Walk with Larissa Kwong Abazia, Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly, as she lives through cancer. This and other reflections will appear on the web page "Each New Day."
I learned of my diagnosis almost two months ago now. All of the appointments, tests, and visits piled up quicker than I could process. Each scheduled meeting was important, perhaps even lifesaving, but I found myself going through the motions. I was doing what needed to be done. It was one of the most overwhelming times of my life and, though I knew that each appointment was important, I found myself asking the same questions over and over again. My brain just couldn’t file everything that it was taking in.
What I have learned thus far is that it is possible to sit in the transfusion center hooked up to an IV pole for hours for my chemotherapy treatment and still feel like it’s surreal. I can see my husband sitting next to me, chatting or watching videos to pass the time, and find myself forgetting that it’s all actually happening to me. I’ve gone through the proceeding days with the effects of the chemicals coursing through my body, gauging what is said to happen on paper with what actually occurs. It’s real and yet impossible.
Many people speak of the emotionally draining part of this journey and I’ve had to be gentle with myself to acknowledge it. Early on, making two phone calls to doctors’ offices could take most of my energy in one day. Now, I wake up in a given day to feel a rush of energy or the weight of a to-do list.
I’m relearning what it means to honor self-care by reconnecting with my body’s voice and actually stopping to heed its needs. I pause for rest instead of pushing to finish that one last thing on the list. It’s time to explore strength and healing while being extremely gentle with myself. Everything else can wait.
“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matt. 6:34, NRSV).