Thursday, August 14, 2014

One Year Anniversary!




August 15, 2013 - 2014


One year ago today, I had my fourth and final chemo treatment.  Granted, my journey with cancer is small compared to so many others.  But any journey with cancer is a monumental battle for the person fighting. 

I can tell you this: the battle is tough and you are forever changed.  I'm still determining what that change means to my life.  But I know I'm not the same person.  I refuse the term "new normal" because I don't think it means anything.  I'm not searching for my new normal.  I'm finding my way to be in the world now. 

And I have my hair back.

My message to every woman who reads this is simple:

GET YOUR MAMMO!  

Yes, check yourself often, but don't depend on what you feel.  That annual mammo may not be perfect, but it's the best defense we have.  Those sneaky little cancer cells sometimes hide in places that cannot be felt until it's in an advanced stage.  Had I waited until I actually felt a lump, I would have been in great trouble.

I thank God for this past year of my life.  In the midst of all the effects of the treatments, there have been many happy times.  My husband, my family, my friends...all have given me more love and care than I could ever ask or hope for. 

We wonder sometimes why we have these difficulties, especially when we're supposed to be enjoying our "golden years."  I've come to understand that it's our job now to be an example to those who are watching us.  Hopefully they will see that all the things we've stood on and taught all our lives - things like faith and hope - are valid and dependable.

God is faithful.

I will sing of the Lord's great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.  I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
-Psalm 89: 1 & 2

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Refuge

Psalm 57: 1-11 (NCV), a psalm of David when he had fled from Saul into the cave:

Be merciful to me, God; be merciful to me
because I come to you for protection.
Let me hide under the shadow of your wings
until the trouble has passed.

I cry out to God Most High,
to the God who does everything for me.
He sends help from heaven and saves me.
He punishes those who chase me. Selah
God sends me his love and truth.

Enemies, like lions, are all around me;
I must lie down among them.
Their teeth are like spears and arrows,
their tongues as sharp as swords.

God is supreme over the skies;
his majesty covers the earth.

They set a trap for me.
I am very worried.
They dug a pit in my path,
but they fell into it themselves.

My heart is steady, God; my heart is steady.
I will sing and praise you.
Wake up, my soul.
Wake up, harp and lyre!
I will wake up the dawn.
Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
I will sing songs of praise about you to all the nations.
Your great love reaches to the skies,
your truth to the clouds.
God, you are supreme above the skies.
Let your glory be over all the earth.

Life is just one challenge, one test, one anxiety after another. We've had some heavy stuff lately and I unloaded to my friend, Judy, the other day. Like the good friend she is, she listened. Then she said, "You need to read Psalm 57." I sure did!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Wringing My Hands


Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. --1 Peter 5: 6 & 7

I used to think Life would someday be worry free. No more anxiety. Not.

Every day has its own cares, anxieties, concerns. We skirt around the bad word...that W word...Worry. We know we're not supposed to worry. But that doesn't take away anxiety. Every day has its own pile of mess that makes us anxious because we're humans. The hands in this picture look more like my insides than I like to admit. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

All the Monkeys in the Circus

Not my circus; not my monkeys.

Well, this is one way of saying "I refuse to be dragged into your drama."

And certainly, it's a good plan to protect yourself and your feelings from those around you who seem to constantly create drama...those busy souls who live from crisis to crisis. After awhile, the nerves just won't take any more. And so you back off and create some distance and try to maintain a more calm existence for yourself. Truly, in many instances that's a healthier way to live.

But there are circuses and monkeys that do belong to me. And my feelings get stirred up and I feel bad and have great concern for my monkeys. That would be my immediate family and closest friends. Let trouble touch my husband, my kids and their families, my brother and his family...and I get really protective of my monkeys.