Friday, May 4, 2012

....what we are.

I thought I'd drop by Ragnar here for just a brief time and air my feelings for a bit.

The other day I'd gotten an e-mail from my friend Glen, updating me on the story of a little girl named Rachel who's battling for her life against cancer.  Those who are regulars here on Ragnar know what I'm talking about.  I'd become lax in posting about her, and I regret it.

Glen received an e-mail this time from Rachel herself, which sums up what's been happening since I last posted about her.  I'll let you read it for yourself:

Good morning,

Here is the latest on Rachel, from Rachel.

Her wise words are something we should all remember "Trust in ME".

When all of this first started I thought I knew the "schedule" which was 8 rounds of chemo surgery, radiation and then 6 more months of maintenance chemo. So I kept my mind on that schedule until I found out my tumor grew through the 3 rounds of the Sloan protocol. That made me so upset and from there I was always so depressed. I would cry over everything- hellos, goodbyes everything. The past 3 rounds of chemo were hard on me and not on the tumor. So we tried the 3rd protocol and we found out it didn't work. So we went to Boston and talked to the doctors and they said that surgery isn't something that they want to do. They simply said that my tumor was challenging and smart and found a way to grow with the chemo. There are 5 total protocols to try and so far 3 haven't worked. So I'm very worried and upset because what if none of them work? That's where I have to trust God. The doctors said that this battle will go on for another 9 months to a year which is not what I expected and then I have all the schoolwork to catch up on. The radiation might interrupt the growth plates and my legs might be different lengths. I just feel like this whole experience will affect and change my life forever in a sort of a bad way. My siblings have told my mom in tears that they just want the old Rachel back. Those words just tear me apart. It's been very tough for my family to watch me suffer and to feel as bad as me emotionally. But my mom continues to be my biggest supporter because this has been a long fight and I am not half way through. Thank you so much for all the thoughts and prayers they do really mean a lot to me. But I know one day God will reveal to me why all this has happened but for now he tells me to "Trust in Me" so that's what I'm trying to do…

"Jesus Never Fails"

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."

Psalm 23:4

Now... how remarkable is that?  This speaks volumes to me.  No matter how hard you have it, or how hard I have it, does it even remotely measure up to what Rachel is enduring?  Has it ever?  And yet she stares down her illness, with Jesus standing behind her, providing inspiration for anyone battling with any kind of struggles in life.  She's a hero.  I don't think she quite realizes that.

I know what a lot of people would say... "why would God let anyone go through this?  Why does he allow such suffering?"  There's always more to the story than we often already know, that we will know later.  God's only Son pleaded with his Father on the night before his death to spare him of what was to come, if it was at all possible.  God didn't spare Him.  So, which one of us places themselves above Jesus that we should be spared when He wasn't?  Reading Jesus' story in the gospels, while all the turmoil was happening, it was also hard to see why God was allowing it all.  But in the years to pass, it made a lot more sense, didn't it?  Perhaps even for several generations after the death of Christ, His followers questioned why the greatest teacher to ever live was allowed to be stricken down by other men.  But time is also a great teacher, in tandem with Christ.  

But, before it sounds like I think I belong in church doing homilies....

Let me update those who are concerned about Janice on her health.  Great strides have been made.  Movement in her face gets better every day, and last night she slept without taping her eye shut for the first time since dealing with Bell's Palsy.  There is still some numbness.  Her ear still hurts quite a bit at times, and her eye bothers her every now and then, but things are greatly improved, and continue to improve.  She talks often about how much it means to her to have the support of Alexandra and myself, and every one of her friends that stay in touch with her to ask about her.  Just yesterday, our old friend Marshall, he a co-worker from my last job, dropped by her work and asked to give her a hug.  Something as simple as that made her day to the point that telling me about it made her tear up, and in turn made me really happy.  What a great circle of friends we have.

Janice is dealing with other things that exacerbate her physical condition, though.  The biggest being her sister, who was diagnosed with terminal illness not long ago.  Her sister was flown from Alberta to spend a week in Moncton with family, perhaps for the last time.  You can imagine the emotional impact that would have on her.  She makes an effort to go see her every day and make the most of every moment.  

So, I am at peace with everything.  I've realized over the past two years just how badly, mentally and emotionally, damaged I was from my last job experience.  I'm not kidding when I say that if I'd endured it much longer, it may have reaped dire consequences.  It was bad enough that I had to get myself together over the years following walking out of that place, but concurrent events just compounded the wreckage in my heart and soul that truly tested me.  Finally, I've come to realize that having a job where you're appreciated, that you're actually good at, means a whole lot more than you might realize.  Self worth is paramount in mental and emotional recovery.  I'm a sensitive guy, for sure, prone to hurt feelings, though not near as much anymore because of this newfound confidence. But I've actually learned to accept my own sensitivity, and embrace it.  A friend of mine, Michelle Arsenault, was discussing these topics with me recently, and she put it to me... Why are we apologizing for being sensitive all the time?  Indeed.  We are what we are.  No apologies necessary.  And those who seek to change us, need instead to adapt to us just how we are, or move on.

Thanks to the commenters on the last few blogs.  They mean a lot to me, and to us.  

If you could, say a prayer for Rachel, and for Janice's sister, as well as Janice herself.  You will see updates about Rachel with more frequency here on my site.

Thank you for tuning in once again.  I'm blessed to have you reading.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for keeping us up to date with everyone. The strenght that Rachel must have going through all that chemo...God's is helping her get thro it. I just can't imagine what she going thro.
    Janice, hang in there! as Rachel,your strenght is amazing! it will get better, and to your sister Jaince, even tho I have not met her - God bless her, God is with her always. love yas all - mfd xo