Update Feb 2019
It has been ages since I’ve informed you, my wonderful friends, of how I’ve been since the ‘diagnoses’ over two years ago and the trip to Berlin last year. Recently I’ve been reminded that I need to do this, so here is my current status and what some people call a ‘check-in’.
I give thanks for countless blessings! First, for all for you who are interested in keeping in touch and for your prayers. In the midst of God’s goodness I treasure friendship highly. And your prayers for my health have been answered as is apparent from scans which actually show decrease in the size of a tumor in my brain and little to no growth in various parts where there is metastasis! I have never felt any symptoms of the cancer that I’m dealing with that I’m aware of. The current (on-going) treatment has not had any serious side effects since I finished chemo almost 2 years ago. The cloud that I was under for the first 1/2 year after my diagnosis lifted and most of the time I forget that I have anything wrong with me! Last summer I accepted retirement as my new status and I enjoy not working although I do some volunteering.
I also give thanks for the course I’ve coming to the end of. I’ve been concentrating on my 2 Year Spiritual Direction Formation Program which is coming to a close in a couple of weeks. March 9th I will be ‘graduating’ along with 11 colleagues including a reception and a ceremony in which we each receive our certificates. As ‘interns’ we have all been giving Spiritual Direction since last spring. I’ve had three ‘Directees’ to sit with individually once a month and this has been a real privilege. (In case this is new for you here is a thorough definition: https://www.tyndale.ca/sites/default/files/2018-02/Tyndale-Association-of-Spiritual-Directors-Introduction-to-Spiritual-Direction.pdf ) One definition, in my own words, is companioning someone as they seek to grow closer to God. It is not counseling, although it has many similarities like learning to listen closely to someone with genuine care. I plan, God willing, to continue to offer Spiritual Direction after my internship is over. It is a challenge and a privilege that I am thankful I’ve had the opportunity to both give and receive.
Apart from studying and practicing the art of Spiritual Direction I’ve been keeping up with my own spiritual ‘exercises’ with a group at First Presbyterian Church in Santa Rosa. We are going through a series of books the first of which is called, The Good and Beautiful God. Each chapter has a practice to illustrate it. My favorites so far have been – getting enough sleep (“God gives sleep to His beloved.”), Play! (“…Become as little children.’) And slowing down – (“Be anxious for nothing.”) I’m grateful for this group and the church.
As a retired person I’ve also been enjoying learning to play piano, playing Ukulele with a small group of old friends I’ve know for over 40 years, walking a lot (Pita-Bonita is still going strong at almost 15), doing jigsaw puzzles and tutoring someone in ESL through a Literacy Project as well as getting together with various friends now and then. I’ve been sharing a lovely home in a peaceful area of Sebastopol (near Santa Rosa) with a good friend for going on two years now. Oh, and I’ve been doing some ‘Zentangleing’ too!
In many respects my life is simple and I am indeed grateful for the way it is right now. I do want to blog more as well as paint again and even perhaps travel again if The Lord leads.
I would love to hear from you and to know how you and yours are doing too! Please email or arrange to chat on the phone or cyberly.
I’ve included this on my blog so that my good news of living well while dealing with cancer might reach others who are also dealing with it and that they may be encouraged.
With lots and lots of love,
Roxanne (alias Perigrinatia)