Today I will be describing the point in my life at which time I knew my life would be forever changed.
My answer is in two parts about the same subject: cancer.
Of course, when I first heard the news over the telephone that I had breast cancer, I knew it would be life-changing. I didn’t think about it too much, though, because I was in shock. A few tears rolled down my cheeks, I called my friend Patti, and then I prayed, “Okay Lord, so what is my first step? Can you please guide me through this?”
But the most influential time in my life that I knew I would never be the same again, was later on in my cancer recovery.
I was in my cancer care center, scheduled to get a blood transfusion because my levels were dipping dangerously low. A friend had driven me there to be on the safe side, in case I felt woozy afterwards and wouldn’t be able to drive.
I was asked to sit in a recliner that was in the general transfusion area instead of being put in my regular, private infusion room.
“Ooh, I’ll have an audience,” I quipped. My driver friend and I had quite an interesting conversation going, and then she got stir-crazy and declared she had to get up and walk around through the hospital. Knowing I often slept through my treatments, I told her it was perfectly acceptable for her to take a break, and to have an enjoyable time on her walk.
One bag of blood had been imparted to my ailing body, and the second bag was started. That’s when my turmoil also started.
I think I grew delirious because I was so warm, I was threatening to take off my sweater (and only top!), and I wasn’t being my normally teasing self. Yup, I must’ve had a fever, because in about 10 minutes I was freezing cold. I actually DEMANDED that the nurses give me several cotton flannel blankets fresh from the heater.
This was one treatment I didn’t sleep through.
This, right here and now, was the moment that changed my life forever. I felt I was dying, I was so scared, but I knew that if I survived I was sure going to look at life differently and act accordingly!
When my friend returned much later, she saw a strange sight. There I was, wound practically as tight as a mummy with all my white blankets, covered completely with only my eyes, nose and mouth peeking out.
The nurse asked me, “Do you want to tell her, or should I?” I was so out of it that my friend started to cry.
She was told, “Debbie has had a severe allergic reaction to the new blood she received. We need to keep her overnight, I’m sorry.”
Somehow I was able to give my friend directions for the keypad to my garage, so she could go feed and water my cats. She did a wonderful service for me, considering that she and her son disliked cats severely but took care of my cats anyway.
I launched my new intent (to appreciate life and encourage others) that night in my hospital room. I made the nurse laugh and she got to share all about her family, and I encouraged her. I told her she made a difference and she should love herself because she is special. SHE nearly started to cry. What was it about me that encouraged tears?!
However, later that evening my pastor and his wife came to visit me. I regaled them with several tales and they ended up feeling better than when they came. Laughter was definitely present, and I believe it healed me from my allergic reaction.
Laughter and joy became my constant companions, and they have never left my side. I was blessed to be given a second chance, and I am still living!