Monday, February 13, 2012

Life Interrupted: A New Journey Begins

There's no good time in life to hear the word 'cancer', yet for so many, it is the unwelcome reality that they face.  One short word, yet so many complexities that interrupt the rhythms of a happy life.

My friend, Victoria, is facing this interruption.  Christmas had just passed when she discovered an unwelcome visitor within her body and life changed...   But I'm getting ahead of the story.  Let's back up and allow me to tell you a little bit about Vicky's life.

Vicky and Ron
Victoria turned 50 in May 2011. Throughout her life she has been a stay at home mom, a factory worker, medical assistant and worked in Guest Services at the Holiday Inn Express.   She and her husband, Ron have gone through some difficulties over the years. Twice they lost work through factories closing - the later forcing Ron into early retirement, yet through it all they maintained the firm belief that God is good.

In September of last year, Vicky began caring for their newest granddaughter, Trinity Ann, who is now seven months old and according to Victoria, "the best boss ever".

This coming April, Ron and Victoria plan to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Ronnie came into her life when Victoria's youngest was 4 and together they have raised their combined five children - Angie Overholt Jasper, age 37, Jason Overholt, age 35, Clarice Brooks Beck, age 31, Austin Brooks, age 29 and Derek Brooks, age 26.

Today, they have eleven wonderful grandchildren and enjoy getting together as a family, having cookouts and just watching the kids play.

Vicky holding Trinity

As she begins her journey through cancer, chemo and all that it brings, I've invited her to share her thoughts along the way.  She was more than willing to do that and I hope that not only will this inspire you to pray for Victoria, but also to live your lives with the same gratitude and joy I see in Vicky's.

Derek & Tabby

Austin, Tia and boys

Here's Vicky:

Ok Lord, I'm writing... 

You know I have been encouraged by my friends and family to journal. It's been 45 days since my life was "officially" interrupted.

I wasn't ready back then to write about it and I thought for sure I would be able to remember every detail about that day. I'm sure it's because of your mercy that I don't.

I got the phone call from my doctor around 10 am December 29th a Thursday. I was sitting in the Adirondack loveseat in our mudroom, one of the few places I can get a good phone signal. I sat there and listened as he told me the fine needle biopsy from my breast lump came back positive for cancer. 

He talked to me for probably an hour. I'm sure there was a lot I didn't even hear. I wish I could say that my first thought was , "God I trust you. God I trust you," but, Lord, you know it wasn't. Nothing is hidden from you. You know that my first thought was that I don't want to die.  I listened as Doc told me that this is a bump in the road. There's surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. He assured me that I wasn't a monster, that I was still Vicky. 

Well, a monster is what I felt like. I only wanted this "enemy" out of me as soon as possible. He told me I would have to have some other tests done to make sure it wasn't anyplace else in my body.  Fear gripped my heart at the possibility. The phone call ended. I honestly don't even remember if I cried then.

Ron and I sat down at the dining room table. He had been listening to my side of the conversation. Lord, I didn't want to tell this news to anyone. Of course, I had to.

I called my daughter, Clarice. I don't remember any of the conversation. I think I may have given her a list of people to call. I called my friend Betty. I do remember her saying she was sorry and she would tell Pastor Don. I know I didn't want people to feel sorry for me but to stand with me and pray for me.
I remember walking through the rooms of our house. This house that was an amazing blessing that you gave to us God, only a few months ago. I looked out of the windows. My thoughts were rampant... 

How many more times would I look out this window? 

How many more nights would I share this bedroom? 

How many more times would I get to see our wonderful grandchildren playing in the pool in our backyard? Even now I fight back the tears as I think about it.

Clarice came over later and was helping me hang up some clothes in my closet. She hugged me and said the only thing she asked of me was that I wouldn't give up.  "Of course I'm not going to give up," I told her. I wasn't sure what that meant. Does it mean I can't be sad? Does it mean I can't cry? Is that what it means to be strong?

Lord, I know that when I am weak, you are strong.  
I know, Lord, that you didn't give this to me. It says in Your Word in 1 John 3:8, For this purpose the Son of Man was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquites, the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
You knew Lord, before I did and that I would need You. Before I even had this confirmed diagnosis, you spoke to me. 

Ron and I were driving to Rod and Betty's one night. I was looking out the window into the darkness. I heard Your voice so clearly in my heart and mind. You said to me, "I'm holding you, I'm holding you." I said to You, "but I'm afraid."

You said to me, "Don't be afraid, I'm holding you."

Lord, this journey continues and I say to You, "Thank you for holding me. Don't stop holding me."

Life Interrupted Continued Here.

If you'd like to follow Vicky's journey, be sure to subscribe in the top right corner.

I invite you to comment below or email your words of encouragement for Vicky.


Anonymous said...

Fear thou not; for I am with thee:be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee ;yea I will help thee ;yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Stand on your promises Vicky!! I am praying with u, Love Nicole

Mary said...

Thank you Vicki for reaffirming my faith in Jesus. I have been having difficulties of late, feeling sorry for myself, and the such. This just reminds me, that in the scheme of things, sometimes we as humans can be petty. God has always watched over me, as I know he will continue to do for you. We your friends, and family, will be here every step of the way...holding hands, praying, doing everything we can to help you on this journey. Our savior has a plan, but please remember, you are not alone. As God has taught us, we are all a family in his eyes, and as a family we will do what we must. I love you, my sister.