An act of faith

Last week I bought a calendar.  A 2008 calendar.  Now, this may not be a big deal for most of us (other than the fact that I was so organized that I bought my calendar in September!), but for me, it required an act of faith. 

An act of faith that I’ll be here in 2008.

An act of faith that the chemo will work, and that the tumor will shrink, or at least hold steady, and not spread too fast over the coming months.  That the new chemotherapy treatment (that I start next month) will work and not, gulp, kill me instead.

An act of faith that I won’t be hit by a bus, or a tornado, or an act of terrorism between now and then.

I thought it was a huge step for me.

But then I realized that we all take these steps and act on faith every day. 

We buy calendars.  We buy more food than we’ll eat today.  We buy new clothes, trusting that we’ll get more than one wear out of them. 

We have children.

And what is a bigger leap of faith — a long-term commitment — than having a child? 


Having a baby is perhaps the biggest act of faith that we’ll ever take.  For the world is uncertain and scary, and yet we trust that we will be able to guide our little ones through it and come out the other side.   We trust that we can help them grow into good people, kind people, people that we would like to be with as they get older — or people that we would have liked to be.

We trust their teachers to teach them well, and their school bus drivers to bring them home safely, and the rest of humanity to treat them kindly and with care.

We have to trust.  We have no other choice.

And so tomorrow, for my children, I will walk into the chemotherapy infusion unit, smile at the nurses, and offer my arm.  They will smile back, ask how I’m feeling, insert an IV drip into my arm, and pump poisionous chemicals into my body.  Chemicals that will kill the cancer and, hopefully, not kill me too much first. 

I will spend the next week trying to recover, quietly, here at home.  The first days will be hell.  Then, slowly, but surely, I will feel better and be back to something approximating my normal self.  I believe.  I believe that it will work.

I don’t know.

But it’s an act of faith.


51 Responses to An act of faith

  1. E :) says:

    We all have faith in you that your body will beat this, as well. You have an incredibly strong will and are an incredibly admirable person.

  2. I Believe, Whymommy.

    And most of all, I believe in YOU.

    xo CGF

  3. I believe in you too, whymommy. With all my heart and magic.

  4. deb says:

    It is an act of faith for us to look forward. Good luck sweetie.

  5. Your oldest friend, Adam says:

    Faith…this is a bit of a deep subject. But I must ask, when you write this, are you just seeking a discussion of Deep Magic from the dawn of Time or of a magic that is deeper still, which goes back before the dawn of Time?

  6. Stimey says:

    I believe too. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow.

  7. BetteJo says:

    Buying green bananas is a risk! Glad you’re believing in your tomorrows. Lots of other people are too.

  8. Danielle says:

    We never know what tomorrow will bring. I’m proud that you bought your calendar but also amazed because I still haven’t gotten around to buying my 2007 calendar yet. I’m a little behind that year.

    I’ve been thinking of you a lot lately. I’ve been trying to send you strength in my thoughts. Then I got a call from my mom. They’ve found a “spot” on her right lung and she goes in for more testing on the 24th. (something about being allergic to the dyes that they use in the tests and having to take a treatment of meds before the test, postpone everything.) She’s so scared and I don’t know what to do for her. I don’t want to just ignore it but I don’t want to bring it up all of the time. Then it got me thinking of you again. Your strength and grace in handling this evil thing. I’ll send more strength but you might have to share some wisdom.

