Thursday, June 28, 2012

Life continues . . .

That's neither a "ho hum" heading, nor a fact I take for granted.  Being retired, living in the country, enjoying summer has given more time to contemplate, meditate and pray.  I constantly am amazed at how blessed my life has been and continues to be.  Seemingly ordinary things prompt prayers of thanksgiving.  Watching the peanuts and cotton growing up the road from our house gives pleasure and brings memories.  As a little girl I loved traveling with my daddy to the Mississippi Delta towns where the drug company he represented had customers.  The roads we traveled were surrounded by cotton fields.  Watching the different stages of growth always fascinated me--still does.  The peanuts remind me of Tom.  How he loved them!  He liked them parched and boiled and craved peanut brittle.  Often he would stop by the side of the road to buy boiled peanuts from the back of a pick up truck.  I even sent canned boiled ones to him in Vietnam.  He said they weren't the same as fresh, but were a fine taste of home. 

One amazing blessing that continues to give me pause for thanks is the way God has cared for me through the ups and downs of my health.  Yes, I do get tired the the endless routine of bloodwork, scans, doctors' visits, driving back and forth, and all the waiting at the Cancer Clinic.  Tom and I concluded one day that if we had a nickel for every hour we had waited in a health care place, we would have been far too wealthy for our own good.  My first oncology appoint this month was frustrating, to say the least.  Computer problems prevented proper procedure and I left the clinic knowing very little.  Later that week I received a call from the nurse who said that the complicatins that have been keeping me from getting Avastin had been cleared up for now and that the doctor wanted me to come the next week for treatment.  A thirty minute drip was accompanied by a four hour round trip and two hour wait for things to commence. 

A couple of days later a fund-raising letter arrived from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a place we have contributed since my breast cancer in the early eighties.  I was about to throw the letter away, when I looked on the back page and there was an encouraging paragraph concerning the positive results of using Avastin with ovarian cancer patients along with chemotherapy.  The letter stated that this advace in treating ovarian cancer "represents an important step toward the day when it can be managed and treated as a chronic disease."  I am grateful to be a "guinea pig" and have been considering my disease as chronic, not incurable for many months.  Please pray that the complications will stay away so that I can take this drug on a more consistent basis. 

After finishing a devotional book, Day by Day with John Calvin, I went to the shelf and pulled a book I read twelve years ago:  With Open Hands by Henri Nouwen.  His writings have done much to influence my spiritual life and rereading this particular book was just what I needed at this time.  I was especially drawn to the chapter on Prayer and Silence and I thought about silence and the way it affects me.  I thought of the impact of silence after the house has been full of children.  It's rather bittersweet.  When I had to take my cat to be spayed and she was gone for 24 hours, I realized how much noise one little kitty can make.  I thought how necessary it is to be silent as we wait for God.  I was sad as I thought of the silence without Tom.  That's painful silence.  Then, God brought to my mind that He is always in the silence.  I am never alone. Blessings continue.

Life is good because God is good.

Pastor Margaret

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