From Regimen to Recess

“For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!”  Psalm 117:2

On July 11, my hairdresser, Debonese, worked her “magic” and successfully made my hair a more natural color. The  next day I visited  someone at work who had completed her radiation treatments the previous week. While visiting with her I became inspired by the fact that she was not wearing a wig and looked fine! She encouraged me to remove my wig so I did, took it out to the car, and returned to shop. I have never worn the wig again! It feels so wonderful!

My last radiation treatment was on Monday, July 27. The technicians and other medical staff were amazed at the mild reaction that resulted from the twenty-eight treatments. I did not develop any blisters until the final weekend and a prescribed pharmaceutical compound seems to be healing that.  The fatigue was kept to a minimum by the prescribed exercise.

In spite of the treatment I have been trying to continue the process of reorganizing my files and cleaning out my parents’ “treasures.” Last week I did also take the six or seven large bags of debris from the big hedge in the backyard to the landfill by myself. (Yes! I balanced on the ladder alone and did both sides and the top! The hedge when trimmed is about twenty-seven feet long and seven feet high.) Thankfully it all somehow fit in my car. On Wednesday I managed to start the lawnmower and do the yard. (The faithful guy had not been around; I believe he is involved in selling his house and moving.)

On Thursday, July 30, my sister(Joan), brother-in-law(Paul), great nephew(Chris), great niece(Mia), and my nephew(Nathan) from Japan, his wife(Natsuyo), and little girl(Grace) arrived from Maine. They like to stay at the Homewood Suites at nearby Stewart Airport where the kids enjoy the pool and they have two bathrooms to my one! We had a wonderful visit. We celebrated the end of my treatment and Natsuyo’s birthday. Paul’s mother was up from South Carolina and staying with his sister in nearby Florida so we were able to visit with her. She is another one of my faithful prayer warriors and card-senders.

On Sunday we all went to my church-even Paul’s mother and sister! There are so many people at my church that we all know from a previous church that they were able to visit with people we have known for four decades! After lunch my niece(Joanna) finally arrived from Virginia. She had planned to come almost a week prior to this, but her life took some unpredictable turns.

Everyone was gone by noon on Monday, August 3. My niece and I had talked about going to Maine later in the week, but she had thought that she had to be back in VA. She stayed with me on Sunday night. We had a chance to discuss everything and I had to tell her that as much as I would like to go I could not promise that I would be able to make the trip right now. I am trying to be more prudent in how much I “push” my body. It takes between ten and twelve hours to drive to Calais. See? I am trying to be wiser! After discussing it with Joanna she decided to follow her family to Maine. She told me that she would be back and wants to spend time with me. I assured her that she was making a good decision.

Our visit was PERFECT and we all had a terrific time. I just needed everything to stop for a bit. I know that it is a luxury – and may sound selfish- but, as much as I enjoyed seeing everyone, I also love being alone with Him. It has been quite a year! I still have SO much to get done here at home, but if I can recover sufficiently I may join my family later. We cried when we parted and I continue to miss them, but I need to recover and “regroup.” I am certain that I will be up for the school year. If anyone could know all the activity that brought me to this point then no one would be surprised by my current needs. Everyone would probably be amazed at my new ability to know when to stop!

The prayers of God’s people continue to be of great importance. The follow-up treatment is of some concern to me. I know that my osteoporosis must also be addressed.  Thankfully my oncologist appears to understand my desire to be fully functioning. I am thankful for that! The side effects are always of acute concern to me because of my sensitivity to medications in general.  God has been so gracious to me throughout this journey. I am certain that He can be trusted in this regard as well. Wisdom is necessary for all concerned!

Now that the year-long regimen of treatment is over I enter a brief recess during which my classroom Teacher is still providing supervision, guidance, and refreshment. Everything I need to enjoy my break is being provided. It is a very special time. Although I am continuing with my projects at home I am enjoying my visits to the “playground” with my Father. I take time to sit on the bench mentioned earlier in this journal and watch the blue jays, woodpeckers, nuthatch, sparrows, hummingbird, and other visitors at my feeders. I listen to their excited cries and the soft tinkling of my wind chimes. I know He is with me. I experience His presence and listen for His Word. I do not know what lies ahead, but I know that nothing will surprise Him and that He loves me. Like the nuthatch, I need to dive headfirst toward His provision and anticipate its goodness. Like the hummingbird, I need to desire the sweetness of His Word and hover at its source. As is the case with the sparrow, He knows everything that has, is, and will happen in my life. All of creation glorifies Him and proclaims His character, power, and purposes. May I submit to His plan and follow His direction, not detracting from the proclamation of His Truth, but sharing and practicing the lessons He is teaching me. May I be able to encourage others referring them to the One under Whose instruction I am sitting in the “Classroom Called Cancer.” I praise God for this recess, a time to ponder and reflect on the course of this past year and the future study in which I will be engaged! May it be profitable in His service and produce fruit to His glory!

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