My blog is back up!

For some reason my blog crashed and I was unable to reach my web developer for over a week. Yesterday – out of sheer desperation – I googled “blog designers in the Minneapolis area” and an angel lady from didn’t put her head down until she was able to get it working. (This was on a Saturday night.) Amazing. Anyhow, I am ready to go now…and hope to get back into the rhythm of a daily blog every day though the rest of the year.

A little update on my treatments…I have completed 3 weeks of radiation (every day M-F) and if all goes well I should be done with radiation on December 19th. Except for a nasty bug I couldn’t kick for about 2 weeks, I’m doing quite well.

My skin doesn’t have a hint of redness so yay! – for that. I had a weird pinched nerve in my upper left back but that has subsided. My radiation oncologist guessed that it might be from laying in an awkward position every day or maybe from overdoing my exercises so he told me to take it a little easy with that. (When has anyone EVER told me to take it easy on exercise in my entire life??)

I am living this new kind of life and …it’s nice. I tire a bit easier (evidently my body is running overtime to rebuild the cells that are being killed by radiation) so I limit my activity to daily exercise (lighter on the arms) and no more than one commitment on my calendar. I think its a plan I just might stick to for the rest of my life. I am enjoying longer and slower days.

I have also enjoyed meeting all kinds of new people. I meet with my radiation oncologist once a week (I refer to him as Doogie Howser because he looks like he’s at least 18 years old.) He has a great deal of wisdom for a young single guy.

I made the comment that it must be difficult for him to care for those who have been given the news that they are living the last days of their lives and he said, “no”.

He told me how many of those people amaze him day after day. They are not bitter or afraid, but instead their attitude is “It’s OK…I’ve had a good life and I am so grateful for all of it.” He said that it is a privilege to meet people like that and that it inspires him. Hmmm…that inspires me too.

He also told me that he believes I will be/am CURED. Gotta’ love Doogie.

I am touched by the nurse assistant who has adopted her brother’s daughter who is troubled and has nowhere to go. She and her husband had just gotten their son off to college and were looking forward to a slower and easier life. And instead, they are putting their dreams on hold to help a hurting young person.

I have become fast friends with my fellow friends in the radiation lobby. We sit in our cheap green robes that hang funny with no sense of style – and we chat away in the most normal and natural way. I gain courage by their courage and I gain strength from their strength.

We share our stories, our fears, and our challenges. An instant bond was formed because of our shared and similar journies.

“Tears are the truest connection we have with others, and trust is the truest connection we have with God.

– Lysa TerKeurst

But I think that the thing I like the most is having a new kind of appreciation for the simplest things. With cancer sort of looming over my shoulder, it has a way of enhancing everyday experiences.

I have always loved it when the kids come over or ask us to do something spur of the moment – but now I cherish it. I have always loved going slow on Saturday morning with my husband, but now it feels like it’s the most important thing I could possibly be doing. I have always loved meeting new people, but now it feels like they are divine meetings appointed by God.

I have a friend from California, who used to live in Minnesota, and she is always posting winter pictures like it’s the most glorious season that God could ever have invented. Over and over I used to tell her – it’s pretty for a day and then the cold and the wind and the barrenness take away all thoughts of any kind of winter wonderland. It’s really not as great as it looks!! She always ignores me and keeps on posting. Yep! I have always been a Scrooge when it comes to winter.

But this past weekend in Minnesota – the white blanket of snow filled my soul in a new way. I am grateful to have a day to cozy up in a blanket and stay close to home. I am grateful to look forward to the festivities of Christmas. I am so very grateful as the clock turns into another day, another month, and into a new season of winter.

In her book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young paraphrases Psalm 116:17 where God describes our thankfulness as a sacrifice that we offer to Him – I love this.

“Bring Me the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Take nothing for granted, not even the rising of the sun.”

A cancer diagnosis has turned the most normal every day things into a highlight reel of wonderful moments and memory making.

And today…on December 1, I am grateful that some angel lady got my blog up and running on a Saturday night so I could keep my promise of writing down my thoughts and recording my journey. I am grateful for all of you who care enough to read what I write.

This is my friend’s latest facebook post…love it, Mare!

“I have prepared this day with the most tender concern and attention to detail. Instead of approaching the day as a blank page you need to fill up, try living it in a responsive mode: being on the lookout for all that I am doing.”

(Jesus Calling)

Until next time,