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The Big C

I can just imagine what image that title conjures up for you. It is, however, just another letter in the alphabet until you add some letters behind it. The possibilities would keep a Scrabble player busy for hours.

          I’ll start out with one that most of us would rather just avoid. It’s plagued our world for almost 2 years now, that wretched COVID. It has caused illness, sometimes minor and other times major and even death. We were forced to connect via technological devices and it changed how work got done. The worst part, in my opinion, was the heartbreak that happened when fear took over and family and friends were torn apart. We had to figure out a different way to connect. I chose to take up the challenge of online cooking demonstrations and face trepidation over live Coffee & Chat from my home. I caught COVID myself and 2 months of my fall were spent in bed then recovering. Even though my energy level was low and my taste and smell were gone, I chose joy and the blessings far outweighed the fear.

          Big C number 2 is cancer. It came out of the blue. A yearly mammogram revealed a spot and within 6 weeks I had a biopsy, cancer diagnosis and a lumpectomy. I made the decision to share my journey. I did so on my Coffee & Chat, sent messages and made phone calls. Days passed by in a blur as I had medical appointments, some in person and some via phone. It was a steep learning curve as I tried to wrap my head around what was happening. Through it all I’ve seen many amazing things.  Awesome medical people who treated me with compassion and care, adjusting appointments and procedures so that things were done in a timely manner. A dear friend who took me to medical appointments and laughed with me exactly when I needed it. Blessings in the midst of what seemed like chaos.

          Christmas is Big C number 3. Even though I knew it was going to be a different one, I wanted to maintain most of the traditions that we’d built as a family. I love Christmas and reminisced as I decorated the trees, placing the ornaments and remembering the best times together. I had to be intentional about it because I had to work at high speed to bake, decorate and quilt all the things that were on my list. I didn’t get everything done but it will be okay. This Christmas will be extra special because we’ll be especially thankful that we can celebrate it together.

          Together is another word for Big C number 4. Community. I think it might be my favourite. Through everything that’s taken place I’ve had a renewed awareness of our need for community; the people who accompany us through this journey of life. The ones whom I connected or reconnected with as I decided to use technology in a positive way through COVID are part of my community. When I got COVID and love showed up through prayer, food, cards and messages of care. Community. It showed up with the announcement of cancer. Tears flowed as I read each kind message. Love showed up in the meals prepared by Audrey and Zacary. Community. A jar of peaches, a care package, a monetary gift, a multitude of hugs and the list goes on. This is my community. People who are generous with compassion and kindness. I am a blessed woman.

As we journey through this Christmas season, my prayer is this. That you would be blessed with amazing community and that you would be a blessing in the communities of others. Compassion and care are also Big C words. Share them and be blessed. Merry Christmas!

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