The sermon in church this morning had many parts. And I am never sure if what I take away is the intended meaning, but the idea of being “stuck in the middle” spoke to me.
I don’t mean it in the sense you might think.
See, we are not poor by any means.
We are not rich by any conventional standards either. But, if you asked a person who lives in poverty – well to them we would likely be affluent.
It goes back to a concept that I think about a lot.
It’s really all about perspective.
There are many angles to every situation. The angle, or the lens you choose to view it from determines the outcome, and to a large extent the path you follow.
Now, as my daughter and I live with Cowden’s Syndrome, and all its ruthless cancer causing, malformation growing, pain invoking perils, I do NOT mean that if I look at things the right way, or if I am positive enough that that is any guarantee of good health.
What I do mean is that HOW we handle, not only the illnesses we encounter, but the threat of those illnesses will largely determine who we are, our level of happiness, and the effects we have on the people we encounter every day.
We have all been blessed. We all need blessings.
The middle can be a powerful place to be.
There are choices to be made every day. These choices change our lives, and the lives of others.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The fact that childhood cancer even exists is appalling. Meghan and I live with the imminent threat of cancer in this house every day. I don’t go a single day without remembering my daughter’s namesake, my cousin Meghan taken from us by Leukemia at the age of 6 over 20 years ago. But, we could bury our heads in the sand, or we could choose to try and do something to make people realize the number of lives touched by childhood cancer. We can quietly hope it doesn’t happen to us, or we can help the people it HAS happened to.
Friends of mine chose the latter this week. They scheduled a “Cookies for Cancer” fund raiser, and are donating over $1000 to childhood cancer research. I couldn’t be more proud to call them friends. They said we were their inspiration. I find them pretty inspiring.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
I know very few people unaware of Breast Cancer. As a matter of fact some have become sick of seeing the marketing connected with “Pink Ribbons” everywhere you turn.
Breast cancer is an ugly reality. Mom is still fiesty, many years after her battle. Breast cancer messed with the wrong woman there. And me, well, my scars have healed, and I have found all the benefits to these replacements I have to the “superfluous tissue” that was trying to take my life. I cringe when I think of my daughter, and the foreboding reality that this will be part of her journey.
I choose to empower my daughter with stories of strong powerful women. Those she knows and those she does not. I choose to teach her about early detection, awareness, and victory. Together we are empowered to TALK about our story. The more people who hear about Cowden’s Syndrome, the more people will realize. Lives can be saved. Breasts, well maybe those can’t be saved – but let me tell you about the freedom of being almost 40- perky, and often braless. I’ll bring you over to the bright side.
Meghan’s health has been a struggle since birth. Our treatments for her have evolved over time. Long before we could afford it we took a credit card and a trip to an integrative medicine doctor who is still a huge part of our lives today. We learned that for her, pure, natural, gluten, dairy, and soy free food was as necessary as sneakers and clothing that fit.
Slowly we evolved into a house that ate better. We took what we had learned about Meghan’s needs and transferred them to our own.
Except habits die hard, and in the months following our Cowden’s Syndrome diagnosis, and my mastectomy, and hysterectomy, my husband ate his way through the stress to the unhealthiest I had ever seen him.
Realizing we need him- healthy — all the time. We connected with Isagenix, initially to help him lose weight.
Well he did. Fifty pounds. And its still gone. And then I read and read about the company and things came together for me. I realized everything I had learned that Meghan needed was here, all in this organic superfood. So we bought her some too. And then there was stamina and endurance to complete workouts in the pool. So my husband told me it was my turn. Nutrition, simple, quality.
The first 10 months on Isagenix we told no one. Then we felt guilty NOT telling everyone, about the health we were experiencing, The first year we paid for the products, and sacrificed where we could. Now, Isagnix pays us because we share what we have learned and experienced.
This week Meghan’s pain was bad. So much so that she was finding it difficult to walk on Friday. We are trying desperately to lower her NSAID medication, but her body won’t allow it.
Friday I was discouraged – and inspired. Stuck in the middle I guess. I was so heartbroken for her agony, and so proud of the tenacity to get into the day, and DO IT.
They are tough to make.
We are faced with countless ones each day.
The choices we make are directly connected to the quality of the life we live. Our desire to do the best we can with what we have, where we are – essentially defines WHO we are.
Maybe we aren’t “Stuck” in the middle, but rather placed there gently through grace.