If you asked me to name one thing that has been a blessing to me during this whole process, I would have a difficult time doing it. Not because I don’t have any, but because I have SO MANY! Here are a few of the many ways:
Health: I have a Christian doctor who truly cares about how I’m doing. Tomorrow I have my second chemo treatment and he is flying out of town, but said he would make sure to come in before his flight to check in on me. I have Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – it is so treatable & even curable! Yes, it might be stage 4, but there’s still so much that they can do to kick this disease to the curb! I have had some of the best days lately – I’ve felt almost normal!
Family: I have a husband and kids who are looking out for me, and helping around the house. They bring me the blankets I need when I’m having chills, or grab something out of other rooms when I can’t go get them myself. I have parents who have done and are doing so much! Mom drives me back from my chemo & doctor appointments. She & Dad have filled my car with gas (thank you!!). My sister lives next door & has made sure that the kids get home from school when I don’t have the ability to go get them. Her husband, Mark, will throw extra meat on the grill when he’s out in the backyard. My brother Ryan, though he lives on the other side of the continent, is constantly texting me and giving me helpful advice on what I might need to expect in the upcoming treatments & months.
Spiritual: I have SO MANY friends from church and elsewhere that are praying for me. There truly is no way that I could go through this without God’s faithfulness and the prayer support of others. A night or two ago, Sharolyn & I were doing our nightly “read through the Bible” time (well, most nights), and I came across a passage in Psalms that just ministered to me.
1 Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise His holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things He does for me.
3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
6 The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
(my own emphasis added)
Now I hope you don’t read verse 6 as me thinking I’ve been treated unfairly. I don’t feel that way at all. There’s nothing special about me that should make me exempt from something like this. However, I know that some of my very dearest friends have expressed frustration & anger that something like this would happen to me. I have had some of the same feelings! It’s not wrong to have them, but I just have to remember that there is an end & He (God) is there for me to run to when I am given a situation I don’t think I can handle on my own – like cancer.
Friends: This one is HUGE! From work, to church, to old highschool friends, to Facebook, to old friends that I haven’t heard from in ages – they encourage me from everywhere! Blaine is beginning a “love room” in our dining room. He is taping up every card/letter I am getting and when I stand in there, it doesn’t matter which wall I look at, I see people who care about me. Other friends are bringing in meals so my family isn’t “suffering” while I’m in this battle. Well, can I just say, they’re not suffering! In fact, the other day, when Barb Swain from work sent over BBQ ribs, a mashed potato casserole, bacon-wrapped asparagus, individual chocolate mousses (and there might have been something more), Blaine said, in typical middle-school boy fashion, “Mom, I’m kinda glad you got cancer!” We all had a good laugh about that one. I’ve had other friends who have sent us money to help not only with bills, but everyday expenses since I am not able to work like normal. Still others come over with goodies, like fellow cancer survivor Pamela Platt – she brought a HUGE bag of goodies that included chocolate (of course) scarves, magazines, eyelashes (SERIOUSLY!) and more than I can name. And then there’s my mom’s friend Annette Winter. She has made sure the kids get to school on time on the days that I can’t get them there, and now she’s going to make sure that the kitten gets to the doctor to get spayed. Now that’s a friend!
So as you can see, I am blessed beyond measure. It happens daily. There will always be something for me to be thankful for, and you all have permission to remind me of that if you catch me in a pity party. But, just for the record, I think if I have a pity party once in a while, it might be ok – as long as it’s not too often. 🙂 I guess I’d just like to extend a challenge to those of you who didn’t think this was too long to keep reading: When you’re faced with something you don’t think you can handle, stop & take a moment, and just find one thing, one little blessing, that you can find in the situation. I can promise you, with 99% accuracy that you can find at least one.
Blessings to you today!!!