Angels all around

Dear, dear friends and supporters,

What a long, hectic, trying, tiring week it has been!  I keep thinking I’m going to get the knack of this whole ‘cancer warrior’ business sooner or later; but the only thing I really know for certain is that I need sleep.  I yearn for sleep.  Sleep is the one thing I do really, really well and I thank God for that.

I continue to appreciate everyone’s well-wishes, and calls, and cards, and gifts so I have every reason to be grateful and, I suppose, I am; but a little bit of reality set in this week.  It was the first full week of chemo and radiation, but it was also the first time I allowed myself to ask those ‘hard questions’.  “How many adjustments are we going to have to make?”, “Is my family EVER going to get used to this horrible situation?”,”What if this doesn’t work?” and the always popular, “Why, God, why?”  

More than ever I realize what a wonderful life I had. (Paul just insisted that I edit this sentence.  So, let me say this: “More than ever I realize what a wonderful life I have.”)  I have hope, I have faith but that doesn’t mean I’m not angry at God, furious with God, totally and absolutely pissed off at God.  Doesn’t He realize I’ve got plans?  I would never in a million years choose to be sitting around the house, waiting for my next pill, waiting for my next hospital visit, waiting for my next baby sitter.

You might say I have two lives.  I’ve got the life I’m living, and I’ve got the life I ought to be living.  Mostly I have the “what if?”.  What if I hadn’t gotten this tumor?  What if I were riding the 504 every morning?  What if I were able to make my own meals?  What if I were spending my weekends at Good Harbor Beach — as I always do in the summer?  What if I were able to haul myself out of my condo and participate in the planning sessions for our Women’s Retreat?”

I’d be lying if I told you I’m not angry.  I’d also be lying if I told you I’m not scared.

Of course, even this dark, dark cloud has its silver lining.  I’m learning so much.  Mostly I’m learning about the exceptional people who’ve always been around — if I’d known how to notice them.  Did I realize how exceptional my family and extended family are?  Did I realize how exceptional my friends are?  Did I realize how incredibly exceptional my kind, generous, thoughtful, wise, loving mere acquaintances are?  Acquaintances I now consider friends.  Did I realize how wonderful absolute strangers can be?

Let me tell you about five of ‘Auntie’s Angels’.  My niece Karla, to start off, who has been such a source of kindness and support.  My niece Laurie who might be the best nurse in the world and I never knew it.  My niece Stephanie who can’t do enough for me.  Stephanie is forever visiting with a meal, with a smile, with a joke, with a ride, with that tidal wave of energy and optimism only she can supply.

Let me tell you about my nephew Jeff who’s living in Florida but still manages to be a steady stream of love, and concern, and — what shall I call it — Jeffness.  Rounding out the list is my nephew and godson Max. Max is the best young athlete I know (unless Sam is reading this).  There’s nothing he can’t do on golf course, or the court or the playing field.  And he’s tough, tough, tough.  Can you imagine?  One time Max broke both arms tackling an opposing quarterback and wore his casts around school as if they were badges of honor.  Did he complain about the pain and injury?  No.  He bragged that he made the sack!

Max is tough, but I recently learned that he can be tender as well.  When he dressed for this year’s opening football game he decided — if you can believe this — to wear pink socks so he could be in solidarity with his aunt.  What sort of boy would have such generosity.  Only a very, very wonderful boy.

Max Lancaster taking it into the end zone. Not for the first time … not for the last.

Well, friends, forgive me if this is all I’ve got.  I know that many of you are asking for more posts, and I’d love to comply but until I turn into Super Woman we’ll all have to get by with what we’ve got.

Love, Love, Love



About pamvbradford

I am a fifty seven year old banker specializing in government banking. I have a beautiful twenty-one year old daughter and a wonderful husband. My husband and I recently downsized, and purchased a beautiful condo in Watertown MA. We love our new home. I know I am a very fortunate person. I am surrounded by supportive family members, by supportive coworkers and by the marvelous support of our faith community at Sacred Heart Parish in Lexington MA. As the Psalm says, "There is nothing that I lack." My whole life changed on July 18, 2012 when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The news came from out of the blue. My tumor was removed by the marvelous Dr. Mark Johnson and his wonderful team of surgeons at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The surgery truly was a miracle. I couldn't possibly have gotten better care. Now the 'easy' part is over. The tough part is to learn to walk with God in the midst of danger and surprise. My mood shifts from gratitude to fear and back again but I know God has a purpose for me. There's a reason I didn't die on the operating table. There's something that God wants me to do. This blog is my effort to share with others, with all of you, what it is that I am learning as I put one foot ahead of the other, live each day as it comes, and discover what it is that God has to teach me. Your prayers keep me going. Your love comforts me. Your knowledge and faith guide and teach me. God bless you all!
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4 Responses to Angels all around

  1. Billy says:

    I love you, Pam
    I love you, Paul
    I love you, Liqa

  2. Connie Leonard says:

    Dear Pam – you certainly are a woman of courage! There’s an old saying “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” To me, that defines the word ‘courage.’ It is simply grace under pressure. It seems that the burdens sometimes seem heaviest for those who love God the most. It is such a mystery. Keep the faith, dear Pam. The Holy Family is walking with you. Love, Jack and Connie Leonard. P.S. Still using our lovely picnic basket!

  3. ronald lancaster says:

    Pam, I am so sorry that it was such a terrible week for you. I heard you say you were mad at God andI hope I validated it. Of course you are freaking mad, and everyhing that happens is a reminderof the burden on you and your family. Liqa will be back and things will be less terrible. My heart breaks for you and I am so sad that you have to go through this. Love you so much, Julie

  4. Karla says:

    we have an exceptional aunt who we love very much

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