Would life change for you?

I know I haven’t posted much about the tumor lately and to be honest I haven’t wanted to.  This is not because I haven’t been thinking about it but the opposite.  I think this summer when everything happened, I didn’t really process or take the time to think about everything because it was so fast and then it was the school year and semester and you know how crazy that is.  With a little bit of a break over the past couple of weeks, it’s been tough.  I have a friend who says she only blogs on the bad days, but for some reason, I don’t.  I’m not saying that I haven’t had challenging days and hard days and have not blogged, but when I’m really wrestling with something, I just don’t always want to articulate or “sermonize” it.

After Christmas I did my latest MRI and the next day went and saw the neurosurgeon.  He said there was no change, so the little line of tumor on the motor cortex hasn’t grown and for that I’m thankful.  He didn’t really say anything new, but for some reason I took it more to heart.  I asked him whether I should get off of the seizure medicine or not and he said that was up to the neurologist but he also warned that it is more likely that I will have another symptom whether seizure or otherwise before an MRI would actually pick up a change.  Then he said that it’s not a question of if the tumor will come back, but when.

Now, I know that he’s said this before and I know that this type usually recurs but for some reason it hit me worse this time.  I think it’s because there’s a huge part of me and a sense from a lot of the people around me that everything’s fine now and back to normal and that I have to lead my life as I’ve always lived it.  And I do really want to do that.  It’s hard to tell if I should just go about business as usual or if my life really has changed completely.

I am a huge fan of wikipedia.  That may be completely against my English teacher self and I know it’s not always right or accurate but if you want something quick and consise – especially when I’m trying to figure out history during the Tudors or looking up actors or actresses – it’s a great site.  Did you know that I didn’t even look up “oligodendrogioma” which is the tumor that I had/still have a piece of?  Didn’t even think about it in the rush of the summer and semester.  The diagnosis and the treatment and much of the article follows exactly what we’ve been doing and I didn’t even think to look there.

Now part of me is glad that I didn’t.  I didn’t know that the median survival times for a grade 2 is 11.7 years or for a grade 3 is 3.5 years.  That’s a median I know and as the doctor said I could still live to be 80.  But how does knowing that information affect my life?

Not that we ever know specifics or a particular time table but if you knew you had say 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 years to live, how would that affect how you live your life?  Would it?  Would you change what you eat or how much you exercise or if you take your vitamins?  Would you spend more time with friends and family and try to make more meaningful relationships?  Would you change careers or look at fulfilling your hearts desire in a different vocation?  Would you live your life differently?

I’m not talking about Tim McGraw’s, “Live Like You Were Dying” song and sky diving and rocky mountain climbing – love the song but that’s too cheesy of segue for even me to post.  I’m asking a real question.  How would you live your life differently?  Or would you?  Maybe it’s better just to keep on keeping on and keep fighting and do the best you can and not change anything.  Or maybe we should be living our abundant lives to the fullest every day regardless of any prognosis, time table, or outcome?

I don’t know.  I don’t quite know how I feel about this yet or if this changes anything.  I know that I believe that prayer is powerful.  I know that when I read that article or I read other materials about this tumor that it is miraculous that I have come away from this with very little deficits – not being able to remember names and numbness and tingling every now and then is significantly different than what could have happened.  I thank each of you and my community folks for this.  I know that God walks with those on the 3.7 year side as well as those that live to be 80 and that God’s mercy, love and grace is shown to each.  I know that we all have “stuff” to deal with and for each of us it can be a long and winding road.

When I think about New Year’s resolutions or I think about the future, I think very much of how we live our life.  How do we let our lives speak?  Would you live your life differently knowing…?”

Here are some quotes from the beloved Parker Palmer:

“Verbalizing is not the only way our lives speak, of course. They speak through

our actions and reactions, our intuitions and instincts, our feelings and bodily

states of being, perhaps more profoundly than through our words.”

“Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks–we will also find our path of authentic service in the world.”

“We need a coat with two pockets. In one pocket there is dust, and in the other pocket there is gold. We need a coat with two pockets to remind us who we are.”

