I hope any visitors to this site have had a wonderful Christmas break and you are all focused on the new year and what that has for us all.
Looking back, 2017 was definitely the most challenging, but also the most rewarding year I have ever had.
The rewards are many. I had a marvelous trip to Israel, Europe and Hong Kong in May – July, 2017. I knew in my heart I was fare welling many places that were very dear to me – you know – the “let me see it just one more time” thing. I made it to most of the places that have captured a piece of my heart over the years.
Then there was the publication of my books From Matron to Martyr, Zainabu’s Story and Greenstone Mystery. Getting a book published is a bit like having a baby…. there is lots of work to do to get there, but the satisfaction of holding your own book in your hands is makes it all totally worth while.
I have also, as I have become sicker, found out that some of my friends are more than friends. I think now of them as angels, as they bring me cooked dinners, pop in to see me regularly and take me to hospital and doctor appointments without so much as a murmur. I could not manage, living on my own with this condition without them.
Also, my family, my four daughters and my sister, have really stepped up to the mark. I am experiencing a degree love from my family that I had longed for over many years in my heart, but had never been expressed in such real terms. I feel so, so loved!
The major challenge has been serious ill health mentioned above, and all that brings, with becoming increasingly isolated and infirm and not able to get out and do the things I wanted and planned to do! That of course if a HUGE challenge for someone like me, who regards sitting around contemplating the environment or whatever as time wasted when one could actually be interacting with it.
The leukaemia has taken a turn for the worse – I progressed to an acute form of CMML, called CMML/AML half way through last year and started on a mild form of chemotherapy. Now, after five cycles of that treatment, it is being withdrawn as it appears to have been unsuccessful and may even have been making things worse.
This journey has been a deep spiritual one as well as a frustrating physical one. To be honest I think I have dealt well with the physical side of things. I am very fortunate to be very strong physically and the symptoms I have had, such as spontaneous bleeding, anaemia, fatigue and nausea, have not been as severe as my condition actually warrants. But they have very definitely ‘stopped me in my tracks.”
Now the doctors are talking in terms of months left to live and I am thinking…. “If the symptoms, no longer held back by chemo, become greatly more severe, I’m voting for the shorter term!” But of course, as in all journeys I have taken, “A person may plan his path; but Adonai directs his steps.” (Proverbs 19:21).
But take heart dear readers, I am not dismayed. Instead I am galvanised into getting things done that need to be done. I have two books going through the publishing process, being fast tracked by two very kind publishers who understand my condition.
The first book is a follow up book to my children’s book, Greenstone Mystery. I think this book, Acorn Adventures, will give 10 to 12 year olds an even deeper insight into the most important things in life, as they share the exciting adventures of a group of six children in ancient Israel. Make sure to get it, either from the publisher or from this website (or Amazon etc) when it comes out in a couple of months’ time. It is a great novel for kids but also a teaching tool for classroom groups.
The other book, which is being published is called Globetrotting on a Shoestring, a collection of short stories recounting in diary form my many adventures as I traveled overseas, mixing the whimsical with the absurd and the straight out funny. I have a great illustrator working on some cartoon type captions that I hope will produce a chuckle or two! This should also be available in a couple of months on this website and Amazon etc.
My passion to get these works onto the market place is no doubt keeping me going!! I forget my discomfort and all the stuff I am going through when working on my books. It is much better than an aspirin!
My spiritual journey has been amazing and I can only thank the God who never leaves, never forsakes us, even in our darkest hour. He whispers little things to me about my future, that both comfort me and sometimes warn me, so that I am prepared emotionally for what is to come. I can’t second guess God’s agenda, BUT I can trust it completely.
So how does one cope with this bleak scenario? Well, as the title indicates it is day by day. Each day brings its blessings that I would not receive if I wasn’t on this journey. The blessings easily outweigh the hardships as I am spiritually and emotionally fed by so many loving people. Perspectives and agendas change in this situation. One realises the eternal values of things. So many people will relate to what I am saying.
Don’t wait for the eleventh hour to be there for your nearest and dearest and even the neighbour across the road. Each day is a huge unearned gift. Use it wisely.