I'm still working on listening to what He is trying to tell me. It's hard to listen when it is not something that is "normal" for you. I grew up in the Catholic church, I got baptized when I was in 5th grade, attended catechism, had communion in 6th grade, but it wasn't until recently that I really became a believer. In my early adulthood years (from 18-24ish), I considered myself agnostic. Which, honestly, at that point in my life, makes sense. I think that even those that grow up in the church and are believers go through some part of their twenties believing that everything is so unknown and is questioning everything. I think that is what we are "supposed" to do in our twenties. I can honestly say that I never stopped believing in God, just questioned everything.
I think part of the reason that Jake and I were led to live in the south is to help my faith in God grow. I know that we originally moved to Atlanta for Jake's career, but I have a difficult time figuring out why in the world we picked somewhere that we knew absolutely no one. Yea, yea, yea, job growth and all that. But every.single.day, I miss Chicago. Not my hometown of Detroit, but Chicago--where I felt at home for the first time in my life. Jake and I both made a conscious decision to move to Atlanta and I was excited about moving to a new place (ya know, since I did it successfully from DET to CHI), but Atlanta has brought us nothing but hardship and heartache. Yes, Jake has an excellent job, and we are thankful for that every day, but it's also been difficult from the very beginning.
But, here we are. In the south. In the heart of the south, at that. And the south is very much based on religion. I definitely would not have gotten this sort of faith building experience in the midwest. Which is not to say that people in the midwest are not religious or reliant on their faith, but it is not as strong as it is in the south. Or at least in my experience, it's not as prominent or recognizable as it is in the south.
Which brings me to right now. The faith that I feel is ... strong. I trust that God has my best interest in His hands and is helping to guide me to his plan. With my health and my mom's health being in shambles right now, I know that God is telling me to focus on my health and make better health decisions. I know that God is telling me to take better care of myself. Because life is fragile. After my surgery, I am hoping and praying that it will be easier for me to lose weight so that I can be healthy again and I am going to work as hard as I can to get healthy again. Also, I know that God is doing great things in mine and Jake's marriage. Who knew that "in sickness and health" would come so quickly for us?
My mom found out yesterday that she has to go through chemotherapy again. This time though, it will be less invasive and a "biological form" of chemotherapy that should not make her as sick. She will receive treatments every 3 weeks for a year. Did I mention that today is my mom's 50th birthday? She will spend her 50th year battling breast cancer, again. All I am praying that my mom gets close to another 50 years to celebrate her life. Anyway, my mom will be receiving Herceptin treatments (more info here too.) during the next year that will hopefully make her better. This is taken directly from the second link I provided above about the Herceptin: Herceptin is approved for the treatment of early-stage breast cancer that is Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2-positive (HER2+) and has spread into the lymph nodes; or is HER2+ and has not spread into the lymph nodes. If it has not spread into the lymph nodes, the cancer needs to be estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor (ER/PR)-negative or have one high risk feature. If I remember correctly (and I'm sure my mom will get on here and comment if I am wrong/right), she is positive for the HER2+ but there was no cancer in her lymph nodes and it is estrogen receptor negative. Right now she is upset because she will be missing my surgery because she can't come into town (and she will be receiving surgery the same day as me to receive the port for the chemotherapy) and is upset because she has to go through chemotherapy again. But, she is still in relatively good spirits and is determined to take care of herself. She is such a strong woman. I look up to her every day.
Please continue to keep my mom in your prayers! We are hoping that this will "cure" her and she will be cancer free again. I continue to pray that she finds the meaning in going through all this again so that she can figure out His plan as well.