“Newfound Blessings”

Blessed by God

Blessed by God

Like yesterday, below is another poem I wrote several years ago.


I have so many blessings each and every day,

That I need to thank God for whenever I pray.


A lens cracked and I re-visited the gloom of a dry eye,

I have taken for granted the blessing to see, guilty am I.


I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count what God has graciously given me,

Including my once-lost-but-newfound appreciation to see.


Events happen daily and you don’t always know why,

But all that really matters is our God in the sky.


Too much self-consciousness is stupid and what my sole concern should be,

Is what God up above, looking down, thinks of me.


Today is the middle of the week, it’s Wednesday,

But the day for me is also “Lens-day.”


“God is Great”

Below is a poem I wrote as a teenager in the midst of treatment for my leukemia. 

June 5, 2006, I got my first Cortisone shot in my left knee,

And I once again could stretch my leg and was much, much more pain-free.


That same Monday night, I went swimming in the McBays’ pool,

And with no ports, Broviacs or Vaxcells in my chest, to swim was very cool.


With my GVH gone and my weight back to my normal size,

My health status that’s been wavering is now on the rise!


Fabulous family and friends help me on this happy and healthy route,

Being surrounded by awesome people is what life is all about.


I’ve been given so much and been shown so much love and care,

There’s no doubt in my mind that God is everywhere.


Life is good when your attention is on what you have, not what you lack.

Having a positive outlook keeps you moving on the right track.

My Two Spectacular Older Sisters with me on the right with hair before my hair disappeared, happily, forever

My Two Spectacular Older Sisters with me on the right with hair before my hair disappeared, happily, forever



Silly Sarah, Trucks are for Kids

Sarah & me back in '98 on vacation in Kona, Hawaii - Notice my short hair growing back after my first rounds of chemotherapy six months earlier

Sarah & me back in ’98 on vacation in Kona, Hawaii (Notice my short hair growing back after my first rounds of chemotherapy six months earlier)

You do stupid stuff,” Sarah said bluntly, explaining to me the reason behind her current would-be-considered-rather-strange-if-there-were-no-infant-in-the-back-seat actions.

Wednesday, two days after the 4th of July, I sat next to her in the passenger seat of her minivan while we ran errands to places like Trader Joe’s. She needed to get diapers and wipes at Target and both us shopped at the food store.

The car seat sitting behind the driver’s seat contained a wailing baby that prompted her Mother to try to quiet the noise. Piercing cries gushed at full volume from the tiny lips of Sarah’s 4-days-shy-of-4-months-old daughter.

Clap, clap, clap!” Sarah hollered. “Clap your hands!”

From my view sitting to her right, it was quite comical to watch my sister in full swing in her attempts to calm Penelope. Leaning forward on the steering wheel to free up both of her hands so she could slap them together, she purposefully very loudly sang the lines again and again. Her synchronized bellowing and clapping at her baby surprisingly soothed the little one for a short while before the bawling resumed.

Little Penelope is often full of smiles and giggles for people around her. She also has a song her Mother made up and sings to her, in more peaceful moments, that hints at a possible future stint in pageantry.

She is a beauty queen, beauty queen, beauty queen/

She is a beauty queen, all day long/

Her name is Penelope, Penelope, Penelope/

Her name is Penelope and that’s her song

Sarah disclosed to me later in the car ride that her offspring are forever on her mind, zeroing in on a typical topic broached with her young son.

Max, 2, is fascinated with trucks just like his brother-cousin Ryan. For him a huge thrill comes from spotting and pointing out “B,” his word for “Big,” ones they see on the road. Lucky for Max, besides only naming colors of the big machines they pass when they’re together, his Mom – a former Michigan CAT employee – identifies and names the types of large equipment seen like excavators and backhoes and bulldozers.

I find myself looking at trucks,” she admitted, “even when Max isn’t in the car with me.”

I’ll think in my head,” her endearing confession continued, “That’s a B truck!”


Shave it, don’t save it

Video Transcribed:

Shave your head right when you start to lose hair, about two weeks after your first chemotherapy treatments. Losing hair means the chemo drugs are working! Patients look sicker with just a few measly tufts of hair hanging from their head. Shave it all off. Instead of rockin’ a hairdo, you can proudly rock the bare ‘do!

Go easy on me, it’s just for fun

My version of some of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” lyrics:

As I walk through the valley and I take a deep breath, I take a look at my life and realize there’s something left
‘Coz I’ve been workin’ and fightin’ so long that, Even my doctor thinks that my cancer’s gone

They got the situation, they got me facin’, I can’t live a normal life, I don’t gaze on my gripes
So I gotta be down with the new stuff, Too much side effects I’m facin’ got me broke it seems

I’m an educated girl with Jesus on my mind, Got my cane in my hand and a lens in each eye
I’m a messed up gangsta but trying better, With my homies around so don’t try to knock me down, cool

I’ve got a lot to learn, anybody here can teach me
If they can’t understand it, how can they reach me
I guess they can’t, I guess they won’t
I guess we’ll live, that’s why I know my world ain’t out of luck, ya’ll!

Name That Tune

Preface: A college professor of mine who also worked for a newspaper wrote a front-page article about my life story, highlighting my simultaneous triumphant cancer fight and college graduation. The story sparked the interest of the television program “Inside Edition.” Not knowing much about the newsmagazine program when someone from the show called me the day after the paper came out with my story, I immediately declined an interview. Subsequent years have caused me to wonder if that was the right choice, but now I know God is using my blog to reach more people than one brief couple-minutes-long aired television segment ever could. In most situations, my feelings are best expressed through rhyme; in this case, my tailor-made version of an old classic:

The itsy bitsy phone call came when college was out,

A newspaper story, me it was about,

“Inside Edition” really liked my “game,” 

And I said “No” – now’s not the time, & life resumed again!