Hello and happy Friday!!! Another week down and another fun weekend ahead, but for me, this week wasn’t just any other week. I am officially done with one week of radiation and I have also completed week one of my externship at the VA. Praise God, it is working out just perfect and I am in a routine. A ROUTINE!!! I am definitely not used to it yet but boy does it feel good.
I’ll start with radiation first ok? Here it is: It is awesome. Quick, painless, and no side effects! At least so far and we are praying no side effects at all. I still have plenty of energy and no “sunburn” so I’m a happy camper. I am working right across the way from the building where I get treatment so I just take a little extra time on my lunch break, get zapped, and walk back to work. What a difference from having to feel awful AND drive an hour and a half for chemo. Radiation is so much easier and I am already thankful for the peace of mind it is bringing. Having a mastectomy was a no brainer but radiation feels sort of like an insurance policy giving us just that much more cushion. And after this past year, I’ll take all the cushion I can get!
Now let talk about my externship. I love love love love it! I will admit, I was a little nervous going in to it because I’m working in the lab and I haven’t had to draw blood from anyone in a year! But I have the best supervisor and he didn’t let me just sit around and watch all day and let the nervousness grow. He made me jump right in, obviously not literally since we are dealing with needles, and once I got my first stick over with, it was smooth sailin! I was afraid all of the older men who come in to the VA would give me a hard time and speak directly in that way that many an elderly person has earned the freedom to do, (I know you know what I’m talking about), but turns out they have all been more than willing to let a ‘little young lady’ jam a needle into their veins! And I’m pretty sure most of then would let me stick them twice if I asked 🙂
The best part of my job though has been how God has blatantly made it clear that I am living on the flipside now. I have been so ready and excited for some time now to start working with real patients with real problems because of how I can relate with all that I have been through. And finally, FINALLY I am able to use what I have been through to directly help others in similar situations. Just yesterday I saw a woman who had, had a mastectomy, I saw multiple people who have had blood clots, several people wearing compression stockings, and even a man who had an ileostomy. With that particular man, I actually saw his bag peeking out from his shirt and so I asked his wife if he’d had his colon removed. She said he had colon cancer and abscesses in his stomach and had had many drains in to get all the fluid out… Sound familiar at all?!?! I listened and then told her some of my story and turns out the man was very self conscious about his ileostomy bag. So when he was done getting stuck, I pulled him over and pulled up the bottom of my shirt just so he could see my bag, and the look on his face… I didn’t think I’d ever say this but seeing the look on his face, how encouraged he was seeing that some young girl could live and work with a bag just like him, it made it all worth it. Even to the point that I told God I would keep my bag forever if it meant I could encourage people like that every day. What a blessing it was, after all I have been through, to be on the flipside and using my story face to face. It’s hard to explain but it was so satisfying and real, like I was smacking the devil himself right in the face! Take that, you pitiful failure! He is defeated and I have won my battle! And not only have I survived, I am THRIVING and living life with even more ferocity than ever before! Major backfire dude. You messed with the wrong girl. He obviously didn’t know that I had the Almighty God and all of TeamKCT on my side! Thank you, Jesus.
Ok, got a little sidetracked there, back to my ileostomy friend. I talked with the man and his wife for a while and I hugged them both before they left. Then, I had to go into the break room and I thanked God right there for my past pain and trials. He uses ALL things in ways we’d never imagine and for that, I will be forever in awe of His ways.
So as you can tell, I am happy and thriving and ready for more stories and moments to share God’s love with as many as I can! And I challenge you to do the same! So many people right in front of you are wanting and waiting for some encouragement and love so keep your eyes open for opportunities! Sure, you occasionally get someone who “doesn’t want to go there” with you, and that’s ok. But when you take the risk, talk to someone, show that you care, and you see the look in their eyes, it will make it clear to you that God made us to share our lives and live in community with one another. What good is your story if you don’t share it?!? Take time to talk and LISTEN, even if for just a moment. Sometimes that is truly all someone needs.
Thank you for continuing to pray for me and for all those of you who have, and still are, taking time to share a moment with me. Even the smallest things you all say make my day! Continue to pray for me as I keep adjusting to the work world and to radiation. Life is good and I couldn’t imagine a better place to be to start back to my normal life. My only complaint is that by the end of the day, my face hurts from smiling so much! But if that’s all I can say then I guess I’m doing ok.