Most of you know that I am a klutz. I hurt myself a lot. I run into things, I stub my toes, and I trip and fall. Not great habits to have when one has minimal self-healing powers. But usually great for comic relief. A few months ago, I fell at work. Like totally busted it. It was raining, so I couldn’t take my students outside for recess, and I decided to play follow the leader with them up and down the hallways. Slick hallways. We were pretending to be on a roller coaster when I somehow tripped over my own feet and went sliding, face-first, down the hallway floor. I looked like I was on a slip-n-slide, only no water. Ouch. And of course I did this right in front of the director and a prospective parent. I sat up and turned around to see all of my students following suit, sliding on the floor. They loved it. They thought I did it on purpose. I needed to sit on the floor for a few minutes, so I took advantage of the fact that we were near the restrooms and sent them on a potty break. This is just one example of how my dorkiness sometimes gets misinterpreted as me being a cool teacher. I had bruises on my knees for a loooong time. The kids all seemed to survive the slide just fine, though I nixed all future rounds of roller coaster follow the leader. The next time we played spies and just sneaked around the building instead. Much safer.
I tell you this story because it is exactly what I seem to be doing with my life lately – going along just fine, doing my thing, when BAM! – I fall on my face and realize that I am not in control of my life. But I get back up. Sometimes with a little grace, sometimes with a little pain. A few weeks ago, I fell again. I was being stubborn and assumed I could carry my sleeping daughter up a wet staircase while wearing flip flops. Not my finest decision. (We all know what happens when we assume!) Thankfully, Fiona was fine, but I ended up spraining my ankle as my entrance into my in-laws’ house for the weekend. Lots of ice, hobbling, x-rays, and an ankle brace later, I am doing okay. But again, I was reminded…every time I think I’ve got things under control, God shows me that I don’t. Thankfully, I had my wonderful family there to pick me up and force me to take it easy. That is a difficult thing for me to do. It is hard for me to admit that I am not always strong, that I do not always have it all together, that sometimes this cancer thing gets the best of me.
Last week I had my last chemotherapy treatment. Number 12 of 12. Thank the Lord. But I am not finished yet. My PET scan looked a lot like my last one – there is a spot near my port that is still lighting up. This doesn’t mean it’s the Hodgkin’s. It could be something else – inflammation from the port or a number of other things. What is does mean, though, is more investigation. I feel like I have stumbled again. Things didn’t quite go according to my plan. But that’s just it. It was my plan. There was no guarantee that things would go the way I wanted them to. They never do. And this is just a minor setback. The medicine worked. It eradicated 99% of the cancer from my body. Maybe even 100%. I just have to be patient and work with my doctor to figure out this last little puzzle. I have to trust that God is not finished with me yet. He wants me to get back up. He wants me to keep going. My story is not finished yet. There is more to tell, more to write, more to share. And trust me, I will share it. You have all been instrumental in helping me climb to my feet time and time again. I have no doubt that when this is all over, I will be standing strong. Not through my strength, but through His and through yours.