Thursday, February 21, 2008

Feeling Everything

Here in Houston the weather has been a bit damp and cold at times. It reminds me of when I lived in London. Only difference is now I really 'feel' the cold and damp. It's not age (ok maybe) because I ache in the same areas I get the CML bone pain (hip and upper leg). Other CML patients say they ache there too as that is where the 'action' occurs fighting the leukemia.

While I feel better, I do seem to have a fever most days. The fever isn't high enough to go to the hospital as it stays just below 100.5. However, I did have the up and down fever for 10 days and last Friday went to the hospital after talking with the research nurse. All the xrays and tests turned out well. In fact my blood levels are 'almost perfect.' The PA (a different one than the kale day) was impressed that the levels were so good. We talked about the 80% raw food etc. and she asked lots of questions. In addition to all that blood goodness, I lost 5 more pounds since the last hospital visit. Seems nuts and greens agree with me.

Each day I have a little bit more energy. It's like the sunlight, as we gain a few more minutes each day, I gain a few more minutes of energy. We even went to the movies this week! Staying up until 9pm has been a stretch for me for some time, but I am staying up as late as maybe a seventh grader now. haha.

Lili and I have shed more than a few tears in the past few weeks. Sometimes we don't talk about cancer at all, but some days it's everywhere. Lili struggles with her prayers that don't get answered. My response was "Don't feel lonely on that one. I don't know anyone who handles unanswered prayers well." We went on to discuss the differences between God and "Santa Claus." Seems obvious I know, but the concept of God as a dispenser of answers to prayers needed some attention.

Lili asked "If it's important to pray, and prayer changes things, then why are my prayers not answered?" My first response was "who knows?" Then I remembered that I am the parent and should be 'helping' with this dilemna. As Lili recounted many of her prayer requests and how many haven't occured, we both cried. There wasn't much I could say about 'why God seems to answer some prayers and not others.' I quipped it was something about a parent's perogative. She didn't understand and frankly I don't either. Perhaps that's one of those questions we get to ask the 'Big Guy' when we are hanging out in the afterlife?

I did try to explain that we all bear the consequences of our own actions, as well as the decisions and actions of others--even people many generations ago. (See environmental damage, or Middle East conflict for more evidence on that topic.) As we went through some of Lili's 'unanswered prayers' I tried to link what happened to her to the actions of many people. Then trying to explain 'free agency' and the power to choose we talked about how God gives us the ability to make decisions for ourselves as individuals and as communities. Sometimes the 'rights' afforded humans in different countries don't recognize our God given freedoms and responsiblities. Nevertheless, we still bear the burden of freedom of our own mind and our own decisions. Lili and I cried again over all she has lost and endured due to the unwise decisions of others. She is having a hard time with how to focus on the future realizing that everything, and everyone, can leave in a moment. She says she thinks it's unfair for her new mom (me) to have cancer and maybe not be around. What's a mom supposed to say to that?

My response to the past few weeks of 'learning with Lili' has been to try and focus on what can I do today to heal relationships, mend hearts, and create peacefulness and calm. Some days I totally suck at it. Still Lili and I keep trying to deepen our friendships, clean out our home and our lives of things that distract us from what is really important... our relationships with others.

Living life to the fullest takes courage and I think more than a few tears from time to time. Truthfully, until recently I only seemed to really cry with just one of my friends and he isn't available for my crying jags now. I am hoping that the tears of the past few weeks turn winter into spring and pain into laughter.

We keep praying and trying...


lilibelletx said...

Thanks for all the comfort and love that you are giving me. i know that it is hard to answer all the questions that i have. but hey thats what i am here in your life for to ask you questions and learn more about life. i really appreciate how you are helping me get through all the questions that i have about god. because theology teacher isnt really helping...hahaha. anywyas! just know that i love you and am always happy to have you around and that its all going to be over soon...WITH PRAYERS!


Anonymous said...

None of us know what tomorrow will bring. For our time and prayers will only tell. We hope the best for both you and Lili.
We should all live like today is our last, but most don't. Lili you know, Rhonda was so lucky to end up with a daughter as lovely as you and you so lucky to end up with a mom as beautiful as Rhonda. God has a plan for each of us and we have to just do our best and be a kind and loving person. Someday each of us will know our destination.
Rhonda always enjoy reading about your journey. Sometimes happy and sometimes sad.
We love you both,
Karon, Dave and Family

debbiedoesraw said...

Rhonda: how blessed you are in Lili! She even comments on your blog, Wow!
Want you to know that I will hold you in my prayers for your bmb... use leukemia gals got to hold each other up, esprecially when we are face down on that damn table.
Good thoughts, lots of love

skyecat said...

You are such an inspiration! I love the way you write, too. Are you a journalist? I didn't read far down enough to see what you do for a living...

Thanks for having the courage and more importantly the sense of humor to kick the little c's butt!

My good thoughts and hugs, prayers and best wishes are sent your way today and each day.


Anonymous said...

Hi Rhonda,
I really believe God does answer all of our prayers...not always the way we want them answered or on our timetable...but I know He hears and answers.The best gift I have been given by God is the Holy Spirit and the immediate access I have to Him when I am living in such a way to Hear Him!! It's quite amazing to me how it all works...don't really understand it, but I know it is real!! I love the little book "Don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff" Now, I wouldn't say cancer is "small stuff" but it is a good read and gives us food for thought!! I love ya girl...we need to have a family fun get together...none of us are getting any younger!! I would be glad to host it!! I put your name on the prayer roll at the Temple...Tell Lili...Keep praying, even when she doesn't feel like it or it seems like it isn't is!! That's where the faith combined with obedience comes in!! Think of you often!! I, too, am working on a bucket list!! Loved yours...and the movie was great!!

Joanne said...

Hi Rhonda!
Thinking of you! I don't know if my first message posted or not. I just wanted you to know that my prayers continue for you and Lili. I was at Sionito this past weekend for the Leadership Retreat. I presented that PP Presentation of the pictures of people of the MC. You and Lili were both in it!

I am glad to hear that at least some tests came back good! I am praying they will just get better and better.

Sorry to read about your pain. Both physical and mental. Just know you are loved and you are never alone! What a blessing you are to many people.

Remember I am a phone call away.

Love you...Joanne

debbiedoesraw said...

Hey gal
I will be thinking of you on that table tomorrow. tell them to dope you up good! It sucks but it is over fairly quickly.. it only feels like forever...
Good thoughts to you fellow leukemia-ite.. we need our own planet I think..
love debbie