Sunday, July 26, 2009

This and That...

Wow, there have been so many things to celebrate lately. I realized on July 23rd while sitting at work that it was exactly 1 year since I went in for surgery. I thought to myself how much had transpired in a year...the face of death and now the road to recovery! It has been quite the journey.

I e-mailed Steve at work and asked him, "Steve, do you remember what you were doing exactly 1 year ago today?" The ever jokester responds with, "eating chicken fingers". I laughed and said, "how could you, I wasn't even able to have an ice chip, water, food or anything for 7 days besides the fact that I couldn't have anything 2 days prior to the surgery!". I was telling Kimberly and she laughed because she remembered taking chicken fingers to her dad to eat at the hospital because he of course was with me the entire time. It is so awesome to be able to look back and laugh.

This weekend on a whim decided to go to Tenneesee to visit friends, we've not seen in quite a while. In fact, we were best friends for years and then we moved, they moved and we lost touch. When I became sick, we re-connected and they drove for hours on a week night just to spend a couple of hours with us. They live close to Knoxville, Tennessee. It has been so hectic that I've been having chest pains, etc. so I thought a change of scenery would do us all good.

We had a marvelous time. There is nothing like lots of laughter with friends. We had so much fun that we did not want to leave. Since it was our anniversary, we went to a Japanese Steakhouse and then to a place called, Manchies. It is a frozen yogurt place that has all kinds of yogurt with toppings of every kind. It is all self-serve and you fill your bowl or waffle bowls with as much as you like and then you weigh them. It was wonderful!!

They live in the Smokey Mountains so the view was unbelievable. I can see why they would want to live there. The real estate is very expensive but oh my, what an awesome place to live and even more beautiful place to retire.

Today is Steve's birthday so being on the road made it a little difficult to have a cake. We tried at lunch but somehow the wires got crossed and our server never did anything so we finally grew tired of waiting and left. His sister, Vicky made him a cake and his other sister, Angie brought it over once we got home from the trip. I was glad he actually had a cake. I was thinking as I looked at the cake that last year, his sister Vicky made him a cake and brought it to the hospital. So, I guess this year the cake tastes better than ever, especially getting to eat it at home! "-)

Since I've been sick this past year, riding in the car makes my legs swell so I better go and get things under control so I can be rested and ready for work tomorrow.
Have a great night! Thank you all so much for listening and your kind words.

P.S. I just found out that another person who just found out they had the exact same cancer and same stage of cancer that I had, has only been given 6 months to live. This is really the most important thing that I have to say today and that is to please pray for this very young family. God is able to do all things, HE sure has done that for me and I know HE is just as capable to do it for this person. Please remember them in your prayers. They really need a miracle. This really isn't a by the way statement, it has been on my heart and wasn't sure if I should say it or not because I'm not sure who all reads this but the more people praying the better!!

God Bless,
Love to all,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

No rest for the weary but time to celebrate one year!!

I have been so busy at work that I've been too tired to even blog. Today, I actually left at 5:30 p.m. I have been working till 8-9 p.m. every night (and all day Saturday) and have been traveling. Honestly, it has been overwhelming and has made me wonder just how long I can really keep this up?? I would have been exhausted with full energy so this makes it doubly as hard. Believe it or not, I still struggle with pain every day. I am a pretty good faker so most of the time you won't know that I'm struggling because I learned that no one likes a whiner.
The great news about today though is something that mom reminded everyone via e-mail....and that is last year on this day, I found out that I had cancer. It seemed like we started traveling through a dark tunnel not knowing what was going to be on the other side. That is when God stepped in and family and friends stepped up and prayer became my strength day in and day out. I still thank the Lord every day for his awesome mercy and grace and pray that I do not squander his blessing.
I knew this was the month but really hadn't thought about the date and didn't really think about, "celebrating"....however, as I thought about the e-mail that mom sent this morning, I realized that it was okay to celebrate the awesome wonder of God. After all, HE is what got me through, how could I even fail to think to celebrate? So, today I'm thankful and grateful that I'm on the other side of this diagnosis.
This day provides me another chance to say, "thank you for all the support and prayers". I still covet the prayers and continue to feel strength. I try to go the extra mile thinking of others who are traveling this road. Every time the word cancer is brought up about someone, I immediately tear up. I never thought I would be so affected by this disease but I realize it is more a disease of the mind. I could deal with what was going on physically a whole lot better than mentally. I was always worried about my family etc. etc.
Yesterday I talked on the phone with the husband of someone who is on their 3rd chemo treatment. I kept wanting to cry on the phone but I forced myself to stay composed. I told him that I thought and prayed for them everyday. I knew what mentally she must be going through and he said, "she just said that last night". I told him to take care of himself, go get exams or whatever he needed because it would make her feel better. He said, "she is #1" and I told him that when I was sick all I could think about was Steve and my family needed to go get exams. These were things that made me feel better. Those who don't have God in their life and go through something like this....I'm not sure how they do it. It can really mess you up. I'm so thankful that so many prayed so I was able to keep a "gonna make it no matter what" attitude no matter how bad it got.
It wasn't anything I did but I just listened to what I knew in my heart and what I had been taught to do. I had been given the tools/resources over my life through family and church on holding on through the struggle and that in the end, I was going to be okay. You can't let go, can't give in and you can't let it anger or change you.....but you are in for the long haul and by staying in and standing strong, God was going to bless us through this experience.
Today, as I frantically work hour after hour, I do not ever forget in my mind God's awesome word of protection for me. There is nothing in my day that is more important than serving HIM or others as he sees fit for me to do.
I think about those in the waiting rooms, waiting for their next treatment, those sitting beside someone's bed wondering if they will have a next breath and I wonder why God allowed me to be spared and given more life. I didn't deserve it but God chose to give it to me. I didn't give myself life and until I take my last breath on this earth, I will never forget the journey of where I've been, where God has brought me and where God is going to take me. It is a walk of faith. It is a strength after and through the struggle, it is a joy that passeth all understanding, it is a road that not everyone will travel but somehow for some reason I did. I don't ever want to take my blessing, hide it and move on.
I know many of you can relate to this in different ways because God has been good to all of us. I wonder what we've done once we received it.....did we just move on and forget it? Or did it change us in some way that made us better or make us want to do more to help others? Life is so short, we can have fun in all sorts of ways but the greatest satisfaction that I think we ever have is helping others and leading them to the same joy that we cherish in our hearts and life.
As I lay down to ready myself for another day, the simple words taught as a child, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take" still hold true today. No matter what, I'm thankful for this road that I started traveling as a child guided by my parents, and today as a parent, I'm guiding my children down this same road so that as they reach bumps, holes and detours that they will remember that no matter what God is the Master of our road and in charge of our soul. You just can't get better than that....
Love to all,
Good Night,