Friday, July 15, 2011

Learning to Breathe

Three days out of the hospital and I am feeling a little more back on my feet. Feel a little more like I can think a little bit more clearly. Still not liking the steroids and the effects I can feel they are having on me.

When I think of what happened to me - all out of nowhere - I am so thankful to God. I could have been lying dead somewhere. What if I'd been driving and run someone over? What if I'd just been somewhere without my family and something had happened?

So many what it if's.

Instead, I ended up with this cruddy disease that I still don't understand, but I am alive and fighting.

I know that people automatically think the same things when they've had a close call with death or disease, but I have got to say it anyway: it makes you think.

The day I was released from the hospital, a friend's sister died of cancer. I didn't know this until I called to check in with my friend. Her sister had fought all the way to Stage Four cancer, and I had just spoken to her myself a few weeks ago. I had told her how wonderful it was that she was still fighting and that she sounded so good and strong while we were talking. She told me that she had put all her faith in the Lord and that He had healed her so far. She wasn't afraid to die. Her sister - my friend - is fighting the same type cancer right now.

When I was being diagnosed, one of the things the doctors had to do was a biopsy on tissue from my lung. That was to determine whether I had sarcoidosis or cancer. It was a horrible procedure that I had to be partly conscious for and I don't know what was worse: that or waiting for the result. Before I knew the result, I remember thinking about dying. I wasn't so much afraid as I was sad. I was sad that I'd be leaving family and friends, sad about things I had or had not done. I was curious about what it would be like to not be alive. I even wondered about how my dying would affect the doctors, nurses and staff I'd met while in the hospital. Mainly, I wondered if my dying would change anything for anyone in a deep way.

Now that I am home and just dealing with the fallout of the Sarc - the bills, what to do with my life and how to cope - I am going to try to enjoy as much of life as I can, worry about as little of it as possible, and be thankful to God for every breath. It took all of this for the Lord to teach me that happiness is an inside job.