Sunday, December 27, 2009

Can I go with them?


[Photo: My sweet-faced Trenton!]

On Christmas eve we attended the candlelight service at our church. A silent and holy night; all was calm; all was bright. Trenton, my beautiful little grandson, was seated on the pew next to Mommy and Grandma.

Two shepherds were centre stage dramatically sharing in the marvel of that first Christmas night. Then the lights on the balcony shone down on the husband and wife duet as they spoke to the congregation. It was surely a chorus of the heavenly host announcing that the Babe, laid in a manger, was the Prince of Peace. How the two shepherds longed to see the Child.
Trenton, although only three years old, sat rapt. His little mouth, agape, he stared and listened to the shepherds on stage as they shared the story of Christ's birth. Then at one point, they made plans to leave the sheep and go to the stable to gaze upon the little Jesus child.

This might be a bit of a paraphrase, but the lady shepherd said to her beloved, "Let us go see the Child."
Her partner agreed that they should leave and in a moment the two had left the stage and headed down the aisle past where Trenton and the rest of us were seated.

Trenton leaned over to his Mommy and asked, "Where are they going?"

Mommy answered, "To see Baby Jesus."

"Can I go with them?" said Trenton.

That is when I lost it. Tears consumed and my heart fluttered. Oh the innocence of the little children. What a lesson. What a joy to behold. Out of the mouths of babes...

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."


Matthew 19:14

I'm Back!

It seems like forever since I have shared some of my heart moments. Time has plodded on and I have had a few issues medically and mentally - an interesting combination. I have to see a doc on January 7th because I had one of my wretched 'spells' as I used to dub them. These spells were supposed to have disappeared after all that surgery chemo nonsense last year. On December 15th, my body told me differently. I collapsed on the bathroom floor in such pain and with such an odd feeling deep in my soul, that my thoughts rested on three numbers - 911. Thank the Lord, my dear hubby was home and he was able to get me to bed and I snapped out of it after a while.

In my conversation with the oncology nurse later, she told me to either make an appointment with them or to see my own doctor. I opted for geographical convenience so I head to the Drayton office in a week. Sigh.

I am trying not to think the worst, for my mind does far too many acrobatics for my liking. I will wait to see what happens. (I may press for that CA125 however!)

I'll wait and see what God has in store for me this year. Meanwhile I will journey on trying not to procrastinate too much with resolutions and changes for 2010. It's getting harder and harder for this old dog to learn new tricks!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Life is too Sweet to be Bitter!

I just love this video. The compassion and caring of this medical family speaks volumes. I love the male janitor the best, I think!

Joy and Peace to all my BC and OC sisters. And thanks to Kim and Anja for showing this one to me and making my day! Life is to sweet to be bitter! (A beautiful quote from a beautiful cancer survivor!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Frustration!

One of my mother's favourite poets was the famous British versifier - Patience Strong (1907-1990). I love her poetry, too, but more - I love her name. As I think back to my appointment last Thursday at the cancer clinic, I think about the 'patience, strong' that I did not have.


I did not see my own gynecologic-oncologist at the clinic. Sadly he has returned to France to be with his family. I miss him greatly. His professional yet calming presence and gentle French accent was like balm to my soul. He seemed to understand so many of my deep seated emotions and just the way he looked into my eyes, spoke to me of compassion and empathy. I know I was just another patient, but I felt a great bond with him that I am sad to lose.

The team of physicians that are left are good and the one doc who I saw at my appointment was someone who was not a stranger to me. I had seen him on a few other occasions during my chemotherapy. He's very friendly, but somehow I think we have a bit of a personality conflict going on. He's stubborn and so am I. So that doesn't help. Unlike my other sweet doctor, he refuses to do a CA125 blood test at my check ups. He says that if it is elevated, they would not do anything about it until I become symptomatic and it would only cause me stress. Suppressing my urge to reach out and strangle him, I wanted details of his whys and wherefores...and I also wanted him to know how elevated my stress level was because I do not know!

My 'new' doc is very clever, and can talk a blue streak around me with medical jargon, but somehow every time I see him, I leave that place in a state of frustration. Maybe I need to talk to my OC Sisters and find out what kind of follow-up they receive. Maybe I need to reflect and realize that if my CA125 is elevated then that means the chemo did not work. Maybe I need to give this whole frustration thing over to God. Sigh...


