Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hot Flashes and the Holy Spirit

When I first started going through chemo I wasn't sure if I was flushing or flashing. My surgery had very cruelly shoved me into early menopause so I was warned that my body would be in a state of flux.
Anyone who might be a little iffy with an accurate definition of flux - be it known that it includes various stages of mental instability, uncontrollable _________ (pick an emotion and fill in the blank) and horrible weight gain.

I was told that some of the carboplatin/taxol [bittersweet] poison that dripped into my body for six months had some interesting side effects, too - one of them being flushing.

My saint of a husband very wisely bought me a robotic like fan complete with a remote control and situated the blessed piece of whirling gadgetry next to my side of the bed. He dared not touch the remote but did get himself an extra quilt for his side.

Some days were agony. Most nights were. Between bedding being tossed and the fan running full blast throughout the wee hours of the morning, I started to feel grateful that all my hair had fallen out.

Two years later, here I am. My hair is back. Chemotherapy is over and the flushing has ceased. However, the hot flashes remain. Thanks be to the good Lord, that they are not as barbarically unbearable as they used to be and mostly they happen when the sun goes down. My fan is still strategically placed at my bedside, however, and in the two years we have owned it, there are no male fingerprints on my remote. It stays at the ready on my bedside table.

Oddly, today, I was sitting in church contemplating my life and rejoicing in all that was good. As I did so, I felt a surge. I was a little confused. Then it hit. Usually reserved for the nocturnal moments, the hot flash began to flow through my body. It somehow did not seem fair. Here I was praying, rejoicing, giving thanks and appreciating God and what He has done in my life.

As beads of sweat formed on my hairy noggin' it hit me. I wasn't having a hot flash. I was being washed; cleansed and moved. The Holy Spirit was getting my attention. That was it. At least that's what I'm saying from now on.

So here's my story (and I'm sticking to it.) I've decided that instead of dreading and whining and complaining about spontaneous hot waves wreaking havoc on my unsuspecting body, I’m going to use them as a reminder. No more will I waste a hot flash. I pledge to remember that I have a Comforter, a Source of hope, and a Reason to be happy.

In the future, as I experience my hot moments, I will (try my best) to see these as a (gulp) gift from God. Hey…some people need a wake up call with a two by four. If a hot flash works for me…(but I’m not giving up my remote.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dales Tales

Once upon a time there was a determined young lass. Dale is her name. Promoting a zest for life and a desire to help her fellow man (woman) is her focus. I'm not sure how long Miss Dale has been doing these breast cancer luncheons in Drayton - I'm thinking 4 years. but they are certainly a big success. Theresa Scholten, another doggedly determined soul, is Dale's right hand man (woman) and she handles the registration table single handedly. And a fine job she does! I would be going cuckoo trying to keep everything straight.
Although I had ovarian cancer, not breast cancer, the gals asked me to be in the 'survivor' picture, too. I was honoured to do so. I'm the one sitting on Dale's knee! Theresa is 2nd from the right. There's 11 of us here, counting blessings and enjoying the moment. Linda is missing. Linda is a trooper. She made it to the luncheon but had to head out a little early. It was a good day, had by all. Special thanks to Dale for the super job she did as an MC. The food was great. The fellowship was fine. And the money raised for cancer research gives hope to many.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010