I’m writing this for several reasons. For one, I know that a few of you have been along for the ride but don’t actually know me. You’ve prayed for me and supported us through this so you definitely deserve an update! But I’m doing this for me as well. Although I don’t go back and read my old blogs, if I ever decided to I would for sure want this chronicled.
Yesterday, I got my port out.
Yes, it’s an awkward pic but I don’t care! Because I’m excited and I’m happy! Let me tell ya, the procedure is done in a very professional way in the OR and all that, but I was also fully awake for it. So all of the tugging and pulling against my scar tissue while I was still awake and aware was gag-worthy. For real. But…good has come from it.
For a while this port was like a security blanket for me. It felt like relief and it felt like comfort. I didn’t want it at first but once I had it, I truly came to rely on it as a source of calming, as weird as that may sound.
But over the years, I’ve needed it less and less. Treatments were stopped over 2 years ago and it became a hassle. Something that was uncomfortable and that needed attending to (in the form of getting flushed) even though it was inconvenient. As my days were spent more at home than at Penn, these visits to have my port flushed felt increasingly intrusive. And so we decided to get it out.
I need to include something here for my own records because I felt that I never had closure on this cancer stuff. As much as I could physically feel healthy and mentally detach from the trauma, there was always the reminder in the form of that uncomfortable port in my chest. Treatments didn’t stop with some triumphant “last chemo” where I ring a bell and get applause. No, I simply didn’t want to do them anymore and my oncologist understood and supported that decision.
Appointments and specialists and scans sort of petered out. There wasn’t an end. But this? This felt like an end to the chapter. This felt like the turning of a page. This port that had ingested so much chemo and has seen me through some of the hardest times of my life was about to go. And symbolically, it was impossible to ignore.
You see, God has been opening my eyes to so much recently.
I wanted to go by myself to Philly to get my port out and as I drove home, I thought I’d listen to my chemo playlist on my phone. This was literally the playlist I would listen to during infusions. I haven’t been able to bring myself to listen to it for over 2 years, but I also haven’t been able to bring myself to delete it. It’s special.
So as the songs played, I felt myself get real honest with God. You see, over the last year and a half, we have been a part of starting a church. This is good! But on the same coin, it’s been the hardest time of my life. I’ll explain.
When God called us to this church plant, it ripped me from the only church home I’ve ever known. It tore me from the comfort of the church family that was truly my family, the people who had loved and supported us through my cancer and the people that I wanted to love and support. It took us away from the teens who loved and trusted us and who we loved so very much. Being a part of this church plant meant willingly giving up a huge piece of my heart. And unbeknownst to us at the time, it meant enduring some cruel and unjust criticisms as well. And I was just not ready for that.
On the drive home from having my port removed and thinking through all of the happenings of the last few years that I had shut off from myself, I came to see a few things.
For one: difficult emotions can coexist. I’ll say it again, difficult emotions can coexist! My grief over the loss of my church family in New Holland did not mean I love my new church any less! I’ve tried to hide my grief because I felt like if I looked sad to leave my other church that it would look like I wasn’t ready or excited to tackle what God had in store for us at the new church. And that’s just not true! I spent almost a year in a deep depression over losing our old church, especially the youth. So much so God had to hit me over the head with the new opportunities we had to spread the gospel this past week as 20 teens came to our house for youth group. Praise God for His goodness!! I will always miss our old church. Always. Especially the teens. But I feel more free to experience that grief alongside the excitement and joy of creating new relationships.
And two: God showed me that I have closed myself off from Him. Ok, actually I already knew this, but I guess He showed me why.
Over the last few years, God has called me to some things that were hard. Things I didn’t want or ask for. Things I didn’t want to do and things I didn’t want to face. I’ve meditated on the verse that says, “draw near to God and He will draw near to you” a LOT over the last few weeks, and there was just a hesitation on my part to draw near to Him but I couldn’t figure out why. I love Him and I want to serve Him only, so why couldn’t I connect?
Then, in the drive home from having my port removed while I was listening to the worship music on my chemo playlist it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I’m terrified of what He’ll ask of me next.
The last few years have been so hard, such a struggle, with so little clarity that I was scared that what He’d ask next would be even more so difficult. I’m a little ashamed to even admit this, but I know I need to as some of you look at me as a Christian who just has it all together and has it all figured out. That’s just not the case.
