Between the craziness of travel for the holidays, it being winter, feeling more tired and uncomfortable than usual due to pregnancy, and Mike working such long hours during his clerkship, I’ve admittedly let myself wallow in self-pity lately. It’s hard to admit, and I wish I could just snap myself out of it by focusing on my blessings, but I’m still learning how to not only find joy in every day, but how to recall that joy when I get overwhelmed. It’s a work in progress, and probably always will be for me.
Then this morning, I had my 3 1/2 year follow up appointment with my oncologist. I couldn’t be scanned since I’m pregnant, so the appointment was just blood work and a quick examination of my lymph nodes. That being the case, I didn’t feel the usual anxiety these appointments can bring. In fact, it just felt like a big hassle, as we had to get up early, drive a half hour in rush hour traffic, and do it all with John Paul in tow. I was especially stressed about how our energetic boy would behave in the lab waiting room and doctor’s office waiting room, both of which are always filled with understandably anxious and tense people.
But, we made it just in time. John Paul smiled and charmed and seemingly distracted (in the best way) those people in the waiting room all by being his silly, sweet self, and (mostly!) held it together for our two twenty-five minute wait times. And then, I was able to thank my oncologist for her incredible care and determination in saving my life as John Paul, whose life at the time of my diagnosis was completely entwined with mine, sat by my side, and my unborn daughter moved around in my womb. “Oh, you don’t need to thank me. Just seeing this is more than enough,” she said, gesturing towards us.
Oh Lord, forgive me for forgetting that this beautiful life is indeed, more than enough. Help me to be more mindful of how truly blessed I am, even amidst the seemingly mundane and dreary days that will surely come from time to time. Please bring peace that surpasses all understanding to those whose journeys with cancer and any other difficult situations or struggles end differently than mine. And let me do nothing in life that doesn’t reflect what I learned of Your goodness and the goodness of mankind when I was suffering and in need the most. Amen.