Tuesday, May 24, 2005


You know, I'm not one for drama...really I'm not. I'm perfectly content to lead a quiet life, playing with my two beautiful children, weeding the garden, fixing the side dishes to Josh's amazing dinners. I was so happy to have things settling down again, even to the point that I had a hard time finding things to write about, and then the universe decides to go wacky on me again.

Apparently, in spite of my supposedly failing ovaries (from the chemo), and the birth control they decided to put me on until the could tie my tubes...yep you guessed it. I'm pregnant. >insert stunned silence here<

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Embracing Imperfection

Call me crazy, but I'm giving up's just not working for me.
Instead, I'm thinking I'll become a professed imperfectionist (is that a word?).
Don't get me wrong, I'm not TRYING to be BAD...I'm just giving up trying to be perfect.
Good & happy is good enough for me from now on. See, I've learned a few things recently
(Chemo did a number on my memory, I think I'm only just beginning to remember what I learned :-P).
Two of my favorite mantras have become "It's all part of the journey," and "Eternity NOW!"
The second might require some explanation. I used to think I was a patient person...
I have since had children and realized that I'm not even CLOSE to being patient
(like I said, I'm embracing imperfection :-) My impatience led me to an interesting realization.
See we, as Christians, have been promised eternal life.. I always assumed that "eternity" began after you died, but John the Baptist said the Kingdom of God is "at hand," and well, I'm pretty close to my hand...attached to it, in fact.
I think the Kingdom of God is a lot closer than we might realize. Who's to say we have to wait for death to start living eternally? What if it's..."all part of the (same) journey? I'm all for being a "goal oriented" person...but when you look at life from an "eternal" perspective the goal of perfection is such a long way away that it just makes more sense to slow down and enjoy the scenery...and take time to, well, develop some patience.

Don't think I'm preaching here, I'm not trying to reform anyone else..just me.
I am professing my imperfection to the world, so you all can hold me accountable.
If you come to visit & my house is spotless, then my kids have probably been put second place to the laundry & the dishes.
If my house is spotless, then I have probably worked myself to exhaustion & am a MISERABLE person to be around.
I have learned that I CAN'T handle it all and am hereby giving myself permission not to.
Don't let me slip up here-life's a lot more fun when it doesn't have to be "perfect."

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Finding the good...

Good things about having Cancer:

Knowing people are praying for us & being able to see those prayers work in our lives.

Catching up with old friends

Loosing my hair
-not having to shave
-saving a ton on hair care products
-being able to put on a wig that's already styled instead of spending 30 minutes getting my hair out of my face

Having an excuse, permission & even encouragement to rest when I'm tired & take time for myself (btw, something every woman should have regardless, but many don't & others, including myself sometimes, don't take when it's offered)

Learning that I deserve to be spoiled sometimes-even when I'd rather "do it myself."

Learning that it's OK to ask for help, that help often comes from unexpected people & that the people you expected to help sometimes don't.

Learning the true meaning of "Life isn't fair, but God is good."

The joy of being SO thankful, for friends & family, for the kindness of complete strangers, for the amazing & unexplainable feeling of holding your child, for trees & clouds, blue sky & rain, for every big & little thing that I know I'll never take for granted again.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Ps 61:2

The chilly fall breezes were just beginning to blow through Minot, North Dakota when I was diagnosed with stage 4 Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma...


The trees still had most of their leaves at that point, which was unusual for that time of year.
There was one tree in particular, that I could see from the place where I lay in my bed, recovering from the ravaging Chemo sickness that had been with me for more than a week. I lay there in exhaustion and delirium, listening to the voices of my sweet children playing
downstairs, and watching the very top of the tree swaying in the winter wind, its leaves disappearing a few at a time.

I felt a strange kinship with this tree. As the weeks passed, the wind blew the remaining leaves from the tree, leaving the bare bones of its branches to weather the whirling winds unprotected. Though I was inside in my warm bed, I felt the storm of cancer raging around me...leaving me as naked and exposed as the tree outside my window. I reminded myself that the tree was only sleeping; the winter cold, bitter as it was in this northern climate, would not kill it. Cancer would not kill me either. I rested in this thought, allowing it to wrap itself around me as insulation from the cancer storm, and drifted deep within myself to sleep.

I had to wake occasionally, but it was like a dream, and in my dream I saw a ghost of myself when I looked in the mirror. She was gaunt, just skin and bones. She had no hair...not even eyebrows, almost as if even her face was being erased, but in her eyes there was life still. A fierce determination flickered like a light deep within them...she was not afraid. In this confidence, sleep would claim me again.

Even as I slept I could still feel the external trappings of myself blowing away in the storm, and I had to go ever deeper within myself for protection. I searched within myself for a place that was safe & solid, a place that would not give way to the storm. I had strange and vivid dreams in this dark place. In one of them I could feel myself turning into a bird, wings growing from my shoulders. I felt the effort it took to pull myself away from the ground as I began to
fly, wings pushing & beating at the air...and then I was soaring through the sky. I traveled in this way for awhile, seeing life from a different perspective; I was part of it, but somehow separate too. Then I felt the pull of the ground beneath me and began to fly straight down towards it. My heart raced as the ground rose to meet me, and then, at the last moment a dark opening appeared and I was swallowed into its depths. Down, down I went, not flying now, but falling. The light from above had vanished and the darkness was impenetrable...still I fell. I thought for a moment that maybe I was dead, or dying.

Then the darkness exploded into a million little lights, and I was no longer falling. I realized that the lights were stars. I had left the world behind me, and before me was the whole of the universe, and underneath my feet was a rock. I had found solid ground.

The dream dissipated into a fog, and then the storm was raging around me again, but deep within my inner being I still held this feeling of strength and security. The winds blew, but I could not feel their bite; the waves crashed, but they could not take me under.

I was safe.