This time feels like Godgone not Doggone

Dear God,

A couple of years ago you sent me a message that you’d be picking me up sooner than I expected.  I was so surprised to hear from you so directly.  I never expected to hear you through the voice of an oncologist.  But, I have to admit, you sent some warning signs first.  Warning signs that I had thought meant I was just beginning to age.  Even so, I was surprised.

You haven’t given me the exact date.  You know this is driving me mad, don’t you?  Don’t get me wrong…I am happy you didn’t need me immediately.  I am glad I have some amount of time here.  I like it here.  My family is here.  My friends are here.  My dog is here.  Well, you have one of my dogs.  I hope he’s not barking too much.  I wasn’t very good at training him!

So, I’m wondering…just what am I suppose to do with this “get out of life early” pass?  Some days I feel like this knowledge is a punishment.  A purgatory on earth.  Sure, I physically feel pretty good.  But, mentally, that’s another subject.  You’ve made it so that every day I wake up and wonder…what’s happening in this shell of mine?  Are things running along smoothly, or, unbeknownst to me, are tumors forming?  Are they?  Where?  Do I exercise enough?  Do I drink enough green tea?  What about carbs…can I eat them or not?  And, really, what am I suppose to DO?  Did I get a grace period because I still have things to learn…or because I still have things to teach?

You see, I am going mad.  And, while I never, ever, ever, wish this on anyone else…and I rarely ask “why me?”…I do wonder, “why anyone”.  Why do we have to suffer?  Almost every human being suffers before you take them.  What’s up with that?  I couldn’t sleep last night because my daughter was coughing.  Just a cough.  Just a cough and I couldn’t sleep because she’s mine and I don’t like it when she isn’t comfortable and happy.  So, what’s your story?  If I was made in your image and likeness, then aren’t you feeling pretty badly up there?  Sure you’ll end my suffering and everyone else’s…by taking us away.  Pretty lousy trick.

I’m not saying I don’t believe in you.  I believe.  It would be easier not to, honestly.  It is in believing that I feel betrayed.  That feeling of “what did I ever do to you to deserve this”.  Those are the “why me” days, I guess.  Well, I guess I’ll keep pushing on.  A religious person might tell me that this is just my cross to bear.  And, as Jesus had Simon, so I have my posse.  My load is lightened by their strength.

But, sometimes I feel so overwhelmed…so self-consumed…I wonder what I give back to this posse.  I wonder what I give back to anyone.  I really wonder what I am suppose to DO…For now, I guess I’ll walk the dog.  I’ll finish the laundry.  I’ll pick up my kids.  I’ll make dinner.  But I do expect to hear back from you.  And maybe my pick up date is negotiable, huh?  I’ve been trying to get ready to leave, but I just can’t seem to do it…So, let me stay longer.  I think you will.  And I’ll keep trying to figure things out.



About nancy5vic

40-something year old cancer goddess (hah...make that 50-something now!!) raising four children and one husband. Diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2008. Love to travel, cook, bake and spend time with my kids and friends. My perfect day always starts with breakfast out...especially fantastic if I'm with John.
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10 Responses to This time feels like Godgone not Doggone

  1. Terri Vicarel says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your heart, dear Sister! I hope your suffering is made easier by knowing that we’re all out here praying for you and thanking God for every day that He keeps the cancer at bay. Seems like it’s time to celebrate with a spa day! 🙂 Love you! Terri

  2. Alice Bedell says:

    Oh Nancy, as Terri says, thank you for sharing your heart. As I told you almost 3 years ago to the day, I do not believe God wishes anything on us. Sometimes bad things happen. The promise is He will put the right people in the right place and time to get us through, in family, friends, medical experts, and posse’s. Don’t doubt for a minute what you give to all of us. I told you that same morning that I have always enjoyed your company, that whenever I have left your company, I have felt better for spending time with you. You have made me a better person for the time we have spent together. I thank you and God for that. Please God, hear our prayers as well to continue to bless Nancy with good reports of cancer cells shrinking and being replaced by healthy cells. She has so much to share with us and teach us!!! Love ya, Alice

  3. god via john says:

    This is GOD!!. Things have changed a bit since my last direct contact via the written word. This electronic typing thing is way easier than those big heavy tablets and chisels. Not to mention having to start a fire and killing one of my favorite bushes to get some attention.
    Well, that being said I hope this makes it clear that the oncologist thing was not me directly contacting you. Personally…those white suit people often get in the way of things..some of them really like money. I cant tell you how many times they get it wrong and confuse people.Dont get me wrong..they certainly help way more than they harm…but they are humans.

    I really do believe more in free will than alot of folks down their think. Jeepers..Even I could not possibly control all those synapses, emotion things I put in your species….its just too overwhelming. So I sorta let each one decide alot on their own how they want to experience and share their time..I think the ones that do it one moment at a time…with not too many,,I think you all call them “plans”, seem to do it best. Dont get me wrong…its probably good that some do a little short term planning to keep things from getting out of control…ask your husband…he does a bit of it to help make sure those he works with and loves have the means to stay protected from my whims of weather and fed with my pretty plants. Plus I think he likes it. Its nice that you help him do what he likes.(well , sometimes he mistakes some of my other animals as plants…hope he runs more!).
    It seems to me you already know and do what your supposed to do..You didnt REALLY think I was directly talking to you thru a white suit…surely, if you did you would have never thought you could beat ME! You decided to keep on living with those damn mutant cells that I messed up with. You decided to use that clever head of yours (your welcome) to see how you could change the environment a bit and get as many moments as possible. All so you could continue to live in the moments of each day that so many others miss because they are in such a hurry for THINGS. Its in those moments that you touch your own soul and hundreds of others that you live with. Jeepers…just these notes you share with others…most are better than what my sons friends tried to write in that best seller.
    Well….I try to keep these things to 10 points…I could go on with making the point that you are already doing what your supposed to do…but like I say..”free will” and you are doing it and it can change…your good listening soul will hear a new calling if its out their…Four kids..right? About a thousand people rooting for you in their prayers all the time..Id say you must be making some pretty good choices…Ok..I have to run, fly…rise..whatever…your husband seems to need a kick in the ass…he is not at work yet!

