Celebrating 5 years since my lung cancer diagnosis
Truth is, no one really knows how hard it’s been, these last five years. I don’t like to talk about the hard times. That’s part of my coping strategy. I focus on what’s good, what’s beautiful, what’s true.
When I was first diagnosed, I woke up several times in the night. Chemotherapy or cancer side effects, and perhaps the stress of it all. I would look out the window and note the position of the moon and stars in the sky. Knowing they were still there, still moving as they had been prior to diagnosis, somehow helped, and I would go back to bed, back to sleep.
My faith in God has made a huge difference. I am grateful for the love God has shown me, and given me for other people. Any good you see in me is due to the difference Jesus makes in my life. I don’t talk about my faith much publicly, but I’m always happy to. Ask me about Jesus anytime!
It took a whole huge group of people to help keep me alive five years past diagnosis. I don’t know who they all are: researchers, doctors, scientists, statisticians, fundraisers, donors, nurses, administrators, number crunchers, cleaners, clerks, managers … I don’t even know all the categories of people to list, but I wish I could thank every one of them.
Getting me to five years has definitely been a group effort! During the hard times, even the smallest kindness or encouragement can make a big difference. Even a kind word or a greeting called out across the street! Many of you may not know what a significant difference you’ve made for me. Thank you.
While I was writing my blog yesterday evening, a group of amazing friends came carolling and gift-bearing to our door, in honour of my five year “cancer-versary”. This five year journey has been one of unexpected kindnesses, unexpected grace. I could never write them all down.
So many of you have made a difference for me, for my family these past five years. I am hurting my brain trying to come up with a framework which would help me to include and express all the many kindnesses we have received, tremendously moving and generous gifts which have helped us make it through the terribly difficult times over the past five years.
I simply can’t do it. I can’t list all the people. I can’t even categorize the types of gifts you’ve given us. Not even with the broadest of brush strokes or the vaguest of generalities. There is no way this human can find to thank all you wonderful people in one single blog post.
I can say that each of you, even with the smallest of kindnesses, each of you who have helped us travel through this valley, have made a significant difference. You, perhaps, may have no idea. Thank you.
Thank you for showing love to this person affected by lung cancer. Thank you for showing love and kindness to my husband and children, also affected by lung cancer.
Not everyone has people like you.
Thank you for making a difference in our lives.
Could I ask just one more thing?
Help me win the Super Bowl Challenge! Whoever raises the most money for lung cancer research gets to go, and it’s not just about watching the game. If I win, I will tell my story to influential people who are in a position to help make a difference for people affected by lung cancer. Plus watch the Super Bowl … in Atlanta … in the Winter!
I would LOVE to win! Please help me!
Please click this link and help me win
… Was that inappropriate?
Here are just a few special moments of lung cancer work over the past couple of years…
Please click this link and help me win!
(Was that inappropriate?) Thank you!
Jill – thanks for being open, vulnerable and passionate. Thankful to hear your news.
(More real this week, as my dad died of lung cancer just a week ago….)
I love you Birgid, and I’m grateful to know you. I’m so sorry about your dad. Lung cancer is awful and I wish no one died of it. I am so sorry for your loss and your family’s loss. I wish I could send a real hug through the internet. Please give your mom one for me, and tell Bruce to give you one from me. Love to you all.
I’m very glad you’re here after 5 years. I’m sorry we’re not closer–close enough to celebrate, to sing you forward, to help with kids and house and…whatever. But glad you’re there and getting what you need. Glad you’re able to register stars and moon, to count on what God set out on the expanse for our counting and confidence, glad you are able to take it in and find comfort and clarity. I’m glad you still get to worship from this side. I’m especially glad your children get their mom. Probably once in awhile even when that’s annoying. At least most moms I know annoy their kids…occasionally. I’m glad you know how to communicate with big groups, how to organize and act strategically, to develop relationships. I don’t know what you’re using but I see influence getting applied in your photos.
We miss you and hope you’ll stop in next time you’re down here. We hope to get up to Ottawa, though it seems like we never do. Maybe next year. We’ll be praying in the meantime, with our hearts aimed at your lungs.
Thank you for your kind words, Alison. We’d love to see you! I wish that I’d been able to go the extra distance to see you guys last August. We will hope! (Come to Ottawa; come at tulip time!) We are grateful for your prayers, knowing they are heard.
Have a hope-filled Merry Christmas Jill, Jono and family…….