Little Bursts of Sunshine out of Lemons

Most people who know me well would say that I'm pretty good about finding a silver lining in even the darkest cloud.  When life gives us lemons, we have to make lemonade. I can look back at several things throughout my life that seemed so challenging (Oh, my gosh, I'll never survive this!!!) at the time, and find positive things that came from those events.  What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger, right?  I don't think that I've ever dealt with anything more challenging, frightening, or frustrating than breast cancer, but one of the things that keeps me going is what I call my "Little Bursts of Sunshine."  The little bits of sunshine come in so many shapes and sizes, and in some rather unexpected places...

More often than not, when I open up my mailbox, I find an encouraging, sunny, cheerful or funny card. (It's so much more fun than the usual stack of bills and business correspondence.  Who knew, that getting cancer would turn up the excitement levels on my daily postal deliveries?) These cards have come from all over the United States, some from people I know, some from people I don't.  My mom's Sunday school class has done a great job of sending me cards on an almost weekly basis, along with encouraging little notes and tons of prayers.  One day I came home to find a hand made card in my box created by my neighbors girls.  You can bet that brought tears to my eyes.  And there was the card from a children's Sunday school class in Pennsylvania, suggested by a sweet little angel whose family I placed a rescue boxer with... more tears!  (I don't think I've ever cried so much, actually, I know that I haven't!  Actually, prior to my cancer diagnosis, I was so exhausted, that no matter what happened, I was pretty much unable to cry for several months!  I guess the tear fairy new I needed to be stockpiling...)  For a while, my mom had the cards displayed on the bookshelves in my office, and it brought me such joy to walk into my office and see them all lined up there, bright and cheerful bursts of colors and good wishes.  Knowing that all of those people were thinking of me, rooting for me, and praying for me has been so uplifting.

There have been a ton of fun packages arriving in the mail!  Several weeks ago, I got a fantastic box full of all kinds of goodies from my cousin and her boys.  Each of the boys had made me a get well card and written me a wonderful little note.  Shortly after that there was the beautiful ruffle scarf handmade by one of the girls from my mom's church.

I am also blessed to have not only 1, but 2 chemo angels.  My angels send me beautiful cards, pictures, notes, and all kinds of little things that make me smile.  These amazing tulips arrived several weeks ago, on a particularly bad day, and my spirits were immediately lifted!  Tulips are my favorite, and it would be impossible not to love this beautiful bunch of blooms, I smiled every time I saw them for a week!  As screwy as my brain is right now, I can't remember anything, and for weeks had notes scattered all over the place... then one day, a beautiful little blue (my favorite color) notebook arrives and all of a sudden... the chemo patient with the wonky chemo brain has some semblance of order... now where did I put that book?  And where are my keys, and my glasses, and my wallet, and my cell phone...

Chemo Angels is such a powerful program, it's just amazing to me that complete strangers would volunteer to brighten the day of someone going through cancer treatments, and I will certainly be signing up to be someone's angel as soon as I am done with my cancer battle.  My angels have definitely made a positive difference in my spirits as I go through my treatments.

And of course, there are my 2 little boxer angels who are constantly making me giggle and smile.  They both follow me around the house making sure I'm okay, dozens of times each day.  When I shower, they wait outside the shower for me to emerge.  When I go somewhere and arrive back home, they're both waiting for the door with kisses and wiggles to welcome me home!  And when our days are over, and I collapse into bed with my heating pad, they both snuggle up and get as close as they can get to me.  They're never far away, and it makes me so happy to be loved by these two little creatures!  They are my guardian angels!

These of course are just some of the things that have made me smile over the course of the last 3 months, as I've mentioned so many times, the kindness and compassion of friends, family and even people that I barely know has been staggering.

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