It’s almost Christmas! We have spent the last few weeks in Southern California, our annual work trip. The first part of our trip was very full of tourist fun. Our son and his family were with us, as well as our grandaughter, and daughter. So, it was a full house and a fun house. We visited Lego Land, San Diego zoo, CA Adventure Land, and Disney Land. All new things for two of my Grands I watched them jump waves at the beach, jump with glee at new adventures, and bask in beautiful sunsets. It was a delightful time for all of us! Being with my family is my favorite thing, and then to add warm weather, ocean beaches, and fun adventures; it makes for perfect days.
We also celebrated my husbands birthday and my birthday. Our kids treated us to dinner, which was a wonderful surprise.
My daughter stayed with us a few days longer than the rest of the family. I enjoyed every minute of our time together. We shopped for clothes, her Christmas present, sat on the beach, collected shells, and napped. It was precious time with her that I treasure greatly.
I drove my daughter to the airport and watched her make her way through security. Her first flight alone, and once again I was hit with the reality that all my children are adults. Every single one of them! It happened so fast, and yet so slow. They went from sweet little giggles and mischievous play, to responsible grown ups with jobs. Wow!
So, with my daughter gone, it was just two. Me and my husband, a taste of what’s to come. He still was off to work everyday with only Sundays off, and I was left to reflect on all that the year has brought our way. It might seem like I would think it was a horrible year, for just getting a cancer diagnosis and Lynch Syndrome as well; it was a year of unpleasant news. Admittedly, that part hasn’t been the best part of my life. It’s been a part of the journey that is requiring me to lean more heavily on the God that has promised me life, a good long life, enriched with favor, blessings, and the love of family, friends, and my God.
One of my favorite things this year has been seeing friends. We had dinner with my high school teacher and her husband. We get together every year. I love seeing them every year and catching up on each others lives, This friend has stood by side through thick and thin. She is a constant in my life and I love her deeply. This is a blessing that God has given me and it moves me to be the same blessing to others as she has been to me.
I also got to spend the day with a newer friend, one from Holland that happened to be in Southern California for vacation! I met this friend in Scotland on a mission trip, and she has been a dear friend ever since. She has taught me a lot about handling the diagnosis of cancer and given me encouragement on all things health. We drove to Sand Diego together and she treated me to a raw foods lunch, which I can happily report was very good!
Last but certainly not least, I spent the day with another friend I’ve known for many years but seem to only see in Southern California. She, by the way, lives in Virginia! But, God kindly arranges our times in California to line up nicely with each other, consequently leading to fun times together. We walked the beach, ate Thai food, and painted!
My husband and I have a great time together, when he’s not at work. Our Sundays have been spent driving up and down the coast and indulging in pineapple floats, Christmas music, and beach walks. Every morning we’ve walked the beach together before he is off to work, and every evening we enjoy another walk through the neighborhood, or on the beach. It’s been restful, lovely, and fun.
Now, here I am. It’s Tuesday and we drive home this Friday morning, bright and early. As beautiful as this has all been it has not been without challenges. I’ve had to pray a lot for help to stay present. My mind wanders off to all that is to come just after Christmas. Having been through chemo and radiation, the next step is an MRI and CAT Scan to see if the chemo and radiation worked. And now, with Lynch Syndrome it opens up a whole new level of testing and surgery. I will need an endoscopy, another colonoscopy, and surgery to remove an ovary. On top of that there will be immunotherapy. I feel thankful and apprehensive at the same time. Immunotherapy comes with many side effects from mild to severe. I could have all of them or none of them. Please pray for the “none” option. As I’ve mentioned before, Lynch Syndrome is hereditary. All my sons and siblings have been tested, only two results have come back and both are positive. I find this hard to swallow; it makes me sad. But, I know what God does because I’ve seen His miraculous work not only in my life but others. He is with me and with those I love, He brings favor in ways I’ve never imagined. I need to see His favor through all of this, with my loved ones. With each day I go through a process of surrender, a conversation with God acknowledging that my life is not my own, All that I am, all whom I love, and all that I have is His. Whatever the journey; it is His to lead and hold. For me, I will surrender, pray, believe, and continue to stand for all that I know is true. What is true? God does what He says He is going to do. God is who He says He is, I am who God says I am, which is REAL. Rooted. Empowered. Authentic. Loved. This is the foundation of walking through each and every day. REAL, because He is real, therefore, I am real.5