Oh Holy Week

Palm Sunday began an unusual week of  in-my-face  reality checks.  I have cancer.  As the week progressed, I needed reassurance.

It was Sunday morning.  I just knew already.  I just felt it.  A sister breast cancer warrior had ended her battle.   She would hurt no more but her family and friends would be so sad.  I don’t want to make anyone sad - ever.  So the reality of our disease makes me sad because I can’t shield my loved ones from the pain of my possible untimely death.  I prayed for peace.

Death comes to all of us.  Battling a disease that we are told ends in death can also infect your emotions if you let it.  Cancer tries to steal moments of joy today and exchange it with fear and worry about tomorrow.  Daily, I fight cancer with a determination to live life to the fullest.  Cancer will not rob me of the life I was intended to enjoy today.  It isn’t my time – yet.

I moved through the rest of the week in a shadow of sadness.  No one noticed.  I am practiced at keeping my innermost thoughts and feelings to myself.  After all, I don’t want to make anyone unhappy.  But God knew.

Maundy Thursday, I went to Highlands Oncology Group for my monthly blood work, to get a shot and to see Dr. Beck. I deeply respect oncologists.  They work so hard to beat cancer to only have cancer win - sometimes.  They have a bitter sweet job.  The next patient seeing Dr. Beck after me got the good news that her breast cancer is in remission!  Thank the Lord for the gift of hope!

Sad news on Sunday to good news on Thursday for my sister breast cancer warriors caused me to wonder which way my path would go.  Little did I know that I was about to find out.

Friday night, little Miss Robin walked up to me to say hi at a Relay for Life event I attended as a cancer survivor speaker.  Ten years ago, I was a part of granting her Make-A-Wish.  Robin did not remember me but I remembered her story.  She and I had a long talk.  We shared "war" stories.  This young lady has been fighting cancer since she was three.  Robin has more courage and strength of character than anyone I know.  She told me about her near death experience.  She said God told her to go back that it wasn’t her time.  Robin shows the scars and physical effects from the years of treatment but her smile made her beautiful as she all but lectured me on her confidence that God had a plan for her life.  I was getting God’s message to me via an 18 year old.   He isn’t finished with me - yet.

Spending time with Robin renewed my hope, strength and joy.  I believe she was God's little messenger.  He knew I needed reassurance.  I got it!  Good Friday was GREAT! 

Easter Sunday was glorious.  I had joy overflowing as I celebrated the Christ’s victory over death.  I sang the hymns at church loud and proud.  Oh what a wonderful Holy week.  Tick Tock!


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GOD now your heart, thoughts and hears your prayers.

Your passion in life is an inspiration for all. You are in our prayers and our hearts. Thank you Patricia for you heart felt passion for life and faith.

