Thursday, April 23, 2015

For Mandy Busch

Sometimes bad things happen to good people.  We don't know why, but we do know God always has a plan for us.  Yesterday, one of those bad things happened to our friend Mandy.  Her father passed away of a heart attack unexpectedly.  I've always been terrified of that happening to my dad (since he's had like 5).  But it didn't, it happened to Mandy's dad.

I don't know Mandy's dad, but I do hear Santa Steve and Mafia John met at a bar one day.  That's how they knew who each other was.  He introduced himself to my dad and they had a good laugh.  

I met Mandy through my sister.  We were friends, but became very close when I got diagnosed.  Let me tell you, her father did an amazing job raising this woman.  She has to be one of the most beautiful, witty, fun-loving, funny, courageous, generous, and patient women I've ever met. Those traits came from someone, and that someone is her father, her best friend.  I can only hope that my daughter turns out to be a person as full of life and love as Mandy.

I can't imagine the pain she's going through.  Some of you that know us may think it unusual that we are friends, close ones at that.  But, if you know Mandy, she has such a kind heart, and you quickly realize why we're friends.  There was a small group at my house every day after I got sick, and though she was tired from working all day and lived an hour away, she was there for me and I'll never ever forget that.  She and Brad even flew Karley back to St. Simons for me when I was in Atlanta sick.  Of course Karley wanted to sit with Mandy.  She absolutely LOVES her some Mandy.

She threw my sister's baby shower with me last year.  She did most of the work, I give her all of the credit on that one!  She's been to my celebration dinners.  She and Brad will always be a part of our family.  So, when her heart is breaking, our hearts are breaking.  I know Brook feels the same way (we've been texting this morning).  

So, in closing, please pray for Mandy and her family.  And Mandy, we love you so much!  And Santa Steve, thank you for giving this world such an amazing woman and such a wonderful friend.  You will never be forgotten, Mandy won't let that happen.  Emily Dickinson once said, "Unable are the loved to die.  For love is immortality".  I really like that quote.  Mr. Donaldson was loved, and though he is not with us in the flesh, he will always be in her heart.  We know he's in a better place, so hopefully Mandy will take some comfort in that, even though she would rather have him here.  He's in a place where there are No more sorrow, or tears, or pain.

Thank you all for your continuous prayers for me as well.  And please also pray for Carmen Frye as she gets her results today, my Mom as she plans my uncles funeral, and Roy Reynolds as he fights his own cancer battle.  Thank you all so very much.  Rest in Paradise Mr. Donaldson.

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Caregivers

It's been a while since my last post, but something has been weighing on my mind lately.

Sometimes, us cancer patients get so wrapped up in our journey, that we forget how hard it is on the people that care about us.  I'm going to use my mother as an example, because she has been my rock, yet watching her daughter go through so much has to be the most awful thing in the world.  To me, I would rather go through this myself than have Karley go through it, both emotionally and physically.  So the toll it has to take on her is indescribable.

You see, I know where I'm going one day.  I know that day may be sooner than her, but with all the new drugs coming out, it may very well be later.  But, I know we are both going to the same place, home.  That, in itself, is comforting.  Karley has a great father who loves her more than the world, that gives me more peace, she will be safe and taken care of by him.

Sometimes, you don't think about these things when life is going well.  But when it takes a turn for the worse, it can consume you if you don't have your religion and your support system.

I feel like right now, my mama needs prayers.  I know Karley, my dad, sister, Amanda, and my other close friends need prayer too.  But, as a mother myself, I feel like it's different.  Plus, so far this year, my mom has lost her precious dog, Charlotte, her companion, and just recently lost her brother unexpectedly.  Compile that on with the stress of having a daughter with stage 4 lung cancer and it's a recipe for disaster.  I don't know how she holds it together so well.

I do know that she loves me more than anything, even when we fight.  It's different now.  Cancer has done some good for us.  We communicate so much better.  And we don't take our time together for granted.  We forgive easily.

As much as cancer sucks, from now on, I'm going to try and point out one positive thing it brought into my life by the grace of God.  And in this post, that positive thing is the relationship I now have with my mom that I didn't have before.  I'm so blessed to have been given such a dysfunctional, yet loving, funny, charismatic family.  We all group text now....making each other laugh and we are all so much closer even though our physical distance is so much greater.  So for that cancer, I thank you,  But, the rest of you still sucks until I point out another positive on my next post.

So, next time you're saying your prayers, please pray for peace for my mom.  I plan on being here for as long as God allows.  And I'm going to be happy doing it because every day is a gift, even the ones where I binge watch tv or read a book...because I enjoy those things.  I've had a great life so far.  I have no regrets.

And mom, if you're reading this, I couldn't have been the way I am in this fight without you being by my side every step of the way.  Now, we just need to figure out how to get my hair to grow faster so you don't have to buy another wig or extensions!   And I love you so much.  Thank you.

Thank you all for your continuous support and prayers.  Please pray for all of the caregivers out there.  I think this journey is harder on them than it is us.

Finally, please pray for Roy Reynolds and family, Carmen Frye and family, and the Graves family.  They are all battling different cancers.

Proverbs 31:26-27
"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of the idleness."