Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Contentment

Today has been a hard day.  Lucy is really struggling with her mucositis.  (Mucositis is the painful inflammation and ulceration of the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract, usually as an adverse effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for cancer).  She went to sleep last night around 9:00pm and didn't wake up, minus the potty trips, until 1:00pm this afternoon.  Ever since then, she has done nothing but lay on the couch, vomit and well, has stayed pretty miserable. Her poor throat and stomach are so raw that she is now vomiting blood.  The only silver lining that we found in our gray skies today is the doctor saying that maybe her neutrophils are coming back and that could be making her fill so crummy.  That's what I'm clinging to tonight. 

Cancer is horrible.  It is evil and nasty.  An adult suffering through cancer treatment is hard to imagine.  A child suffering through it is impossible to comprehend.   But I have to remember that this is just a tortuous means to a wonderful end.  Last night as I talked to God I expressed my inability to grasp what has been going on in our lives for the past almost 7 months.  Even now, it is as hard to get my head around as it was on February 23rd.  Some days I look around this hospital and ask "How did this happen.  Are we really here?"  It's like I'm living in some odd parallel universe.  One that you only read about in sad books or movies. 

But in some strange and twisted state of acute awareness, I have been forced to look at my life from an outsider's perspective.  And I have to tell you that I haven't liked what I've seen.  There is too much doing and not enough living happening in the Krull household.  Going, doing, busy, busy, busy.  Way too little time spent playing with legos, reading books or teaching my children about God.  Don't get me wrong, we didn't have all our priorities out of whack.  We just need to spend a little time refocusing on the important things in life.  And I do think that team sports, church activites and the like are important.  They teach our children such valuable lessons.  I just don't need them taking precedence over the REAL important things in our lives.  If my day is so full of "to-do's" that I don't once take my babies by the hand, look them in the eyes and tell them that I love them with all my heart then I need to change some things in my life. 

I've realized that I what I really miss during my time here in the hospital is time spent with my family.  I've always known that Erik was my best friend.  That's never changed since we met some 16 years ago.  I do think, however, that I have taken our friendship for granted.  Not our marriage, but our friendship.  It's been so long since we've made each other a priority.  And you know, I have to say with all honesty that if Lucy had not gotten sick, or if we had not gone through some equally traumatic life experience, I don't know if we would have figured that out.  And I thank God for this opportunity to start over. 

Lots of starting over.  Husband, children, friends, God.  And myself to be honest.  I have such a desire to start exercising again.  I want need to be in shape so that I can give my whole self to the family I love so dearly.  I long to be in the kitchen cooking healthy meals for them.  Date nights are going to be a monthly event for Erik and I.  I appreciate the opportunity to be a better friend in the future.  I also look forward to returning to church and I continue to pray that God will open my eyes to what wonderful service lies ahead for me/us.

I also think that this experience has helped me with something I have been working on for a long time.  For so many years I struggled with such a materialistic worldview.  It was as if I was always wanting more.  I was trying to fill a hole in my life I guess.  Its taken several years but I've come a long, long way.  I still have my moments of relapse, don't get me wrong.  I still struggle with the "wantsies" sometimes.  But through lots of prayer and tons of patience from my husband I've made some serious changes.  And not to sound like I'm contradicting myself from the above paragraph, but sitting in the hospital room tonight I have never felt more content in all my life.

Yes, I long for my child to be well.  I desire to be home with my family.  But those aren't longings for material things.  Those are the yearnings of a mother desperately wanting her family to be one again.  No, I am content with life.  I have a husband who loves me more than I know, we have been blessed with 3 perfect children and we have the ability to pay our bills, put food on the table and have a nice roof over our heads.  We are surrounded by parents, grandparents, siblings and cousins who have all served as rocks during this trial.  We have wonderful friends who have supported us so much during this time and we have been blessed daily by the kindness of strangers.  Lucy is receiving the best care any child could hope for in this situation and I have the freedom to worship a marvelous God without fear of retribution.  Is there really anything else in the world that I need?

I told my pastor the other day that so many of us go through life stuck in a horrible rut.  Most of the time we don't even realize it.  We've been there for so long that it has become a way of life.  I compared it to driving down the interstate.  Big trucks have created ruts in the road that you don't even know are there until it starts to rain.  Then, you realize that driving in those ruts is where you begin to hydroplane.  You know that you need to get out of the rut but it's really hard.  Your tires are so used to driving on that worn path.  It's the easy way to travel.  It's only when the rain is so bad  that you have to take both hands and literally concentrate with all your might to pull your wheels out of the rut.  Then the hard part comes when you have to work to keep your care from vearing right back to those worn in ruts.  But you know that driving outside of the ruts is the only safe way to get to where you are going. 

That's where I was in life.  Driving in the ruts.  It was the easy way to do it.  Not any more though.  Our family is going to be making our own paths.  We are going to make new roads to travel on.  I know it won't be easy, but neither is kicking cancer's butt.  If "we" can do that, we can do anything. 

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25 comments:

  1. Thanks for helping me grow along side your journey, Kate. Praying.

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  2. Wow!! What an amazing post!! Just what I needed to hear tonight!! You don't know me and to be honest I can't remember how I happened upon your blog!! I count it a privilege to pray daily for your precious family. We live in Memphis. Today I traveled to our Munford office for work. It made me smile on the inside to see the pink and purple bows and the "Go, Lucy, Go" sign up next door to our office. (I work at Stern Cardiovascular Center). Please know that you and your family are making such a huge impact on so many people. It truly is about perspective. (our family realized this 8 years ago when my mom battled cancer!! May God give you and Lucy sweet rest in Him tonight. Sharon Harrison

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  3. This is such a powerful and important blog post. thank you!

