“Think joy, talk joy, practice joy, share joy, saturate your mind with joy, and you will have the time of your life today and every day all your life.” ~ Norman Vincent Peale
Joy! A feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Rejoicing. Jubilation. Exhilaration.
Transitioning to a maintenance treatment schedule has brought joy and hope. An opportunity to catch my breath. Time to remember healthier days. Time to approach life with more enthusiasm and vigor.
Maintenance occurs on a three-week cycle that consists of only one chemotherapy drug, Alimta, nausea medication, and regular blood work and consults with the doctor and PA. The side effects are not as intense and I return to better days more quickly. On Friday, I had my third maintenance treatment. I also learned that I will continue on maintenance for two more months before my next PET scan and possible adjustments to treatment. At that point, I may transition back to more aggressive chemotherapy. For the time being — Joy! Two more months of maintenance will feel like a small touch of heaven. I need to take advantage of each minute.
Capturing each minute was brought home in a very clear way this past week. One of my favorite days of the year is graduation day. There is nothing quite like the joy in the eyes of young people as they walk across the stage to accept their diploma. I love to shake their hands and congratulate them on their accomplishments. Well, this year, I will have the pleasure of participating in two graduation celebrations. Last Thursday, a young man with serious health issues graduated as a second semester junior from high school. He is not sure how much longer his health will last and so he completed a monumental task and graduated early. In the alumni room, we recognized him and his family. Teachers and family members spoke of this young man and his resolve to accomplish the goal of high school graduation. Talk about determination and grit! There were many tears as we recognized his joy that day! Each person in attendance was uplifted. Personal feelings of joy spiraled me heavenward. I was grateful to be reminded of the joy I felt in the accomplishment of this student. I also recognized the importance of finding joy in the most important moments.
As I keep my eyes and heart focused on uplifting things, I will continue to find joy regardless of my circumstances. For now, I am joyful in maintenance. In the future, I will seek joy in other moments. Regardless, I know this joy will strengthen faith and secure hope for better days. Hope is forward looking and cultivates assurance, peace, power, hope, and joy.
“Struggles can be finite, but hope is infinite. ~ Martin Luther King