My Light…

In a few days I finally begin the last leg of my cancer treatment, six weeks of radiation.  As I pen this blog entry I am reminded of a simple prayer I made this morning.  Dear God – Help me not look for the light at the end of the tunnel but help me see your light while I walk thru this tunnel with You today. 

He is in the here and now. So much so that I am thrilled to tell you I started a business.  Specifically a photo booth business.  If you’re wondering why on earth would I do something like that when I still have six weeks of treatment ahead of me?   I needed to seize the day and make the most of the present moment.  There is no better timing than today to do what you love. 

I have always loved photography.  The joy of capturing a moment is exhilarating.  So out of the ashes of my story, Silver Mirror Photo Booth, LLC was born.  My mission was a simple one.  To bring joy and happiness to our people’s most treasured life moments.  Creating memories one party at a time. 

Just like a camera I challenge you to the following…  “Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out take another shot”. 

I’m taking a shot at it…  To learn more please visit us at www.silvermirrorphotobooth.com and/or follow us on Facebook.  I am truly excited about what God is doing in my life.  He has been the greatest source of light in my life.  The best radiation treatment known to man.

And do not wait to reach the light at the end of the tunnel to find your way…  He is the way.

A light and momentary affliction.

A week after surgery and I am feeling fantastic.  Don’t get me wrong.  This week has had many challenges as I recover from reconstruction surgery but when compared to the double mastectomy this was a smoother ride.  I have already survived the big one and have scars to prove it.  This week felt like a light and momentary affliction in comparison. 

 

With reconstruction behind me, my next steps are 30 radiation treatment spread out in six weeks.  In order to maximize the amount of sick days I have left at work I decided to switch to a care center closer to home.   It was not an easy decision to make but talking it out with a friend helped seal the deal.  Removing a 35-minute commute to Annapolis, feels pretty amazing.

 

Do you know what else feels amazing? When setbacks become a catalyst for change.  

In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 it reads “for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, for what is unseen is eternal.”

 

Cancer, as well as all the hurdles and setbacks we have faced as a family are temporary and nothing compared to the work God is doing in our lives today.  That’s our eternal glory.  We are stronger, wiser and better for it.

Next Chapter

The afternoon before surgery and I received a diamond from a teacher.  A shiny little plastic diamond with a very large meaning.  When I asked the meaning behind her little gift she said “you have done very well under pressure”. 

Her inspiration?  At the very bottom of all my work email it states a diamond is merely a lump of coal that did well under pressure.   Teachers have superpowers. Her timing could not have been more perfectly planned. It was as if she heard a whisper from God. I needed a reminder of who I was…

As I sit in the waiting room right now I’m both nervous and equally excited for the outcome. Although this experience has forever changed me I am looking forward to feeling a little bit like the old me.

In retrospect, considering all I’ve been through I have done well under pressure. I’m not quite a diamond yet but God’s still working on me, one chapter at a time.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10

Goodness still exists…

The office was warm, the kids were in rare form and my blood was boiling.

While struggling to cool off I took off my hat for just a moment and then she walked in thru the office door.  A sweet six grade student took one look at me and said she loved my hair.  When she noticed the look of confusion on my face she corrected herself by saying “I mean I love your du” as she nervously flipped her hair behind her sweet face.  Innocently she asked if I had shaved it off on purpose and when I explained why I had no hair her face softened just so…  My heart melted.  The details of our conversation are lost to me today but I will never forget how she made me feel.  She cared.

Working at a middle school makes me wonder what in the world is going on with today’s kids but I learned a very valuable lesson that day.  Goodness still exists.  In fact the level of support spoken thru some of our middle schoolers since that day amazes me.  I am encouraged and hopeful for the future.   Schools today are focused on teaching about kindness and it is starting to show.  ​At least at my middle school kindness is shining bright.

Imagine the conversations and opportunities we miss out on when we fail to use our struggles to promote good.  Let’s stop hiding our pain and scars from plain sight. It is our responsibly to use them to create an atmosphere that teaches valuable life lessons and growth on a personal level.

I do not think I will ever wear a hat again.  My only regret was not doing it sooner.

A Braveheart Moment

I have been call a lot of things but never a quitter. I am a fighter. Ask my husband and he will tell you I enjoy getting the last word too. I even own a pair of pink boxing gloves.

Yet in the last few weeks I’ve battled discouragement and self pity. I’ve gained 25 pounds, I’m bald and due to a job loss I have sunken into a world of hurt. I’ve fallen to pieces.

I need a Braveheart moment. I can just hear William Wallace crying out to his men “many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR JOY!”

Well, he didn’t say joy. He said freedom but for the sake of my blog let’s just stick with joy.

Unwilling to compromise, William Wallace refused to submit to English rule and fought for Scotland’s freedom. Well the Bible states that Jesus fought and paid the ultimate battle for our freedom and even greater still is the Bible states that with joy set before Him He endured the cross. With joy He fought for me.

Many years from now I want to look back and say my enemy could not take my joy. The joy of the Lord is my strength. I need to fight for that.

Time to battle back to health both physically and spiritually. Go on go girl go… Get your Braveheart moment.

Did you miss me?

Has it really been three weeks since I last blogged? I wish I could say a lot has happened since my last entry but life has been fairly quiet. My last chemo treatment was just shy of three weeks ago and the enormity of it fell into the silence of my life.

Yet for the better half of this week I’ve had the nagging sensation, a push to write again. Many of you have been with me thru this journey for months and no amount of words can pen a big enough thank you for your support. I’m happy to report that I’m slowing regaining my strength and in less than two weeks I will have reconstruction surgery with some much needed time off.

Much needed time off too… During that time please let me know if there are any topics you would like me to write about or questions you may want me to answer. I would love to make this interactive. Don’t hold back. I dare you.

Thank you for joining me. I love you all.

I Rang the Bell

After my last chemo treatment yesterday I rang the ceremonial bell on the oncology infusion floor. The nurses sang a song while I blushed, cried and felt a tab bit embarrassed. It’s been a long road since my diagnosis back in April. I was overcome with joy and blinded by tears. Especially when the nurses sang Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye.

I hugged and thanked them for their care. I came to the end of my chemo treatment and I couldn’t have done it without their help. My next bell will be after 6 weeks of radiation.

Today, the morning after I woke up feeling blessed even though I feel weak and sick. God has been good to me. I have learned more during this battle than any trial I have ever faced.

Even during moments of silence I felt His comfort and especially when I read God’s words written in Habakkuk 2:2-3.

“Then the LORD answered me and said: Write the vision. And make it plain on tablets. That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”

So I’m writing my vision on this blog. I will be be ringing a bell at my 5 year and 10 year mark of living cancer free. Maybe even blow a horn from my yard.

In the Old Testament, Hebrews blew a shofar (a trumpet), a rams horn for several reasons. It was a call for an assembly, a call for repentance, worship, to usher in festivals, to inspire, a call to war and a call for a celebration. Yes I think I may need to blow a shofar.