Thursday, June 11, 2015

22.10 ~ Not Just Another Wednesday

FYI: This is not about quilting....

It stormed most of the night.  I slept like a baby.

Today seemed like any other Wednesday when I awoke, except it wasn't.  Somehow it was fitting that it stormed most of the night.  Typical Michigan weather, rain in the morning, sun and heat in the afternoon.  

 

My annual cancer Dr. appointment was today.  I was not fearful.  I've been down this road before. Twenty-two times to be exact. Still, I did what I have done for 22 years, I prayed.  I asked my friends to pray. I've learned the power or prayer and I trust it and my God.


Twenty-two years ago I was newly engaged and planning a wedding. Cancer was not a word I thought much about.  It had been nearly a decade and a half since it took my mothers life but like so many other women I thought it only happened to "old" women.

 

The news came while in the hospital. What two Doctors thought was just a fibroid turned out to be ovarian cancer. Everyone was shocked.  Upon waking up from my morphine induced haze they told me.  The first words out of my mouth were "who will take care of Em (my special needs sister)?"  I was fearful. I had heard it was deadly and the one you don't want.  How was this possible, we were planning a life together?  A wedding.  Maybe children.  We prayed.  We cried.  


Shortly after I got home from the hospital My dad sent me a book called "A Cancer Battle Plan" by Anne E. Frahm.  It changed my life. She was basically told to go home and get her affairs in order.  She was just a few years older than me when she heard those words.  She started on a path of nutrition - she had nothing to lose. I embarked on a similar path.

 

Fast forward 10 months, we had a wonderful wedding and an amazing honeymoon in the Dutch West Indies.  We lived our life.  We thanked God. 

 

I bought a juicer, read everything and anything I could on nutrition.  I gave up red meat, ate mostly vegetables and fruits and started learning about supplements and giving my body the fuel it needed to heal and survive.  


Ten years ago I heard those words again. To say we were stunned is an understatement.  This time it was Uterine cancer.  The path was the same.  I had surgery and really took the nutrition and exercise thing seriously.  I had fallen off the wagon more than a few times in those 12 years. 


Fast forward again a decade and I'm still here. You may be asking yourself what is the big deal Linda?  Why are you telling this old story again?  You were lucky so what's the deal?


Today when I came out of the Doctors office I sat in my car for probably 15 minutes and just praised God.  I was just overwhelmed at the grace that has covered my life for 22 years.  I was stunned that me, an ordinary person with ordinary problems and nothing remarkable much to say about me, would be spared.  Ovarian cancer is deadly.  The stats are that roughly 22,000 women will be diagnosed this year.  This same year roughly 14,000 women will die from ovarian cancer. Not much has changed in 22 years.


What has changed is me.  Cancer has taught me to be kinder.  To cherish the people that I love.  To take time to pray and thank God for everyday miracles.  To not waste a minute.  To not waste my gifts, however small and insignificant they may be.  To share what God has blessed me with. To take time to care.  To take time to encourage.  To take time to pray.  Yes.  To pray. To say thanks.   I read a book a couple of years ago called One Thousand Gifts. The writer Ann Voskamp tells about how we should live in a mindset of gratefulness or thankfulness and how one goes about doing that. It changed my life. I have kept a gratitude journal since reading that book and wow, it is full of so many blessings and good things.  It's hard to imagine all that goodness is in my life.  I share this with you because I'm grateful for you and for this thing called quilting and all that it has brought to my life.  I thank God for that and for you. 

 

I had to share that.  To praise God for another year of doing what I love.  Another chance to share my passion. Another year to get this book done.  LOL  Another year to teach a class.  Another year to make quilts for others.  To say thanks for allowing me to launch the non-profit in memory of my sister Em.  Another year to give anyone battling cancer hope, to show that there is life on the other side. 



 You know I'm crazy for exercise and cycling right?  You've no doubt seen those half marathon 13.1 ovals on the back of cars?  Or the full marathon 26.2? Or even better, those crazy people that do Ironman 140.0? 

So today I will post a sticker. I have completed a 22.10


Thanks be to God!!!