Friday, August 19, 2011

new directions

(Yes, the title of the post today inspired by Glee. Steve and I never paid much mind to it until lately, now we are junkies.)

I have always felt held that positive outcomes can come from the most dire situations. This week has been a reminder of that. Chemo weeks are truly dark. They are demoralizing. They are frustrating. They are uncomfortable, and they are painful. Needless to say, this week met the expectation of each of those. It's a roller coaster of sorts. You know to expect the nausea and fatigue, and eventually, you get past that. Then the other funky side effects pop up: the hair loss, digestive issues, pain, and the frustration of having to live with those effects.

Mid-week was particularly dark for me, chemo-wise. I dealt with a lot of physical challenges that wore me down. But several things happened. First, a new life. My precious nephew joined the world. A beautiful new beginning, full of promise and hope.

Then someone posted a comment on by blog (remaining anonymous, although I have my suspicion as to who it was). The comment was unbelievably timely. After having spent a solid 16 hours feeling hopeless, and struggling with why God has challenged me so, the comment came through. This is what it said:
"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, BUT WE EVEN BOAST OF OUR AFFLICTIONS, KNOWING THAT AFFLICTION PRODUCES ENDURANCE, AND ENDURANCE, PROVEN CHARACTER, AND PROVEN CHARACTER HOPE, AND HOPE DOES NOT DISAPPOINT. Romans 5:1-5" To that person, I say thank you. The timing of your comment came when I was running thin on endurance and very much in need of hope myself. 

The third thing that happened was perhaps the most personally fulfilling. I received an email from a manager at the Cancer Support Community, the parent organization of the Wellness Community. I had recently registered with the organization as a breast cancer patient for their research on how the mind affects the physical in cancer treatment. As such, I shared with them some of my experience thus far. The reason they contacted me is that they want to spotlight me in the Everyday Health's Cancer Care newsletter! They want me to tell my story about my experience with breast cancer, as well as how the Wellness Community has affected my treatment. I have to admit, this is such an amazing opportunity for me. From the beginning of this journey, I have felt a calling to help others, to inspire them. To have a formal outlet recognize this and want to share my story is truly an unbelievable compliment. I am truly grateful for this blessing. Perhaps this is just the beginning of a new purpose in life for me, a new chance to turn what I have been given into a chance to make someone else's life better by giving them hope. To have that opportunity to do so on a broader scale is just an amazing feeling. 

I close today's post with this thought from Ralph Blum: "The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings."


  1. "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have neverforsaken those who seek you." Psalms 9:9

  2. Never forget that even in your darkest hours, there are so many people sending you healing light in the form of constant prayers, love and good wishes. The same bright light you bring to others. Love you, Sis.

  3. Your courage in fighting this, and being so honest here is inspiring. It's horrible that you got this disease, but I hope God is hearing all of our prayers and thoughts, and blessing you.

  4. I am so proud of you, they sure contacted the right Lady. You will sure make a big difference to many lifes. You sure have such strength, and hope. Love ya, looking forward in seeing you tomorrow.