Posts Tagged ‘Thankfulness’

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (12:58am)
Long Time…

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a blog. It’s not for lack of things to write about. I’ve still been journaling. So much has happened the last few years. So much happened during the season that I had cancer, the surgery and the follow up… amazing things. I wanted to write about them but I was still processing everything internally. I couldn’t figure out a way to do a quick summary. While I was pondering all the crazy that is my life, my world flipped upside down and has been that way ever since.

In May of 2012 Ken was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. By the time it was discovered it had already spread to his bones, spine and lymph nodes. Since it was a slow growing cancer it really was tragic that it was not diagnosed sooner, especially since he was at the doctors frequently with his other health issues. Suddenly there were specialists and surgery and follow up treatment and learning to live with that kind of diagnosis. I now know for sure what I suspected when I was going through my own cancer stuff … it’s way harder to see him suffer and grow through this process than it was going through my own bout with cancer.

I am not unfamiliar with grief. I’ve had plenty of loss over the years, and I’ve walked through the valley of terminal illness and death with many people. But there is a different kind of grief involved with living day to day with life threatening disease.

In the middle of it Ken and I have both been energized in some ways too. We are both more aware than ever with how precious each day is. Our time together means more. Our time with people we love means more. We’re just calling it “sudden death overtime.” We’re in that exciting part of life where anything can happen and every play is important. I also know now how much of a team effort life is. Apparently it takes a village to raise a couple of cancer survivors. I’m so thankful for the love and tenderness of our friends who have been amazing support and have walked with us in the midst of the journey. It’s been good seeing my husband get to experience firsthand the love of so many people.

So much has happened … heartbreaking, horrible, amazing, wonderful, beautiful things. Hopefully soon I’ll have the time and energy to write about them.

I had been waiting to write until I had something “profound” to say. Then I realized just experiencing life together was more important. Tonight I’m just taking the opportunity to acknowledge I’m here. I’m still alive. I’m still hopeful, and thankful. I’m thankful to see the redemptive thread still being woven throughout my life. And even though there are times when I’m overwhelmed and would like to just curl up in a little ball in the corner, most of time I’m amazed at how much life we are experiencing in the midst of it all.

Hopefully this will be continued sooner than the gap between the last post and I’ll be able to write more about the things that I’ve been thinking about late at night. If you’re here reading this, thank you. Thank you for caring for us and being a part of our lives. Thank you for sharing your lives with us!

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c.2012 Linda B.

Friday, March 23, 2012 (11:57pm)

Thankful… an update. Part 1

It’s been almost 3 months since my surgery. I’ve sat so many times to write this post and have not been ready. It’s been such an amazing time in so many ways. So many things have happened. I’m still processing the things I experienced, and the things I’ve learned. So this will just be the first installment. I apologize up front for the length.

First a little back story:

On Wednesday, Dec 28th I was admitted into the hospital for surgery.

It had been quite the ride in the month or so leading up to it. There was the Thanksgiving weekend trip to the ER while I was losing a lot of blood with a myriad of tests and doctors with concerned looks on their faces. There was the follow up visit to the gynecologist who did a bunch of other tests and looked concerned. There were the test results and the call from the Dr. In between my music students … “You’ve got Cancer” and then having to go back to teaching right after the phone call. Then there was the realization that I had to tell my husband, who suffers from an anxiety disorder, that I had cancer. It was all such a blur. There were the sleepless nights dealing with the symptoms of the cancer and the side effects of the drugs I was on until I could have surgery and consultations with the surgeon etc. In the mean time I was still working a 60 hour work week and attempting to keep things pretty normalized for my students, and the financial burden of how I was going to pay the huge insurance co-pay for it all.

In the middle of getting ready for the surgery, the Christmas season was going on. It was eerie going to the hospital for the pre-op appointments with hardly anyone there right before Christmas and old tattered Christmas decorations everywhere. It was all so surreal. One day I went out with some of my friends. I was overwhelmed with the financial implications I was facing. Both of them reminded me that God is always faithful to take care of me, but I was just beside myself. I was exhausted and emotionally spent. After lunch I went home and got the mail. There was a Christmas card there for me with a peaceful snow scene with the word peace on the front of card, and an amazing gift, the first of many to come. I am so thankful to all of you who prayed for me and who gave me the greatest Christmas gift ever… life… and peace of mind, knowing that I wouldn’t have to carry the burden alone and that you guys had my back. You loved me in so many ways… providing for me financially, bringing food by, coming and keeping me company, phoning other friends to keep them informed, getting me out of the house while I was healing. The day after I came home there was a knock at the door, and the owners of my favorite Thai place were there with soup that they made just for me. They showed up several other times too. That kind of love and support was so wonderfully overwhelming. I’ll write more about that soon.

