I got back yesterday from a great visit with my sister. It was so good to see her and my nephews. I laughed a lot with her and my brother in law and loved all the time I spent with my nephews. My older nephew is 18 and the young one is two. I got to play games with the older one and read books to the younger one. I have memories that I will always cherish. I took pictures of me and Tim and also got a video of me reading to my nephew. It was hard coming home and I cried on the plane when I realized that I might not see them again. There I was sitting on an airplane looking like a freak with a mask on and balling my eyes out. I am really glad that I went, not to mention it was the most laid back holiday I have ever had.
Today my church had a prayer service for me. Twenty to thirty friends took time out of their schedules just to pray for me. After a few short prayers and a psalm one of the priests put a chair in the aisle and has me come sit in it facing everyone. She then asked people to share their thoughts, prayers and thanksgivings for and about me. It was kind of hard being put on the spot and having everyone looking at me. Then people started talking and it got really hard. So many people said how I have touched their lives, the lives of their children and other youth. They talked about my dedication to youth and the people affected by cancer. They told funny stories about me and spoke from the heart. Of course I cried. Words of gratitude that I am in their lives, the courage and faith that I have and the lessons I have taught them were shared and they said how lucky they are to have known me. The whole time I thought about how lucky I am to have them in my life. Very few people get an opportunity to hear what people think about them and the good things that come along with it. When I was first approached about the service I thought it was more for others than for me. It would give people a tangible thing to do, but I realized that it was such a gift to me. I got so much out of it listening to everyone. When everyone got up to gather around me and lay their hands on me and pray I felt goose bumps. For months I have been unable to feel God. I have felt abandoned by God and very angry. Today I felt God through all of my friends. It was very special and I am truly honored.
I also finished all my Christmas shopping today. I am completely done. Every year I have the goal of finishing by Thanksgiving. Not only to miss the crowds, but so I can spend Advent preparing for the true reason of Christmas. All I need to do now is wrap presents, decorate the house, do some baking and get ready for the open house and most importantly prepare my heart and mind for Christmas.
I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping lately so I hope that tonight I will get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow morning is the start of my new chemo regimen. I hope it will not be as bad as before and I can tolerate the side effects.