Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Emotionally Discombobulated

Well, it’s been an interesting morning.

I got up at 6 am feeling positively perky and perkily positive. However, a couple hours later, I was back in bed, crying under my pillow. And something tells me that this emotional roller coaster, these discombobulatory feelings as I enter uncharted waters, will be with me for a long time to come. It should make for some interesting blog writing. (And reading.)

As always, I was touched by your words of support in the comments area; I feel doubly, triply, quadrupally blessed to be a part of this Smithellaneous community, where strangers become friends, and where laughter and tears are equally at home.

And speaking of home (wasn’t that a smooth segue?) here is a bit more info concerning our alarming (and discombobulatory) house news.

When we signed the rent-to-own agreement almost six months ago, the agreement was that when the six months were over, we would have first dibs on buying the house. If we were not able to buy it, then it would be available for anyone else to buy. (The landlord is not interested in long term renting; he needs to sell the house as soon as possible and was actually quite generous to even allow us to rent for as long as we have.)

What we've just found is that the other person in the wings would be buying it for investment purposes; he wouldn’t even be living in it. And it does sound like he is also willing to rent it to us; however, there are two problems with that:

1. We would have to rent it for an entire year because some sort of capital gains tax keeps him from being able to re-sell before then. We really don’t want to rent for that long because not only is it money down the drain, we really want to own own home sooner than a year from now. It will help us feel a lot more "settled" here.

2. Also, the rent we’ve been paying for the past six months has been fairly reasonable in Manteo, which is a frightfully expensive housing market. Chances are that a new owner would kick the rent up to its “rightful” amount and it would be too much to afford.

The good news is, though, that we won’t be out on the street on April 30; we’ll just have to have a firm plan in place by then and decide if we’re buying or moving.

We lowered the price on our house in Smithfield yet again this week (sigh) and last night got a call from our realtor saying that THREE families are coming to see it in the next couple days. I tell ya, for what they’re paying for a house like that? I would snatch it up in an instant if I still lived in Smithfield! So we’ll see if--maybe, possibly, hopefully, miraculously—one of them might be the answer to our (getting more desperate by the moment) prayers.

Those of you who have commented on the housing situation (being indignant on our behalf, asking about fundraisers, offering concern and prayers, giving practical advice) have truly made my heart feel lighter. I’m amazed that you would invest your emotional energy into taking on our burdens--people you haven’t even met. Thank you so very much!

Last night, when Steve and I were feeling pretty weighed down by all the trauma, Sarah gave us a little something to smile about. She decided to grow a mustache! How can you be sad looking at a sight like that?


As I’ve been pondering yesterday’s events and the medical news we got, it occurred to me that it might have sounded a bit self contradictory when I wrote that my original intent was to opt for the lumpectomy/radiation and then later on, mentioned that my best option (because of my history) was a double mastectomy.

As I thought about my options during the week I was waiting for MRI results, my line of thinking was this: If the cancerous area was indeed as small as they originally thought, then I didn’t feel ready to take such a drastic step just to fight a small number of micro calcifications.

As I told Steve, “I’m going to have the lumpectomy now and then, if at any point down the road, there is even a hint of cancer in either breast, it will be a double mastectomy, no questions asked.”

I guess I was just wanting to offer “the girls” one more chance to behave! (Smile) But behave they didn’t.

And then, as if I didn’t have anything else to worry about, it hit me on the way home that whenever Sarah fills out any medical form, it will ask for a cancer history in her family. And she will check the box, “Mother.” I’ve always heard that if your mom or sister have had breast cancer (especially pre-menopausal) then it increases your own risks. And then I got all stressed out over that whole scenario!

I can do some stress!

Speaking of checking boxes, last week when I went to the plastic surgeon’s office for the first time, I had to fill out a medical history. I was breezily whizzing on through all of the boxes that I always check “no” on:

Diabetes-no. Heart disease-no. High blood pressure-no. Cancer- no.

Wait. Back up. Erase.


And then there was a whole new, freshly produced batch of tears, just from filling out a dumb form. Who knew tears could be hiding around such odd corners, just waiting to show themselves?

But you know what? There’s a wise saying somewhere in the universe that says, “For every tear that falls, a bite of chocolate should be eaten.” (Or maybe I just made that up.)

And to help me out on this important project of keeping the tears and chocolate ratio balanced, I received this in the mail from our friends, Jim and Ann Martin.


Just looking at that picture makes me feel better!


I received a couple emails asking for our mailing address. I hesitated about posting it here (security and all) but I figured if anyone knew our last name and town, they could look it up somewhere anyway. So, here it is. (Deranged ax murders, please disregard.)

