Monday, October 25, 2010

O, Rest, Where Art Thou?

I may ramble a bit on this one, so please bear with me.

It's almost 11:30pm and I've been awake since 4:30am. I'm still wide awake while the rest of the house sleeps. I'm struggling with a bunch of different negative emotions right now -- anger, helplessness, uncertainty, exhaustion.  I'm angry that my son has to suffer because of a stupid tumor. I feel totally helpless to do anything to change the situation on my own. I'm filled with uncertainty of the future because the things I've read about this type of tumor are not encouraging at all, but since the clinical trial we are in has never been done before, the outcome is uncertain as well. I'm physically, mentally & emotionally exhausted.

I sleep for an hour or two, then wake up because Caleb is in tears. Sometimes in pain, sometimes from a nightmare, sometimes with hunger pangs from the steroids. I'll get back to sleep and the cycle repeats. It seems like 5 minutes of sleep, then it's time to get up and start all over again. Prep the meds. Coax, cajole, coerce, beg, & plead with Caleb to take them. Clean up the mess from him batting them around when he's angry. Try my hardest not to get angry with him. Listen to him beg me for food that I can't give him until after radiation is over for the day.

I'm short-tempered at Richard & he hasn't done anything wrong. The worst part is that I don't know why I'm so short-tempered with him. Then I get mad at myself, which makes me more short-tempered, which makes me madder, and round-and-round we go.

And in the midst of all this, I'm still battling with constant pain in my own body.

But, it's amazing to me that even while these negative emotions are churning inside me, I can still feel a measure of peace. We have been overwhelmed with love, prayers, & gifts from people all over. From children hosting a lemonade stand for Caleb, teenagers hosting a car wash to raise money, friends delivering meals for 6 weeks, Richard's job allowing him to work from home so he can be here through radiation treatment, blankets & toys sent to both boys from a childhood schoolmate's mother, to the outpouring of love shown to Caleb when he visited his classmates at school last week for just a few minutes.

I've heard people tell me that God won't give me more than I can handle. I'm not so sure that is true. I do know that God will never give me more than He can handle! I think sometimes He does give us more than we can handle so we have to lean on Him more and draw closer to Him than ever before. I'm not saying that God caused this tumor to happen to Caleb, because that is not true. However, He can use this situation to make us stronger, if we will let Him do so.

Many years ago, someone said something about Psalm 23 that has stuck with me ever since.  It says, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thy rod and Thy staff comfort me."  Notice that is says, "WALK THROUGH."  It did not say to stop and set up camp. So, we WILL walk through this valley and come out stronger on the other side.

I am so grateful for God's love. His grace abounds toward us daily. His mercy is unfailing. I praise Him for holding us close to Him while we walk this road. I thank Him for the peace which truly passes understanding. 

I sometimes feel like King David in the Psalms. He pours his heart out to God ranting & raving about all the bad things going on around him, then somehow always returns to God's love, grace & mercy by the end. And since the Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart, I can live with that comparison. I want to draw nearer to God daily.

Show me, teach me, guide me, Lord. Where You lead me, I will follow. Let me continue to be still and know that You are God. Give me the patience to handle Caleb with love when his attitude is at its worst due to the pain & medication. Help me to be a better mate to Richard, to stand by his side as we walk together along this path. We are not in this alone. Show me how to be a better mother to Caleb & Caden. Heal Caleb's body and remove the pain from him. All the glory is Yours, now and forever.


  1. Angela, I won't even begin to say I understand because I don't but I wouldn't blame you for the shortness you may have with Richard. While he doesn't deserve it we aren't perfect and sometimes you have to get the feelins out som way. I am not going to claim to know really anything but I feel like when there are things happening you can't hold it in. I'm sure you go back and apologize to Richard and I'm sure he understands that the feelings have to come out at some point. And you are right!! You will come out on the other side. We think about you daily. Amie

  2. Angela, you are such a strong, beautiful woman and what you are going through is horrible. It is normal to feel the way you do! I think that you are doing a great job though you may not feel it right now. God has his arms around you! He has his arms around Caleb... and Richard and Caden. You are a woman of God and He will guide you!
    I love you and I'm praying for you guys constantly!

  3. Angela - nothing compares to the pain of watching your child suffer - but God has surely given you His strength. The fact that you are sharing this walk with others in such honest angst will help others who are also walking this journey to seek comfort from God.

    I love you and think and pray for you often. I wish I could be there for you - please know that I am if you need me!


  4. Angel, know that God and I always have our arms around you. I have not experienced such an illness in any of my kids, only myself. But, I do know what is like to be Caleb's Grandmother and so I do understand your emotions because I have experienced some of them - the shortness of temper with your spouse, the anger at the tumor that has changed my grandchild and a lot of the other emotions. I catch myself crying because I can't physically be there for you, Richard and the boys. Just know that no matter what God is there for us.

    Love you, Mom

  5. I dont know you personaly Angela, but I can tell you one thing,God put you as Caleb's mother for a reason. You are inspiration to me, a mother of 5 children myself. I get the over whelmed and anger feelings often, and we are not anywhere close to your's and Richards situation.I could not even imagine or even want to at that. You and your family hold a special place in my heart, and I think about little Caleb daily. You are right Angela, you will walk through all of this, and at the end you will be able to look back and smile, because our LORD held your hand the whole way through......

  6. Angela,

    You are one amazing woman and mother! Of course your short tempered, you're under a HUGE amount of stress, it's only natural. I'm sure Richard and Caleb know you're not directing it to them.

    I'm so glad that people have been so caring and loving towards you and your family. That has to help make this nightmare easier to tolerate. You're in my daily thoughts and prayers!



  7. Warm hugs Angela, please know that you, Caleb, and all your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I admire your strength as a mother and wife, and your faith, honesty, and courage through this time - and I pray for God's continued love and protection over your family.

    Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

    xxx Hugs, Bella

  8. Richard and a long time friend of your Grandmother Rita and your Mom. I'm sorry for all that Caleb is going through....I've added you all to my prayer list. I have lite a candle in Caleb's name to St Jude and pray that he will remain strong during his treatment and that he will be healed completely in God name....I am a breast cancer survivor and what helped me was to only focus on the next step because it can all be so overhelming....take care.