I have determined that healing happens through unexpected measures. The past few weeks have been filled with doctor’s appointments and a lengthy stay in the hospital. I have developed a serious staph infection in the pleural liquid by my right lung. It was fascinating to watch four different teams of doctors work together to share their vast knowledge and come to consensus on a course of action. The miracle began as I saw the emphasis shift from merely a clinical case to the “whole patient.” One by one, these busy individuals would stop by, share advice, and listen. My hospital room became a place of healing — both my physical body and my very soul. As I prepared to return home, one doctor came to review discharge instructions. At the end of our conversation, she grasped my hand and said, “It has been an honor to be your doctor.” Another doctor sat by my side and gently whispered, “We want what is very best for you.” She had come to my room way past normal hours to share this message of healing. A third doctor came for interesting and stimulating conversation. I love that she had confidence in my ability to keep up with her. Just this evening, I received a text message from the research nurse that stated, “This life is a journey for all of us . . . please know I am here to support you however I can.” A few months ago, I had not met any of these remarkable people. Now, I am benefitting from the art of healing. I will slip to my knees this evening and give tender thanks for those who lift and heal.
Richard and I made an important decision today to move to hospice care. After consulting with my oncologist, we realized I can no longer continue with the clinical trial chemotherapy drug. My immune system becomes so compromised while on chemotherapy. We can’t risk the possible side effects as we continue to battle this ugly infection. Because I will no longer be in active treatment, I qualify for hospice care. We feel hopeful this care will provide me with the best quality of life for the longest time possible. I now have access to medical care twenty-four hours a day. Many of my challenges, e.g., high fevers from the infection, will be treated at home rather than in the hospital. My oncologist asked me what my goals are right now. My response was simple — to spend as much time as possible with my family and dear friends. Hospice will allow this to happen while keeping me at home. That thought makes me smile. This is a major shift in my care plan. It is also a remarkable blessing!
I love the holiday season! Christmas music, a sweet focus on the Savior, and family traditions all help me to rejoice during this time of the year. Here are a few of my thoughts on why Christmas is so important to me. First, one of my favorite hymns is “The First Noel.” I always smile when I explain to others I was born with a three-quarter time soul. The smooth waltz tempo that lifts my heart. This is one reason why I am drawn to the this beautiful hymn. I also understand the important message as I marvel at the kindness found across the globe centered around Jesus Christ. Can you imagine a silent night many years ago when angels heralded the birth of our Savior? My cancer journey has helped me draw near to Him. It seems fitting that I humbly raise my voice in refrain, “Born is the King of Israel.” Next, I felt well enough to attend sacrament meeting last Sunday. The choir sang inspired songs. The spoken word helped me reflect reverently on the birth of Jesus Christ. I thought about the Savior’s role in my life: Jesus Christ — Our Redeemer. Jesus Christ — Our Healer. Jesus Christ — The Prince of Peace. Sacred moments that I will treasure. Important thinking I will record in my written journal. I cherish inspired moments when I continue to learn line upon line. Finally, on Christmas Eve, we have a family tradition where we gather around the tree and each member of the family brings something to share. We have shared songs, videos, a special picture book, scriptures, love, and laughter. I can’t wait to share my part this year — it will be a treasure that each member of the family can carry with them. My special message of love.
And so, you can see a lot has happened. Major changes have occurred. Tremendous blessings have been recognized. I am humble and grateful as I recognize His hand in my life on a daily basis. There are many dear family members and friends who continue to minister to my every need. I will forever be grateful. And, I will continue to embrace each day with faith, courage, and hope.
Merry Christmas from the Timpson family!