The Faith That Moves The Mountains
by Patience Strong
When you know not where to turn, stay still, just where you are.
There is something yet to learn.
Be careful lest you jar the threads that fate is weaving in a pattern you can't see.
Be Passive.
Trust the Hand that works the looms of destiny.
Though it is your wish to set things rightand put things straight,
Choose the wiser way.
Have faith.
With patience watch and wait.
There's a purpose in it all,
as time will surely prove
And when you least expect it,
you will see the mountain move.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Listen to the Whispers...

I am jiggling between nervousness and excitement. On Wednesday I am doing my first Listen to the Whispers presentation on behalf of Ovarian Cancer Canada (OCC). As a genuine, official volunteer for OCC I am now expected to help turn up the volume on ovarian cancer. And, believe me, I am head over heels happy to oblige!



Because of its insidious nature and often vague symptoms of ovarian cancer, there is a movement afoot that will help women become more aware of this silent killer. And I am proud to be a part of it.

I am hoping that there is a good turn out for my presentation and that I won't fumble for words or ramble to the point of being boring.


The presentation is open to women of all ages (and men if they wish!) The hour long session is being hosted by the Senior's Centre for Excellence and is going to be held at Conestoga Crest in Drayton on Wednesday, December 2nd/09 at 1:30.

If you are in the area and wouldn't mind a free coffee and some goodies, want to hear a bit about my story and want to take in some extremely interesting information about ovarian cancer, then come on along and let's have a little visit! I'll be waiting.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Uncle Phil's Diner Therapy





Photo: Flodene and Violet discussing Chapter 7 in
my (Flodene's) book - "The Cash Register is NOT a toy!"


It's been quite a week. In fact, it's been quite a few weeks! We presented the last performance of "No Room at the Diner - Uncle Phil's Style," Sunday evening.The play is a hilarious recreation of a 50s diner with a great underlying Christmas story. I was more than honoured to have one of the lead roles. We had amazing directors and the cast really was like one big happy family!


I had been battling the flu since Saturday morning, so by the time our Sunday evening gig started, I was convinced I would lose my voice entirely. But not so. God was good and He heard my prayers (and those of the multitude in the cast!) My adrenalin kicked in and it was basically smooth sailing that evening - save a few coughs, and with the semi-medicinal help of two packages of Halls, a couple of squirts of my 'special' throat spray and two soda glasses of iced water!

We had a tough but fabulous eight weeks rehearsing and preparing for this past weekend's three performances. Then all of a sudden it was over.

As I stood on the stage at the end of the evening on Sunday, singing Silent Night with the rest of the incredible cast, I did so with tears running down my face. I was moved by what was happening on stage but something else was stirring my heart. I suddenly realized where I was one year ago.

I was as bald as a baby this time last year, and had just finished a rigorous six months of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. And now - November 2009 - there I stood staring into the eyes of so many people in the audience who may or may not have known about me and my journey. It didn't matter. All I could do was give thanks to God. My heart overflowed with joy as I realized that for me, being part of Uncle Phil's Diner was not only a great way to get out and do something fun with my hubby (who had the role of Papa LaBamba, the famous dance instructor) but it had been plain old therapeutic for this old gray mare who surely 'ain't what she used to be!'

Photo: Momma, Uncle Phil and Flodene giving Phil his gift!


Tomorrow I am heading to the cancer clinic again to see what they think. I cannot believe it is my one year check up. But we journey on. I can't help but wonder what I will be thinking this time next
year. I'm thinking I will be twice as joyful! Is that possible? xx

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Per Mare Per Terram


I didn't know Charlie well. But my Dad did. Malcolm did. And so did all their other faithful Royal Marine comrades who faithfully visited Charlie in Blenheim on a regular basis.

Last night Dad's good friend, Malcolm called to tell him that Charlie died during the night. Charlie was 101 years young. Apparently for the past few years, this strong marine had been drifting into a land where only God treads. Charlie was preparing to meet his Maker. And last night he stepped into that glorious land.


It didn't matter to those chaps from the Royal Marine Association that Charlie didn't seem to know them when they made the long trek to the nursing home where Charlie had lived for many years. They would gather around Charlie's chair and share, laugh, play music and generally relive memories. I am so moved by that dedication and love for fellow man. It didn't die on the battle field or surface once a year...these valiant Royal Marines (yes dad, I am saluting!) kept on giving and making time and caring for their comrade to the end. What an example.


