Showing posts from May, 2018

Thursday's Thoughts - What's Your Mission?

Lately I've had some good days! They're unpredictable, but that's okay! On those days, I feel like I have a virus instead of the full-blown flu! It's a big difference! It appears the latest changes in those cancer treatments gave me two giant leaps forward! 

I always thought I'd recover from this cancer journey and jump back into my old life. But it's not like that. Time didn't stand still while I was huddled under the covers. Things have changed. I've changed. My priorities have changed. 
And while we naturally resist change, change is good.

For instance, now I have a laser focus. One thing this cancer has taught me is that here's nothing more important than following the will of God...which can mean stretching out of our comfort zones...or lying in a bed suffering.
The other obvious lesson? Time is limited.

So with that thought in mind, please allow me to share the following excerpt from Henri J Nouwen's book, Bread for the Journey:


Sharing the Art of a Message

I'm sure God puts us in the shoes we are in for a reason, and that reason is to help others who are walking that same path, right?  So, with that thought in mind, I've attended a few cancer group support meetings at Florida Hospital. 
The poster pictured above, dated December 2016, is something I made at one of those meetings. 
While most meetings feature guest speakers or open discussions, this one was different.We were invited to choose images from magazines, glue them to poster board, and, if we wanted to, share its meaning. (I wanted to...Of course.) 
Here's what I said:
"I chose "Make a Difference" because that's what we are here to do in life...Make a Positive Difference in the lives entrusted to our care and all those we encounter in the course of our days; family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, store clerks, strangers.
I added flowers because they represent there's so much beauty in life. 
I added the girl climbing a rock wall and the boy flying in…

Observing Memorial Day...with growing appreciation for the mission...

We attended Memorial Day ceremony at a local cemetery yesterday, where we saluted each branch of our armed forces, prayed for fallen comrades, and sang patriotic songs. 

The ceremonies, led by a beloved local television commentator, included ROTC members from local high schools, Boy Scouts directing traffic, and honorary members from a Civil War reenactment group. 

Spectators, young and old alike, resembled a sea of red, white and blue. A preschool girl, blonde curls bouncing in the breeze, stood tiptoe on a folding chair while watching the activities. One Marine got up and told his story. Nearby, an elderly woman, accompanied by her daughter, wiped tears while listening to the presentation. When the event dispersed, we took little American flags and placed them on nearby grave sites.

The gun salute triggered the memory of when my older brother was drafted to Viet Nam. I remembered how sad my mom was, how he hated to go, and how that changed his life. I remembered how young and clueless …

Ding! Ding! Time for Another Round (of cancer treatments)!

I started another round of cancer treatments last week. Gosh, six months seem to fly by.
The good news is that I went into these rounds stronger than ever before. It feels like my
system has finally, nearly, rebuilt itself from the destruction delivered from the original rounds of chemo in 2015.  But the ongoing treatments are throwing their own punches, so the regime remains hard.

In recognition of that, my oncologist and I made changes to the ongoing treatments. (The treatments are working on the cancer so now we're trying to improve my quality of life. I'm struggling with side effects.) I thought we'd finally found the right mix last week when no brain scramble happened during the infusion.  That was a huge difference. 

In fact, I felt pretty good. For a few days.

Then came Monday night...this past Monday night...when that mean monster inside me flipped the agony...and...

I've been struggling again...big-time...

Bone pain. Brain pain. Nausea. Muscle aches. Int…

I'll take a sip of this wisdom today...

Trust in the Lord? I'll take that reminder, please.
After all, life can be like a magic carpet ride, delivering crazy, unexpected turns. Sometimes  the way is rough and bumpy. There may be sudden turns and quick drops. 
Hang on. 

Sometimes we don't know where we're going or where we'll end up. There's an awkward step here and a graceful leap there. Sometimes, all you can do is put one foot in front of the other.
Sometimes things go our way; sometimes not.

But I know  this: Either way, it's okay.  

Look up!Because, no matter what happens, it'll be alright.  

You can trust in the Lord.

Remember, this life isn't our end goal. There's so much more to come, and it's heavenly stuff.  

Want to hear a song? Click here for Trust in You by Lauren Daigle. Enjoy!

Are you thinking no one's paying attention? Think again.

"You haven't written in awhile, have you?" my friend says. Another writes, "Hey Deb- haven't heard anything from you. Everything okay?" Then there's this voicemail..."It's been a little quiet from over there...checking in on you..."
Yes, I admit, it has been quiet. It has been awhile.

I could make excuses. I could say I've been working on marketing my column to other states (I have!)...or that I wasn't sure what to blog about anymore (also true)...and that I decided it's time to quit talking about my health (seriously!)...

Yes, I could say all that...but, honestly, the reason I haven't written goes deeper.

As I crawl out from under this blanket of illness, my mind is racing. Even though I can't do most of what I envision, I'm restless.

So my prayer life dwindles. I lose focus. Distractions derail my thoughts. God is expelled. Worry wins.  

Indeed, why write? I couldn't possibly have anything worthwhile to say. 

Then, r…