So why even write this? For one, an update to you amazing folks who have followed this journey with me. And for two, so I can look back someday and see what God was up to in this season. I feel closure on the part of my life that was ruled by cancer and that feels so good! And while I still grieve the loss of the most amazing church family anyone could ask for, I’m thanking God for putting us where He has put us.
If you read this to the end, I’m so sorry for making you endure all that and may God bless you for it!! There’s no way I can thank you guys enough for your love, encouragement, and prayers over the years. It’s really mind-boggling to think of all of the support we’ve received and we are beyond thankful! So, thank you!!
And in case you want to know, Eric and the kids are doing great and I found a hobby and passion in cookies!
Love to all of you!! 💕
21 thoughts on “Closure.”
Kim, thank you so much for the update, I do think of you often, your healing has certainly been a miracle! So happy you’re doing well and moving forward. Take care and God bless, Linda
Thank so much, Linda!
Kim, I am such a fan of yours and have prayed without ceasing for you and your family, what God has done with your life is amazing and you have never taken any of it for granted. May he continue to shower his blessings on you. P.S. keep posting your cookies, extremely impressive😘
Aww thanks Sue!!
Kim, your story is amazing and miraculous. Your story is not finished. God will be helping you add to your story every day. I miss seeing you and the family but love seeing your Cookie updates. God is faithful always.❤️
We definitely miss seeing you guys too! You’re right, God is faithful!
It has truly been a joy to see God’s miraculous hand in your life. I am so thrilled hearing how things are going and how God continues to work in such amazing ways. I love seeing all your posts of your kids and watching them grow. Also, I am really impressed with your baking skills…great cookies! Love you, Kim
Aww thanks Penny!! It’s been an adventure but we sure do miss you all 💕
How awesome that is to hear.
You don’t know me but I’m a childhood friend if your mother-in-law. I am so happy for all of your family. I’ve been praying for a miracle of healing. God is ever faithful.
Sue (Gehman) Pick.
Hi Sue! Thank you so much for your prayers! It means so much
Kim I am so glad to hear you are doing well and Praise the Lord with you for your miracle!!! Would you do cookies for others? They are to stinkin adorable!!!
Hey Angie! Yes I do locally for family
And friends 🤗 you can email me at email@example.com if you’re interested
I always love getting your updates! Isn’t God Amazing! It’s lovely how the Lord is Blessing you and your family! May God continue to bless and keep you and let faith carry you on- and those cookies are so pretty! Happy Hugs!
Oh Kim, I am so full of emotions reading this blog! Sending many hugs and big “woohoos!” for getting the port out. I totally understand how this is closure!
And I can relate to so many of your feelings of not being able to listen to your chemo list. There are so many things I haven’t been able to do, look at, watch, listen to since Tom went home to Jesus.
Your insight about difficult emotions coexisting is so true. Why do we always have to be smacked up side the head by God to learn these valuable lessons? People don’t understand either how I can appear to be so “good” or why I’m still grieving after two years. They don’t understand that grief never ends. Nothing and no one will ever replace Tom. And yet I am so grateful for the blessings God has poured over my life and how much He has drawn me closer to Him! A local pastor whose son and two grandchildren were tragically killed in a car accident a few years ago said life is like a railroad track–one track is grief and heartbreak and one is joy and peace. They both run parallel to each other. So true.
One of my blessings is “getting to know” you and your story!
And I too have been feeling that God is preparing me for something big in service to Him. It is scary, but He has a lot more confidence in us than we do. And we know that if He calls us to do something He will equip us to do it and be with us through it all. And we’ve been refined in the fire so we have a lot of good things to share!
Your kiddos are adorable! I pray God’s continued blessings on your family and your new church and on you my friend.
Blessings, grace and peace. 💜💜💜 Joyce
Oh Joyce! My heart breaks for you and your loss. Reading how the Bible advises dealing with grief, I think our modern culture gets a whole lot wrong about grief and the implications of it. It had been great to have you along on this journey with me! I pray that God gives you peace and confidence as you step into what He has next for you 💕
Those cookies are a work of art!!! Do you sell them? So glad to hear the update and that you got your port out! Whoo-hoo!! Praise the Lord!! Kate
Hey Kate!! Thanks so much, I do sell them locally for friends and family so if you’re ever interested just let me know 😄
So glad to hear! Best wishes to you and your family in the future!