I'm so proud of my dad and his buddies. Tomorrow is Remembrance Day. We will never forget what you have all done for us. May we proudly carry your banner in our hearts!


As a dedication to the Royal Marines and for Charlie, I want to share this wonderful song created and sung by a sweet, talented friend of mine - Adele Simons. I know you will all recognize the words...This one is for you RMA!

Enjoy!


Monday, November 2, 2009

O Canada - Here Comes Trenton!

videoThere is just something about grandchildren that makes me forget my pain and my problems. When I gaze into the faces of my own children's children I inhale deeply and am reminded about the miracle of life. God is good!

Yesterday Trenton, my three year old grandson, sang O Canada at the beginning of the the Icemen Senior Men's Hockey game in our local arena. He had been practising for a little while but yesterday was his moment to shine. Trenton didn't bat an eyelid. He loves hockey and it wasn't a big deal to him that he should be required to stand on his little carpet and sing the national anthem for his favourite local team. He seemed just as confident singing on the ice in front of all those big uniformed fella's and the spectators as he does singing his little heart out in my kitchen for us.

Having Daddy as head coach of the Icemen is one of the reasons that Trenton loves the game. And when Daddy and Mommy asked him if he wanted to sing O Canada at the Icemen game one day, he jumped at the opportunity. I am thinking that when I was three years old, singing in front of all those big uniformed masked guys with equally big sticks in their hands would have sent me into hiding. Grandma and Mommy were more nervous than Trenton.

Of course, if you watch the video you will see where Grandma takes leave of her senses at the end and viewers get a few delightful shots of the arena ceiling amidst my screeching joyfulness. (Cheering my grandchildren on is part of my job! Oh and I do love my job!)

Incidentally the Icemen won their game. When Trenton sings...good things happen.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Happy Feet!


When I was in the middle of my chemotherapy last year, I spotted a link on one of my dear OC sister's blogs.

I was fascinated and more than a little curious. The link was for Ovations for the Cure. http://www.ovationsforthecure.com/


I clicked on the link and was suddenly introduced to a support group for ovarian cancer fighters.


Apparently this group, since 2006, have been committed to a wonderfully encouraging program called "Happy Feet."


These quiet Ovation angels have touched the lives of many women who are undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. "Happy Feet" is a program that provides patients with a pair of specially-designed Stuart Weitzman stylish jelly shoes jeweled with Swarovski crystals. These shoes are free to survivors as a way of helping them over the hurdles and through the valley of cancer.


I received my much appreciated package in the mail this week and was moved to tears. Here is my thankyou letter:


Dear Susan and Team:

I am in tears as I sit here writing you this inadequate 'thank you.' I just returned from my mail box clutching my precious package. Thank you a thousand times for what you have done for me this day. I have completed my chemotherapy, my follow-up visits are looking positive, and my hair is making a happy comeback - but the deep recesses of my soul still pinch me and remind me that remission doesn't mean I am cured. There are some who do not (cannot) understand this feeling but I do carry cancer around in my pocket and I think I will forever! Somedays it is stuck like gum to the lining. Don't get me wrong, I think positively and most days I relish each breath I take. But there are some days I wonder 'when' my cancer will rear its ugly head again.

This special package from you was like opening a treasure trove of encouragement. The shoes are exquisite. The bracelet, the shoes, the bumper sticker, the pin...I love them! I feel so blessed and touched by what you have handed to me, friends. God has taught me plenty of lessons over the last year, and the big one is how truly caring some people are. I count Ovations as an incredible blessing. I have been asked to be a speaker for the Listen to the Whispers program through Ovarian Cancer Canada so guess what I am going to wear to each of my presentations? Again, a thousand thankyous and please know that you lifted my spirits this day and beyond. You 'doeth good like medicine!' We journey onward...love Glynis - a survivor! :)
**********************************


Now I am tearing up again! How blessed am I?

http://www.ovationsforthecure.org/programs/programs_hf.php

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Try a Little Tenderness.

Although this is not the same version, this is (was) my sweet momma's favourite song - try a little tenderness. When I saw the accompanying video, I am afraid I lost a few salty ones.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time Out

Trenton, my little sweetheart grandson, has been my encouragement and a source of joy for a long time. In this photo taken almost a year ago, he has just warmed my heart by uttering those precious words, "Gramma, your hair is coming home!" I will never forget those precious and honest words, that day, that moment, that emotion that welled up in my heart and soul and warmed me like a good medicine.


