I had lunch yesterday with some friends I had not seen in a while. My friend Lauren was sitting across from me and she looked at me intently and said, "You know, Jo, you're my only survivor." I remembered then that she had seen a daughter and a best friend through horrible struggles with cancers that they had both succumbed to. In both cases it was a lengthy and painful fight. Her daughter Mandy was young, in her 20's and just starting life. Elaine was full of life and fun and the type of person that everyone was always happy when she walked into a room.
I hate cancer. I hate it. And my response to Lauren was that if I was her only survivor, it was now my responsibility to see that I remained a survivor so that she wouldn't have to deal with another loss to cancer. That's a pretty big responsibility but sometimes we do things for others that we won't do for ourselves. I know that's an extreme example but attitude is so important in defeating this enemy. So, I have given myself several long term goals that I'm working toward. I don't want to ever get to the point where I quit looking toward a productive future.
First of all, is my study of the Bible. Every time I read God's word, something new is revealed to me and I have this huge "ah ha!" moment. How can I express or defend my beliefs if I don't truly understand the whys and wherefores of what I believe. So, I have goals there. Secondly is my art. I have just taken on a new gallery and I am painting daily to make sure that all four of my galleries have inventory as well as trying to get paintings started now for the Christmas season. To see my work, go to www.texasgalgallery.com .
I have grieved terribly over my precious Chipper Dale who passed a few weeks back. I still cry every day and I know that isn't good for me. Grief and depression can have a negative effect on the immune system and I don't want to do anything that might give cancer a second chance. So I have decided that the best way to fill the empty spot in my heart is with another dog. It will, of course, be a rescue and I'm combing local websites now to see which one seems to need me the most.
Through all of this, I've stripped the wallpaper in both bathrooms.........I should say the three layers of wallpaper in both bathrooms. An old house can really be a pain sometimes. I've filled in the holes, and have two coats of kilz in one bath waiting for enough time to start with paint. Then I have plans to repaint the living room. Busy. Busy. I'm too darned busy to ever be sick and debilitated again.
So, what's your plan? Do you have goals for the future? Future goals that you're going to make happen yourself and not expect God or someone else to accomplish for you? If you don't, start today. Silly, crazy, improbable plans..........it doesn't matter. Set out projects for yourself and start to work on them. God will honor your tenacity, your life will be fuller and maybe, for just a little while, you'll forget that cancer ever existed.
Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
We thank You that even with and after cancer we can be productive. We thank You for the love and care You show us each day. What a great and glorious God you are and how grateful we are to serve you.
Thank You for the amazing progess that our friend Lisa has made in her victory over multiple myeloma. She is months ahead of schedule in her recovery and gives You all the praise, honor and glory.
Father, we ask again for the strengthening of Tony's system so that he can start his next round of chemo. He has already delayed one week because of low counts. You can raise them Lord so that this precious active teenager can get on with his healing and put cancer behind him.
We thank You Father that Bryce is feeling well enough to start his next in hospital round of treatment.
We love You and give thanks for the faith and stamina that you are giving each of these warriors daily as they fight the enemy. Give them the victory of total healing.
These things we ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.