Monday, August 3, 2009

Hope giggles.


Once again it's time for the What I Learned This Week blog carnival over at Musings of a Housewife. Feel free to hop on over there and join in!

It's been a few weeks since I've done a What I Learned post. I've been a bit of a blog slacker lately. But I'm back with a post now and I've got some sharing to do. While this is not something I learned this week, it is something that I keep learning more about whether I want to or not. My dad has stage 3 Lymphoma. On the upside, the type he has is pretty treatable. On the downside, this type likes to come back repeatedly. He just started his first round of chemo (Monday) and he'll have two more days of it in this round. The thought of all the chemo and radiation treatments he'll have to go through is pretty scary. Why does the treatment seem to make a person feel worse than the cancer? It just seems crazy to have to pump a body full of poison in order to make it better.

There's a heaviness in my family right now. Not a lot is being said about it. We've gone through cancer before with my niece and it was horrible. We're trying to make light of it by joking about hair loss. You see, my dad has big, bushy eyebrows. He could use them for a comb-over they're so big. When my niece was little, she used to draw pictures of him that looked something like this:


Yes, the big line is his eyebrow. Must have been before the plucking of the unibrow. We're all taking bets as to whether he'll lose the eyebrows or not, and if he does, how long they'll hold out. His doctor gives them 3 weeks. I'm thinking they might hold on longer than that. The guessing game gives us something on the lighter side of cancer to look at. Something to focus on other than the painful thoughts that come with a cancer diagnosis.

Prayer is a big deal at times like this. We are fortunate to have good friends who are sending up prayers along with us in our time of need. God is the Great Healer and He'll never leave us. Through Him we have Hope. Hope is what keeps us fighting when others have given up. It's what reminds us that this pain is not all there is. I bought a wonderful book many years back written by Erma Bombeck called I Want to Grow Hair, I Want to Grow Up, I Want to Go to Boise - Children Surviving Cancer. In it, a group of kids who had cancer were asked to describe 'hope' as if it were an animal. Here are a few of the responses:

"Hope is about two and an half feet tall."

"He is covered with fur and it's fluffy."

"Hope giggles."

"When it talks, you're the only one who can hear it."

"Hope raises its voice sometimes. It has to talk louder than fear."

"Occasionally, Hope is shy and likes to hide."

"If you don't take good care of can die."

"It will come to you only when you need it."

"Hope has offsprings like any other animal. They're called 'Hopelets.' You don't keep them. You share them with other people who need one."

Kids just have a way of explaining things, don't they? So I'll be holding on to hope and watching for good things to come. Afterall, who am I to place a limit on God?


Lianne said...

I had no idea you were such a talented artist! You might want to take that up as a career.

I will say a prayer for your Dad tonight. I am so glad that you can draw near to our Heavenly Father for comfort in these trying times. I am praying that your Dad will hold tight onto his hope and that God will give him total healing.

Those kids in that book were geniuses. I need to consult them about some stuff. Do they know anything about pest control? ; )

Heather said...

I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers with your dad's cancer. I think that humor is the best way to get through it.
My family and I went through a tragedy a couple years ago and that is really the only way we coped with all that was going on.

Anonymous said...

Hope giggles...I love it. I love how kids just have such a blunt honesty and non-jaded outlook.

katdish said...

"Hope raises its voice sometimes. It has to talk louder than fear."

Wow. Just wow. Out of the mouth of babes.

Praying. Still praying.

Kelli said...

Wow, Wendy! My prayers are with you and your family. I'm thinking you probably got your wit and charm from your dad. He sounds like an awesome man!

Did you find the smiley face online, or did you grace us with your talents?

Beth said...

Unibrows never ever fail to make me giggle. ]:)

What a great post.
Your dad popped up first in my mind this morning while praying...

Wendy said...

Yes... That is my lovely artwork proudly displayed in this post. No autographs, please.

Casey said...

Wow... the detail in that picture is AMAZING!

I'll be praying for you dad Wendy. Cancer is a very, very difficult thing to go through. I still can not talk about what it did to my mother without my eyes welling up with tears. *ugh... see.. there they go*

Keep your head up and the laughs coming. Laughter is a very good medicine.

sherri said...

Wendy- being able to find some humor in all of this is wonderful!

My family always starts with the tears, then none of us can stand it very long, and we'll search out the humor!

SOOOOO many people are praying for all of you- you will find the humor everyday- and that wonderful hope that the children so eloquently spoke of.

Hope and peace- stronger than any chemo or radiation!

Marni said...

Wendy!!! I almost NEVER can get on yours, Annie's and Sherri's blogs because I get an IE error each time and it closes out the page.

I had enough. Downloaded a new IE and I'm here finally!!!!!!

And on the day you post such an amazing blog entry...I'll be praying for your niece and your family.



Jeanne Damoff said...

Those kid quotes (and your portraiture) are awesome!

Keep hoping and giggling. I add my prayers to the many others.

Love, Jeanne

jasonS said...

Brilliant- wonderful post. Humor is a great way to help in these times- thankfully, you've got it to spare. Love those quotes too.

Beki - TheRustedChain said...

Oh Wendy, this made me cry.

God bless your family.

(Oh, and I'll bet you could open and etsy shop and sell the heck out of that amazing artwork.)

Janet Oberholtzer said...

Hope is what has kept me going the past 5 years after being severely injured in an accident. (and pain meds or red wine ;)

I know tomorrow will be better than today!

So, I've thought a lot about hope - where it comes from, why some people have more, etc. - but the descriptions from the kids top anything I've read/thought/said. Love them!
May I repost them on my blog?


melaniet42 said...

My thoughts go out to you and your family. Kids sure do have a neat way of looking at things. I often wish that we could grow up and still hold on to that outlook!

Kara said...

Love the quotes! Kids have more insight than we often give them credit for!

Praying for your dad...we've btdt also with my grandma. Not fun.

Helen said...

When my dad had cancer, it went to his stomach, and he had uncontrollable belching. We had belching contests, egging each other on to do better than the previous one.
Still praying for you and your dad.

jen@odbt said...

What a great attitude! I love all the hope-isms. We could all use a couple of hopelets. Your dad is blessed to be surrounded by family and friends.

Melissa Angert {All Things Chic} said...

god speaks through children, doesn't he??

The Buntens said...

I've never read that from Erma Bomback before - it is precious precious precious!

So glad to hear your family is hanging on to humor and faith during this time with your dad. I will pray for all of you.

Mark said...

Hope... giggles??? I thought it was "Hope Floats". Speaking of "Hope Floats", if there was even a movie where the director probably lost chunks of raw footage in a fire and had to put the thing together the best he could with what he had remaining - it was probably that movie and that director.

Musings of a Housewife said...

We usually handle those situations with humor too, and I'm cracking up about the eyebrows. I'll be praying for your family.