I’m not dead yet.
Mercy Maud, it’s been almost exactly two months since I last wrote. I am not proud of that. But here’s the thing: I have had zero news to share. Literally nothing has happened except the usual blood tests. I still don’t have any crucial news, but I couldn’t let another month go by without telling you that I have no big revelation to share. This blog post is therefore the equivalent of seasons 3-5 of LOST. But keep reading if you so desire. This post is completely free of time travel and hydrogen bombs, although there is a polar bear.
My platelets are still on the rise, unsurprisingly. My most recent test was the highest they’ve ever been, well over a million. I made a chart plotting every platelet count to which I have access. I wanted to see if I could find a faint pattern to tentatively predict when I will have to start taking chemotherapy. It didn’t work out, obviously, because darn it, Jim, I’m a caterer, not a doctor.
I still haven’t heard back from the research hospital, which is a bit of a surprise to me because the doctor was very insistent that I get the biopsy sent to her, so I thought it was urgent. But I’m going with “no newts is good newts” (which I read once in either a funny animal book when I was a small child, or possibly a P.G. Wodehouse novel. Alas, I will probably never know for sure because searching it only results in political articles. Go figure).
If the news were urgent, for example, “You have six months to live!” or “It was all a mistake!”, I imagine they would tell me sooner. I don’t mind being to the back of the pathologist’s line if it means my condition is less serious. I’m going to double check it with my cancer doctor when I next see him, but I’m not too fussed about it right now because frankly, I don’t really want to know yet.
I like where I am right now. The tests are annoying but not too bad. My health life is pretty much going the same way it has been since I first blacked out in a communications class freshman year. Tests, meds, occasional doctor visits. I don’t really want anything else to change right now, because I recently got a driver’s license, moved to a new apartment, and purchased a pet hedgehog. That’s change enough for me right now.
Yes, that’s right. I got a driver’s license over Christmas break. Five years behind the rest of the crowd, on my second attempt–success. The woman who checked me in offered this gem of encouragement: “The course conditions are really bad. If you even skid once you automatically fail.” But I actually had a nice examiner, so that helped. Also I did not skid.
You see, I’ve been afraid of driving for years. It’s not my thing. At all. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize in advance should you ever find yourself driving behind me, because I drive slower than molasses runs out of a jar. A similar apology is extended to anyone who ever has to ride with me, as I channel my driving anxiety into enthusiastic renditions of Irish folk songs. I still maintain I was born in the wrong century and I would be much happier learning to drive a buggy, or even better, going about on horseback. But here I am, with a license and a car and no horse.
But finally getting my driver’s license has been, in the brilliant words of Tolkien (it’s a new year, so I’m reading through the five main Middle-earth books again), “the falling of small stones that starts an avalanche in the mountains.”
How so? Well, conquering that fear has led me to realize how much I let fear hold me back. I’ve started evaluating the things I want or need to do but am afraid of doing–it’s a lot of things. And I’m trying to accomplish some of them, or at least take steps in that direction. I don’t want to live a small life because I’m afraid of doing things. I don’t want to make choices based on fear of other people or of getting hurt or of failing. I want to live to glorify God, not to gather regret.
I guess basically I’m trying to get out of the way and let God use me. It’s hard, because I don’t really understand where I belong in the Church. In my experience, things can be difficult when you are a young single woman who isn’t gifted as a teacher. I don’t really see yet how my gifts and the things I’m passionate about are of practical value to the Kingdom of God.
This, of course, goes back to my fear again. I think often we’re taught that God’s work is strictly church-related activities, and other things may be good but not particularly spiritual. Too often I’m afraid that people will judge what I’m doing as somehow less worthwhile to God because it’s not the typical Christian girl thing to do.
I think God is showing me that whatever He gives me to do is part of the kingdom because it matters to Him, whether it takes place in a church building or the middle of a field or a cafeteria. It’s not about what pastors or professors or peers say, it’s about what matters to God. You’d think I would know and believe this by now, but I’m a slow learner. Glory to God for His patient love.
I’m don’t know when I’ll next have something else to say, but I will do my best to say it sooner than March 25 (which just so happens to be one of my top five favorite holidays, so I will be WAY too busy to write then). To end for now, I just want to say thank you for caring. Thank you for reading and encouraging me and praying for me. Also, if you have any suggestions for crafting a superior volcano cake, please let me know. March 25 will be here before I know it!