Cancer Journey/ Spiritual

Figuring Out What New Means & A Health Update

I have been talking about all things NEW here at New Nostalgia for awhile now…and by golly, would you believe I’m still learning key lessons on what it means to live new? (I hardly ever say ‘by golly’ but it sure is fun when I do!)

{#oneword –Word of the Year Personalized Vintage Dictionary Necklace from Krafty Kash}

The above verse is the one I claimed for this year, and I know better than to think that what God is saying in the verse is that this year will be problem free. But honestly, I did have my fingers crossed and my heart hoping.
I had just ended the year healing from 3 months of 3 surgeries and had some new ‘parts’ (va-va- voom!) so I was feeling very excited, hopeful and ready to start the new year.
I had even talked about how NEW meant ‘change’ for me. Doing things in a new way.  Figuring out what was not ‘working for me’ (as Dr. Phil always asks…”how’s that workin’ for ya?”) and trying something different.
But somehow it sunk into my heart that “pathway through the wilderness” and that “rivers or streams through the desert” would look a certain way.  Especially when it came to my health.  I thought I would find some relief from the constant side effects and symptoms from having cancer.  Pathways in wilderness and streams in deserts sound pretty relieving after all, don’t they?
Well, God’s ways are always higher and different than what our wants and ways would be.  This is another thing I should know by now, but it is so easy forget.  His ways are higher, mysterious, and always good. I trust that fully.
So I have another look at the above verse, Isaiah 43:19 and I feel He is saying to me:
“Amy…do you not see it?”
 “I’ve made a pathway, I AM that stream. Follow me.  Walk easy into what I have for you…with wilderness surrounding, the unknown pulling for you thoughts…keep them on me.  For I am walking with you.  I made that path.  I know what is up ahead.  There will be times I will be carrying you, but mostly we will just be easy walking together, with life swirling around and temptations lurking, it will get easier and you will be surprised by our leisure hand-in-hand walking. This is what is NEW.  Your thoughts will be new.  Your focus will be new.  I have and am making you new this day and everyday.  The world you live in and circumstances that come your way are the wilderness. I am with you, child, so hold my hand, do not get distracted and do not fear.”
Oh and that stream?
“I have for you streams of living water that will give you strength and life.  I will refresh your soul.  I will lead you to exactly what you need. Your eyes are on me so you will not miss the life I have for you.  As a dear pants for water you long for this and I am here to give you an abundant life, where waters flow in and through you, spreading my abundant life source to others, for it never runs out.  When you are weary, drink.  When you are hurting or have been hurt by another, turn to me & drink.  Do not go running off into the wilderness frantic and needy.  I have all you need.  I am all you need.  This is the change.  This is what is new.  You will be turning to me more and more with ease, as your trust in me grows, as you remember all that I have done for you and how I have never left or forsaken you.”
Ahhhh…true refreshment.  How could I want for more?
These reminders come with some new symptoms that I have been having.
During my surgeries I had pleurisy and pleural effusion (fluid on the lung and lung inflammation).  It is not super common during surgery and it threw my surgeon a bit.  They put me on antibiotics and I felt better…until recently.  I am having pain in my left lung.  Not as painful as when I had pleurisy but very noticeable.  I am also short of breath and get winded just walking up stairs.  I have noticed cold weather we have been having irritates it when I am out in it.
I have been to the doctor and they are suspicious of radiation damage to my lung.  It is on the left side that was radiated and can be common in breast cancer survivors.  I knew when I had treatment that I would be dealing with side effects from treatment in the future, but I thought it would be when I am in my 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.  Not this soon.
I have an appointment with my Oncologiest on the 19th, where I will have full blood workup and a chest X-ray.  As much as I hate to do more radiation to the area (radiation is accumulative, and I have had a lot of it) they need to know what we are dealing with.  The lung is a common place for breast cancer to metastasize, so we need to rule that out.  It is also the exact area where my tumor came .1mm from my chest wall, so that makes me a little nervous.  The thing that I hold on to is that they did a chest MRI back in December, and nothing suspicious showed up there.  Just fluid and inflammation.  The problem is, there is always a reason for pleural effusion.  To fix it, you need to find the underlying cause.
It is funny when you are hoping for radiation damage.  Not that I want that at all, but it is much, much better than hearing cancer is back. If breast cancer comes back in an organ, it is an automatic stage 4.
I am also curious about how my heart is doing.  The chemo and radiation both effect the heart, fluid on the lung can be a sign that the heart is damaged, too.
Honestly, I am doing well with all of this. I am not fearful of it being cancer, although I very well know statistically where I fall and that it could be.
I struggled more with being disappointed that my NEW year with my NEW word was not working out as I had planned.  Notice the ‘my’ and ‘I’ in that statement.  Yeah, I’ve been working that out with God.
I found myself mourning my youth and a youthful body, as reality is I feel old.  The hormone blockers make me feel very old with hot flashes and all things menopause related.  I have been having lots of joint pain and stiffness on this new med. And now it looks like I have an old lady lung.  One of my first thoughts when I heard what this pain could be was “now I will never run a marathon.”  Not that I ever would have….but it ticks me off that I probably couldn’t even if I wanted to. From all I have read it seems like radiation lung damage is permanent and if anything can get worse over time.  Poo.
So yes, it was a hard week last week processing all of this, and I questioned God about the verse He gave me.  And He was close.  And He showed me where my thinking needed to change.  And He held me when I mourned.  And He has given me an extreme peace while I wait for my next appointments.
This is what walking on the path with Him looks like.  RELATIONSHIP.  Telling Him of my fears, questioning Him, processing with Him.  He is ever so close and faithful.  This week the two of us just paused on the path together, He held me & listened, then reminded me of all His promises, and told me to drink.  I am refreshed.  I have eyes to see.  I have NEW hope, purpose, & peace.

