communion

Alex's First Communion

Yesterday, we celebrated the first communion of our youngest, Alex.

Three months ago, as we were preparing, I felt very different than I felt yesterday. Three months ago, I felt peace, and a sense of accomplishment, and like nothing could go wrong. I still mostly felt those things yesterday, but I also felt like I was losing my mind. Somehow, the part of my brain where I stash timetables and lists of things fell out, resulting in both boys wearing the wrong footwear. Zac served as altar boy yesterday, and I realized much too late that his alm, the alm that was much too long when I ordered it in December, was now too short. I was emotional, and flailing around, and couldn’t get it together. I needed yesterday to be, if not perfect, at least sane.

Ryan and I decided to raise our kids in the church. We want them to have spirituality in their lives, at least until they’re old enough to reject it or find their own way. It hasn’t always been easy for me to defend my choice. I have often felt, as a woman, that I have, in fact, been making the wrong choice, but we made a commitment. I fully intended to carry it out.

Standing there, yesterday, in the church, with the people I see every week, watching Alex take the wine, I felt like I’d done a good thing. I felt the sense of accomplishment that I’d hoped to.

I also wondered if it was for nothing.

I need answers. I need to know if this is part of a plan.


I was randomized into a study group today. I will be in the group that does not receive trastuzumab. I will be getting four rounds of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, once every two weeks, and paclitaxel, every week for twelve weeks.

I’ve been reading about the possible side effects for all of those, and about immunity, and I wonder if the idea of chemotherapy makes any sense at all. I’ve read stories of people who get horribly sick from the chemo. People accept that this way is the only way, but what if it isn’t?

I’ve been reading about alternative therapies. None of them look promising. Conventional medical wisdom is not always the best, but I’m going down that path, and I think it’s the right thing, but what if I’m wrong? I hope that in trusting my doctors, I’m not taking a gamble with my life.

No matter which treatment we choose, we’re surrendering control. That’s the hardest part.

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4 responses to “communion

  1. Happy for Alex and it was special to have Zac involved as well. Praying for you during this time that the Lord would bring you peace and grace.

  2. Sorry you’re having such doubts, but I suspect it’s completely and totally normal. God can handle your questions. You got through the surgery, and you will get through the chemo as well. I’m also praying for your peace and comfort during this waiting time, and sending you virtual hugs.

  3. Trust in God and your intuition, Jen. Meditation and prayer will also help you do that.
    Ongoing, healing hugs…Tutu

  4. You absolutely made the right decision. I don’t know how people get through stuff like what you’re going through without ke Akua.

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