Thankful

I have been too busy living my life to spend as much time on the computer lately. I think this is a good thing.

I met a friend for a long lunch Saturday, then went to church and dinner with John Saturday evening. We spent a relaxing day at home Sunday and watched lots of football together. I spent time with a friend Monday and then volunteered at the church Monday evening. I spent the whole day with my sister-in-law, Cheryl, today. I am spending tomorrow with Rebecca and the boys.* I volunteer in the church office Thursday. Hope to meet a friend for coffee Thursday afternoon when I leave the church. I have plans to get together with a friend I haven't seen in a while for lunch on Friday. And I hope to catch up with my cousin Saturday at her daughter's birthday party! My days have been so full lately that I just haven't had time to write anything meaningful on my blog.

I am blessed to have so many people in my life that I feel close to and want to spend time with. It's like a juggling act at times trying to get together with all my friends (plus family) and running out of days in the week. Believe me, I KNOW what a blessing this is. I've heard it said that if you truly have two or three real friends in your life, you are very fortunate. And I can honestly say that I have few acquaintances and more dear friends than I can count. I have been especially focused recently on the blessing of friendship and how much the people in my life mean to me. God has been so good to me.

John has his last round of chemo next week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday). I am excited about getting this behind us. Ever since he started treatment in early September, I have been looking forward to February. But I must admit that as the last round approaches, I find myself having a little bit of anticipatory anxiety about the upcoming tests that will tell us how well he responded to this treatment. His neck looks so much better. The nodes have greatly reduced. But they are not completely gone. And unless they all go back to less than 1 cm in size, he will not meet the criteria for a "complete remission."

We have already been told that when nodes have gotten as large as his were, they hardly ever get that small again. So he is more likely to achieve only a partial remission. And patients who have a complete remission have the longest remissions. I know that he can still stay in a partial remission for a good while and I have been determined not to focus on the "designation" of complete or partial; just be thankful for any remission of his CLL. But as the final treatment approaches, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little anxious about this.

I have prayed and hoped that he would exceed expectations and be in complete remission at the end of treatment. I want that so badly. But I also wanted so much for him not to have to have treatment this soon and God did not see fit to grant that. So I ask God for a complete remission and remind Him that He said we have not because we ask not. But in the next breath, I tell Him that I will accept any outcome He allows and know that He is working all things for our good, and His grace will see us through. And then I try again not to focus on anything other than trusting God with all my heart and accepting His will for our lives.

John won't have additional scans and another bone marrow biopsy for probably a month or so after his last treatment. But when we know anything conclusive, I will definitely share it on my blog. Please pray for John to get a complete remission. I know that prayer can move mountains. And prayer can shrink those nodes past what any chemo is capable of. With God's help, I know those nodes can be reduced to under 1 cm. Nothing would make me happier than to hear "complete remission." But I want my peace to come from knowing that God is in control no matter what I hear.

I am so thankful for all that God has already done in our lives. I couldn't have imagined the life He's blessed us with because my imagination wasn't big enough! God has proven to me so many times that He is providing for me before I even know what my needs will be. So I don't want to get caught up in terminology and limit God's power over any situation. I have hope for the future because my hope is in God and not because I get a specific prayer answered. There may be weak moments when I need to be reminded of this. But I have many friends whom I know will step up to that plate.

It is such a comfort to know that no matter what the future holds, I will be held tight by Jesus and by the many people who love me. I know I will never be alone. To all my family and friends who are reading this, I just want you to know that I thank God for your love, your support and your prayers. I don't know what I would do without you.

*My Wednesday plans have changed. I just talked to John and he's coming home soon because he's not feeling well and is coughing. He insists he's not sick, but I don't want him taking any chances. I'm thankful he is cooperating with both Mark's and my suggestion that he spend the day at home and rest. Especially since he has treatment next week. I'm glad he told me he was heading home before I left. If he's home, I want to be here with him. Hopefully the cough is just due to the weather and allergy-related. I have had a scratchy throat and a little congestion during the night, but I don't feel sick.

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