Some days, you just have a “day.” I got chemo on Monday. Had to wear home the wonder woman fanny pack, got through Tuesday and Wednesday. Got unhooked on Wednesday. Went to work on Thursday. Friday, I had some appointments and some conference calls. I was doing ok, but took a downturn. Nauseous, wobbly, shaky. I hate when my hands don’t work right.
Today is a rough day. Cassidy’s last soccer game was this morning. There was no way I was missing it. I thought it would be ok but I just felt so tired and cold and out of it. My attitude was tanking and I could feel the negative affect I was having on my family. I felt guilty and frustrated. But I prayed. I asked God to help me be thankful.
I came home and was treated to a lunch feast of Pho. If you have had it, you know how awesome it is. If you have not had it, it is basically the world’s greatest chicken noodle soup. It’s a Vietnamese, and the kind I like to get is broth with shredded chicken. It comes with rice noodles, fresh bean sprouts, basil, lime, and hot sauce. It is the most satisfying meal in the world, and my lovely friend, Kait, brought us some.
Then, she took my daughter outside and played with her for a solid hour so I could get some rest and Kevin could get some yardwork done. Do you know how great that is?
So much to be thankful for. I struggle with these side effects. I hate them. But I’m always much more overwhelmed by the kindness people show us. Nausea is overcome by a healing meal. The shakes subside with a long hug. The body relaxes when a stressful problem is solved by a helping hand.
I’m so grateful to be the recipient of such care. I’m full of thanksgiving, now. Eucharisteo. The miracle is always preceded by thanksgiving. Gratitude changes everything. It melts a hard heart. It makes “I was wrong” possible. It shines warm and bright through cold and dark. Thanksgiving compels us to consider our circumstances in their proper context. And even when those circumstances are admittedly bad, like mine – against the odds – that willingness toward gratitude…it makes a way. A way for hope. And it becomes a useful weapon against fear.
Sometimes, you just have to put on that red lipstick, say a prayer of deep thanksgiving, and wait for the miracle to propel you forward. In my experience, it always does. God is close. He’s always waiting for us to grab his big, strong hand.