Wednesday, November 21, 2007

An Attitude of Thanksgiving

So it's the night before Thanksgiving and I have contemplated much.  I have been thinking about what I am thankful for.  There are a number of things that I can say that I am thankful my friends and family, love, the roof over my head, and on and on.  But, what I am most thankful for is cancer.  Now don't freak out on me...I'm not saying that I'm thankful that my honey has to deal with the highs and lows of cancer and what it does to him physically.  I AM saying that if it weren't for him having this cancer, we wouldn't be so keenly aware of time and just how precious it is.  We lived like everyone else before Jay got cancer.  We lived our own lives, going about our everyday business just barely making it from one day to the next.  He had his hobbies and his job and I had mine.  And for a moment on February 1, 2006, all time stopped...suddenly our lives would NEVER be the same. 

From that time until now, we have become so close to one another as well as our friends and families.  I think it's an amazing way for the Lord to get our attention.  God didn't do this to my husband, but He allowed it to happen in order that we may come together in a way that is indescribable unless you're going through it.  The bible tells us that we are to "count it all joy" in times of trial.  Not meaning that we should be happy that we are going through hard times, but merely that we should seek the blessing in the process.  And although I have not always been successful in doing this, today, I am able to see what a gift the Lord has given us.  Time...and the full awareness of it.  Everything looks, smells and feels completely different now.  Everything has become a treasure to me and Jay.  We don't take life for granted anymore.  We see the importance of making the most of every minute.  We are living life; not just existing in it now.  So, yes, I am thankful for cancer.  This cancer; our cancer; this moment, right now. 

I pray that your Thanksgiving will reveal much to you.  Cherish every moment.

God Bless.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Stretch Armstrong!

Do you remember the days of Stretch Armstrong? It was a doll for boys, mainly, but I played with my brother's Stretch Armstrong because I loved the fact that you could totally stretch his arms about four feet! As an adult now, and as a Christian adult, I feel like that crazy doll except that it is the Lord that stretches me and I know that it is for my own good. Really, I'm more like Silly Putty. The stuff that gets rolled up into a little ball and then pounded flat and stretched and molded into shape after shape. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. But mostly, I'm just thankful to be recreated and made new with each new challenge.

These days, life is just a matter of existing one minute to the next. Jay's short term disability finally ran out this past week and I'm on a new quest to get him on permanent disability. I'm taking on the State of California! It's just a matter of surviving the red tape. But, as this challenge has been set before me, the only thing I can think of is I am thankful that I still have a husband to fight for. The Lord is faithful to give me the strength I need to continue in this battle. I need not concern myself because He is my provision and I know for a fact that He has this under control. There is a peace in my heart. So, no matter how long it takes to wade through the red tape, I have the Lord's strength to just keep on paddling.

As for Jay, we just had an appointment with the oncologist and a PET/CT scan is set for next week and an MRI the following week. Jay had a headache when we went for the appointment so the doctor totally gravitated to that immediately. Jay has many sinus headaches from the Avastin he receives through his portacathiter, but the doctor isn't going to take any chances. Well, that and the fact that I pushed for the MRI. The doc doesn't seem worried at all about it and is convinced that there is nothing going on in Jay's head (LOL...nothing going on in his head! I knew it!) but I think if the doc is willing to authorize it, we are better off to rule out all possibility. So, we'll know more information just prior to our trip to Kauai. I'll keep you guys posted.

Life is one constant lesson....and I'm learning.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

20 Years Later

Me and the gang...20 years later!!  Look at those sexy girls!  And then Darin.  Darin was and is still a sweetheart.  This is a great group of people.  These are people that are going to change the world just by being as wonderful as they are.

Getting Ready - Me (in the middle) and then Julie (left) and Christine(a) (right).  None of us know if we should call her ChristinA or ChristinE.  In high school she went by Christina.  Now that she's a hotshot photographer, she's Christine.  So, take your pick.

Me and Tuesdee (Tues) - Friends since 4th grade.  First time we've seen each other in 11+ years.  No changes except that we all have "Woman Figures."


Okay, so me and my group of friends got together at Christina's house to get ready and then drive down together to Orange County.  The event was being held at the House of Blues in Anaheim.  Cut to the scene where we are all piled into the car and we're listening to old school rap...I mean OLD SCHOOL...well, 20 year old OLD SCHOOL.  Run DMC, etc.  It was great.  I haven't listened to that music since I was in high school so it was kind of neat to relive the days when I used to actually break dance.  Yes, ME, break dancing.  Then, not now...obviously.

So we get to the House of Blues and this is the scene...a bar with a bunch of drunk people and finger foods.  Pathetic!  I paid $90 for this??!  It was like the Desperate Housewives of Arlington High School, Class of 1987 decided that they needed a night away from the family so they used our reunion as an excuse to dress up in cocktail dresses cut down to "there" and short enough to see "there" and show off all of their goodies.  No thanks.  Ugh.

The music was so loud that people didn't feel free to mingle and see where classmates have been for the past 20 years.  So, just like in high school, the same groups of people hung out and no one else could feel comfortable joining their little click.  So, basically, my little group of friends and I could've saved our money and stayed in Riverside at Christina's house and talked about where we have been in our lives.  Thankfully, I have stayed in touch with this particular group of friends over the years so I felt at home with them. 

We eventually left the torture chamber that was the House of Blues and went to Denny's, just like we used to do in high school, and sat for hours and talked and laughed. 

I have made friendships for a lifetime and I am satisfied with that.  I never need to step foot in a reunion again.  I am content with where I am at and who I have surrounded myself with.  That's all that counts.

I am blessed.