Today is my birthday (December 19th). It means more to me this year than it ever has in the past. That's because I have been numbered in the "Walking Dead" for sometime now....(2 x lung cancer survivor)
Last summer my oncologist told me that medicine could do nothing more for me and when my cancer comes back ( not 'if' but 'when') that I will most likely suffer a painful death. He concluded that appointment by saying I needed to see him again this coming January. When I asked why I needed to come back if there was nothing else which could be done, he responded that I needed to come so we "could make plans" (hospice care)...
As I am one who usually chooses to face things 'head on', I decided to go ahead and get that dreaded appointment over with before Christmas instead of waiting until January 10th. It is hard to describe the feelings you have as you sit in a doctor's office waiting to see if this will be the last Christmas on earth that you spend with your family ... a surreal experience as some reading this well know since you are going through similar situations.
I think perhaps to my doc's surprise, this visit however turned out to be one of rejoicing since my X-Ray looked good!!! No cancer was showing up on the screen!!! God has chosen for me to stay around for a little longer :).
I can honestly say I feel better than I have felt in several years! My days are packed full right now with lots of fun things: shopping & lunches with friends, Christmas parties, holiday baking, and lovely Southern winter walks with my husband.... I have no problems breathing even though the rest of my left lung was removed last spring! As a matter of fact, I feel so good that it sometimes seems like cancer was just a bad dream ~I feel so normal It's hard to comprehend at times that I'm suppose to not have long to live !
I have lived facing my impending death on a daily basis now for several years and have noticed some real advantages :
1. Each day is a new opportunity to trust God that HE loves me more than I can possibly imagine and knows best for my future.
2. Gratitude for my life, family, and friends comes easier to me now.
3. I don't waste as much time stressing about things or circumstances or people not being to my liking :)
4. If I don't feel like doing something I don't do it and if I'm tired I rest. It is much easier than it used to be to just slow down and enjoy life!
5. Cancer has brought new friends into my life that are absolutely amazing and enrich my life greatly ( example. @texaspinkfox )
6. I use the good china now, go on the adventures I was always putting off before until I "Had more time", and I see the good in people much easier than I used to :)
I am not going to pretend that life is easy all the time... I have a catscan again this spring along with another one of those dreaded doctor's appointments. But when the time does come for relocation to my Heavenly Home I hope to rest in perfect peace and confidence that our faithful Savior is and will always be with me helping me through whatever challenges I face-HE sure has so far!!!!
A very big part of me doing so splendidly right now is the army of prayer warriors who are continually praying for me and the love, support and encouragement from family and friends which fills me with hope and joy everyday!!!
If you are one of them please know how dear you are to me and how very much I appreciate you!!! Without your prayers, love, and support I might have given up a long time ago!!!!
This is such a wonderful Christmas for me and my family this year and I pray daily that it is for you and yours as well <3