Physically the surgery went amazingly well. I’m so thankful for my doctor and her willingness to make sure she was able to do it robotically. I was concerned about waking up after surgery, since that has been a problem with other family members, but that was fine. After a complete hysterectomy, I was able to go home the next day. The surgery was minimally invasive, and I was healed enough to start working again in two weeks, because I couldn’t miss the income. The doctor told me that would be hard, I wouldn’t have all my energy back, but it would be ok… and she was right. I was a pooped puppy. But it worked. My students were great and took it easy on me. Everyone’s helped me muddle through. The follow up visits have been great and the doctor was very happy with everything.

They got the pathology reports back and they can back negative for anything spreading outside of the uterus. There was no cancer in anything else they removed.

It is sobering to remember, as my doctor so aptly said that I am now a cancer “survivor.” and as such I have to be tested every few months to make sure there is no re-occurrence. That will go on for many years. While I was waiting for the surgery I found two things that stuck with me… one was a bracelet with a quote, I think originally from Joseph Kennedy that said “Life is tough, but I am tougher.” The other was a neckless that had this inscription:

What Cancer Cannot Do…

It cannot

invade the soul

suppress memories

kill friendship

destroy peace

conquer the spirit

shatter hope

cripple love

corrode faith

steal eternal life

silence courage

Since I was young and my mother died in her 40’s, I have been aware of how tentative and fragile life is. I’ve always tried to live my life to the fullest. I’m thankful for the extra time I have, however long that is. I’m thankful for such amazing friends that love me and care for me. I’m thankful for my amazing students. I’m thankful for the reminder that life is a beautiful, wonderful, unexpected crazy thing. I’m thankful for each of you who’ve stopped by to read this today.

Hi everyone. My surgery is scheduled for the 28th in the afternoon. The great surgeon I wrote about in a previous post has agreed to do the surgery robotically, which should make it minimally invasive, with a quick healing time. I would certainly appreciate your prayers.

As some of you know, the co-pay after the medical insurance will probably be between 6,000 and 7500. I can’t get a straight story from anyone at this point since everything is “just an estimate.” Friends and family have been amazing… helping with gifts to help with the surgery since they know that I’m self-employed and the sole provider for my family, and my husband has a slew of medical bills all the time too. So far quite a bit has come in which I’m so thankful for. What an incredible Christmas gift for me this year.

Several people have been asking how they could help. If you would like to find out more about how to help you can write me at lindabmusic@cox.net or if you would like to give you can click on the donate button below.

January 7, 2008
FROM MY MYSPACE BLOG

The Flip Side of the Coin…
(Or How I Spent My Christmas Vacation)
I had two weeks off in a row for the first time since then. And, while I did spend the first week feeling pretty sick and horrible, it was still nice to just have time to rest and recuperate in peace. I had a chance to just sit and read for long periods of time. I got to work on learning to run my new multi-track recorder. I had a chance to input the music/lyrics and chords for about 30 new songs into the computer, which is very time consuming but wonderful to have. I got a chance to just hang out and goof off with my husband. We had a nice, peaceful, calm Christmas, which was a wonderful thing. The second week I felt better and I got to see some friends that I have been missing, and have some great meals with them.

Nancy and I got a chance to record and work on music, which has been good for my soul. I got a chance to just go outside and breathe the air and stare blankly. We also got a chance to go feed the geese (more about being the goose whisper in another blog) and enjoy nature. Those things might not seem like a big deal… but they were very precious gifts to me. Given the new year, it’s probably good I got a chance to rest up some.

I also got a chance to read A Widening Light, a poetry anthology put together by Luci Shaw of wonderful contemporary poets writing on the Life of Christ. I think that, mixed with all the good and bad Christmas memories brought back for me just how thankful I am for God’s mercy and redemption in a real way. Some of us have been reading through the Bible this year together… and this verse from Matthew 4:17 in “The Message” version jumped out at me…
“People sitting out their lives in the dark saw a huge light;
Sitting in that dark, dark country of death,
they watched the sun come up.”

It’s late and I’m way too tired right now to adequately describe just how much that is my story. When I was young I lived in the middle of horrible darkness. Even then I knew that there had to be a better life for me. Hopefully one of these days I’ll find the words to explain. But I was reminded again how thankful I am to be alive and to know the mercy of God… even in the midst of breaking, dripping things. I know I’ll get through the other stuff. I’m thankful I have some help along the way.

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t get much down time. As a matter of fact, the last time I had any time off without someone dying, Ken and/or I being sick, or some major natural disaster/crisis was about ten years ago.