This is a day of rejoicing in my life. My friend is having her last chemo treatment as I write. She has run the gauntlet: showing up for each appointment, putting out her arm and letting poison drain into her body. She has restricted her diet as advised, taken all medicine when instructed, and kept her eye on the prize.
And she has come through.
Oh, sure, her hair is gone, but her faith isn’t and her smile isn’t. Her attitude and willingness to do all that was necessary is a great example for me. She studied her options, chose what was best for her, and went; full speed ahead!
It hasn’t been easy for her. Her fear in the beginning was a mountain to conquer. She’s had times of great sorrow. (Her sister-in-law died of cancer a few short weeks ago.) She has side affects. Neuropathy in her feet makes it difficult to get around. And her activities have been curtailed by times when lack of energy, nausea and pain made getting through each hour the highest priority.
But she has loving friends and family who have been with her through the rough spots. And she is still cooking, sewing and gardening. (Her garden is a bountiful miracle.) She isn’t a shadow of her former self in body or in spirit. She is the loving, vibrant and scintillating woman she was five months ago. She hasn’t focused on being ill; she has focused on being well through a difficult time.
I love talking with her. Whether she is lying on her back in the oncology ward, sitting at the sewing machine resting her feet, or lugging pots around her deck, her voice is rich with pleasure in her life. We don’t discuss much about her cancer. We talk about faith, our children and grandchildren, politics, our gardens and all that is right with the world.
Now, within a couple of hours she can begin to pamper her body instead of punish it. All of her positive energy will feed into her recovery instead of just survival.
I’m picturing her now in her healing place. She is peaceful: lying back on her chaise watching the birds, listening to the fountain, and smelling the lemon blossoms. The breeze gently moves through the bamboo and olive tree to ripple her colorful prayer flag.
Joy, Joy, Joy!