  9. Tamara Cosby says:

    You are an amazing woman! And I love your faith…it is contagious!!! LOVE IN HIM, Tamara

  10. Cathy Knight says:

    New to your blog…I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42—15 years ago! I was very scared and uncertain then, but God was gracious and I found great comfort in the Psalms and His promises and His love……my family and friends were the “angels” at midnight–the darkest hour for me–whispering: “there is hope, there is hope”…I even experienced the kindness of strangers…

    I noted your concern over the bi-lateral mastectomy you will face after chemo…I’ve been there too…had both my breast removed, and not meaning to mininmize it, it wasn’t that bad…my gallbladder surgery in 1970–the old fashioned way– was more uncomfortable…the pain from the mastectomies was minimal…my chest just felt really tight…didn’t hurt so much, just felt constricted…but that soon passed…maybe 2-3 weeks…the hardest part for me was actually looking at my “chest”…but I did, and soon after, and even that was not so bad…

    I can say I haven’t missed my breasts that much…don’t get me wrong I’d like to have them…but, life is more precious than having breasts, at least to me…

    Your post today reminded me of when, in my own thinking, I realized breast cancer hadn’t really changed my destiny…my appointment with death was set before I was born…and nothing, not even cancer, could hasten it.

    It was a big deal for me too, to buy a calendar, to think ahead…wondering about the future…but Hope kept me going…putting one foot in front of the other…taking the next step…sometimes not one day at a time, but one hour at a time…just doing the next thing and not dwelling in the unknown future…for, truth be told, we all have that affliction…no certainty about the future…there are no guarantees…just possibilities. But, oh the, possiblities are limitless…

    Hang in there and keep Hope as a your beacon…

  11. Not only will you be using that calendar, but it will be crammed with activities and meetings and all kinds of things!

  12. PunditMom says:

    I know. It is an act of faith. I’ve been on this road with my best friend. I have a feeling you will be buying calendars well past 2008.

  13. Ally says:

    I believe, too, and have faith that you will be here next year, and for many, many years to come. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow and praying that that chemo does its work.

  14. Wishing quiet strength for you tomorrow and all this week, though your words and your journey have been so inspiring I truly feel like you give ME strength. Warmly, Laura

  15. Robin says:

    I’m enjoying your acts of faith. You’re inspiring.

  16. WorksForMom says:

    You continue to inspire WhyMommy. I still think of you every single day and will send extra thoughts for tomorrow. and the day after that. and the day after THAT.

  17. amanda says:

    You’re our very own Tink and we all believe.

  18. Arkie Mama says:

    I believe in you.

    Now sit down and start filling out that new calendar!

  19. MammaLoves says:

    I believe too.

    And you’re right…tornadoes, hurricanes, car accidents. It’s all an act of faith. Thanks for reminding me.

  20. Liz says:

    it will work. i believe in you.

  21. Jacquie says:

    “Do you believe in fairies? … If you believe,” he [Peter] shouted to them, “clap your hands; don’t let Tink die.”
    Peter Pan

    I beleive in you WM! Reading your post tonight totally made me think of Peter Pan. (I hope this comment was ok, if not just delete it)

  22. ~JJ! says:

    You’re right. Who thinks of that stuff.

    But we all have faith that we will be here in 2008.

    It’s how we stay sane…

    Fill up that calendar with birthdays and anniversaries and all the things that matter…then when they happen, you’ll be glad you did. You’ll see.

  23. ~JJ! says:

    You’re right. Who thinks of that stuff.

    But we all have faith that we will be here in 2008.

    It’s how we stay sane…

    Fill up that calendar with birthdays and anniversaries and all the things that matter…then when they happen, you’ll be glad you did. You’ll see.

  24. Alice C says:

    Hang on in there – don’t worry about tomorrow – just concentrate on today.

    I have just been reading an excellent article about Breast Cancer in Good Housekeeping and one of the interviewees strongly recommends travel sickness bands for nausea after chemo.

  25. Linda L. says:

    Great! Keep up those acts of faith! Love ya!

  26. Susan K says:

    Too bad you can’t buy a 2009 calendar yet! Because you will need one!

    I’ll be in Huntsville next week – will miss seeing you there. I’ll have a brownie for you if one is available! My first business trip since child number 2 showed up (and only my second since child number 1). Talk about an act of faith! Leaving them behind…

    Thinking of you this morning and sending strength your way.

  27. sam says:

    You’re going to use that calendar, it’s going to be full to the brim.

