Archive | October, 2011

Healing Dawn

28 Oct

This morning as my kids were heading off to school in the early morning darkness, my daughter suddenly remembered that she absolutely had to have a sheet of poster board for Language Arts class today. I quickly checked our poster board supply. Nada. Sensing an oncoming panic attack in this conscientious, academically-oriented child who has never before forgotten an educational supply, I assured her that I would take care of it and sent her on her way.

There wasn’t much time if I was going to get a poster board to her before her Language Arts class started. So I did what mothers do — I threw on some old sweats and made a mad dash to Wal-Mart. As I approached the school supply aisle, it occurred to me that I hadn’t brushed my hair yet. I hadn’t even brushed my teeth.

Determined to complete my mission, I grabbed a poster board, paid for it, and hurried to my daughter’s school. Just moments before class started, I rushed into the front office with the poster board, and the secretary sent a student runner to deliver it to my daughter. Whew. Mission accomplished.

In hindsight, I probably should have gotten out of there while I still had the chance…

But, as I stood in the front office catching my breath for a moment, I remembered that I had planned to call the school today to check on some paperwork that needed attention. I figured that as long as I was standing in the front office, I might as well save myself a phone call and just ask the secretary about it now. But to my surprise, the secretary informed me that the Dean of Students would have to check on that paperwork for me. And before I knew what was happening, she ushered me right into his office.

He greeted me warmly, offered me a cup of coffee, and kindly checked on the paperwork. And all the while, I smiled and tried to pretend that I hadn’t just gotten out of bed. At least I wasn’t wearing my red flannel scottie-dog pants.

As I drove back home awhile later, a pretty pink sunrise glowed along the horizon, and I was reminded of the healing mercies of a loving God. Because, for the first time in five years, I hadn’t been too sick to be gallivanting around so early in the morning. The mornings have been the worst. But not today. Today I had actually felt good enough to be sitting in the dean’s office with un-brushed teeth. And the way I see it, that is truly something for which to be thankful.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

21 Oct

There’s a new breast care & oncology center in town. It’s a wonderful facility. I mean, it’s not Disneyland of course, but for a breast care center, it’s pretty awesome. I transferred my medical records to this new facility, and last month I went there for a checkup.

These checkups always make me incredibly nervous. But the staff at this impressive new center was competent and kind, and when it was all over, I was kicking myself for getting so stressed out about the whole thing. Stress can cause cancer, you know.

And honestly, I have to say that getting a breast exam at the breast care center is a much more pleasant experience than getting it at the airport.

Last week I went back to the breast care center again. This time I went because they had invited me to be the speaker for their breast cancer awareness event.

Such a lovely event. And what a warm and gracious group of ladies greeted me when I arrived. It was a privilege to share my story with them. They touched my heart in a way I will not soon forget.

October is breast cancer awareness month. The two biggest risks for getting breast cancer are 1) being a woman; and 2) getting older. So be sure you’re taking good care of yourself. And take good care of those you love.

Believe me, prevention is a whole lot easier than taking on a fight with cancer.

Do Not Lose Heart

14 Oct

It wasn’t my birthday, but last week I sure got an awesome gift — A wonderfully relaxing week at West Palm Beach in Florida. Tropical breezes. Warm sunshine. Maid service. And not one lousy trip to Wal-Mart. I would not be surprised if they don’t even have Wal-Marts in Florida.

By the way, for those of you who were concerned, please be assured that this time I had no problem getting through airport security. No full body scans. No probing frontal exams. No scowling security guards. In fact, one of the guards even smiled at me. All in all, a much more pleasant experience. Must have been that pink t-shirt…

Not far from me, my husband spent the week sitting in a windowless room at the Florida-based Thermo Fischer training facility learning about gas chromatograph-mass spectrometers. (Don’t feel too sorry for him. He is fascinated by that stuff).

Meanwhile, I spent the days taking long walks along the white sandy beach, the warm ocean water embracing my ankles.

As I walked, I mainly thought of nothing. Can you imagine such luxury? No wondering about what to fix for dinner. No consulting a time schedule or to-do list. And absolutely no worrying about anything that starts with the letter C.

A time of rest and renewal. I welcomed it with open arms.

It reminded me of the verse in II Corinthians 4 that I’ve been hanging onto these past five years. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

I love the part about being renewed day by day, don’t you?

The side effects of five long years of cancer treatment are fading away. I could feel renewal with each sandy step I took.

What a good and perfect gift from the Father of the heavenly lights.