December 30, 2021

I’m going to talk about my hair. I know, I know, not again. But hear me out because this is my next lesson.

P.C. (Pre-cancer) my hair was thick, wavy, and pretty easy to style whether it was short or long. I kept it long, mostly, I would change the color periodically without doing much damage. I could curl it quickly and the curls would hold. I was often stopped by complete strangers who commented on how much they liked my hair.

P.C. hair

Once my hair began coming back after chemo, I’ve been shocked to see how it’s growing. I’ve pointed out before the crazy amounts of cowlicks I have. And it seems to be growing in all different directions. Some forward, some straight down. Some areas are kinda flat. The back has curl.

Post chemo hair

I don’t believe chemo completely changed my hair. What I believe is that I never knew the craziness that was going on underneath. Who would have thought that all these cowlicks worked to make my hair full in just the right spots? Or that the variety of directions helped it lay right or gave it the waviness that I took for granted. If I didn’t know what my hair normally looked like, I’d be worried about this mess of new growth. How can this possibly end up looking good?

And isn’t that a great metaphor for life in general? How often does it seem like everything is going wrong and only later do we see that what appeared to be mistakes were the steps getting us to where we needed to be. Sometimes what we worry are problems are just things working in ways we couldn’t imagine. So maybe the lesson is to be patient. Or have faith. Or keep holding on and not freak out at every setback. While losing my hair was a big deal, and I’m still getting used to its current state, I’m actually thankful I got this peek underneath. This lesson is one I really needed to be reminded of.

July 20, 2021

I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve been trying to have more faith, especially during this struggle with cancer. I’ve never been someone who is comfortable publicly shouting out my beliefs or trying to convert unbelievers. You’ll probably never see me on a street corner with a sign that says “Jesus loves you.” In fact, aside from a garage sale sign, you probably won’t see me posting signs for anything. I don’t even care for political signs in my yard. It’s not that I don’t support or believe in things, I simply tend to be more private about the big stuff. Maybe that’s really a weenie way out of it because I dislike arguments about the big things like religion and politics, which tend to get too heated and emotional and personal.

That being said, I don’t mind sharing my struggles. I think most people have struggled with faith in some form or another. Most folks I’ve had any real relationship with have revealed their desire for meaning in their lives and wondering what their purpose is or what life is all about or why things happen (good or bad)…the list goes on. For me, believing in a higher power is easy. I’ve never had a problem thinking that God created the world and allowed it to evolve as it has. In my mind, creation and evolution don’t fight each other. My internal fight is and always has been, why do I matter in all of this? Why would the God of creation care about my daily life. Doesn’t he have bigger things to worry about? I mean, keeping the earth rotating is a big thing.

To be honest, I’ve always been a bit perplexed and jealous of people who claim that their God is personal to them. A father. A friend. Someone who cares. So I keep finding churches to go to. Over my lifetime, I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover. And I continue to struggle with mind over heart.

Last weekend I watched church online, as I have been. And at the end of the message, they played a song called A Million Little Miracles and it made me want to cry. I’m not a cryer. But songs, like poems, can get me. Part of it goes like this:

I’ve got some blessings that I don’t deserve
I’ve got some scars but that’s how you learn
It’s nothing short of a miracle I’m here

I’ve got miracles on miracles
A million little miracles
Miracles on miracles
Count your miracles
One, two, three, four, I can’t even count ’em all

I feel like it was a breakthrough for me. Despite my current struggle, despite other terrible times I’ve been through. I can see that my life has always been and is currently blessed in so many ways. Miracles everywhere. I don’t know how that isn’t personal.

January 12, 2021

Can I just say that this has been a long day? It started with a 7 am online meeting with my boss and ended with a 7 pm callback from a government agency for work.

Days like this really make me look hard for moments of gratitude because they aren’t as obvious. When the day is tiring and frustrating, it would be easy to just go to bed disappointed. But it’s probably even more important to look harder.

I have several friends and family who are also going through difficult times. I’m not the only one I know with cancer. A close friend is about a month ahead of me in her breast cancer treatment. My father has been going through prostate cancer treatment. Another friend’s mother was just diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer… And another friend has been battling a terrible case of Covid. I could go on and on. It’s been a difficult year for a lot of people.

I’m not a big church goer, but I’ve always had faith in God. It’s been tested in the last few years for other reasons, but I’ve been given some great reminders recently that have helped me. My mom and sister have been sending me cards just to cheer me up and let me know they’re thinking of me. I love it. My mom has also sent along a couple items that I’ve put on my bulletin board.

Reminders

It’s made me think about my faith again. I’ve tried lately to pray for all those who are struggling with their own heartaches. It actually helps me on these lousy days to focus on others. Today I’m thankful for my mom’s strong faith and her willingness to share it with me.