Steve and Becky Smith

127 Raleigh Wood Dr.

Manteo, NC 27954


The question was asked in the comments section: Did Sarah's stick group do "Arise my Love" for Easter?

Yes, she did, and it was absolutely amazing. What a creative way to present a song! (And she absolutely loved doing it.)

24 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Anonymous said...

Hey, Sweet Becky! What a rollercoaster for you and the Smithies. Will hold you all up in prayer. Feeling a bit stunned on your behalf!
Love you all, Guerrina

Unknown said...

Hi Becky,

I had a mastectomy and I actually found the surgery to be a piece of cake :-)...really, I'm not exaggerating either. There was some muscle soreness, but that was it. I took only Advil to deal with the pain for a couple of weeks. The worse part was the reconstruction (if you choose to have this done) took awhile to get it complete, but again it did involve very little pain!

Anonymous said...

Have you heard of Knitted Knockers? You could get some with piercings!

brooke said...

i know the waves of grief. me - with my father now on hospice. it bites the big one. i'm sorry that you are having to go through this. i turn to sugar - of all kinds.. but i also turn to this site: the itty bitty kitty committee:

i know you are a dog person, but kittens are cute? i hope you aren't like someone i know who says "kittens are annoying." if you are like her, i won't be offended and you don't have to go.

MaryH said...

Well, shed the tears when the tears appear. That is just a rule and then you already know the chocolate rule! The housing situation will work itself out in your best interest and in what God has planned. Three (YIPPEE) people are looking. Now, that is encouraging. Who knows, there may be a better house than what you are in that is really supposed to be your forever home-home! Like someone else said, there are so many who will help you pack and unpack and Nathan will be coming through that door soon for a few months stay and Sarah is ready and willing to help and it really is going to be okay. As far as the double mastectomy, I agree again with others comments - you will be done with the fear of breast cancer and that is the most important thing about all of this. Done, over, finito, that is the end of that and remember the quote from a Dove candy wrapper..."When you can't control the wind, adjust your sails!" Praying.

Debbie Taylor said...

I am so sorry that all this is happening. You know I am praying. If there is anything your Paw Creek family can do please let me know and we'll be right on it.

Love to all,

Anonymous said...

Yes, cry when the tears come .. . absolutely! And indulge in some chocolate . . . why not? And cherish your family and friends.

And yes, there IS good news here, isn't there?! Hope for a buyer for your house! Who knows, you might even be able to stay put!! You won't have to set out somewhere else come May 1st!

AND, most importantly of all . . . this cancer IS treatable! And it's treatable without the ravages of chemo and/or radiation!!
So very sorry you'll have to have the mastectomies, but oh my, so thankful that it isn't further advanced! So thankful you went in for the mammogram. Note to self: Make an appointment, Christine!

Much to thank God for . . . not least of which is that you have a caring, loving family and church community surrounding you.


Anonymous said...

Dearest Becky~

Continuing to hold you close in prayer.

My mom had a double mastecomy a number of years ago. She is still cancer free.

Ok, I'm laughing at Knitted Knockers lol You should get the pierced ones for sure!!

Boise ID

Anonymous said...

I've always been partial to the Trinitarian #3...
surely one of those interested parties in Smithfield will be the lucky owner of your old beautiful home!

Becky, just know that when you cry, there will be plenty of others crying with you. (or maybe "for you" since we won't actually know you cried until you stop and blog about it.)

btw, I just had the most delicious chocolate (bissinger's, made in st. louis) at my bridge group today. so, I was thinking of you with every bite. I imagine you will have quite enough chocolate at this time. but, I'll keep it in mind for a future mailing.

mrs pam

Ann Martin said...

So sorry you are having to have the double surgery but thankful that radiation and chemo are not needed. The surgery date will be here soon and hopefully you'll be back walking on the beach before many days are past. Enjoy the tears to relieve the stress and the chocolate to ease whatever. Love you and still praying the house sells soon even though we know in God's time it will. Help us, Lord, to wait on You which is so hard for us humans to do.

Lauren said...

I've been ridiculously busy lately and haven't checked your blog in a while, but you are certainly in my prayers - especially in light of all this bad (or should I say eventful?) news. You Smiths are strong people! I will be praying that everything works out as smoothly as possible.

jmckemie said...

Not much more I can say that has not already been said but know that I am still praying! Maybe with the avalanche of chocolate that is probaby headed that way, you can revise that quote to include with every tear that falls, with every prayer that is whispered...a piece of chocolate to accompany it! Then again, all the prayers that are being said for the Smith's right now, not sure there is enough chocolate to cover them!
On another note, it i s possible that there is a video of the stick performance that you can post? I have never seen the stick ministry but have heard that it it something truly worth seeing.
A bite of chocolate, a prayer for you.

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