From Margaret

Unabridged … Unplugged … Unedited! 😉 from Margaret … on steroids – literally!

Gotta love it!

John

Dear Friends,

The ultra marathon trip along the yellow brick road is now in full swing and it felt SO GOOD to “get to*” start chemo today. It was not nearly as bad as I had feared – I am aware that side effects take a while to kick in but nonetheless the actual 3.5 hours of chemo was really not that bad. And when chemo was over and John and Katie and I got home I actually went Christmas shopping all by myself and managed to check off a huge chunk of my to-do list.

Tonight I want to simply say a huge, overflowing, and heartfelt thank you to all of you. I also want to briefly share one (okay . . . maybe two since I have to eventually explain the asterisk in the above paragraph) of my favorite devotional/inspirational readings this week.

I purchased the most wonderful little book on our Napa trip over Labor Day weekend titled, “Watch For The Light ~ Readings for Advent and Christmas” and William Willimon’s reading for December 14th titled “The God We Hardly Knew” practically jumped off the pages and spoke to me in all caps, bold, and with a bunch of exclamation marks. “It’s tough to be on the receiving end of love, God’s or anybody else’s. It requires that we see our lives not as our possessions, but as gifts.” The amount of receiving which I (along with my precious family near and far) have been privileged to receive in this journey in the form of cards, emails, gifts, texts, meals, visits, snacks, listening ears, little “happies”, love, encouragement, support, offers of help from the mundane to the sublime, and prayers has helped me to understand that my life is indeed a gift. In a poem by Oscar Romero the lines, “those who need someone to come on their behalf, will have that someone. That someone is God. Emmanuel, God-with-us. Without poverty of spirit there can be no abundance of God.” You ALL – my scarecrows, tin mans, lions, Glendas, and Wizards have embodied “Emmanuel” and I have indeed experienced the abundance of God. Thank you.

*”Get to” are two very important words which have also helped shift my thinking and hopefully enhanced my resiliency (shout out to all of you who have shared your “3 Good Things” experiences with me!). In a different inspirational book written by a cancer survivor – it was suggested that instead of thinking in terms of “have to” we have the option of changing the “have” to “get.” Instead of, “I have to go to work, or Christmas shopping, or a meeting, or a doctor’s appointment, or even chemo” we can say, “I get to go to work, or Christmas shopping, or a meeting, or a doctor’s appointment, and especially chemo!”

So, the answer to the oft asked question of how are you? I am doing great! One chemo down, five to go. Full of gratitude for my family, friends (new and old), friends of friends, fabulous medical team (many of whom I attest are “ministers” just serving in the medical field), other cancer survivor success stories, and my new favorite four letter word . . . HOPE.

With love, gratitude, and hope,
Margaret

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