October 19

I so want to have good news to write on this blog. I so want to encourage and uplift, not whine and complain and share my sorrows. However, I don’t want to be insincere in what I write. I try to be honest and true to what I am going through.
I can start with some good news, I suppose. The boys and I were able to do a little traveling over the weekend. We talked my sister-in-law Michelle into coming with us along with my two nieces. We were able to spend Saturday night in Montgomery with my Aunt Pat and Uncle Steve, and visit with them and my cousins Will, Drew and Laura. It was wonderful to see them and we talked and laughed about happy things without having to discuss all the cancer drama, and I had such a good time. Thank you so much for the fun night, Phillips.
On Sunday morning we worshipped with the Vaughn Park Church of Christ in Montgomery. This is the church where I grew up and I don’t think I have the words to express how special it was for me to worship there again. To see the families that I grew up around; to hug the adults that were my role models, my Sunday school teachers, my youth group chaperones, as well as the friends my age with whom I spent long youth group road trips or many hours on the basketball court. To see them unchanged, sticking together as family. What a comfort that stability is, what reminders of my happy days in that place. What strength it gives me to know that so many of them are praying so fervently for me and for my family. I grew up witnessing their righteousness, and I know their prayers are heard.
And now for my recent discouragement – as if my story wasn’t already eerily similar enough to Job – I have developed a severe skin reaction to the new medication. I was told it was a possible side effect, but after making it a week without severe side effects, I thought I was in the clear. (The reaction started Saturday evening so you VP folks might have noticed it.) It greatly worsened during the day Sunday and then on Monday. It basically looks like the worst breakout of acne you could imagine, and covers my entire face, inside my ears, behind my ears, my entire neck, front and back, and my chest and upper back. My face is red, swollen and raw, with hundreds at least of tiny and some not so tiny whiteheads. My scalp is affected as well, such that it hurts to comb my hair.
Job 2:7 “So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.”
Job 7:5 “My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering.”
Now I am thankful it is not covering my whole body as with Job, and I also don’t have worms that I know of, but it has been very tempting to scrape at the painful sores, and occasionally one will open and bleed.

The similarities of our stories continues to strike me.

And boy, do I relate to his words. I have been so emotionally broken over the last few days. I don’t want anyone to have to look at my face because it is so grotesque, and so I feel isolated, alone. I have laid in my bed and asked to die. I have begged.
Job 3:20 and following:
“Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure, who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave?…What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness, I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
Job 6:8 and following:
“Oh that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut me off! Then I would still have this consolation – my joy in unrelenting pain- that I had not denied the words of the Holy One. What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze? Do I have power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me?”

My friends, I type through tears. I do not want to write of giving up, of such overwhelming sorrow. But this is where I am. I can reread your comments, your cards, but all I do right now is hurt. It just hurts. I just don’t understand why I must go through such pain. You can’t explain it to me. I know in my heart of hearts that God has some plan, and His plan is perfect, but right now I am completely worn out. I don’t feel strong enough – I am not made of stone or bronze.
I don’t need to be reminded of anything about God, about His word. I just need someone to sit and cry with me, without saying anything. This is just hard, plain and simple.

My reason to want to live is for my boys, and for my husband. They are the only reasons for which I cling to life. But I can’t be the kind of wife Brian needs like this – I can’t keep the house, nor meet his needs. I can’t be the kind of mother my boys need like this. Not with this physical pain and loss of physical strength. I can’t play with them, read to them, bathe them, enjoy them except in watching from a distance. My heart is literally breaking into a million pieces as I face this each day.

Maybe I shouldn’t have written today. Maybe I shouldn’t be pouring out this level of despair.

I will say that the doctor’s office did tell me that this skin reaction is often a sign that my cancer is responding to the cancer medication. I am trying to hold on to that, but I can’t help but think I’ve been told that before.

Please don’t try to fix me. Please just pray that God will. Please pray that my skin will heal and allow me to be out in public again, so that I will not feel so alone. Please pray as I know you have been, that this valley will come to an end soon, in one way or another. I just don’t feel I can take much more.

And if you don’t see me for awhile, understand it is because of my skin.

Thank you for caring about me.

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