    Keep up on the cruciferous thing…i ldont like that word (you know..kinda sounds like,,well just saying)…dont know how to spell humans are so concerned about spelling! Bread is ok once a week with wine…Yes, those kinds of miracles do happen all the time!
    god…(sorry I yelled at the beginning..wanted to make sure you got this and didnt want to burn anything!)

  4. Cuzzin Ellen says:

    You are awesome, Nancy! I love you! Keep on being YOU!

  5. Annmarie Keogh says:

    Dear Wonder-Full Woman, (My new name for you.)

    Thank you for the gift of your latest entry. Heartbreakingly beautiful, as always.

    I can’t imagine what it must be like for you. But, I do know, that in all of your every day moments, grace and dignity are present. Even if there are days that you may not feel that way, even in your darkest moments, you are full of grace. This I am sure of.

    Not one of us is aware of what is going on in our shell. Most of us live blindly, day by day, unaware of diabetes, impending stroke, heart attacks, cancer… Not one of us can guess when we will be called home. You got a warning shot across your bow, and now you are looking for more threats on the horizon. The rest of us are clueless to the danger lurking beyond the shadows.

    It seems the only thing separating us, is the fact that you are acutely aware of the treasure that each day holds. You are not only smelling the roses, you are growing them, and crushing them up when they are done blooming for potpourri. The rest of us are blowing our time on mindless television, and other crap, that eats up time and leaves nothing in return. Sometimes I feel like you are the sane one, and the rest of us are mad, because we lose the beauty of the day in the thought that their will be plenty to follow. Most of us are mindless to the fact that there are no guarantees for any of us. There is no promise of a tomorrow, only a thought that we take for granted.

    Your message reminds us to wake up, and live in the moment as you do.

    Thank you.

    Love, hugs, and lightening bugs!


    Personal aside, the above comment is reserved for how I treat myself. You know that I absorb every moment with my boys that I can. I see my reminder every day, that I am living with miracles around me. Their lives are treasures I have never taken for granted, especially, now, after almost losing one of the lights in my life.

    • nancy5vic says:

      Thank you so much for the beautiful message! I hope to start writing again more…it is so good for the soul. But sometimes my kids think there are other things I should be doing 🙂

  6. Missy Wells says:

    Hey Nancy!

    I get it! I have some of those very difficult moments( human thoughts) that you so aptly describe… BUT, I really am very grateful for my situation because it is those very thoughts that give my life perspective. They are a blessing! They keep me centered and focussed. They have allowed me to appreciate each moment, to experience real friends, to love more deeply, to treasure the gifts of my children and husband, to filter out negativity, and lastly to hear God’s voice helping me to understand what I am supposed to do with my “second shot at life”…

  7. Tina says:

    Dear Nancy,

    Consider the thought that your DOING is Living a Life of Example for those you love. Your healthy way of living–diet, exercise, and especially living in the moment, loving, and not taking people, things, or moments for granted–is a brilliant example for your children, who will follow in your footsteps. There’s a reason that Maria’s favorite expression is “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.” You lead, you teach, by example. And what greater legacy is there than that?!

    On a more personal note, I cannot imagine last week without you. I treasured your presence and help with our mother’s funeral perhaps obviously more than you know. What a difficult thing to do, to help us plan her funeral mass, but you rose to the occasion and helped with your usual grace. Thank you, Nancy.

    Finally, I just want to say that I continue to marvel at how amazing my brother John is. You are indeed very lucky to have such a special, loving husband, Nancy. Perhaps God has plans for you two to become the next Superhero icons of the 21st century?!

    Much love,

  8. nancy5vic says:

    WOW to everyone. What a great bunch of comments. Thanks to each of you for taking the time to read “my stuff” and for taking the extra moment to comment.

  9. karen vicarel says:

    I just wrote a reply and it was lost in cyber space because I forgot to fill out the required fields. Sigh! Now I have to try to remember what I just wrote….hmmm….
    oh yeah….
    After reading John’s response, and all the others, there doesn’t seem much more to add.
    Keep in mind the words of Dr. Jennifer Payne, the month of your diagnosis, “You aren’t going anywhere. We need you here. We have treatments.”
    Three cheers for being among those who have beaten odds…you already have!
    And remember that it takes a village to face life’s bigger challenges. Posse, village, whatever your metaphor…you have so much support ALWAYS!!! John, Jake, Alex, Anna, Maria, Mom, Ken, Karen, Tom, Dave, Terri, Jennifer, Shirl, Matt, Adam, Emily, Megan, Danny, Jonathan, ALL the Ferrato in-laws (yes, I can name them all, but would feel badly if I accidentally left one out 🙂 All your cousins, and all your friends. So glad you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts…it’s the only way any of us ever really know each other. Keep in mind that we are all in the same “shit pickle” (to quote Kris Carr) together. As another response mentioned…NONE of us know if we will be here tomorrow. A cancer diagnosis certainly rubs one’s nose in this reality but it is there facing all of us. The fact that we don’t keep it in mind day to day makes it no less true. So we ought make the best of today.
    To do otherwise, is to be robbed of present as we sulk over the possbility of losing tomorrow.
    Focus on optimism, for there is no point in focusing on anything else. And, for Pete’s sake,
    call me for coffee when you need a lift 🙂 What are big sister’s for?!!! Love, Karen

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