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    May 12, 2014 at 1:49 am

    […] to see the brand of Vitamin D I take. I am feeling a big sigh of relief.  Not too big, as my lung is still giving me issues when I breathe deep. Pretty sure this is due to radiation damage, but I hardly notice it and it has […]

  • Melanie Dorsey
    February 14, 2014 at 2:09 am

    I’m lifting you in prayer, Amy.

  • Katherine sakovich
    February 8, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    So thankful for your transparency. Your journey is an encouragement. Praying for you.

  • JacquieLeigh
    February 8, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Amy, I am sending you love and light, seeing you already enveloped in the mighty divine spirit. I see this spirit surrounding you, uplifting you and cradling you through this difficult process. Your courageous and generous heart and being will do what it is meant to do, healing your every molecule until you radiate perfect health and wellness.

  • Anonymous
    February 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Liz from Singapore wrote you. this is liz from “Down south USA”.. What beautiful words have been written for you above. You are a brave, lovely, loving person, Amy Bowman. My prayers are always with you. Love to you.

  • True Agape
    February 8, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Praying for you! And that new will be present in your day to day life!

  • Anonymous
    February 8, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. I get so much out of what you said. Prayers for you and the NEW path He is leading you on.

  • Liz
    February 8, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Dear Amy .. my heart goes out to you. hang in there. praying that He gives you comfort.

    from faraway Singapore .. liz

  • Sandra Heska King
    February 8, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I very much dislike this news, Amy. But I very much like your attitude and your faith. Would it be okay if I kick a door in your name? Praying you through.

  • Steve
    February 7, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Love this “Notice the ‘my’ and ‘I’ in that statement. Yeah, I’ve been working that out with God.” Appreciate your authenticity. Praying for/with you. Appreciate the thoughts on “new” that have challenged my own perception of what that means today.

  • Kelly Greer
    February 8, 2014 at 1:36 am

    Amy – God is doing a NEW thing – I see it. As you draw near to him, he draws near to you. I pray you will experience his peace and presence like never before. He sees and he knows. I pray for his healing presence to infuse you – body, mind and spirit. Love to you!

  • Katrina Johnsen
    February 8, 2014 at 12:56 am

    Brave and kind to share your thoughts and truths w us. Praying for you, your girls and your husband! Much love!!!

  • Katrina Johnsen
    February 8, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Continue to walk without fear Amy.praying for you and blessed by your words…goodness ..or by golly 😉 … isn’t our life here on this earth hard..Thank God the Saviour reigns and we have Hope! much love!!

  • Cathy Campbell
    February 8, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Praying, and will continue to pray.

  • Michelle Rayburn
    February 7, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    I love how you share your heart! Praying for you in this time of waiting.

    On an unrelated note, I have your scarf, just in a different color. 🙂

  • Anonymous
    February 7, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    I am so glad to read your post today as I have been struggling with some of the same issues that you have mentioned here. It is comforting to know other people have similar struggles with the after effects of cancer and treatment. Prayerfully all will be good news for you and just a “new normal”.

  • fleur
    February 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    I say Poo too. And I feel your pain in my own issues!!!

  • Cara
    February 7, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Praying for you!

  • Angela
    February 7, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    First, you are Beautiful! Second, it is clear to see His mighty power within you! Third, thank you for sharing……sharing Christ, and sharing yourself. Our chief purpose in this life is to bring glory to God… do it well, my friend!

    blessings and prayers~~angela
    btw….did you receive the package I sent you back in early December?

  • Anonymous
    February 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Every time I read your blog I pray for you, asking Jesus to wrap His arms around you, hold you close and infuse you with His Light and Love.
    Bless you,

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