Faith from the Edges

Faith and life from the perspective of me.

Archive for the tag “survivor”

#AdventWord #Be

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#AdventWord #Be

I’m pictured here with my sister. This picture was taken a few years ago, but it is still one of my faves even I look a bit dorky in it. My sister is a domestic violence survivor as are her three wonderful kids. You can read more about her story on her blog. She has become an amazing advocate for other women and is not shy about speaking her truth. I am incredibly proud of her.

One of the many things my sister has taught about being with those who have gone through trauma is just to sit and be with them. Today’s Advent Word is be and I immediately thought of her and this photo. She taught me to not rush her, to give her space to make her own decisions, to not become a rescuer but someone who is a supporter, to love her through this time of becoming a survivor.

In Canada today it is the National Day of Action and Remembrance on Violence Against Women. 27 years ago today a man with an automatic weapon walked into a university in Montreal and killed 14 women, just because they were women. We remember those women, we remember the indigenous women of Canada who were murdered or missing, we remember the families torn apart because of domestic violence. We recommit ourselves to being with them and acting to support them.

I firmly believe that this is a call of Christian witness. To be with those women and children who have/are suffering because of violence against them. To trust their stories and to be their advocates as necessary. I will continue to be…….

 

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#AdventWord #Renew

Today’s Advent word is renew. I have sat with this almost the whole day. The pictures above tell a story – the first is me barely 4 weeks after my last chemo session for ovarian cancer, the second is me now feeling grateful, mostly healthy, and so glad to be alive. Here is my prayer for today:

I am sick Lord, so sick

Renew my health O God

I am tired Lord, so tired

Renew my energy O God

I am scared Lord, so scared

Renew my heart O God

I am in pain Lord, so much pain

Renew my cells O God

I am improving Lord, slowly improving

Thank you God for renewal of health

I wake up ready for the day Lord

Thank you God for renewal of energy

I am smiling Lord, so many smiles

Thank you God for renewal of heart

I have learned to live with the pain I have Lord

Thank you God for renewal of perspective

 

Renewal has happened and is happening in my life. I am grateful. That is all, grateful.

 

One Year: Or what the hell happened there?

These four pictures essentially outline my last year – from hair to no hair, chemo 6 times over, to now growing in curly hair. What a year it has been!

I woke up in the early evening of June 2, 2015 to realize with a shock that my surgery that was supposed to only take a couple of hours had gone at least an hour longer. Then to realize that I was being admitted to the hospital – it was only supposed to be day surgery. Then hearing my dear one’s voice asking me how I was doing and saying that my doctor would be in soon. She came in and told me that I had ovarian cancer, stage 2 and that I would be needing chemotherapy to make sure that we had got it all. Yep, that was a day!

Then came the summer and fall from hell. Well, not really hell, but really, really uncomfortable. I had blood taken, oh so much blood taken, was hooked up to an IV for at least 4 hours every 3 weeks, lost all my hair, lost my energy and then neuropathy in my feet happened. I have to admit, I have never felt such pain and never want to again, as I did in my feet.

Then recovery, the slow, slow recovery. I had imagined that once chemo was over, that everything would go back to normal. Silly, silly me. Here I am, 6 months post-chemo and I am still recovering. My hair is growing back, my energy is returning, but there have been and continue to be bumps along this road. I am still dealing with neuropathy in my feet and it is likely that will continue for at least the next year. I have a situational depression which is being dealt with in all the right ways.

Here are some things I have learned and wished I had known when this all started:

  1. How cold my head got with no hair – thank God for my little knitted cap which made all the difference in the world.
  2. That you need to tell your medical folks right away if you are dealing with an out of control pain incident. Took us all awhile to find what I needed to make it better.
  3. That sleep in whatever form it comes is needed. Daily naps are such a blessing.
  4. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. You don’t need to do this alone.
  5. Eating good food helps, but sometimes ice cream is all you want to eat – so why not??
  6. A good therapist/counselor makes such a difference in so many ways.
  7. Having an integrated medical team is essential – thank goodness I had/have that.
  8. Losing my hair was the least obnoxious of the side effects – hair grows back!
  9. Grieving for what has been lost takes it own sweet time – don’t think I’m done with that yet.
  10. Best friends you can text whenever and about whatever are so important!! So thankful I had mine.

If you are going through cancer treatment, please surround yourself with all the love and support you can. If you know someone who is going through treatment, reach out to them, they will be so thankful you did. If your partner is going through cancer treatment, be as strong as you are able, ask for help when you need it.

Lastly I want to publicly thank my dear one. He stood by me, rocked me when I wept, sat beside me during all of my treatments, brought me flowers, let me sleep, fed me good, good food, showered me with so much love and grace. I don’t know what I would have done without him. Love you dearest. Always and forever.

 

My Sister is a Survivor

My sister is a survivor, a survivor and not a victim. She writes about her journey away from domestic violence and living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on her own blog, which you should go check out. She also has a Facebook page which chronicles the more day to day to stuff of her journey. I am so proud of her. I am amazed by her and what she has overcome and what she overcomes everyday.

A while ago she brought sexual assault charges against her abuser and recently spent the day in a preliminary trial sharing her story with the court. Now we wait to hear if the judge says there is enough evidence to go to trial. This was a hard decision for her to make. Who wants to bring charges against the person you thought loved you? She did this, not only for herself, but for her daughters and her son, her nieces and nephews, for all the other women out there who have suffered  and are suffering similarly and so that other women won’t have to suffer in this way. She is my hero. She is a survivor.

On Friday, I will be rising in my living room, in my kitchen, in my study, on Facebook and on Twitter to take a stand against domestic and sexual violence wherever it happens. I will be rising for those who are still suffering, I will be rising as an ally, I will be rising for the survivors and most especially I will be rising in gratitude for my sister the survivor and for her strength.

Will you join me, my sister, the dear one and the one billion rising as we rise for justice? Will you break the chain of sexual violence? Will you dance?

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