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What My First Chemo Taught Me

We have a guest post from my friend Maggie today. She was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and speaks today about the lessons she learned with her first chemo. Thanks Maggie for your being brave enough to share your story along the way! 

The school of life gives us lessons in perspective, and for me, I’ve been learning so much lately. One thing my oncologist said to me is that this whole experience and journey with cancer will really change me. It will open my eyes in new ways to the world around me, and make me appreciate the little things even more than I did before. It won’t let me sleep walk through life as some people do, hardly realizing when the sun shines and the flowers bloom. It hasn’t been long, but already I’ve found this to be so true.

Like most brides, I was so concerned with getting in shape for our wedding, growing my hair long and taking good care of it (even buying nice products for once!) and making sure things were “just right”. Now it seems so silly; I honestly don’t care about those things. And I realize that so many other things of that sort have taken up valuable thoughts, energy, mental space for me. I hope to continue to grow in that— realize what actually matters and is worth my mindspace, energy, time.

Now I’m just so happy and thankful I’ll be able to even have my wedding, marry my best friend, and that I probably won’t feel that sick that day! Praise the Lord! I’m thankful that from my first cycle of chemo, I know my “sick/pain/bad days” will be about 7 of every 15, and I’m so thankful that I get to have a “good week” where I can be outside, eat good food, walk around, and smile without pain! Life is brighter. I’m already changing. I’m so much more thankful for those “normal”, regular days than I ever was before!

My hair started falling out, and I thought I’d be devastated when that happened. But I actually got excited. Weird, right? so I dyed it a fun color, and chopped it short. Something I never would have wanted to do but, I actually like it! And I’m thankful to have some fun with it on it’s way out.

I am thankful I worked out a class schedule that works too! (With No class on chemo days!) and my school was so helpful in enabling me to keep working towards my goals in education.

I’m thankful for warm weather, for family and friends, for summer adventures to come, and for the countless ways God has provided for me during this stormy season — through all those around me. Your prayers are working. Know that they have sustained me, and God has been so faithful. There have been dark moments and very hard times, and your prayers have carried me though them.

Every little word, gift, message, encouragement— it has meant the world to me and Travis. Thank you for being with us and being Jesus hands and feet. I would not be in the place I am without you. I know the hard days will be hard, I will be sick and in pain, and it will not be easy. But the storm will pass and I hope to come out a stronger, wiser, more thankful woman. Thank you to everyone for being a part of our life!

Ps: Travis surprised me with a BIKE!!!!!!

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