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  4. Thank you for the amazing perspective. You are an inspiration. I read your blog daily and check for updates several times a day. My family is praying for Lucy, Ella and Jack and for you and Erik. Tonight I pray that Lucy's throat feels better and that her stomach calms down. Sending virtual hugs to you and Lucy.

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  5. Sweet Kate! I loved hearing your words tonight... (just don't like the reason you have to write them)! As always though, they touched my heart! You have definitely opened my eyes. I've been driving in "a rut" as well... and it's time to move on and make our path! Needed to hear that tonight!

    Give that precious Lucy a hug for me and tell her it's from someone who loves her dearly! :) It hurts my heart to know that she's having such a hard time. As always, I am wrapping all of you in ALL the prayer I can!

    GO Lucy GO!

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  6. Kate, We continue to pray daily for each of you. Encouraging to see how the Lord is working in your life and glorifying Himself in doing so even in the midst of this journey. May you continue to find your daily strength in our Savior.

    The Pellegras

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  7. I have just read your blog, I've followed Lucy's progress for quite a while, and your sentiments are so true to most peoples lives. Please try your hardest to keep the promises you are making, it is so very easy to slip back into the old ways and lose what you have gained, believe me I know. Love to Lucy from the cat lady in the UK.

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  8. You ARE doing everything. Your strength just amazes me once again, thanks for helping me see th ruts even in the bright sunshine!

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  9. Wow, what a great post. Thank you for this - I needed it today. Changing my focus. I've been praying for you and your family and read your blog daily. Thank you for sharing your heart :-)

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  10. No that I am glad to have learned this lesson because of you. But I am sitting here tears rolling down my face because from the first day I read about Lucy- this summer I have been OUT OF IT and I could not figure out why....and EVERY REASON you listed up above is what I have learned this summer as well all because of Lucy.......I you put my thoughts into words. Words can't give enough thanks for that....

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  11. Hang in there! I pray for Lucy and you all daily!

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  12. Thanks for encouraging me this morning. I really needed to hear that! I thank God for him using your words to help me. Still praying for your family and sweet Lucy.

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  13. Awesome post! It was such a blessing and conviction to me! So many times I forget how easy life really is - how much I really take advantage of!

    I'm praying that Lucy will start feeling better! It hurts the deepest part of my heart to see her so miserable!

    GO LUCY GO!

    Love,
    Allison

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  14. Wow, you have described my life in those last few paragraphs. My husband and I have been in a rut for a little while now. It is hard to get out, but we are trying hard to.

    I pray for Lucy and you, I have no idea what you are going through, but as a mom as well, I know it can't be easy. God bless you on your new road you plan on taking! :)

    Tressa

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  15. Thank you thank you thank you! Your words touch my heart daily. I come to work everyday and in the morning as I eat my breakfast, I click on your blog and read about what your sweet Lucy has endured thus far. May God be with you and your family daily, through this trying time! You have no idea what in impact your daily testimony does for a stranger like me! I may never meet you in this lifetime, but you have no idea how much perspective you have put into my life. I think twice now and I hug my daughter a little longer each night because of you and your sweet Lucy. Thank you!

    Much Love From a Prayer Warrior Jacksonville, Florida!!

    Jessica

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  16. Very well put. Hope Lucy's mucositis resolves soon

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  17. I hope you know that within this blog there is a book--a wonderful perspective on life, parenting, faith, trials, and most of all, healing. Maybe a book is part of what lies before you, along with speaking engagements to share your journey. Oh, how people will long continue to be blessed by your experiences. I am--every day when I read your blog. Praying for Lucy and each one of your beautiful family...

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  18. Thank You so much for sharing this deep thoughts with us. I have been having a major pity party lately. After reading this, I will change. Thank You.

    I have tried to stop commenting as much (I don't want to seem like a blog stalker). Please know that we pray for Lucy daily here!

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  19. I've been praying that you would (quickly) learn what you need to learn in all this....You're learning. You're growing. You are allowing The Great Creator of this endless universe to work His way in your life. (you just Thought you were before!). I am SO proud of you! You can sit on your haunches and whine and cry, or you can Learn. YOU are learning. Hug your husband and thank him for going thru this with you and staying the course for your family. When all is said and done, and the children are married and living elsewhere, HE is the one you will still have around. Continue to make that count! Praying like crazy for you every day. (I'm a friend of Linda Joyce May).

    xoxoxo Toni Bailey, Tahlequah OK robtone@sbcglobal.net

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  20. Thank you for sharing your life. Your beautiful family and the struggles you face daily humble my heart - it makes me realize life is not about me. Many blessings and much love ~ Alice

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  21. Kate, I have never walked in your shoes. But, I believe with all my heart that your pain is not in vain. I know that Jesus is suffering with you and your daughter...it hurts His heart as well. I do not know why God allows cancer, especially in children. But, I do know that He loves seeing a body of believers come to Him in prayer and believing that He will heal her! We are still praying for you all! When you are weak, let these prayers carry you! Hugs~Sarah

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  22. Axelle a french readerSeptember 1, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Strenght and courage.
    Each mother, each parent could live what you're living. And this feeling that everything would never never be the same.
    Take care of you and of Lucy.

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  23. Thank you so much for allowing all of us to read your thoughts and fears on yawls journey for Lucy's ultimate miracle that God has in store for her.

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  24. Your entire family is an inspiration to us all. As I read your posts, I get a mixture of emotions. I feel sad for your pain, happy for your triumps, curious to see whats next, jealous for the longing to be as strong,humble to realize what is important, love in my heart for your family, and s strong presence of GOD around me. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. Prayers and hugs..

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