Cancer, Chaos, and A Crazy Canine
It’s January once again, a time to prepare for the new year and set goals. My faithful blog followers might remember that I typically choose a motivational word or phrase to focus on each year. I must confess it almost didn’t happen in 2024. It wasn’t writer’s block, but more like positivity block. Despite my efforts to wrangle my psyche into submission, I had nothing. At least, not until I attended the funeral of a sweet young friend.
The funeral was heartbreaking, but at the same time, inspirational. One person after another spoke of my friend’s willingness to say “yes” when asked to participate in any activity, service, or challenge. It seemed as if she never worried whether she had the time, talent, or brain power to accomplish a specific task. She just pushed forward with everything she had to give. I left the funeral wishing I could be someone with no fear. Thus, my mantra for 2024 was born: Be FEARLESS.
The next day I attended church and the very first hymn the congregation sang contained the words “be faithful and fearless”. It was a sign. The following Sunday, the same hymn was announced, and I was stunned as this is not a song we sing often. Imagine my surprise—I swear I’m not making this up—when I attended church in another state on the third Sunday, and the hymn was again on the program. I guess God wanted to make sure I got the message loud and clear.
The year 2023 was a bit rough for us. My husband was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma is his left lung in April and everything changed. He’s always been the strong, healthy one, and suddenly with the results of a few tests, the dynamics of our relationship and our lives has shifted. We’re not flexible and spontaneous people by nature. Instead, we both like to have a plan and maintain order and control of our circumstances. Cancer doesn’t care. It rips through schedules and calendars like a raging tornado, making no secret of who’s calling the shots. In order to survive, you adapt.
As if battling life changes, cancer treatments, and the resulting side effects wasn’t enough, we decided to go ahead and welcome a golden retriever puppy into our home in the summer of 2023. We’d been planning to get a new dog since Tebow passed away in April of 2022, and despite a less than ideal situation, we did it. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve questioned our sanity. Wilson is a sweet, evil little monster who always wants to play and rarely wants to sleep. He’s also cute and cuddly, and we love him. I’ve posted a photo of our naughty boy leaning over the back of the couch with his Christmas bear.
As we finish up the first month of this new year, my goal is to be fearless and go forward with faith. And I am feeling much more positive. I’m beginning to feel the urge to write again and finish my writing projects. But I’m not going to lie. There are days it’s an uphill battle. Days when I struggle to accomplish anything, when it seems to take too much effort to interact with anyone, leave the house, or even get dressed. Fortunately, the good days now outnumber the bad. I’m grateful for the present and hopeful for the future. It’s time to be FEARLESS!