Tick Tock 4-3-13

Patricia, as I read your recent entry, I was reminded by your words that one thing is truth: We all will leave this earth and pass on to our heavenly home -as believers, we are assured of this. None of us know the time, the day or anything, because it's not for us to know or we couldn't really live without despair. You are living life to the fullest probably because of your cancer diagnosis; which, in reality, we should ALL be living life to the fullest every single day, because none of us are assured tomorrow. When I was younger, I feared death; I no longer fear the death of my earthly body that I was given to live in this world - whether it is tonight, tomorrow, next year, or 20 years from now, I have no fear. You are fearful because you think it may be untimely, and that it may come too soon because of your illness. I so totally understand this, even though I certainly cannot know your feelings or walk in your shoes. We just do not know when our time will be....I may have a car wreck tomorrow, or have a stroke/heart attack and I may not be here any longer. I am so joyful that you are living life to the fullest, and it makes me so very aware that I,and all of us, need to be doing the same thing. You may very well outlive friends and family. We all have a 'death sentence' awaiting us, we know not the time. I hope you can continue to live your life to the very fullest and try to remember that in a way, we are all in your shoes. It reminds me of a fairly recent story (a year ago) of losing two of my favorite people - one my former brother-in-law, who was closer than a brother to me, and his/my friend Carey - the two of them were best friends. Now Carey had inoperable colon cancer, and was not expected to live six months. He rallied and had treatment, he did most everything on his bucket list, and he was still going strong 3 years later, to everyone's surprise. What is poignant about this story is that my brother-in-law always told Carey that he would probably outlive him, and to enjoy life to the fullest every day he was here. Larry told me that many times, that Carey was doing so well he would probably outlive all of us close to him. Larry visited Carey every day at the end of his life, and although he was declining, he kept a very good attitude and really tried to accept that it was "his time." One morning Larry had his usual visit with Carey, and that night Larry and his girlfriend went out dancing, something they had just started doing recently. They got home that night, and Larry was restless and awoke not feeling well and they proceeded to get ready to go to the hospital to check it out. As he was bending over to put on his shoes, Larry dropped to the floor with a massive heart attack - he never regained consciousness - he was gone. A 62-year-old man with no history of heart problems, no health issues, and very vibrant and in good shape for his age. Talk about shocked - we were all devastated, and all the more because he was not sick at all. At his funeral, I reminded Carey that Larry had always said that he would probably go before Carey - thought this was not expected, but it is life here on this earth. We just don't know. Larry wouldn't ever know how true his words were. A couple of weeks later, Carey died too. I know they are somewhere drinking their 5,000th cup of coffee and talking about building something or their next project! :) I guess what I'm trying to say in this story and in my possibly disconnected way is that we are all dying, every single day. Your story has made me realize all the more that I should live every day to the fullest also, as we all should. And the reason that I fear death no longer is that blessed assurance that it will only be the incredible beginning to a brand new life in a perfect place that we cannot even imagine....the start to our eternal life, which has no more pain, worry, anger, jealousy, bitterness......just pure love and joy. The pain we feel when losing a loved one who has given his/her life to Christ is just plain old selfish - we want them here for as long as we possibly can have them. In 2012, I went to 13 funerals nearly back to back, and the sadness and pain that I felt was at times unbearable, because several of these beautiful people I was very, very close to - I loved them so much and wanted them here with me. In reality, I should be praising God that they are all in that perfect place that knows no heartache or sin - they are incredibly at peace, with such joy and love surrounding them, while we are still here to deal with life's uncertainty and pain, with the enemy never ceasing to try and rob us of our joy. I praise God that you know Him and are assured of that peaceful, blessed existence after this life that is so pure and loving that we cannot begin to imagine it. I also praise God that He chose me to live it with Him. “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) If we could all live with our focus on the heavenly life prepared for us instead of this earthly life that we live in, we would all be so at peace. I know one man that I counseled with at one time that truly lives in the supernatural - that is, with his focus purely on the life ahead. I never understood how he could truly live this way, but he does. I remember him telling me when his daughter left for college, she was tired and had a long, long way to drive and that he was aware that something could happen to her along the way because of circumstances. He then said if she did die, for any reason, that of course he would miss her, but he would be filled with pure joy that she was already in the Lord's hands - telling me he would not be devastated. It took me a long time to soak this in, but he while he is truly God's vessel here on this earth, counseling many with such spiritual wisdom, he views everything from a spiritual standpoint. He said if his daughter died, he would miss her but would not grieve - that was unbelievable to me until I at last understood that everything through his eyes was in the forever after, not here on earth. Love to you, thank you for encouraging every single person you have taken on this journey with you, and you will most likely never know the number of lives you are touching and have touched. I pray for you to be brave and strong, enjoy life every day, and keep focusing on eternal life with our most gracious Savior - that is what LIFE is all about!! Love to you, and many blessings! I hope this makes sense to you - it was just on my heart for you. Cindy Barnett

You are amazing

Patricia, Simply put...your amazing! Thank you for all that you do. Tammy

Tammy Fujibayashi

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