I had a PET scan on Friday and yesterday I had my one year appointment. Everything was clear and I am one year in REMISSION!
He said I can even go ahead and set up a time to get my infusion port out. But, here's the funny thing. As I've been looking at my schedule, surgery is never something you really have "time" for. Usually surgery is something you have to have..and usually you needed it yesterday, so to "just find time"...isn't really easy. Oh well, I'll figure it out.
In the mean time, I want to thank several groups of people for the way you have supported me, loved me, and carried my through the last year. From beginning to end, this was never something I had to handle or deal with alone and for that, I will be forever grateful and indebted to you.
LGB and TRB - thanks for EVERYTHING. For driving me to every appointment, sitting in the waiting room, driving like a maniac the first night to get back to Arkadelphia, letting me cry but not whine, for the encouragement, for understanding my ailments - even when they didn't make sense, for making me feel like one of your own, and more than anything your constant, unconditional friendship
LL-thank you for Treat Tuesday's. That was such a creative idea and something I looked forward too. You are an amazing a supportive friend
Suite 100 - we were all scared and confused together, but you were great to just let me figure it out. Thanks for your support during the hardest days I have ever faced. Thanks for the fun hat and scarf party - and while I never had to use them the way we thought I might, I will always remember that that need was met long before it became a big concern. Thanks for driving me to radiation appointments and for the laughs and tears along the way.
OBU family - no where to begin on this one either. There always has been something different about this place and when you go through moments like these, you begin to understand even more. I appreciate the support more than you will ever know. So, whether you were closely connected in the process, let me talk through my chemo brain in meetings (hopefully some of that made sense), made me laugh, let me cry, wrote notes, brought me sweet surprises, stopped for a moment on the sidewalk, asked questions, or just smiled a bigger smile, I am so grateful
Arkadelphia family and church - thank you for your support and prayers. You have seen me in some of my weakest moments, but there were weekends that I didn't feel great, but wanted to get up and be there just to let you know that your prayers were not in vain. Thank you!
My Irving family - thank you for your long distance love, prayers, cards, thoughts, well wishes and hugs when I came home. More than that, thank you for taking care of my family. I know this journey was a truly different experience for them. I like being the one that holds everything together and I couldn't do it with this and I so appreciate you supporting them and loving them when I could not. Your gifts, kind words, hugs, prayers, and support will always be something we cherish.
To my extended family - thank you for loving us through this and walking the road very personally with us. I have always considered my family a blessing and while we have walked so many roads together, I know that it is rare to be so grounded together with a faith that has sustained the journey. I love you!
Mom, dad, and resa - I know none of you read this, but everyone else does and tells you what I say, so I don't want you to feel left out. I have told you how much you mean to me, but I want to publicly acknowledge that I am so grateful that God's plan worked out to put us 4 and no more in our group (well, I'm glad he added the dog!). But I can see so many ways how he has grown us together and I'm kinda glad that it was just the 4 of us on this ride together. Thank you for driving a million miles last summer, for taking days off of work and having to play catch up when you got back, for the loss of sleep, for cooking and having food on the table when I woke up from my naps, for letting me grumpy and whiny, for cleaning my house and moving me, for making sense of my chemo brain chatter, for all the small things that made life a little easier, for just getting me with a look and not making me say anything, for moments when I would turn over in the night and you were there praying beside my bed...I am such a lucky girl and even when I don't act like it, know that I will spend the rest of my life paying you back for your support and love.
Hodgkiss group - thanks for walking this road with me and for your encouragement along the way - for the "we've been there's" and the convos about all the lingo. It was nice to have someone who understood all that stuff. Heather, not to through you in with your whole family, but your friendship is a treasure, thanks for coming to see me, for sitting with me all weekend, for the basket of all my favorite goodies, for the late night phone calls, for crying on the way home from Dallas and then telling me when I admitted that I was back at my house crying too. We have shared a journey of many things together. I am blessed by our friendship
AKD - thanks for your amazing friendship, for coming down to take me to radiation, for the pedicures and the laughs, thanks for calling to check on me even when that part of our friendship seemed one sided. I appreciate you so much and your cards and sweet thoughts always come at just the right time
My roomies - when they say that Ouachita friendships are lifelong, they aren't kidding. I will never forget the Friday night that I called to tell each of you what was going on. 08 was a big year for all of us - new houses, weddings, first anniversaries and it was so fun to be together. 410 Ouachita St. changed our lives together and I am grateful that we all mysteriously found each other.
To those of you who read this blog that I have never met- thank you for being entertained by my life. I hope my journey has been a testimony of what my loving, saving, merciful God can do. Not only is he a Healer, but he is Sustaining, Faithful (praise him for that one) and full of Grace.
So, what I have I learned along the way?
- Prayer Changes EVERYTHING
- Relationships really are the most important thing in life
- Make sure you are taking time to Live and truly EXPERIENCE life
- Take advantage of the opportunity, you may not have a second chance
- Make sure the people around you know how much they mean to you
- A smile can go a long way - like in the waiting room of a doctors office
- Share your faith and let it be testimony of your journey
- Be your own advocate and fight for yourself
- Give of yourself and expect nothing in return
- Commit your life to living for something truly significant
As I close, let me leave you with these words from Paul in Ephesians:
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.