Friday, 25 April 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring has sprung and so has my hair! My hairline is now visible and the hair has poked through. The weather is warm enough for me to go around the house without a hat. When I go outside I usually wear a baseball cap. It is the hat my sisters designed for the "Mini Walk of Hope" they had organized last fall. The word "HOPE" is embroidered on the face of it. The "O" is a stylized sunflower, which is the official emblem of Ovarian Cancer Canada. I also have two stylish sun hats that I have begun to wear when I need more coverage from the sun.

I have started to go for a walk most days with my daughter or my husband. Sometimes I go for a walk twice in one day, once with each of them! I don't venture off on my own yet. It is so nice to be outside after being cooped up all fall and winter. I even hung out the laundry last washday. My children carried the baskets for me though as I still have limitations to my strength and stamina.

I am participating more in the household routines, but the family still helps out. I now go grocery shopping, but I need someone to carry the bags as they are often too heavy for me. When I look back on how weak I once was and compare it to what I am now able to do, I am encouraged and given hope for a full recovery. I was told by my home nurses that it takes about six months to fully recover your strength after having chemo and surgery. I am more content now, in this "spring" season of my life; I have occasional activities and then times of rest and recuperation.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

One Who Loves Me

"And you husbands must love your wives with the same love Christ showed the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word...In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. And we are his body. As the Scriptures say, 'A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." Ephesians 5: 25,26,28-33 (NLT)

My husband, Dan, has fulfilled those scriptures by lovingly caring for me when I was so weak.

When I was first in the hospital last fall, Dan would bathe me while I sat on a chair in the shower; it took too much out of me to do it myself. Once, after Dan had shaved my legs, I said to my sisters, "How many husbands would do that for their wives?". One Sunday morning before church, Dan drove to the hospital to help me shower and get dressed for the day. He would return for a visit later in the day.

After I came home from the hospital and was experiencing the side effects from Stemetil, Dan not only continued to bathe me, but his care for me branched out in other ways. I would hold onto him for support as I would shuffle about the house or as I walked up or down stairs. He also massaged my aching limbs. There were a couple of nights that I woke Dan up because I was so sore and he massaged my arms, legs and hands.

Dan, not only cared for me physically, but he also cared for me spiritually. We were given a book that had healing scriptures and prayers, which Dan would read over me. If I would stir in the night he was ever vigilant to see if I was okay or if I needed anything. Often Dan would then pray for me or quote healing scriptures over me. There were times, early on in my diagnosis, that he was brought to tears over my physical state.

In sharing these intimate actions of my husband, Dan, I have wanted to convey the respect and appreciation I have for this man. Dan is not only "One who loves me", but I am "One who loves him". God has brought our marriage to a deeper level of intimacy as a result of Dan's loving obedience to God's command "to love his wife as he loves himself".

Monday, 14 April 2008

Freed To Dance

The dancers at my church, Holly and Linda, held a dance workshop this past Saturday. The main focus was to be on using flags and what their colours signified. Both my husband and I attended and took part in the various activities.

At the beginning of the workshop, Holly handed out a slip of paper and pen to every participant. She instructed us to ask the Lord to reveal to each of us what was holding us back from dancing, and to write it on the paper. What had come to me was "heaviness, sorrow, fear of man, illness - cancer". We were then to place it on a representative altar and pray that it would no longer hinder us. We then were instructed to respond, in dance/movement, to a song about "freedom" in whatever way we wanted.

At the end of the workshop we split into groups to take part in dancing, using flags, or using sticks to "Days of Elijah". I decided to be in the group that used flags as this would be my first time dancing since being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I didn't want to overdo it and attempt too much physical activity.

On Sunday morning during the worship time, Linda approached me and another lady with a couple of large silver flags. She wanted us to flag to the song "Healer" by Mike Guglielmucci, which was being sung by the congregation. As I was flagging and walking in the aisle, I started to weep because of the words of the song and how they applied to my life. These are some of the words that spoke to me - "You walk with me through fire and heal all my disease... I believe You're my healer... Nothing is impossible for You". I sensed the Lord's presence heavily upon me. My daughter later told me that she was weeping when she saw me flagging. I believe that Saturday's workshop was an integral part in preparing me for Sunday's service. I am in awe of God's leading.

Monday, 7 April 2008

My Daughter

I have wanted to write about my daughter, Joy; to publicly acknowledge all that she has done and been for me since I was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer. What came to mind was to create an alphabet of sorts that would mention many of the ways she has blessed me.

Adapted quickly
Baked cookies & muffins
Cooked dinners
Drove me places
Encouraged me
Found her strength in God
Gave gifts
Helped out
Interceded in prayer
Managed the household
Never gave up
Prayed for me
Quick to act
Valuable member of our family
Washed piles of clothes
X-tra special
Yielded much fruit
Zealous in wanting me to eat healthy natural foods

"But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Galatians 5:22,23a (NLT)

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Slip, Sliding Away!

The title "Slip, Sliding Away" came to me as I was thinking about my wig and the tendency for it to slip, or feel like it has slipped, when I am wearing it for a while. Today I saw a picture that my mother recently took of me, my sisters and our cousins. My wig is pushed back and my forehead is exposed. The proper positioning of my wig is such that my eyebrows,or lack of them, are mostly hidden. I can have different looks in the same day without even knowing it! I don't think that my wig would actually fall off unless I was nodding my head vigorously or bobbing around a lot. I don't think I want to try that just in case!

People are often surprised to know that I am wearing a wig, which helps me not to feel self-conscious. I have gotten used to wearing it, but I still feel as if I am looking at someone else who resembles me whenever I see a photograph of me in my wig. I think I look more like myself when I am wearing a hat or when I am bald-headed.

We have been recording my journey with digital pictures, but they have not yet been developed. I was told by someone that they had regretted not having pictures of them without any hair. Yesterday I saw a picture of a hairstyle that I wouldn't mind trying; it was layered all over, and would look good straight or wavy. It would probably take a year or more for my hair to grow into the style of my wig. The advantage of being totally bald is that I get to start afresh and try different styles as my hair grows.
Related Posts with Thumbnails