Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ode to a Rose

(PHOTO: Rosemary with her grandbabies - one missing!)

Rosemary, my older sister, has been a gem. She moved closer to me about a month ago and it has been a blessing magnified that she arrived on the scene just in time. With building a new home, chaos has subtly inserted itself into my life. Routine has disappeared off the radar and I am lost in the clutter and the drywall dust (that's what we get for moving into a nest before all the twigs and the mud are in place!)

Rosemary donned her cape at precisely the right moment and she was able to step in and help me with a plethora of things including sharing and caring for our 84 year old poppa bear!

So to Rosemary I offer these multicoloured roses for these reasons:

1. Pink roses mean thank you. Thank you, Rosemary for helping us lug heavy crates of books upstairs; for carrying umpteen boxes and loading them in an amazing compact way; for uprooting, transporting and replanting precious perennials and little trees, and for doing a million other hands on tasks before, during and after our move.

2. Orange Roses represent your enthusiasm to jump in and do whatever - whenever - yes, even my laundry for three weeks before we got our trusty machines tumbling and tossing again.

3. Red Roses symbolize your sincere, unconditional love and respect for family. I was thrilled you could be there for Dad when I was on the verge of insanity. Thanks for whipping up meals and keeping Dad happy and busy. The fish pond you made is amazing. Dad is loving the backyard sanctuary you have created. I wish I had half your talent and ability. Yup...you might have been called an 'intellectual butterfly' when you were younger but your flitting and creativity has brought beauty to Dad's backyard.

4. Red & White Roses together signify unity. Thanks for being a partner, a pal and for making the decision to move closer. After all these years, it's good to spend time with you and realize heart stuff! United we stand; divided we trip and fall in the mud.

5. Yellow Roses indicate joy, gladness, friendship and "I Care." Thanks for being one of the first to ask how my appointment went at the cancer clinic last week and for rejoicing with me. I am so thankful and relieved that you, also, had the CA125 done a while ago and then you heard the word 'normal' somewhere in the medical chatter. Keep being aware!
I'm glad you are my friend.

Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.
Romans 12:10

Monday, September 20, 2010

Que Sera, Sera!

(Photo: Where's Waldo and company?)

We made it. God was good. The rain held off until shortly after noon and that was just about the time we were headed in the general direction of home!

Last Sunday Amanda, her kiddos and I took part in the Winner's Walk of Hope (Ovarian Cancer Canada) in Barrie, Ontario.

(Photo: There they are!)

It was a good time for it to happen, for this past Thursday I had an appointment at the London Cancer Clinic and I wanted to go there armed with a trunkload of hope.

Fresh from the walk, and with my shiny survivor pin in place, after an hour and a half wait, I entered the little examination room. After a brief chat with my primary nurse, I set my clothing and dignity aside, donned my usual lovely hospital gown and waited for the oncologist to arrive.

He did. It was worth the wait. He did his usual twenty questions and exam and then informed me that things look hopeful. I am pushing my two year mark now and said
, smart oncologist indicated that in his experience that there is now only a 15% chance that the
cancer could return. I never was one to put my money on lottery tickets or door prizes or bingo, or the like, for the odds of winning anything for yours truly were always slim. I am hoping that the odds of fitting into that 15% margin are just as slim.

When I was little, my sisters used to call me Doris Day and teased me that my theme song was 'Que Sera, Sera.' Loosely translated, that means, 'Whatever will be, will be..."

Now that I have grown up and have faced a trial or two, I am seeing the God-wisdom in that song.

"...whatever will be, will be; the future's not ours to see, que sera, sera!"

Some things I seemingly have control of in my life. But the big things I leave up to God. I am thrilled, thankful and humbled that He has blessed me with a good prognosis, an incredible family and a peace that passeth all understanding. This is a new week. A new chance to see His hand at work and a fresh start to realizing my blessings.

(Photo: Crossing the Finish Line at the 2010 Winners Walk of Hope)

We had so many people supporting us in so many ways as we made our trek around the lakeshore in Barrie September 12th, 2010, at the Winners Walk of Hope. Thank you to all who sponsored us financially, prayerfully and with unconditional love. We were blessed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Winners Walk of Hope 2010

Two years ago, as I faced six months of rigorous chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, I truly thought that God was readying me for a new heavenly home. It wasn’t that I was without hope back then. It was just that I suddenly realized that the only One who was in control was God. I trusted Him.

Once I recovered from realizing that my thorn in the flesh was to be cancer, I turned the reigns over to God. I really tried to be positive, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, my time was up and I was moving on. Many a night I poured my emotions into my handwritten journal. Tears welled and I struggled with lesson after lesson from God.

Twenty four months later, here I am. They call it remission. I have to hang in there for another three years and then they will call me a survivor and maybe even cured. In a couple of weeks I head back to the London Cancer Clinic to find out what the docs think. I'm thinking positive.

God has a plan. I may not understand that plan, but safe to say, I don’t realize the big picture, either. This is where faith steps in and I choose to follow.

I am moving on. I will one day look forward to a heavenly home, but meanwhile, God has blessed me mightily as Gilles and I are in the throes of building our new earthly home in downtown Drayton.
It’s funny how life happens. Some days are diamonds. Some days are coal.

Right now my life is full. The diamonds shimmer and shine in my life and for that I am grateful.

On September 12th, Amanda, Trenton, Jocelyn and I are once again making our annual trek to Barrie to participate in the Winners Walk of Hope put on by Ovarian Cancer Canada. This is our special weekend away and we will join ranks with other ovarian cancer survivors and supporters. It is a bittersweet time as we do our part to fundraise and to help raise awareness so that ovarian cancer can be detected early and lives can be saved.

Ovarian Cancer is sometimes called the disease that whispers. We are going to do our best to help turn up the volume and help our sisters, mothers, daughters, granddaughters, grandmothers, aunts, nieces, cousins, friends and for all those amazing women we are yet to meet and even those we will never see face to face! We journey on with love and hope in our hearts.

(Photo: Our fearless leaders and encouragers at the Barrie Winners Walk of Hope!)