19 November 2014

Thriving though the holidays*

*with cancer
*or any horrible, painful, awful, life-sucking disease

I get it. You are the one that "makes the holidays happen." You are the one that plans the menu, goes to the store, buys the gifts, decorates the house, attempts the crafts, plans the class parties, coordinates the Christmas picture, orders the Christmas cards, mails the cards ...
And now, as Thanksgiving is around the bend, you find yourself dealing with the following holiday joy-killer:


I'm talking Grim Reaper Fear.  Fear-is-a-four-letter-word Fear.  Sleep-with-the-lights-on Fear.
This is my second holiday season since I was diagnosed with CML (chronic myelogenous leukemia). But by the grace of God my disease is being managed with medication. My doctors tell me my life expectancy is well past 5 years - as long as I don't become resistant to the Super Dangerous but Absolutely Necessary chemotherapy pills I take twice a day. And, as long as there are no gene mutations of this awesome cancer.
So, to me, resistance and mutations are always just around the corner.  Hovering around like in-laws or guests you know could show up at your door any second. Awesome.
What if this is my last Thanksgiving?
What if this is your last Thanksgiving?

It could be, you know. You could load up the van and head home from the grocery store and end up in a ditch. Every day, people die from things other than cancer.
Pretend, just for a minute, that this is your last holiday season. That next year, your family will look back and remember THIS year because it was your last.
What will you regret spending time on?
Who will you regret not spending time with?

Fear will try to freeze you and keep you from experiencing the Right Now. Fear will snuggle up like a lover and but then tell you nothing is worth doing and to simply give up.

My amazing pastor, Stu Hodges,  at Waters Edge Church said this:
"I just want to give you permission today to lower the expectation of you and raise the expectation of God and watch and see what might happen this holiday season."
Not a mention of Fear. Sounds more like Faith, to me.
None of us are guaranteed next Christmas.
You are too sick to do the shopping?
It's too painful to decorate the tree?
You don't have the energy to prepare the meal?
Those things don't matter. Spend your time with the people you love.
The Right Now is not about the presents. It's about being present.


  1. Amen!
    Patti, you nailed it! Life is about living in the present. Spending time and making memories with the ones we love. Life is not guaranteed to any of us, and we should always live as if it is our last day. Replace fear with Faith. Through our faith with God and the acceptance of His Son as our Savior we are promised eternal life. This holiday do not sweat the little stuff, make the most with those who are here and now and live like there is no tomorrow. I think about you daily and you are in my constant prayers. Wishing you holidays full of LOVE with your beautiful family! Signing off with your famous signature.... XOXO

    1. Thank you, Tina!
      Replace fear with Faith ... Love it!
      XOXO ;)

  2. Love ya Patti! You are a very strong and wonderful women! Not to mention, amazing! :-) Leave your fear and future at God's feet!

    -Bonnie Boss-