Strong Urges

Since August I’ve been given numerous fliers and web sites to study the side effects of the three chemo meds that are in my protocol. I’ve been meaning to sit down and spend a day studying all of it, yet I haven’t made the time. What a dreary day that would be. I’ve scanned the information, but not memorized it so as to make each one come to life through fear.

During appointments, I talk to my doctors about the most likely side effects and how to manage them. I email or call my doctors when I have a question. I call the strong formidable women who’ve walked this road and ask pointed questions. These women know first-hand what to expect and they are usually right on.

Over the last few months, these same women have shared a more important list of “side effects” they’ve experienced through cancer and/or chemo. From their knowledge and my experience, I’ve made my own list:

Strong urges…

To live

To rip off my wig in front of two women smoking on Main Street and scream, “Are you crazy? Don’t invite it in!” (No I didn’t, but the urge was nearly unstoppable.)

To speak my opinion

To vigorously write

To protect my port from hot shower water, afraid the metal might overheat under my skin. (Probably an unrealistic fear.)

To do

To not wait for the perfect time

To make my head comfortable – hat on, hat off, wig on, wig off – throughout the day and night

To get on my knees and play

To pray

I don’t recall any of these side effects listed in the information dispersed from the medical community. Yet, for me, they are real.

Staying strong,


Granddad's Pre-Sermon Prayer

Another letter arrived from Grandma Mills last week. I read only “O Lord” and knew it was Granddad’s voice on paper. In addition to his beautiful prayers, my gut says he had a knack for writing.

According to Grandma, this is “Granddad’s prayer he used when he gave the sermon in church once.”

I think it could apply to just about any time, any day, not just on a Sunday morning in a small Methodist church.

With an OK from Grandma, I am sharing Granddad’s voice.

“O Lord, grant that each one who has to do with me today may be happier for it.

Let it be given me each hour today what I shall say, and grant me the wisdom of a loving heart that I may say the right thing rightly.

Help me to enter into the minds of everyone who talks with me and keep me alive to the feelings of each one present.

Give me a quick eye for little kindnesses that I may be ready in doing them and gracious in receiving them.

Give me quick perceptions of the feelings and the needs of others, and make me eager hearted in helping them.