Friday, September 10, 2010


The Glorious Tree
Is it September already? I can't believe it! I am beyond excited about the arrival of football season (Roll Tide!) and the anticipation of fall weather. This is my favorite time of year. I love when the grass is cooler than the air, the two bright orange October Glory Maple Trees standing beside Hwy. 145 between Saltillo and Tupelo, the smell of bonfires, pumpkins, pine-straw and mums, the seasonal aisles at Hobby Lobby, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and SEC football. Fall makes me miss being a 4th grade teacher. There is a specail excitement nine-year-olds returning to their back-to-school routines. This time of year reminds me of when my mom used to take me shopping for back to school clothes, and we'd beg her to wear them before school started. It drove my dad crazy! I'm still not sure why. The cooler weather reminds me of cheerleader practice after school and waiting for my brother to finish his football practice. Then, we'd stop by the Boys Store, Wilson's Grocery, or Doziers on the the way home for something to drink. I liked blue Nehi cream sodas. Bro. L.O kept 25 cent snack cakes in the back in front of the meat counter.

I'm especially grateful to know that I'll be able to ENJOY the cool weather this year. It was this time two years ago that I was first diagnosed with cancer. I worried about what would happen to me and how it would affect my family throughout the month of September. I finally had surgery to remove it in October. I know it sounds really morbid, but I remember planting fall flowers around our mailbox before my surgery, for Kevin and Jack. I wanted them to remember me when they saw them. Well, thankfully, the flowers died before I did. Surgery went well.  I healed, and life moved on.

It was my first round with cancer where I learned that I am not in control of every aspect of my life. As much as I'd like to think that everything is up to me, it's not. So, I don't worry about it anymore, or at least I try not to. I'd rather spend that energy savoring every single moment I have on this Earth. I delight in every laugh that forces its way out of Jack Riley's beautiful smile. I love to sit in my swing on the back porch and listen to the crickets and birds and wind. I stand in my front yard with my hands on my hips to watch the sun set behind our neighborhood lake. I love that Jack calls for me to "come see the beautiful sky, mommy." I don't always feel up to it, but I am grateful to be a part of God's plan for all these things. It reminds me of a book by Byrd Baylor, I'm in Charge of Celebrations, like I am privileged to be the one person who gets to see special events in God's creation. It's my responsibility to celebrate each and every one of them.

We are still very excited about the news from Dr. Reed that my cancer is gone. We waited so long to hear this, yet, it seems hard to believe. I'm looking forward the day when chemo will be behind me. Last week was difficult for me. The days I'm going to feel yucky aren't as predictable as they were at first. I suppose it's because I never have enough time to completely reset before the next round. I feel old and tired and yucky and ugly and thirsty. I don't even look in the mirror anymore. I don't recognize that person. It's ok. Don't feel sad for me. I'll get back to being myself again. I have chemo for the last time September 20-22. It will take me the rest of that week and the following week to really feel alive again. After that, I plan to return to being as healthy as I can possibly be. I want to lose weight, exercise, play, do some volunteering, and kick-start my Willow House (formerly Southern Living at Home) business. I'm looking forward to watching Jack play soccer for the first time, too. I'm really looking forward to getting a pedicure since I haven't been able to do that while undergoing chemo.

So many people have continued to support our family as we endure the effects of chemo and cancer. My mom comes as often as she can to help with Jack and me so Kevin can work. Kevin's mom is always ready and willing to do whatever she can to help, picking Jack up from school, bringing "happies" by to cheer me up, and keeping the prayer warriors informed. Dr. Nikki has sent flowers and a beautiful angel of joy and checked in on us. Mrs. Barbara Roy sent a celebration card to me and a special one to Jack so he could take mommy out to lunch to celebrate our good news. Sonya and Rhonda brought a sandwich tray by from the Saltillo Women's League. Thanks, ladies! I continue to receive endless cards, letters, emails, and texts of encouragement from family and friends. Neighbors watch Jack play so that I don't have to spend time outside when I'm too tired. I'm sure there are others I'm leaving out, but I don't mean to. Complete strangers have prayed for us from one side of the continent, world even, to the other. I'm thankful for each and every one of you. God knows who you are.
Actual locations where my blog has been read

Falling leaves of autumn usually remind us of death. I'm excited to celebrate the death of my cancer this fall.


Pat said...

What beautiful thoughts on this gorgeous fall day. Feeling the chill in the air--only in the morning here in Arizona, but it was 48 degrees at 7am, so I think that counts. Happy to hear all the good news and positive thoughts for the end of chemo. You still need to measure your head for me---I'm ready to make an order.... Love you! Pat

Nancy Griswold said...

What a beautiful blog, Cindy.
You are always in my thoughts and prayers. You have BEAT cancer and I am your cheerleader. Together we are two strong survivors. Our futures are limitless...
God bless!
Nancy Grisiwold