I adore all my grandchildren and am so very thrilled to the core that God granted me more days so that I could rejoice and be refreshed by my family.

This morning I chuckled so hard. I was keeping an eye on Trenton. I had told him not to play hockey in the livingroom with the golf ball. His three year old brain held off the hockey for a while like a good lad, but somehow, he forgot and the next thing I knew, I heard a ping and a crash as the makeshift hockey puck golf ball richoted off the table. I immediately stepped in with a stern voice and the solution.


(Photo: Too cute for a time out!)



I pointed. "Sit on that stool," I told three year old Trenton in my best stern Grandma voice. He looked at the little brown stool by the door where he sometimes sits to put his shoes on. He knew he had done wrong and so parked himself in the marked spot.

A moment passed and the sweet little monkey looked at me with his little turned up nose and said - "Grandma...am I in a time out, or what?" I stifled my giggle and answered in the affirmative.

"I'm usually on the stairs for a time out, you know," he continued. I left the room and proceeded to wipe the grin off my face.

There is just something absolutely charming and precious about children. I am still hoping that when I get to heaven God picks me to work in the nursery.
For now, though, I will be happy snuggling and giggling with my grandbabies. Life is good.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fighting the Good Fight

We did it. We made the 5km route without incident, with only a little pain in my broken toe and with a whole lot of sunshine on our path. God is good. The forecast was for some nasty rain but as was the focus of our prayer, the sun smiled on us.





Our trek to Barrie was worthwhile as Amanda and I, along with Jocelyn and Trenton completed our journey in the Winners Walk of Hope once again this year.
As expected, it was an emotional day and to be suddenly surrounded by so many people who wanted to make a difference, well, that was one giant memory forever etched on my hard drive! And as added icing on the cake, yours truly was flabbergasted to discover I was the winner once again for the individual raising the most funds. After I got over the shock, I was invited to waltz on over to the prize table and claim my prize. Assorted temptations beckoned but I soon settled for the $100 gift certificate from Winners or Homesense (which happens to be my favourite store.) When it comes time for my shopping trip I plan to take my happy hubby along since he was the one who asked many people to donate to the cause! I am sure I wouldn't have reached my goal if it wasn't for him prowling around after church some Sundays with clipboard in hand!

I am so grateful to Amanda, my sweet daughter, who was the one who passionately approached the gals in Barrie and asked if we could be a part of this great group last year when I was going through my chemotherapy. Belonging to such an enthusiastic group is contagious and encouraging and there is just something about this special day that urges me to fight on and pursue the goal of bringing ovarian cancer to the forefront and making women more aware of this potentially silent killer.

Kudos to organizers Kim Rowntree, Laura Zawadiuk, Hayley Marchildon and Kristine Andreadis and to all the other volunteers who made this day a smashing success. Local media personality, Kool FM's Deb James did a wonderful job of keeping everyone informed and excited about the day. These gals (and their behind the scenes hubbies) sure helped make a wonderful noise and the volume was surely turned up last weekend on ovarian cancer awareness.

Amanda and I were thinking about finding a closer location next year, but I am thinking now that there is just something special about being around the familiar. Not to mention the weekend away, the hot tub and the pool - nice added bonuses! Walk on ladies.




Thank you God for creating these special rays of sunshine on a sometimes cloudy life. It makes the journey easier! I press on for my sisters.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Well, the weekend descends quickly and I am still limping along. I am hoping and praying that another two days will do the trick. My broken toe still refuses to settle well into my nice Dr.Scholl runners.

The Winner's Walk of Hope 5km walk is Sunday already and I am absolutely pumped about going and doing my part to help my 'sisters' with early detection of ovarian cancer. Amanda just may have to pull me in Jocelyn's little wagon. But I am going one way or the other. Move over Trenton!
I would not want anyone to go through what I went through last year. The wretched, bittersweet chemotherapy got me through, but the journey was rough. So if a portion of the funds raised by our Sunflower Seeds team helps with the early detection of ovarian cancer in even one sister, it will be all worthwhile.

