"Nectar," Watercolor by Marcia Carole, owned by Annie Snider

"Your hair looks so nice! I love your hair. Did you color it or add highlights? " asks a friend I have not seen in months. I am mingling, around nine p.m. at a church missions dessert, knowing I should be in my pajamas and cap all tucked in bed. It is late for this cancer patient, and I wonder if I have made a mistake by being a regular person out for the evening with my church family. I look at my friend and begin a quick wrap-up of the past three months. "I have breast cancer, had chemo, am bald, this is a wig."

My surprised friend gulps and tries to take the short version of my story in as quickly as possible. I sit there thinking, maybe I should have eased into it for her. No, might as well cut to the chase, as they say. I'm already late for bed. I reassure her that I am actually better, and I am hopeful that the new medication and good diet are helping to diminish cancer cells. It's funny how I am comfortable talking about cancer, baldness, spinach and hope all in the same sentence.  

As I say goodbye and hug my friend, I marvel at how well I am settling into the new assignment God has given me. Like the painting above, one I did a while back and gave to my first-born, my perspective on cancer has changed. No, it is not pleasant at all, and I often feel like an outsider looking in at a happy party of healthy people, but, I am hopeful that good will come from this often painful and sobering chapter in my story, in the end. 

As you look at the painting above, you might wince and think somewhat negatively, "Wow, that bee is about to, high-speed, attack that sunflower. True. However, another way of looking at it is that warm nectar is about to be gathered for sweet honey. I'll gladly hold the later, more hopeful perspective. For the bee and for me.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12