My Dad And cancer

I called my mom last night. I haven’t spoken to her in a week. I like to speak to her more often than that but life gets in the way.  If you didn’t know my Dad is fighting stage 4 liver and colon cancer while my mom battles bladder cancer. They’re both having chemo at the same time and they’re both under the care of the same oncologist.

I noticed the last time I saw my dad I guess it was about 2 weeks ago he was weaker than I remembered and his once loud authoritative voice is reduced to a quieter hoarse interpretation. I’m worried about him. I worry about my mom too but she is  eating and exercising, you’d never know she was having chemotherapy unless you talked to her and she would tell you about  the side effects she’s experiencing which are not pleasant.

After speaking to my mom on the phone she put my dad on. The weaker voice is still there and he sounded tired. I mentioned him eating more but he said food doesn’t taste right or doesn’t taste like anything, except for the pizza he had the night before. He’s weak because he’s not eating, he’s not eating because food doesn’t taste right. Vicious cycle…He asked about my son Thomas and his much awaited move to a group home close to where we live. I was so touched that after all he’s going through he’s thinking of Thomas and my family. We talked about how slow things are going with that situation and I said that Thomas will move when God feels the time is right. My dad agreed.

I’ve written before that I’ve handed my parents’ health status and conditions over to The Lord. He is the great physician and in charge of the world. I have people in my church praying for them and I’m sure people I don’t even know about are praying for them both.

I never imagined that my tall, powerful dad could be weakened by anything. Cancer sucks plain and simple. It steals strength, hope, health and our loves. Today my dad is having a PET scan to see if the powerful chemotherapy drugs have affected the cancer. They won’t get the results for a while as their doctor is on vacation, talk about perfect timing …

My dad is a great man battling a great disease. He has his still big attitude on his side and he’s still a fighter. Praying and handing over to The Lord once again that my dad will stay bigger than this horrid disease.

More about work and God

Our pastor is preaching a series called, “Does God care about my job?” I’m finding myself asking that very question as I work as a chart abstractor. What I do is take the paper charts of patients and put their information into a specialized computer program. I’m surprised at how much I really like my job. Some parts are challenging and some parts are tedious, but all in all I like going to work. I’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing and wonderful people.

So I wonder does God care about my job?  I know I worship a God who does indeed work. He created the earth and all of us on it. Our Pastor said, “The call of God is specific to each person. The call of God is equal to every believer.” I wonder if the profession of nursing is my “calling”? I’ve never thought of it that way especially now since I’m not working in a hands on manner. My nursing knowledge and liscence is needed to do my job. So I guess right now my calling is to work as a nurse in this capacity.

I look around and can name people who are truly gifted and I can say with all certainty that they are working with gifts given to them by God. My husband for one. He can do repairs on equipment that is not easy to diagnose a problem on. His hands are so blessed as is his mind for working the way it does. My mom is another. She’s a nurse and I can honestly say she was born to be a nurse, it is in her blood for lack of a better description. She has all this knowledge and added to that compassion and empathy. I wish my calling is as obvious to me as the callings and gifts of others that I see so plainly. I would love some sort of stamp on my hand from God that says what I’m absolutely meant to be doing.

Pastor also asked,”Do we see what we do as a ministry from God?” That’s deep and thought provoking. I would never have thought of my job as a ministry. I mainly interact with a computer but there are times I have the pleasure of the company of co workers whether they be other abstrators or people who work on the site I’ve been assigned. So I guess my ministry has already been laid out for me.


He brings me back…

It’s Saturday night and we took Thomas out for dinner. It was planned a week in advance and he was totally looking forward to it. Every time he called this past week he would remind us, as if we’d forget.

We made the 2 hour with traffic ride to his school and arrived at a local restaurant. Thomas was quite talkative asking me if I took the Christmas tree down, telling me he had a nice Christmas and ticked off  all his gifts and adding what he would be taking with him to the group home (when/if that happens this month as we were told). It was a nice conversation, one I really enjoyed.

Then out of nowhere Thomas asked me if I remember bringing him to his school. The question hung there suspended as I was immediately like lightening brought back to that day. How could I ever forget?

It was a Friday the middle of June. It was warm out but not hot. It was just Thomas and me. The two of us. I didn’t want to ask anyone else to come and Tommy was at work. We didn’t talk much and I was fine just listening to my usual Christian music radio station. We hit terrible traffic at the George Washington Bridge and arrived at the school 45 minutes later than planned. I remember filling out all this paper work amd meeting the staff. They wanted to take Thomas outside and before I could ask them to put sunscreen on him, I was told it was already applied. The time had finally come to hand over Thomas’ medications. To me that was the final straw, the last little bit of what little control I had left…his meds…I gave them to the nurse who somehow understood that was my end. I said goodbye to Thomas who was already comfortable. It wasn’t a difficult goodbye. Thomas is extremely resilient, a gift bestowed upon him by God there’s no other explanation for how adaptive he is to extreme circumstances.