I read a quote from Dr. William Hamilton, a lead U.S. researcher on a recent survey of ovarian cancer symptoms. He said, "Ovarian cancer is not silent, it's noisy. It's just that we're not very good at deciphering the noise."
When I first heard that, I thought he might be right. But on further pondering, I wanted to wallop the nice man. The symptoms of ovarian cancer to many women are silent. I still maintain that.

Many women with bloating (the biggie) just think that they are menopausal or are eating the wrong things. When I consider my symptoms they were basically silent. I barely even noticed the bloating. And I sure did not have any loss of appetite - another symptom. I had no nausea or weight loss (fat chance) nor did I have any bleeding. Looking back now, I did have fatigue and a few other vague symptoms, but nothing that would scream 'cancer.' However, the growth in my abdomen was my biggest symptom, although I tried to slough it off as my uterus doing a pre-menopausal flip-flop.

Perhaps I am being a little hard on Doc. Hamilton; maybe I'm ticked because he doesn't have a uterus. But I suppose, when I re-read what he said, it is all about getting educated and making a noise in that manner. So as I walk this weekend I will do just that as I think and pray for all my OC sisters who have gone before me or who are just starting out on their journeys.

This Sunday I will walk with my head held high, with a little limp in my gait, with praise and thanksgiving in my heart for those who sponsored me, and a whole lot of gratefulness to God for extending my 'breatheability' a little longer so that I can savour this precious moment called life!

**********************************






FYI

Physical symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
abdominal discomfort or pelvic pain
bloating
difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
frequent urination
fatigue
backache
nausea, indigestion, loss of appetite
weight loss
change in bowel habits
gas
pain during intercourse
abnormal vaginal bleeding (rare)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Random Acts...


I read an interesting yet troubling article in the newspaper yesterday. It was a good article and definitely had a positive and uplifting angle yet I couldn't help feeling a little downhearted about what I read.

Random Act of Kindness Day Approaches was the headline. Apparently a day has been set aside to challenge everyday folk into doing a random act of kindness and then they have to encourage others to do the same thing by handing out preprinted cards that indicate that the recipient of one act should pass it on or pay it forward.

I love the concept. I am not fond of the idea that we need to be told to do this and that we need a special day to remind us how good and right it is to be kind. Why can't we do this without being prompted? Why does the media have to be part of it? Why do we need cards to remind us that kindness brings joy to the soul.

I say we challenge ourselves to random acts of kindness on a daily basis. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we took up that banner? Can you imagine? Manners might resurface. Patience will be the norm. Road rage and stress induced diseases would be a thing of the past.

I recall so many acts of kindness that happened last year as I was going through my chemo. I remember especially Darlene who gave and gave and gave. As I tried in vain to pay her back or at least talked about how I would pay her back for all her kindness, she reminded me that I needed to pay it forward! Sound advice if you ask me!

Kindness is more than deeds, though. According to author, C. Neil Strait, Kindness is an attitude, and expression, a look, a touch. It is anything that lifts a person. I like that. Really, when you stop and think about it, being kind is not a big imposition. Try it sometime. They say that if you do something three times, then it becomes a habit. Kindness is one of those nice habits.

I'm thinking Jesus did not have little cards that He handed out every time He showed kindness to others. I'm thinking that if He did, he would have needed a mighty big satchel!


I read this somewhere, too: If someone were to pay you 10 cents for every kind word you ever spoke and collect 5 cents for every unkind word, would you be rich or poor? Hmmm...

Check out this lovely, encouraging video. How can you show someone a random act of kindness? Don't wait for November or until someone gives you a card. Someone needs you today. Go get some flowers.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hop Along!





Ouch! My toe hurts. And they say there is naught that any medical soul can do to make it better!

Last evening I banged my toe rather ungracefully and the result is one sore and broken digit. I am hopping along and still managing to get from point A to point B, though, so that is a good thing. There seems to never be a dull moment around this house!

I wish God could grant me about six more hours in a day, and then I might get some things completed. Sigh. The beat goes on.

I am in a little bit of a frenzy as I try to wrap up my fundraising for my Winners Walk of Hope. And of course I break my toe before my 5km walk! I am bound and determined that I will walk the whole route - broken toe or not, though! Amanda said she would pull me in the wagon along with Jocelyn if needs be! She's a good girl. :) We journey on...


"Nobody can take my joy away from me unless I let them."




