Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It's not something that I like to admit, but things have been kind of rough lately. This new chemo sort of sucks. I feel like I have done little else but run back and forth from Mayo for treatment and the hospital here for blood work. The chemo makes me quite tired, it has been messing with my blood counts, my arms are bruised, I'm nauseous, and I have circles under my eyes like I've never seen before. And that's just the chemo stuff. Kylynn has been, to put it mildly, challenging lately. Christmas is rapidly approaching and I have lots left to do. And then there is the everyday stuff that has to get done. I am stressed and anxious. I honestly don't remember being quite this stressed for a long time. Stressed enough that I am sleeping poorly and having nightmares which is unusual. BUT whenever I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, whether it is 2 in the afternoon or 2 in the morning, I have taken to picking up a gift that a very sweet friend gave to me. It is a small book titled There's No Place Like Hope by: Vickie Girard. It was a gift that my friend, Katie, gave to me when I got together with her on my Nashville trip. It's not a new book and that, I think, makes it even more special. The book used to belong to Katie's mother who was battling cancer, and it was given to Katie's mother by yet another cancer warrior. Katie became the owner of this little book when her mother passed away and that she, Katie, parted with that little bit of her mother because she felt it was important that I have it makes the gift beyond precious and my friendship with Katie priceless! And look at the book, it has been well loved! The cover is worn in places, it has stains and faded spots, the inside has passages that have been highlighted and pages that have been dog-eared. That tells me that the other women who owned this book loved it too. This book has character and history. I love items like this, they are fuel for my imagination! So when I am most stressed I love picking up this book and reading bits. Or sometimes I just hold the book and think about the women who owned it before me. I think about them, in their own tough times, holding this same book, and that gives me strength. And then I think about Katie and, because she is so much like me, I know she must realize what a special gift the book is, but I marvel that she cares enough about me to give me such a precious thing that belonged to her mom. It just goes to show that even on the rainiest day, when cancer looms dark overhead and stress and anxiety press in on all sides, there are things that can offer great comfort and strength through their history and character and, more importantly, there are friends who place these things in our hands and offer us their unfailing love and support.