    I’m thinking about you, always. I hope everything goes well and the first days after are much easier then anticipated.


  28. Maya says:

    You words continue to be an inspiration everyday for me. Thank for inspiring all us and sharing this battle with us so open and honestly.

  29. Mrs. Chicken says:

    You blow me away. You really, really do. You are so strong and so beautiful and so honest … Whymommy, I’m not just saying this: you are a hero. To me and to so many others. I’m keeping the faith with you.

  30. Eva says:

    Good for you.

    In reality, none of us knows if she’ll be here in 2008. But we live our lives anyway. Your not-knowing is much more tangible.

    You go!

  31. Kristin says:

    Hurray for faith!

  32. Barb G says:

    Put August 9th on your calendar. There are a lot of Cousins looking forward to meeting you at our next reunion at the Farm.

  33. NoRegrets says:

    There’s a sign off on JM in the AM (know of it through WFMU) that I think is great:

    Remember the past.
    Live in the present.
    Trust the future.

    Every single one of us has to do that. (I loved the comment about buying green bananas!)

  34. NoRegrets says:

    Hmmm.. on a separate note, got back the results from my mammogram and it says I have dense breasts. Then I look up:

  35. tracey says:

    Good luck.. I pray that not only does it do what it needs to do, but that you can feel as un-sick as possible. Praying for little nausea and much energy…

  36. heather says:

    Thanks for reminding us to be grateful for every day.

  37. bon says:

    keeping the faith with you, WhyMommy.

    and you’re right, the biggest trust we ever place in the world and in fortune is in deciding to have a child. and for you, with this battle with cancer, and for me, in learning to live after my child, that act of faith has been challenged at times, made less than simple, made painful and frightening and hard. but reinforced, too, i think…i hope. made sweeter in the moments we get to celebrate.

    may 2008 be a good and sweet year, for you, my friend. and may tomorrow find you with courage to keep investing that faith.

  38. clifford says:

    Remember to tell the nurse that it’s only a flesh wound. <:)

  39. Robbin says:

    Of course you will be here in 2008. And 2009. And to see your sons graduate.

    “When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know and are about to drop off into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly”
    ~Patrick Overton

  40. ohamanda says:

    Step of faith. That’s all it takes. Walking by faith and not by what you see. Always praying.

  41. You are right. Just having a baby is an act of faith. Yesterday was the beginning of the Muslim Ramadan and the Jewish Rosh Hashanah, and I thought of you in particular when I wrote my post of good wishes.

  42. LawyerMama says:

    Bless you for being so brave and yes, faithful.

  43. Aimee says:

    i totally get your heart here, probably more than most of your readers. but i giggle because after all, it is just a calandar! 😉

  44. beanmom says:


    Thank you so much for your posts. Even in the midst of this difficult time for you, you are inspiring and giving strength to people you’ve never even met (like me!) I needed to be reminded today–that my children *are* an act of faith, the biggest commitment of faith. They are worth it, and so is life. The blogosphere is thinking of you, and having faith in you.

  45. tori says:

    I just wrote something similar the other day. I love your positive attitude! I know I don’t comment often, but I read every single day and think about you and send you healing thoughts.

  46. […] while I was reading Whymommy of Toddler Planet, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes on faith:  When you have come to the edge of all […]

  47. canape says:

    I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

    Matthew something or another. I would have to find a Bible to know. I mean besides the stacks of them by my bed of course. *ahem*

  48. magpie says:

    Faith indeed. You are a strong and gracious woman. More power to you.

  49. Nancy says:

    You’re so right. And what better reminder of that faith than those two cuties on the top of your sidebar.

    Thanks for the linky love, too. 🙂

  50. […] far ahead.  Last year at this time, I couldn’t even walk — and it was a leap of faith for me to buy a 2008 calendar.  But today, I am healthy.  The cancer is not spreading.  It is not crippling my body or my […]

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