Sunday, August 30, 2009

Winners Walk of Hope


I can't believe that it was almost a year ago that I was taking part in the Winners Walk of Hope in Barrie, Ontario. And now it is time to do it again! I am excited, although my sore feet aren't exactly jumping for joy yet. Amanda and I are the only ones on our Sunflower Seeds team this year so we have a lot of noise to make. I am overwhelmed with those who are sponsoring us for our mini walk already and can hardly find the words to thank friends and family who are encouraging us in many different ways.


Last year I was the champion individual fundraiser. That was a thrilling accolade! And I had my face plastered on the pages of the Barrie Times Journal to boot. Although that was a nice honour, I am pleased as punch to just be part of this wonderful day. If I can help in some small way to help a sister out there to become more aware of their body and to help this wretched Ovarian Cancer be caught early or eradicated, then I am thrilled.


If anyone out there is interested in supporting me financially or prayerfully, I am truly grateful. Even words on a page encourage me beyond...um...words. I am doing this for my 'sisters' out there who have been, or are still, battling cancer, including Linda, Roxanne, Rosie, Kia, Judy, Daria, Denise, Tracey, Tina, Sandhy, Cindy, and so many, many more. My heart hugs each one of you and I pray that the plan God has for each of you is for complete healing. Journey on, girls, and I will take you with me on September 27th at 9am!



Here's the 'form' letter that the Winners Walk of Hope sends out on my behalf. Please don't feel obligated but have a gander anyway and see what I am up to!


<You have been invited to pledge Glynis Belec in the Mini Winners Walk of Hope. Join thousands of people across Canada supporting the Winners Walk of Hope, a remarkable event designed to create a sense of community for women living with ovarian cancer and their family and friends. All funds raised through this event support Ovarian Cancer Canada's mission to: support women and their families touched by ovarian cancer, educate well women and healthcare professionals and to fund ovarian cancer research. It's a day filled with hope and support, creating a greater awareness around ovarian cancer. To date, the Winners Walk of Hope has raised over $4.5 million.

Until there is a reliable early detection test, raising awareness about ovarian cancer is key. The Mini Winners Walk of Hope is a perfect opportunity for us to Turn UP the Volume! on ovarian cancer. Each year, 2400 women in Canada are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and sadly 1,700 women die of the disease. Even though the statistics are bleak, the good news is that when diagnosed in the early stages, the long-term survival rate is up to 90%. Education and awareness are the best tools we have for improving survival by alerting women to the signs and symptoms of the disease. Visit www.winnerswalkofhope.ca for more information!For more information on Ovarian Cancer Canada's many programs, please visit www.ovariancanada.org

Secure online donations can be made with your credit card and an official charitable tax receipt will be sent to you by email within five minutes! You can make an online donation now by clicking on the following link:http://my.e2rm.com/personalPage.aspx?SID=2321540For more information about the Mini Winners Walk of Hope, please visit www.winnerswalkofhope.ca Thank you for your generous support!>


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Once Upon a Time



My oncologist used the word 'normal.' That is sweet music to my ears. My blood test results should be in soon, but all seems ready for a happily ever after moment in my life right now. I am in remission, they say - as long as my CA125 is down and behaving. I am hoping and praying that this will be a lengthy state of body! Yippee!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Voice


"Count!"
The order assaulted her senses as she tore at the damp sheets. The girl tossed her heavy head to the side trying to quiet the demon-like voices that poked and prodded.

"Five-thousand, six hundred and seventy two, five thousand, six hundred and seventy three, five thousand six hundred and seventy four..."

The vile taste in her mouth made her nauseated but she didn't have the strength to move, to get a drink, to go to the bathroom. She couldn't even recall where the bathroom was. Where was she? Why do the voices torture her so?
"I can't! I can't!" she cried as the pressure for her to continue played havoc with her mind. Perspiration covered her face like drizzle. Her hair was matted and unkempt. But the girl's outward appearance was the least of her worries.

"Five-thousand, six hundred and seventy five, five thousand, six hundred and seventy six, five thousand six hundred and seventy seven..."

"No more! Stop...please."
The girl's frantic voice sounded threadbare and weak.
"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven...all good children go to heaven. When they die, put them in a pie. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven!"

"Stop!"
Stillness. Black.
As the girl lay motionless, a wet cloth placed on her forehead took on the appearance of a veil. A shroud. Enveloping. Shielding. Preparing. A grave cloth?
"Count! Death child. Count!"

