By Marci A. Schmitt
Have you ever sat on your porch and absorbed your surroundings? I have. Recently, I took the time to sit on the front porch one late afternoon. It was Friday. One could feel the growing anticipation for the weekend to begin.
Sitting on the porch swing, I drank everything that nature’s menu offered. That day, each image before my eyes was clearer, sharper so to speak than at other times.
It had been the hottest day of the year so far. Summer was just a couple weeks away. The day’s heat had reached its max and the temperatures and humidity had started their decline. A stiff breeze was blowing continuously. One could feel a change coming.
I sat on my porch reviewing and reinforcing my perspective on life. I do that a lot. Probably more than I should. But, it also gives me time for personal thoughts and prayers.
Furthermore, I was de-stressing. My word to escape the pressures we humans often place on ourselves because of circumstances that may have happen to us throughout our day. I had just returned from my six-month oncology check up.
Earlier, when I entered the oncology building, I had a skip in my step. It had been almost six years since I had finished my chemotherapy treatments and nine months since I had stopped the prescription (ANASTROZOLE) which helps prevent breast cancer reoccurrence. It was the first time I could honestly say I felt good physically and mentally -at the same time since my ordeal began over six years ago.
Sure – I still have neuropathy in my lower legs and feet, numbness in my shoulder and arm, and memory glitches now and then, but amazingly, I keep healing!
As I entered the building, I did not care that the heat and humidity pounded me as I walked through the entrance. I had a hop in my step!
I walked towards the registration desk with a smile on my face – not a gentle, mental reminder to smile but a true genuine feel-good smile.
I registered, turned to sit down, and waited for the nurses to call my name.
The memories of the past six years of visits including the 16 rounds of chemotherapy were not going to affect this appointment. Today, I was a “picture of health” compared to my past. I promised myself I was NOT going to let this visit to the oncology office, affect my anxiety levels, peak my emotions in a negative way, nor make me spiral mentally downward. Like Pavlov’s dog slobbering at the ring of a bell, my anticipation of my visit was not going to react to my surroundings!
Then it happened. Out of the blue, I heard, “Marci?” “Marci Schmitt?” Immediately I searched and found a woman in a wheelchair calling my name.
“Yes? I am Marci Schmitt.” I said as I walk towards her. She introduced me to the woman sitting next to her. “Best boss I ever had!” She said. “I have prayed for you every day to remain cancer free!”
Suddenly, I recognized her. I worked with her several years ago. She was one of the most positive, hardworking employees I have ever worked with.
She was tucked in the wheelchair wrapped snuggly in a sweater for warmth and a hat on her head to shield her hair loss. I went over to the wheelchair and grabbed her hand.
“What are you doing here? I asked. I knew she had some health issues shortly after I was diagnosed. However, the last time I had talked to her –just like me– had overcome them and was doing well.
Quickly, she updated her situation with me. Her cancer had returned at the beginning of the year; she had just spent several days in the hospital for treatment; and was returning for a checkup. Her options for a successful treatment had yet to be found.
Suddenly the nurse called my name. I quickly exchanged phone numbers and followed the nurse into the doctor’s office.
My hop had suddenly turned into a stumbling thud with lead in my feet. My heart ached for her; as I know without even being physically by her side what a tough road she has had to travel in the last few months.
As the nurses took my vitals and blood samples, I couldn’t help but feel a bit overwhelmed. My mind became a gamut of emotions from the long haul of my past to a sudden surge of “survivor’s guilt!” My elation to celebrate quickly changed to being somber.
One of my comrades was in great need of help and prayers. I thought. Thus, I am asking each of you to pray for her.
I ask that you pray for all of my comrades and your comrades who are still fighting the fight against this terrible disease. Its days like this that makes me angry – angry because we cannot immediately find the cure!
Almost every day I read articles about the progress researchers are making towards a cure for cancer. Sometimes, I post these positive results on my WEBSITE (www.4marchforth.com), FACEBOOK PAGE or my TWITTER PAGE (Marci A. Schmitt@4marchforth). Although, research is making great strides, the strides are not coming fast enough for some of us!
That’s why I sitting on my porch de-stressing – enjoying the wonders of this hot day and loving every inch of what it offers me. I smell the last wisps of honeysuckles with each wind gust. I also feel the warmth of God’s hugs – the breeze – squeezing me with each wind burst as the afternoon turns to evening. I listen to the cicadas sing. No matter how annoying they are – it’s music to my ears. I see spring’s colors in full blossom– the plump green, leaves on the mature maple and oak trees; the beautiful yellow flowers mixed in with my red and pink rose bushes.
Yes, it is a beautiful day and a beautiful view. I hope you all can see it.
I reflect. I am lucky. Luckier than some… Luckier than most….
Yet, I still believe there are others that have a better view of what is before me than I do….
Prayers for J..; and all of those who are still fighting …!
And As Always… MARCH FORTH!
Marci A. Schmitt
Summer Reflections by Marci A. Schmitt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.4marchforth.com.
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