When the other shoe drops…

Othershoedrops

You’ve probably heard the expression “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” Its origin is in the tight tenement quarters of nineteenth century New York City, when tenants could hear the shoes of their upstairs neighbors hitting the floor above them, and it’s come to express that feeling of waiting for the inevitable to happen. For some cancer survivors “waiting for the other shoe to drop” is that ball of emotional junk you stuff deep down inside of yourself because you know those rogue cells could cut loose again at any moment.

For me, that other big pink brassy platform heel of cancer dropped officially on Friday, September 28, when my beloved and I sat in the office of my new oncologist to receive the official results of a bone biopsy. Yes, I am now living with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. In one afternoon, the trajectory of our lives took a BIG detour.

Don’t get me wrong–it’s not all doom and gloom. I kind of suspected this was happening from my symptoms and all of the subsequent tests–ultrasounds, CT scan, paracentesis, thoracentesis, biopsy, bloodwork. It felt as if my old teacher cancer was back for another round of real-life education. My oncologist is optimistic that my cancer can be treated as a chronic medical condition like diabetes or heart disease. She talks in terms of years rather than going home and getting my affairs in order. Evidently I have options, a rather strange thing to ponder when your body has just gone into full scale rebellion against you.

ChemoOne

The treatment wheels are already in motion. I had my first round of chemo last Friday (Taxol), and I’ll have a port placed this week to make all the required infusions, blood draws, etc. easier. I’ve started a whole foods diet complete with a quart a day of super greens smoothies, some special herb tea, supplements designed to boost my immune system, and I’m continuing my yoga and meditation. We’re also exploring alternative therapies such as using a far infrared spa, reiki, and Ayurvedic treatments.

I’m going in with my eyes wide open: my life (our family’s life) is forever changed. Nothing can be taken for granted now. Every single day is precious. There is no cure for my cancer–at least not now. Strangely, I am at peace with this about 95% of the time. The other five percent I alternate among feelings of anger, profound sadness, terror, and fear. Yet, I trust that God’s got this and is right here with me. I truly believe that whatever happens tomorrow or next year or whenever, it will be okay.

I have the most amazing husband on the face of the planet. We have a strong family network that has already sprung into action to love, support, and pray for us. We have awesome adult children, and wonderful colleagues and friends. And, I am blessed to serve a congregation that is truly a light in our community, a loving and vulnerable expression of Christ’s Body, and a group of folks who love one another (and yours truly) for exactly who God made us all to be. Friends, it just doesn’t get much better than that.

Sure, the return of cancer sucks. There’s really no better way to say it. But it will not define me, confine me, or rob me of my joy. There’s entirely too much life to live, too much of God’s good creation to stand in awe of, and too many wonderful people with whom to be in relationship.

What do you do when cancer drops the other shoe on you? You pick it up, put it on, dye your hair bright pink, and start dancing! I hope you’ll join me for the journey.

Pinkshoes

(Note: The shoes are for illustrative purposes only. There is NO way I could even walk in these beasts! They were borrowed from my daughter, Maggie, who also gave me my new pink hairdo.)

 

 

 

 

23 responses to “When the other shoe drops…

  1. Elizabeth Parker

    I’m with you Pastor B., whatever it takes. Just another blip on the radar, pivot and move forward full force. We’ve got hands on your back.

  2. Praying for you daily, Sharon. And for Rob too.

  3. Sharon, I love your faith n attitude!
    I am Holly’s neighbor and I am praying for you. I pray for our Lord’s Comfort, Strength n Presence for you n yours daily.
    Hugs n Blessings,💙🙏
    Jeanne

  4. Bob Brouillette

    Sharron,
    I think of you and pray for you and Rob every day. Chemo is no fun but it can be effective. Your attitude and outlook are amazing.

  5. You’re on our prayer list at St. Paul,s in Newport. Stay strong

  6. Sharron, we have known each other for more years than I can recall. Your faith has stood the test of a difficult marriage, a new marriage, and now cancer. My prayers are with you my friend.

  7. Loving the hair & the attitude! Loving you & Rob! I’m here for you, holding you in prayer & in my ❤️

  8. Sharron, I hold you in prayer for miracles, ongoing support and successful treatment, as well as, uplift of spirit, care for your caregivers and peace.

  9. I love your hair! (With a lovely coordinating scarf, of course). I’m impressed you even got those shoes on your feet and stood in them long enough to get a photo. It shows the kind of stuff you’re made of – tough, sassy, enduring. Peace be with you. I join the army of saints praying for you and your beloved.

  10. Mike Kulikauskas

    Pastor Sharron
    God does indeed walk beside us always. Your attitude speaks volumes about faith and faithfulness. Your light shines brightly now and always. Will pray for you and your family. God’s peace.

  11. Sharron – so (very) sorry for these cancer challenges. Over years of blogging you have been (& are) an inspiration to me – especially now with your pink hair & bad ass pink heels. May the peace of Christ be with you & your family every step of this journey (& may His love encircle your hearts & lives with grace for each moment – especially the difficult ones.) Much love & prayer – Virginia 💞🙏🌷🙏💞

  12. Pastor Sharon, Thanks for posting this message. I was already praying and hoping this was a small bump but I now know to pray more and for many things. You inspired me in the past and now I am still inspired by you. God is with you and He’s got this. I wish I was closer to help and support you. Just know that i’m Thinking of you and praying for the best!!

    • Thank you so much, Debbie! I am uplifted by the prayers of many and confident that God is working through this present reality, sustaining and enfolding me in arms of divine love. I am grateful for your message and the knowledge that you are walking with me.

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