I know I’ve been on here for a long time, but in case we haven’t been formally introduced, my name is Suzanne and the above pictures show me at the start of 2015 going in and at the end of the year going out. I’ve always been thin and in pretty good shape, so headed into my 50th year, I was confident of my lifelong good eating and exercise habits that I felt great, was looking pretty great and feeling that my life was going great. And then I got one heck of a surprise that turned my little happy world upside down.
All spring I had not been feeling very well, mostly just drained and had no energy. I needed more and more naps in the afternoon. I had a swollen lymph node on my neck and a dry cough that wouldn’t go away since the Christmas before. Since I am a music director at a church, I have always joked that I often wind up getting a cold from somebody what with all of the holiday hugging and didn’t think much about it. Until it just didn’t go away. Well, by mid-July, my temperature was spiking to 102, 103 and even 104 degrees, being brought down only temporarily by a constant supply of aspirin. And everybody knows that can’t be good.
After nearly a month in the hospital, I received a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – a blood cancer, which thankfully is 90% – 95% curable. Heaven knows there are much worse cancers or diseases one can have. Four days after my birthday in August, I had my first chemo treatment with an expected treatment time of a relatively short six or seven months. God is good that I’d gotten something curable and short-lived.
Super Sparkly Me is going to be my deliberate exercise in getting my mindset, my body, my hair, my joy and basically my LIFE back to the way I want it to be. I’ve spent over thirty years in ministry and I regularly practice listening to others, finding things to be positive in the midst of trial about, and giving others the benefit of the doubt, even when my emotions feel stepped on. From earlier posts like 2014’s “Look for the beauty in everyone,” you all know that this is not a new concept for me.
However, at the end of 2015, I looked in the mirror and did not see ME any more. In 2016, I am going on the deliberate hunt to not only reclaim my inner strength and beauty, but to seek out beauty and goodness in others all around me. Not casually any more. Not conveniently. Deliberately.
And since I’ve always been a rather hard-headed and determined little thing, I am confident that I’m going to find it. Each and every day. I hope some of ya’ll would like to join me.