Well, November is here, and that means I have been in chemo, this third time, for a full year. I'm not going to sugar-coat it. This past year, without a remission in sight, has been tough. It has included:
- 12 days of chemotherapy.
- 12 weeks of post-chemo sickness.
- A few other weeks of colds/flu due to my low immune system.
- About 100 mouth sores (Doxil causes them).
- About 100 bruises (from low platelets--currently at an all-time low of 57, normal is 150-400).
- About ten days a month with low energy (due to low blood count--normal is 35-45, I'm at 26, and my oncologist just called to say they are going to give me a blood transfusion).
- 12 months of lukewarm showers (Doxil causes hand and foot blistering if exposed to too much heat).
- And a partridge in a pear tree! No, just kidding. That is for next month's post!
But as Thanksgiving will be here in just six days, I am trying to focus this week not on the trials of the past year, but on all I have to be thankful for. Just a few of these things include:
- Experiencing God's presence, love, peace, and strength on good days and bad.
- Steve, Renee, and Daniel, who love me, serve me, and shore me up, even on my crankiest days.
- Weekly Green Lake walks with my aunt Julianne, equal parts mother and friend.
- My sister, Marti, who has moved heaven and earth this very week to get our other sister, Xan, into the Union Gospel Mission's Hope Place, a residential program for women struggling with homelessness and addiction, and who was a great chemo buddy last month, and caring sister always.
- The smart, deep, loving, and faithful women in my Monday noon Bible study who make sure God hears my name daily.
- My new oncologist, who brings years of training, research, and renown to help me live my longest, fullest, and best life.
- The basics--our home, food, clothes, health insurance, and enough money to pay our bills, give to the charities we love, and have a little leftover for some trips.
- All my other friends, family, and acquaintances who read this blog and think about me and/or pray for me (aka YOU)!
- And lastly, the fact that I will be in Kauai for a blissful pre-chemo vacation in just 12 days, two hours, and 39 minutes. But who's counting?!
This Thanksgiving, I hope your list of struggles is shorter than your list of blessings. And as I struggle to come to terms with the post-election turmoil in our country, I hope I can be a person who does this:
"Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:12-13
|Thankful for a son who is going to be a great dad one day!|
|Thankful for an Alki Beach walk with Steve, followed by a delicious dinner and fierce game of dominoes with our friends, Lynette and LaVonne.|
|Thankful to see the play of Carole King's life story with Renee and Riley on our "girls day out."|
|Thankful for my Sis, Marti, who loves me always and understands how the difficulties in our childhood have impacted our lives today.|
|Thankful for grandson/godson/great nephew, Jericho, who brightens up all my Saturdays.|
|And I close with a photo of Jericho and me, jamming and singing with our guitars, "our version," of Jesus Loves Me!|