Delayed. But not denied. That’s what my friend Luvie said when I learned that chemo had been pushed off due to bad weather.
What a great phrase that really speaks to how the Lord answers prayers. In one of my earlier posts, I shared with you my belief that I will experience healing – if not on earth, then definitely in Heaven. Healing may be delayed. But it will not be denied! I believe that with my whole heart.
I was geared up and ready to go to chemo yesterday. I had my little self-care bag all packed, and I was ready! I was actually a little disappointed when I got the call, although we had expected it with the weather forecast.
I felt a twinge of disappointment, but then I thought… “Where can I go THIS week?” It’s like I was given an extra week to live fully without dealing with chemo side effects. When you’ve experienced chemo and know the lows, you can psych yourself up for it, but there’s still a sense of dread buried in there. I had hoped not to start on December 27, which was the start date the doctor gave me, but I planned to do it. Although I wanted to keep the holiday season clear, I was prepared to go when they called me. Then I didn’t have to! And now it’s like I have another reprieve! I plan to be there for every session when I’m supposed to unless I have a very good reason not to. Chemo is the one thing that is supposed to extend my life medically, and I’m going to give it my best.
But… not this week! It’s funny. In my last post, I talked about spending time, giving gifts and doing things for others. Little did I know that I would experience the gift of a whole extra week that I thought would be lost to chemo. I was focused on one bad week and then one good week. The Lord just reversed the order! It just turned into one GOOD week and one bad week. It’s amazing how that helps my mindset!
Besides the gift of time, on Sunday, I received some other wonderful surprise gifts that I am enjoying during this bonus week! Terry has already offered to go somewhere with me if we figure out where we want to go. I can’t possibly detail all the presents I receive, and I really, honestly, truly don’t believe I need anything, but the Lord knew what to send for this Chemo Pushback Week. It’s a party! Dave and Chelsea sent a terrific devotional book, bath salts, and lotions. This week I expected to be hooked up to a chemo pump, sick and unable to do anything, and instead I can just relax and enjoy being pampered!
l also received this beautiful gift basket on Sunday. It looks like Nick and Julie ordered everything from the gift catalog at – you’ll never guess where – BILTMORE!! Can you believe it? Julie also loves Biltmore, and they shared some of her favorite things. Best of all, Nick (on leave from Virginia) delivered it in person! I told Terry Sunday night that I felt like I was living the high life eating my Biltmore rosemary cheese straws and Parmesan popcorn! I have a cheese straw recipe that I keep thinking I’ll try, and now I don’t have to! “What’s a cheese straw?” you ask. It’s a Southern thing! Think a glammed up combination of Cheetos and Cheez-Its. Delicious!
Isn’t it just like the Lord to throw in things that bring extra joy when He’s already bringing you extra joy?
This week is a gift, and I’m going to thank the Lord for it and enjoy it to the fullest!
I think the chemo dread part is really very small in my heart and mind right now. I fully believe that’s because so many of you pray for me. I am teary right now thinking about that gift of encouragement that you all are giving me. It’s a true blessing.
You may have noticed that I do my best to reply to your social media comments. I may not always be able to do that, but for now, I can. (When they don’t get buried – now you see me, now you don’t!) I read them many, many times, and then I set aside a special time to reply. Your comments touch my heart, and I really have to prepare for the emotional impact of responding to them. I think about what you say, and I think about you. That’s why I prefer comments to direct messages and texts. I can compartmentalize them. My close friends and family send messages and texts that often require a quick response, so I feel like I need to tend to them immediately. I can reply to your comments when I have time to ponder them thoughtfully.
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your likes and comments. I know you are thinking of me, and it means a lot. Even if I just say “thanks,” please know that it comes from my heart and I am thinking of you as I reply. In some cases, I need to look up profiles because I don’t recognize names. Comments are coming from friends, neighbors, and colleagues in my world today – innkeeping, DCFS, church, community, etc. They’re coming from people I went to school with and people I’ve taught. They’re coming from next door and around the world. Some friends I’ve known my whole life, and some I’ve never met in person. I appreciate you adding me to your church prayer lists and sharing my posts with your friends. You are building my prayer army. Thank you!
That’s another blessing. I’ve asked the Lord to use this cancer journey to help me be a blessing to others. I want every aspect of my life to glorify Him. I appreciate hearing from people I’ve never even met. All of your comments – old friends and new friends – provide so much strength and courage and hope. I feel such peace knowing that you support and pray for me. I look forward to seeing you someday. If not here on earth, then in Heaven!
James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17. What a great reminder that everything good in our lives comes from God, who is always faithful and full of grace. May we always trust in God’s goodness and be grateful for the blessings in our lives. I feel more excited than dread getting started with chemo. I recognize that it’s going to be miserable at times, but I also believe that it will be a big step that will lead toward great days as well as grim days. The good weeks and the bad weeks.
May we be thankful for all of them.