Sunday, October 26, 2008

A True Friend

In this season of my life, I have found that it is imperative to take a look at who I surround myself with and determine who it is that I can rely on in my time of need. For anyone who has a loved one that is suffering from cancer...or any disease for that matter...and they are the caregiver for that loved one, a support system must be in place in order to maintain a sense of balance...or just a sense of sanity. LOL

Well, I have a wonderful support system in place and there are many people who have stepped up to the plate and offered their love and prayers and well wishes...but I have one friend in particular that has been with me every step of the way throughout Jay's illness. No matter how hard it is for Karen to sit and listen to me as I describe the effects of Jay's cancer and chemotherapy treatment and side effects, she still sits and listens with a sympathetic ear and even tears in her eyes on some occasions. It's not easy being the one who gets the weight shifted upon them as a friend leans heavily for that support. I've been the sympathetic ear many times over, but this is the first time in my life that I've ever truly needed the ear perked towards me.

Karen has been my "person" know, the one you go to for all of the events of your life, good or bad, and you share most, if not all, of the details with them because you know that you can trust them with everything...well, Karen has been there since the very beginning of Jay's illness in 2005 when Jay had a colonoscopy and I feared the worst..."cancer"...and then the test results came back as "pre" cancer...woohoo!...celebration time!....and then the day of his surgery to prevent the worst case scenario only to come to find out that it really was cancer after bummer...and now what?...chemo, radiation, recurrence, more chemo, more chemo, less chemo, another surgery, supposed remission...and then a third recurrence and now chemotherapy...again.

A true friend is someone who sticks by you no matter the circumstances and not only listens to you, but honestly shares in your grieving and helps to shoulder the burden of your trial...and wants to take it all away and make everything better...and then when they figure out that they can't then they just try to figure out a way to make you smile. Karen is the epitome of a true friend...she takes it upon herself to bless me in whatever way she can...something as simple as making coffee and sharing it with me every morning or pack lunch for both of us so we can sit and chat and pray. She cries sometimes when we talk about Jay and how difficult this recurrence of cancer has been for both of us. She feels our pain deep in her heart. Do you even know what a tremendous blessing that is?

I am not worthy of such a wonderful friend, but the Lord has answered my prayers with the gift of Karen. I praise the Lord for loving me so much as to provide me with a sort of "God with skin." Karen knows exactly how to draw me back in when my emotions have gotten the best of me. She is quick to bring me back to the Lord when I have started to drift. If I forget about the grace of God and just how wonderful and faithful He is; Karen reminds me...this is the mark of a TRUE FRIEND.

My Karen, never forget just how special you are. God has created such a lovely and wonderful person in you. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a loyal friend. Thank you for pouring God's love out upon me and Jay. You are a precious treasure. I honestly do not know where I would be today if the Lord hadn't blessed my life with your love and friendship. Praise God for His are my are my Sister. I love you very much.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Battle Rages On...

It has been a while since I have has been...well...busy to say the least. Jay's cancer has returned in a big way. He has many tumors in the lymph system in his abdomen for which he is receiving chemotherapy. This time it's totally different. The chemo is harsh and Jay's body is less tolerant this go-round. But Jay, the uber-trooper, battles on and endures through the pain and nausea. I am so proud of him...but sometimes wonder how much more will he be able to take? I will battle along side him for as long as he wants to be a warrior.

Throughout our ups and downs, I have allowed the Lord to minister to me through the beautiful lives of my friends and family. My church family has gathered around us to stand in the gap and pray, pray, pray. I am grateful to God for all of them. It is only by faith that I am able to handle everything that I am seeing with Jay's recurrence of cancer.

Maybe I'm not right in how I look at this, but when he hurts; I hurt...when he is weak; I am weak...his cancer does not just happen to him. I may not have the actual disease in my body, but I certainly have experienced everything he has. The frustration of watching him be so sick from the chemo and him not being able to even get out of the house to do the things he loves to do. The things that take his mind off of the disease that seems hungry to take over his body. The disappointment of having to take so many medications just to sustain his comfort level...which is not always that comfortable. I live all of that with him. I wish I could just take it all away.

In those times when I feel discouraged, I know that I can turn to the Lord for my strength and courage. God gives me everything I have need of to wage this war against cancer. He gives me the smile on my face that I know will warm my husband's heart. He gives me the words of encouragement to give to Jay when he is down. He gives me the absolute love in my heart that I can pour out on my beloved so he will know that he is not alone in any of this and he can be assured that I will fight to the very ends of the earth for his well-being. It is by God alone that any of this happens. Every moment is precious, every memory is a treasure, his life is my life and mine his; that is a gift from God alone.

Thank you, Father, for your unconditional and unending love for us!