I finally left the school without him. I walked to my car and wanted to throw up. I immediately called Tommy I don’t even remember what I said but I was crying; hard. I calmed down and got in the car and started the drive home again listening to the same Christian music station that brought me there.

In a flash I was in the restaurant again and answered, “Of course I remember bringing you to your school.”

Work and Time

Since I’ve been working full time I notice it’s been interfering with my posting to my blog, or rather my lack of a commute is interfering. I wrote many posts while riding the ferry to and from Manhattan. Work also interferes with my passion of thrifting. So I feel the need to make up for it on a Saturday. That’s fine too as I really appreciate my down time at the thrift store. It is after all my happy place. Only ar the thrift does one get totally immersed in the thrill of the hunt and take a mini vacay from well, life. It works for me. TJ Maxx will  also work in a pinch. TJ’s has that same thrill of the hunt as you have to search through the racks for something good. I adore the clearance racks and I could spend at least a good hour there if not longer.

So work is the ultimate time sucker. I’m not complaining, I’m really not. I’d rather go to work than stay at home any longer. I appreciate working full time and I like my job and the people I get to meet. The last month or so I’ve been at the medical records department abstracting charts for one of the hospital’s clinics. The people who work there are so great they included me in their Christmas party and even asked me to participate in their “Secret Santa” gift exchange. I loved every bit of it.

Now I’m at a different clinic/same hospital. The people there are nice enough but I don’t have the interaction with the staff as I did at medical records. That’s fine, if everyplace were the same it would get boring so I like the change of pace here and there. Plus I get to people watch a bit and that’s cool.

Next week my assignment is at one of the local high schools. I’m thinking they have a school based clinic and need charts abstracted. That should be interesting. My hours will be 7:30 to 3:30 so that’s cool to be home earlier.

This past Sunday our Pastor kicked off a new series, “Does God care about my job?”. I loved it and I’m looking forward to the rest of his sermons these coming weeks. On Sunday he hit on these three points:

Work is part of God’s character.

God left His work incomplete on purpose.

God created me to work.

Pastor John also said we all have a job whether it be that you’re a student, a stay at home Mom, a nurse, or a lawyer, etc… We are all to do our job the best we can and to God be the glory. I love this. I know I work hard to produce a paycheck and for the satisfaction of a job well done. Truth be told I also work hard so as to not attract unwanted attention from my supervisors. To work for the glory of God is just perfect as apart from Him I can do nothing anyway. God is such a huge part of my life I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Dreams for the New Year

We had a guest pastor at church this morning. He is a friend of our regular pastor and from Kentucky. I really liked him and his message which was to not let your past stop your dreams for the future and he told the story of Joseph. Joseph from the book of Genesis who’s brothers sold him into slavery… (Genesis 37)

One of the pastor’s points was that The Lord was always with Joseph and He is always with us even when we don’t feel like he id. I loved hearing that,  it was a great and timely reminder. The other point the pastor made was to not let your past destroy your dreams. We all have dreams I think even more so at the beginning of a new year when things are so new and fresh. Like a blank canvas and our dreams can be painted and and designed to our precise desires.

Like most of you I have dreams. Dreams about my family and dreams about my marriage. A more specific dream is that my son will finally move closer to home and into the group home we’ve been waiting so long for.

I remember years ago when I was in the depths of my depression I wanted in the worst way and dreamt of having a full time job. I was in no way ready to take on that kind of responsibility and weight and God knew that. He was with me even though I doubted His presence so many times.

It was only when I recovered from the depression and was able to effectively deal with the responsibilities of holding a job did I find employment. The job was very part time and perfect for me just entering the workforce after so many years of being absent. When I decided I wanted more from a job I searched and searched and only by the grace of God did I land this full time job that I have now.

I emailed over my resume and I was called for a phone interview. My future supervisor was going over my resume and whether or not this job is one that suited me and my experience. I tried to gloss over the retail gigs I had listed on my resume since this job at hand was for an RN. I said, “Yes I worked retail, I have a special needs son…I just needed to get out of the house…” The supervisor paused and said, “You know…I’m going to take a chance on you. Im also the mother of a special needs child…”  I almost dropped the phone. Never in a million years did I expect that.

So here I am working a full time job, being a mom and a wife and taking care of my house, etc…. And I’m doing it, it’s happening! Something I wanted so badly and it finally came to be!  My dream came to be a reality on God’s time; not mine.

So I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I hope your dreams come true as we pray to the Great I Am, the holder of all our dreams and timekeeper of their fulfillment.