Receiving the Cancer Participation Award

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Hi friends! It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, but I’m back today to share with you the news that I have received the decidedly average Cancer Participation Award*. What is that, you may ask? Well, let’s put it this way: I had hoped at my most recent oncology check-up to find myself in possession of a first place award (i.e. news that my cancer had gone into remission). No such luck! Even though I’ve trained hard

  • drinking pond scum,
  • jumping on my mini-tramp,
  • eating enough salad, legumes, nuts, and seeds to make me feel like a Chia Pet,
  • praying/meditating,
  • practicing yoga,
  • and sweating to the oldies in the far infrared ray sauna (oh, wait–I AM the oldie thanks to the prune-shriveling and estrogen-blocking effects of letrozole),

my estrogen positive metastatic stage IV breast cancer is still present and accounted for and hanging out in my rib, spine, and hip. Woohoo!

Yes, despite all of this life-with-cancer training and healthy living the results of my July CT scan show absolutely no change from the January scan. That is good news, right? Yes. It means there is no progression to sideline me. I give thanks for that. But, typical human that I am, I had hoped for more.

“Is this the best we can expect?” my beloved spouse asked my oncologist as she stared intently at the monitor on which my latest results were displayed.

“Yes,” she said. And then she paused. “Well, no. I would have liked to see some regression with this protocol.

“But this is still good news,” she added. “And we have lots of tools yet at our disposal.”

Drat! Not even the second place award of some regression. Sigh.

Clearly my friend cancer still has a few things to teach me. Maybe I’m a slow learner? Perhaps this chemo cocktail is not the right one for me? Whatever the case, I’m still here and raising my glasses of pond scum and herb tea in the air. It’s been less than 11 months since I received that fateful phone call from my family practice physician, and I am most definitely not ready to throw in the towel on this precious thing we call life.

The downside? I won’t be able to return to work/ministry at the end of August. I still need to continue the focus on wellness and mind/body/spirit health and work faithfully with my oncology team. I need to listen and watch for the Spirit’s movements and design for my life. I need to live every precious moment to the best of my ability–not taking one second for granted.

Yes, I will take that cancer participation award and do so gladly. I have a lot more living to do, and I look forward to sharing the journey with you. Your prayers, intentions, beautiful cards and remembrances, calls and encouragement mean the world to me. You help keep me strong. Thank you for that. No matter how this journey ultimately plays out, cancer will not have the last word. It is my belief that thanks to The Christ, death has already been defeated for all of us. And that’s some very good news.

So, beloved and faithful team, here’s the cheer of the day in honor of the preciousness of life. Keep your eyes, hearts, and hands open. Be surprised by joy. Don’t despair. And…

Two, four, six, eight: Participate! Participate!

Life’s too short to let it fly past.

Get in the game; make each day last!

Two, four, six, eight: Participate! Participate!

*The medal is for illustration purposes only. It’s from the 2000 Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon. I won second place for my age division that year. The marathon I’m training for now is life, and there is indeed joy in the journey (pond scum and all)!

14 responses to “Receiving the Cancer Participation Award

  1. Gwenn L. Trout

    Beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time. Your positive spirit will serve you well. Continued prayers for strength and healing.

  2. Linda Bennett

    You continue to be in my prayers every day. The good you do with your uplifting words is such an inspiration to all who read them. I know that God continues to have a purpose for your life. Keep fighting and take care of yourself.

  3. I am always inspired by your writing, Sharron, and am in awe of your sense of humor in the midst of it all. Pond scum indeed! 😉 Keep us reading and learning as you follow Christ’s call in your life.

  4. Earl and Carolyn

    Keep up the good fight. You set a wonderful example for everyone. If we could just apply this to our life, we all would be better off. I know God has a plan for you and he will be there with you all the way. Take care and God bless.

  5. Tracey DePasquale

    Love your shining light, Sharron, and appreciate your encouragement to participate in life. Praying that we might all follow that as well as you do. Also, that the next tool is the perfect one for the job! Glad, too, that you are taking the time away from work to care for yourself and absorb the love coming your way.

  6. It is so very good to hear from you Sharron. agonizou ton kalon agona tas pisteuous. (My transliteration is not the best). You look good. I visited your old composting tumbler tonight with watermelon rinds! It still is doing it’s thing. You keep doing the same. Blessings. See

  7. You are my inspiration, Sharron. I.pray for you every single day. Sometimes when bad things happen to good people, I remember the words in my favorite Dr. Seuss book “some of us swim, some of us fly, sometimes I wonder, I wonder why?” Someday our whys will be answered but for now may the love of family and friends and our dear Lord Jesus fill you with hope and peace and strength.

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