Saturday, January 25, 2014

Back in the saddle again . . .

are the words that came to mind as I prepared to regroup, remount and continue writing about my journey.  I have been reminded by three readers that I hadn't posted since November 11, raising questions about my health and what is happening.  Today's post  brings family updates, a plan to continue writing, a health report and an honest assessment of how I see things. 

We have celebrated three major holidays since I last wrote:  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's.  Thanksgiving brought Elizabeth's mom and dad, her two brothers and their families, a favorite aunt, her husband, their four grown children and families, our friend John and his son.  That made forty folks, 19 of them children.  It was a lively day.  Fortunately, the weather was warm and sunny so the children played outside, visited the chickens and several people opted to eat outside in the sunshine.  It was a good day.  Christmas was a different story.  Liz's dad was a bit under the weather, so didn't come and I got some bug that kept me in bed for several days.  It took a while for me to get back on my feet. 

The children are growing up too fast.  It's so gratifying to watch them develop, both physically and mentally.  This weekend birthdays are being celebrated for Marty's two boys.  Colin was four yesterday and Christopher will be six tomorrow.  Yesterday morning I was about to call Colin to wish him happy birthday when my phone rang and there he was calling me. It seems that overnight he went from one word answers to questions I asked to carrying the conversation himself.  Both boys are in karate and doing well; Colin got his green belt last night.  Mallory is a senior in high school, going through that exciting, but stressful time of deciding where she'll go to college in the fall.  Jacob stays really busy with band and other school activities.  He attended an honor band clinic last weekend and both he and Sarah will participate in a district clinic next weekend.  Drew, a sixth grader, has begun band and is a percussionist.  I envy his natural sense of rhythm. The little girls come over almost every day to visit and play after school. They are wonderful company and entertainment.  Elisa, who had just had her cast removed when I last posted, broke the same arm again three weeks later, but is now out of the second cast and in a brace. 

I have completed the ninth out of the projected twelve cycles of chemotherapy. The original plan was three treatments in a cycle, but only once has my blood count allowed those three treatments.  In November, the doctor just quit scheduling three, meaning I go two weeks in a row, rest two weeks then start again.  When I was sick at Christmas, I got an extra two weeks off and now am scheduled for scans on January 27 in Jackson. 

The whole process has been frustrating and not at all the way I thought it would be.  I expected fatigue and the usual side effects, but I did not expect to be confined because of "noodle legs," lack of mental and physical energy and a compromised immune system.  In all the times I've had to be on chemo in the past, I determined that I would not let it get me down and that I would be in charge.  Chemo would not define my life!  Well, this time it has been different.  It has gotten me down and it has pretty well defined how I am living my life.  I have had a difficult time accepting the way things are and responding honestly instead of in a way I think others expect of me. 

During all this time, God remains faithful, compassionate and so understanding. My morning quiet times have enriched in ways I cannot begin to tell you.  I have been given a new awareness of God's Presence, a renewed trust in God's promises and real Peace about today and tomorrow.  God creates each one of us uniquely, with a specific purpose, a definite way to bring glory to Him.  Just because  life is not how it was or how we expect it to be, does not mean we can ignore our purpose or our "chief end," to glorify God. 

In the future, I will be intentional in weekly posts, keeping you updated so you can pray specifically and sharing some of the things God lays on my heart.  Thank you for your patience and your love.

Pastor Margaret

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