In Sickness and in Health

Battling cancer with love, medicine, and the Giver of both.

A Tribute to a Mother

She carried her daughter full term and then gave birth.

Then she did all the things that mothers do–all the long lists of things that are contained in that one short word…

She fed. She burped.  She bathed.

She changed the 585th diaper.

She held. She rocked. She patted.

She lost lots of sleep.

She comforted. She kissed. She cuddled. She calmed.

She soothed all the pain away.

And then, that daughter grew.

But the mother was still her mother. Just not a “ bottle-feeding, diaper-changing” mother. The daughter became an independent, feisty thing.

And so…the mother spanked and trained and loved and formed.

Then the daughter grew some more.  She grew so old that she could take care of herself…mostly.

But the mother was still her mother. Just not a “read-you-bedtime-stories” mother.

And then, the daughter grew some more and got married and moved away.

But the mother was still her mother. Just not an “under the same roof” mother.

And then time moved on.  But the daughter didn’t grow; She got sick.

So the daughter’s father bought the daughter’s mother a car so she could travel many miles to help her daughter…often. She cooked. She cleaned. She laundered. She pampered. She brought hope.

But the daughter didn’t get better. She got really sick. She got so sick she couldn’t take care of herself anymore.

And then…that mother did a very brave thing. She walked with that daughter very close to the door of Death.

And it looked something like this:

She rubbed her feet.

She rubbed her back.

She fed her watermelon when nothing else would stay down.

She smiled many smiles of love and encouragement when the daughter was very, very discouraged.

She gave her hope.

She told her daughter she would live.

She helped her daughter to the bathroom when she was too weak to stand on her own.

She read Scripture to her.

She told jokes and made her daughter smile.

She left her suite late one night to go buy rice and sesame sauce so her daughter could gain some much needed calories.

She prayed.

She calmed fears.

She was very, very strong.

And then, God healed that daughter and she was well once again.

But the mother was still her mother.

Because you see, the mother would always be her mother.

The End.


“What is a sacrifice?”

An excerpt from Michael D. O’Brien’s novel A Cry of Stone…  (Rose is a little Indian girl of seven or eight and the setting is a church service, hence the whispering.)

“Rose tugged on Grandma’s sleeve and asked, ‘What is a sacrifice?’

‘A sacrifice,’ Oldmary whispered, ‘is when you take a heavy load on your back, like a hurt or a not-fairness.  You give it to God and he puts it on the Cross of Jesus, the Big Sacrifice […].  Then you have a part in it.’

‘What kind of part?’ Rose whispered.

‘Part of mending.’

‘Like sewing?’

‘Yes.  Sewing the ripped hide.  Sewing the cut flesh.  Stopping the blood that is pouring out too fast.’

‘That is sacrifice?’

‘That is sacrifice.’

‘Does it hurt?’



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Lay me Low

I discovered a new song this past week.

It’s called Lay me Low.

If you can, listen to it by the Dale Warland Singers on their Harvest Home recording.  Gorgeous!

If you can’t listen to them, I’ve attached a link from YouTube.

The longing in this song is deep and rich.  The longing is not for suffering, as the phrase lay me low may seem to indicate.  The longing is for the One we find through suffering.  If you are a human being, you have suffered.  If you have suffered, Christ has sought to find you, hold you, and bless you.

This song calls me to surrender.  Surrender not to suffering, but to the One who is sovereign over it, knowing that His ways go infinitely beyond my understanding.  I cannot explain my journey with cancer–the reasons for it; the causes of it.  But I continually entrust myself to the One who finds me through it.

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I’m a six month old baby

…and I couldn’t help comparing myself to a real baby as I went in to get my first shots today.  They told me I could have them in my arm or Gluteus Maximus.  Well, how’s a baby supposed to know?  Poor things.  I thought about wailing to add to the six-month-old-baby-effect, but I decided to refrain and stick with the 29-year-old maturity effect.  Good choice.

The arms it was.  I sat flanked by two nurses, each poking their respective needles into me at the same time.  And each muttering their typical, “Ok, One, Two, Three…” and “Sorry, Honey…” with every jab.  Basically a painless procedure.  But my arm is sore already.  I pity the man my nurse told me about.  He insisted on having 8 immunizations all at one time and just in his arms.  I asked her if he was sore later.  “Well, he’s a man.  He wouldn’t tell me even if he was hurting.”

I only had four injections today.  I found out that I retained my immunity for Polio and Diphtheria.  Hmmm….nice!  (They ran tests on the blood work I did a week ago).  I still haven’t heard an explanation as to why some immunizations are retained and others are not.

Like I mentioned, last week we did routine blood work plus blood to run these immunization tests.  However, this time it was with my former, local oncologist, Dr. Ali.  We are reestablished with him, though we will periodically go back to see my oncologist at UVA.

I really am feeling good!  Either I really improved in the last couple of weeks or it’s just starting to sink in how much better I feel.  I notice that I can go to town and not come home utterly exhausted.  I can dare to plan more than one event in a day.  I can handle stress at least slightly better.  All these seem like huge milestones.  Sometimes I get all ‘glory-filled’ when I realize what a gift was given back to me!  Oh Thank-you Jesus!