Testing me


I haven’t done much talking about my tests and appointments. I have been going to them non stop since finishing chemo. I met with 3 different doctors and had to schedule 2 MRI’s and 2 cat scans. I had to do a long day of pre admission testing ( blood work, ekg, chest x-ray). I waited for 3 hours to have a scheduled MRI. All this in an attempt to prepare me for surgery and asses the effectiveness of my chemo.

Thursday I find out these results. My appointment is at 2:30pm. I am nervous. I want to believe that I am doing well. Healed or healing. I want to believe that I do not have bone cancer. That it was a mistake. But honestly I am sick to my stomach. I do not know what the truth is. Truth. Truth is I am scared that all this chemo has done jack shit to get rid of my cancer. I keep thinking of my back up plan. Maybe I am failing chemo and can move to California ( Rexin G) to be cured. Maybe it is working. I don’t know. I feel all this anxiety. I keep saying ,”God it’s your will.” But then I take it back and pray for healing. Please God let me stay here and care for my children. And then I dry my tears and say,”God I pray your will be done.” I do this all day long. Its ok-its not ok. He loves me He loves me not.

That is what it comes down to sometimes. If you really loved me God you would spare me. But He didn’t spare His own Son. And well as a Christian- I really am supposed to accept His will. But that is so hard to do. I wanted/want things. What about that?

While I was at Starbucks a family of 7 came in. Mom, dad, and 5 kids. They were admiring my praying hands tattoo. “Are you born again?” the dad asked. “Yes, 15 years now.” I replied. “So you are baptized?” he pressed. “Indeed I am.” “Well God’s gonna heal you. He is doing a good work in you right now. He’s gonna do a miracle.” I stammered out something like I am stage 4 I can’t be healed. He was persistent ..”We are just gonna have to lay hands on you right now.” And so this family of 7 with their embarrassed 18 year old laid hands on me and prayed for God to heal me. When they were done the father said, “well you will always be beautiful no matter what.”

And that may have been something more profound that he had intended. I realize that the ugliness of the disease makes me feel ugly all over. Inside and out I am weighed down by the ugliness I carry with me. And yes the chemo makes me feel ugly on the outside as well. And my failure in maintaining healthy relationships also makes me feel ugly. And damaged. And broken.

Cancer has taken many things from me. Some of them are not permanent ( my spirit, my hair, my dignity) Some are ( my breasts, my time, my sense of well being). Cancer has also given me things. Friends I did not know I had, an ability to be strong in the face of adversity, a desire to be a better person. I do not know what happens tomorrow in that meeting. But I do not want it to define me. The truth is I am going to die. Not today. Not tomorrow. Maybe not for a while. But as I say we are all going to die…I just happen to have a pretty good idea of what’s gonna kill me.

So I am working hard to let God do His thing. To let God  guide me and love me. To heal me if it is His will. I am praying for the ugliness to diminish to try and like myself even when I feel isolated and damaged. I am trying to accept what is happening in my life and be moved by it to share this with others.

It seems like the spiritual test is really more of a challenge than these physical ones that I endure. Because it is this test of faith that brings me to my knees.

Praise God He is so good to me.

7 Responses to “Testing me”

  1. leah says:

    i’m praying that it all goes well for you tomorrow, how was that when the family prayed over you? i’m not extremely religious but that made me so emotional reading about that. it was really sweet of them.

  2. Bill says:

    And so YOU ARE — BEAUTIFUL!! We’ll be with you in our thoughts and waiting to hear the results – whatever they are…

  3. Heidi Barr says:

    A couple of thoughts on this one…
    As a woman who does not define herself as a christian, I have to say that I was squirming just as much ( if not more) as the 18 year old daughter of the lovely family we encountered at Starbucks. Yet, in my discomfort I also felt the power and beauty of the moment, the healing that took place right then and there is that that family reached out to you with sincerity, they were drawn to you and your beauty and let you know that.
    A rare thing for someone to do for a total stranger!
    I believe this happened because you are indeed an incredible person. You radiate joy even as you struggle not to be defined by the ugliness of the cancer in your body.

  4. shayna says:

    One of the many things I love about you is your honesty. My heart floods with love for you and the kids. Im leaving today for the walk and you will be in my mind and in my prayers the whole way.

  5. Heather says:

    I have yet to meet you, Andrea, as we know, but the beauty you radiate in your words and thoughts as you put them out for all, the honesty you show, the feelings you let flow through your times of trial speak lounder than any physical beauty anyone could ever hold.
    I believe everyone comes and goes in our lives for a reason. Yours is to educate and show people how to be strong and come together for each other and show us that beauty is something so much deeper than what we see and that is what makes us see the outer beauty.
    I appreciate you and your beauty, Andrea. Thank you for allowing me to see YOU.

  6. melanie says:

    I agree the spiritual test can be harder than the physical. It is hard to get through the days, the long hours of thinking, wondering, praying, meditating, breathing. I just had a really hard time in the hospital coping with it. Sometimes it is not the things we can see and feel, but the things we think that can do the most damage or help us in ways we never thought possible.

    It’s amazing the amount of reaching out people do and I can only say I am happy to hear that you have been blessed with the caring and comfort of strangers and those close to you. I think your words are beautiful and hope you feel that you are doing an amazing job and I am in awe of you every day.

  7. Aimee says:

    oh, dear sister!!! why do you have to live so far??? damn! thank God for the internet, but it doesn’t replace being able to sit and have coffee with someone.

    i don’t know if you have time, but if you do, you might find incredible commonalities in many things i’ve written since my IBC diagnosis:


    i wish you were closer…………