Friday, April 3, 2015

Onward, Christian Soldiers

Onward, Christian Soldiers.....This was my favorite hymn growing up in a small Episcopal church.  I remember as a kid singing it at the top of my lungs marching like a brave soldier around the tables in Sunday school. I'm pretty sure during my second chemo treatment this week that I saw little Christian soldiers, not the Red Devil, with red banners marching in to war.  Or possibly it was those steroids they pre-treat me with first to prepare for the hard stuff. For some reason it sends me into hysterical laughing....the kind that starts out as a snort but ends in a silent, trying to breathe laugh. Just ask my daughter Ashley, who watched in shock. Her reaction made me laugh harder. It's somewhat embarrassing....but much better than crying.  A Silver Lining.  The rest of the day wasn't very good and involved taking all three of my nausea medications. The last one knocked me out and I slept the rest of the night. Another Silver Lining.

I woke the next morning feeling pretty good and was greeted with a surprise...handfuls of hair!  But I was shortly greeted with a more pleasant surprise. My good friend and Soul Sister Melissa was coming through town and with a pair of kitchen shears gave me a beautiful new short hair cut!  My second big cut in a month. My sweet neighbor Jackie had already cut it short once which prepared me.  One more Silver Lining. I still have hair...well a little bit!

There are so many Silver Linings in every aspect of life if you look for them. Let me explain. My life long friend Tammy, who I've known since three years old and love dearly was diagnosed last year with breast cancer. And she received a beautifully written and illustrated book from a survivor friend of hers.  Tammy has successfully completed her treatments now and has passed this book on to me. I couldn't put it down. Written by a breast cancer survivor, who happens to be a hospice nurse/social worker, who experienced every horrible side effect possible of this journey but chose to find The Silver Lining in everything.  And I mean EVERYTHING!  Such a blessing full of ideas and tips and encouragement. And the author's close friend photographer has filled the book with beautiful photographs. Definitely a Silver Lining for me!
A Supportive & Insightful  Guide to Breast Cancer

And help me celebrate with my good friend Carol who after today has one more week of radiation! She too has given me an unbelievable amount of support and encouragement. Let's pray for her as she prepares to start her life again....cancer free!  Such a Silver Lining!  

Much love to all my family, beautiful Soul Sisters and friends and all of those sending prayers, encouragement and love our way. I feel it in my heart and thank God for you all every day. You are my Silver Linings! 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

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