I haven’t written in a few days and as a result, I have “back-log-blog-brain.” I Lots of ideas whirling around in my brain and am having trouble deciding which one to focus on. Even as I sit down to write, I realize that what I am supposed to share today is a result of something that I did, well, today. It’s not just a thought or a reaction to a reading, it’s a lesson learned in the best way possible-through real life events.
For starters, I just want to take a moment to celebrate that I had my 6 month post-leukemia appointment today and all my blood work was absolutely perfect. I am filled with gratitude, and memories. Good memories and hard memories. As I pulled in to the parking lot at Simmons Cancer Institute, they came flooding in. I remembered the 6 months worth of tri-weekly blood-work appointments, being dropped off at the door with my walker and scarf around my bald head, and waiting in the lobby for the results of my bloodwork (watching stupid shows such as “Hoarders” and the like). Some days I was free to leave and go about my normal activities. Other days, I would be sent directly home to hide from the world and its germs because my immune system was tanked. It was a wonderful time to reconnect with nurses and doctors who became my friends this past year.
I was feeling nostalgic and to be honest, a little bit sorry for myself and the rough road that we have been down the past couple years. But God always has a way of working this out of me if I let Him. Today I did. Even though I had a full day of demands on my time, I made myself head up to the 2E Oncology floor to visit another Leukemia patient. I had met woman who had come in a few weeks ago, as abruptly as me, with the same disease. We visited a few minutes and as luck (or God’s perfect timing) would have it, she is being discharged tomorrow. You never really know how what you say or do impacts others, but I can tell you how it impacted me; it gave me instant perspective. I felt a sense of assurance that I was exactly where I needed to be today. In my Recovery Program I am urged, strongly, to practice the 12th step. Funny you should ask…Step 12 says “Having had a spiritual awakening (as a result of these steps) we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in al our affairs.” What this means in my life is that out of gratitude for God bringing me through something tough with fresh and renewed outlook on life, the best way to live out that gratitude is to reach out to others who still struggle. I do this a lot with family members of addicts and with Leukemia patients. But I have to say, that there are many other areas that God has redeemed in me ( or is in the process of redeeming) that can be used to encourage someone else. And it just so happens that when I do that, my own struggles, depression, self-pity, and generally bad attitude are lifted and replaced with a heart of serenity and joy.
So-if you are feeling like I was this morning, sort of sad, blue, and emotionally flat, try calling someone you know who is struggling and share your experience, strength and hope with them. I can’t guarantee it, but I have a pretty good feeling that you will end your day differently than when you started.