“Humility is the only lens though which great things can be seen–and once we have seen them, humility is the only posture possible.”

“As a young man, I yearned for the day when, rooted in the experience that comes only with age, I could do my work fearlessly. But today, in my mid-sixties, I realize that I will feel fear from time to time for the rest of my life. I may never get rid of my fear. But . . . I can learn to walk into it and through it whenever it rises up . . . naming the inner force that triggers . . . fear . . . Naming our fears aloud . . . is the first step toward transcending them.”

7 thoughts on “Would life change for you?

  1. Dear Narcie, I am a ’62 graduate of the WU. I work for Rev. Tom Wall and Dr. Noble Miller. I have Multiple Myeloma. Dr. Smith, Jr, SCOA, said on a recent (every 2 month lab work/visit, yearly bone scans, THANK GOD NO RECENT BONE MARROW SURVEY) that I was his Miracle Patient. I have worked, attempted to finish Masters and most importanly raised my two love daughters and now have a 1 year old grandson. Each day I try to keep the postively (sp) going. In the future, no date, as Dr. Smith watches the trends of my IGG protein level and etc., there will be chemo. THANKS FOR YOUR WORDS OF WISDOM, Love, Jean

  2. Narcie, thanks for your blog. I go into 2011 with so many uncertainties. The one thing I know is that Jesus will walk every step of the way with me through this valley. The one thing that has changed for me is my favorite scripture has always been Micah 6:8. Now I try to be more like that.
    Little things in life mean so much more. When my Dr. tell me they will see me in three months . What a blessing. When you celebrate 2011and your new years resolution is to celebrate 2012. What a joy and blessing that we have so many brothers and sisters in Christ praying for us.
    Have a blessed year and look forward to seeing you at annual conference .

    Your brother in Christ,
    Bob Lockey

  3. I have been where you are – knowing that I will most likely not live out the years I had anticipated because of my heart. My projected median lifespan is 17.1 years from the point of receiving the pacemaker which makes me expected to die at 71 (with a standard deviation of 6 years) instead of the 95 years I had anticpated. It has made me view my life differently – I want to make a difference in the healthy years I have left to work. And while I really want to spend more time with my daughter and grand-daughter, it is hard to find the time with the responsibilities of my ministry. So the answer is yes and no -being aware of my mortality makes a difference in what I see as important, but not necessarily in how I live out my days. Just live everyday as if it is the most important.

  4. I was there when the doctor came out and spoke with Mike and your mom and dad. I went thinking that they would go in and take it out and that it would be gone and everything would roll on like before. When he explained that time would let you know the growth rate and that there would be future unknowns to face, I must say I was not prepared. But in all of this, God’s peace has been with me as I know He holds these answers. I have found that when we face life and decisions and questions, we usually come up with two options…which one is right and which one is wrong. The old “fork in the road” decision. But time with Him and through Him, has shown me what I call the “Other” option, one that with His all knowing and all powerful wikipaedia of His own is The Answer. Amazingly it is usually not something we ever consider as He creates it Himself. That is why how to face this so perfectly fits in the palm of His hands. He will guide you to the “Other”. By placing all these feelings and unknowns with Him, He will lead you to the perfect answer. I know this is something you know and I truly feel He is leading you to big things. I do not know if you remember me going in and sitting with you right after surgery. I was scared. Can she talk, move her fingers, see me clearly, walk? But there you were, chatting and watching normal tv shows and commenting on current and past memories. Drain tube aggravating my precious Narnie Jo and hooked up to stuff, you sat there telling me excitedly about how you really wanted Wesley to become active with the child trafficking. Quoting articles and research that you had already looked into, you were moving forward at full speed with excitement. I praised God for your voice, hands moving and your beautiful face. You came back to us to lead us on to more of your accomplishments and the work ahead. “Our God is an awesome God he reigns from heaven above with wisdom, power and love our God is an awesome God”!!! This song keeps playing through my head and I know He is coming up with your Other….just listen! I love you Narnie and you will always have my prayers and support!

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