes, with the "I'm praying for you," with the selection from the book you've been reading, with the songs that are speaking to your hearts and perhaps might speak to mine as well. I need that encouragement and God uses each verse, each song, each word you send me via the interweb to meet me wherever I am at the time I read it. Following surgery I will have nothing but time and will be most likely be filling your inboxes. Thank you for your emails. I love them, I treasure them, I read them more than once. Don't ever feel like you're wasting my time. The second category of emails contains the following phrase. "How are you REALLY doing?" Obviously I need to work on my, "I'm doing great. How are you?" You all aren't buying it. So, when I really think about how I am REALLY doing, I am finding that I am really doing okay. I'm just weary from waiting. Things are still normal, but they're not. I have so many unanswered questions and so many things left unplanned. And I'm waiting. I'm trying to figure out how I am going to balance recovery and being a mom. It brought me back to when I knew that I couldn't be a great mom and a great teacher, so I had to make the decision to to just be a mom. I wish I could make that same decision now and not have to deal with surgery and chemo and everything that follows. I just want to be a mom. Although, Ella has been keeping a countdown. The adventurous spirit in her is looking for the next new adventure. This morning she made sure that I remembered my surgery is not tomorrow, but the next day. I remembered. I began to worry about how Ella will respond to everything that's going to be coming. I tried to assess what her prior knowledge of surgery and cancer is.

We have a cat. This cat was the runt of the litter and we brought it to our house just until it got a little bigger and could survive back on the farm. She was cute. Ella named her Miette, after a cat on a Barbie movie. The cat never left. It's still here. And we found out it's a boy. Ella renamed him Mietto Suave' Gato Borner. In preparation for surgery, I started flying through the list of tasks I wanted to get done before surgery, one of those items was a trip to the vet for this little kitty. He came back a little different after his surgery, a little less male. Once we told Ella that I would be having surgery, she went to the knowledge she had of surgery and asked Rick if I was having the same surgery as Mietto. No, Ella, I'm not getting fixed.

This attempt at a post has taken me four days to write. I'm not sure I can put words to all that is going through my head. I'm not sure I'm ready for everything that lies ahead. I've rearranged the house, stocked up on everything I can think of, and planned ahead for as much as I can, but I don't think you can ever be ready for something like this. So I will do all I know how to do, leave it all in the hands of the one who created me and planned out my days, the one who carries me through, taking my anxiety and leaving unexplainable peace. So, tomorrow. Surgery. 4 hours. A double mastectomy, lymph node biopsy, port placement for chemo and expanders placed to begin the reconstruction. What hasn't seemed real up to this point, is starting to seem real. It's been a month to the day since this all began and its been an emotional journey, trying to wrap my mind around what is happening. Tomorrow marks the start of the physical journey. All I can say is how thankful I am so have the support and prayers of so many people, literally, all over the world. Keep 'em coming...


  1. Hi Melissa,
    I am a friend of your Kansas City sisters and a 15 year breast cancer survivor (two occurrences). I am praying for you as you walk this journey.
    I am glad to hear you are doing the double mastectomy. I regret not doing that and I know you will be glad you will be put back together as a better (physical) version of you.
    I do have a couple words of advice:
    It would be difficult to ignore the long list of POSSIBLE side effects of the chemo drugs. Okay, read them and forget them. What will happen will happen. The first time through, I worried so much about my hair falling out (it didn't). Deal with what comes when it comes. When my hair did fall out the second time, I found it to be the most fun and liberating thing ever! When I first got the news, I cut my hair super short in a crazy style. I was told my hair would start falling out on day 17, so on day 16 my husband shaved my head (with a bit too much delight I might add). Enjoy never having a bad hair day when every day is a no hair day!
    The last thing is that you know this is not supposed to be pleasant but that doesn't mean everything unpleasant is right so do not be afraid to tell the doctor if something feels out of hand. I am sure you will want to be strong for your husband and daughter but you don't have to be strong for your doctors.
    Blessings to you and your family,
    Carol Colson

  2. It was so good to see you blogging again and read your perspective on what's happening. You are a gifted writer and you help us know how to pray. God is truly working in your life and is your strength. We have been blessed with your parents' friendship since 1977!