My 6 month check-up scans are this Monday.
Where has the time gone? And at the same time, it doesn’t even seem like I was finishing up treatments 6 months ago, bald, tired, anxious.
Looking back at the time, it almost seems mythical. Like that period of treatment was other-wordly, that it wasn’t even me undergoing treatment then but someone who looked like me, thought like me.
And at times, it seems like the chemo-brain fogs all of your memories from treatment life still. (Is this fog called Denial?) Fog that seemingly separates now and then, present and past, and yet I know the fog is really not there, there is really no true separation of time: this is my continuous life.
I thank God that He called me to write more and blog over this past treatment year. It is a thought-scrapbook of myself, for myself, even more so valuable to me than to any other reader. I re-read at times and am truly amazed that I could even formulate sentences back then; a true gift of grace He gave me unique moments of time, of clarity, of ability to write, reflect, remember.
I’m on an archeological mission: re-reading old blog posts, un-earthing blog-bones, carefully examining and lifting them up from the earth. I always wanted to be an archeologist growing up, and who knew that one day I would be digging up myself from ancient artifact. Because yes, the past does seem ancient and distant and like it was another world at times. And yet, I dust off my blog-bones and see that truly they are the same ones living in me still, still, alongside the living bones who at times host cancerous cells, the radiation damaged bones, and currently my broken bone in my arm from a fall.
I printed off a physically copy of my blog posts for myself at Staples about a month after treatment ended, Staples bounding it with its spiral black plastic. And a shock: about 200 pages I printed off. 200 pages! Paper upon paper bound together, thick as a bone. And to have this blog in hand, so physical in nature, reminds me that yes, this did happen. You have had cancer 3 times in your lifetime, and this documents only the latest. (And if this was only 200 pages, what would the other 2 times bring?) The 200 page bound book is heavy; my life is indeed heavy. It sits on my dresser, even more physical reminder than the blog itself, published electronic words and sentences floating somewhere in mythical cyberspace and only obtainable through my phone, my laptop.
I look at the bound blog-book at a distance to briefly remember;
I read to remember grace and gratitude;
I slowly edit to compare my life then and now, and in hopes for a future for myself, for this blog-book, that maybe it will one day future-time might be a real, physical book (if He wills it.)
I am trying to remember and reflect and overall have more gratitude. I truly believe that returning praise and thanks will guard my heart from its anxieties of upcoming scans, of health-future in general. I am not so anxious for these upcoming scans as I thought I would be, but oh, I know I must still prepare for myself for the next several days because emotions seem to shift at times so quickly.
I’ve been reflecting on how much the people of Old reflecting back on their own pasts. In fact, at times God commanded them to take a moment to reflect, create a makeshift altar in that moment to think about what He had just done for them. And then there are the beautiful, historical psalm-songs, melodies of rememberance, each line sung to reflect and thank on how God came through in Egypt, in Joseph, throughout Israelite history (Psalm 105). Remembering the past, how He has come through time and time again.
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
2 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
4 Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
5 Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he uttered
Remembering the past not only unearths gratitude along with the artifacts, but another treasure: confidence. He is always continuously adding to His resume of faithfulness to me, and in looking backward can inspire confidence in moving forward to future-hope.
I long to be confident as He calls me forward, so I read on and write on and reflect on.
Help make my moves and thoughts be confident in You and Your provisions for me!