Like a timid fawn the girl tucked in her limbs and feigned sleep. As the girl drifted into oblivion, the voices started again.

"Awaken and hearken to my instruction!" The demon voice bellowed. "Heed not to sleep wretch!"

"Five-thousand, six hundred and seventy eight, five thousand, six hundred and seventy nine, five thousand six hundred and eighty..."

Like a beating wind, the dreaded voices came faster and urged the girl to count more; longer; louder; higher. The girl could not keep track. She did not know where to begin. She had no sense that her counting would...could ever end. Her voice faltered. Her mind - obfuscated.

"Take me, Jesus. Grace, mercy. Take me," the girl uttered. She no longer wanted to fight. She would give up to the merciless voices and succumb to their incessant battering. They would win.

Then, barely an audible whisper, she heard it. The Voice. It was different. Balm for the soul. Divine balm.

"Count with me my precious child..." came the sweet, loving words.
She reached up her tired arm in the direction of the tender voice. "Where do I begin?" she asked as she opened her eyes and felt a peace like she had not experienced for a very long time.
Start at the beginning - Alpha. Fullness of life. Journey with Me. It is finished - Omega.
The girl's fever had broken.


************************************************************************************


True story...me at 11 years of age. Sadly, I did not realize the significance of that dream for many years. Wasted years? I'm letting God be the judge on that one...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Onward



Thursday looms near. Once again I make the trek to the London Cancer Clinic for a check up. I rally forth with great optimism and hope in my heart. And I know I do not walk alone. With me I first of all take Jesus. My faithful hubby will accompany me. My sweet 83 year old father asked if I wanted him to come along. I told him no, for the four hour journey takes a toll. But I will hold him in my spirit. My children and friends journey with me in my heart. What more can I ask for? Maybe prayer...if you read this and feel inclined, I would appreciate a few words tossed heavenward. God is our refuge and strength; an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mrs. B is Back in the Saddle


There are some days that I wish I could write all day and never climb out of my office basement.

I have this incurable passion to write and it drives me absolutely batty when I cannot get to the computer because of other commitments.

But there are days when I see the grinning faces of my students and watch them having 'aha' moments. Then I remember my incurable passion to teach.

When I stop and think about it, I have the best of both worlds. I love my job. I love my students. I love the flexibility in my schedule.

I think back to this time last year, when I did not even know if I would make it to this year. I relish opportunities to talk about my cancer experience, because I want to shout from the mountain top about how thankful I am.


God was with me every step of the way. He was lighting my path and holding me up. I garnered strength in my weakness for I became dependent and reliant on His grace and mercy alone. I hear about and watch others succumb to cancer and I wonder why I was spared. I ponder the complexity of it all and then realize that God taught me much. He isn't quite finished with me yet. I have a new appreciation for life and all that it offers so I had better not waste my cancer and focus on any 'why me?' notion. I've got too much to do; too many people to love and far too many joyful moments to experience.

Ovarian cancer might be called the silent killer but this old gray mare 'who ain't what she used to be,' isn't going down without a noise. I'm counting my blessings and am happy to be back in the saddle again!

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Master's Voice


I close my tattered Bible and contemplate a choice

Do I resume my hurried pace or listen for God's voice?

My helter skelter schedule puts me in a spin

With lists and uttered empty words that contribute to the din.


I'm too busy pleasing others and working dawn 'til night.

"It's not my fault," I justify, "I have to do what's right."


Yet still I feel an emptiness at the end of each long day


My head it meets the pillow and I forget to pray.


Yet still, you love me as I sigh and give reason for my days


You understand my weakness and you know my fragile ways.


"Rest, my child. Be still and know..." God whispers to my heart


I know the way that I should go, yet I find it hard to start.


Sometimes the clutch around my soul brings fear with no releasing


The Word of God tells me to pray without a thought to ceasing.


So equip me Lord with prayer and peace; remind me of your Son


Jesus, in His gentle way. Tell again what He has done.


When my mind is stayed on Him a stillness fills my soul


The busyness or wordly quest no longer is my goal.


So as I seek Your still small voice in every thing I do


My motivating urgency will be to worship You.


As I pray a calmness comes and makes my heart rejoice


An urgent need to look to God and hear that still small voice.


Bless you Jesus as you wait with patient love for me


Lessons learned remind me that Your grace has set me free...