Into the Holidays – Reflections

I should be getting the paper and the ribbon out of the closet – finding the tape, boxes – where’d I put my scissors? It’s officially my “Christmas-is-in-a-few-days-and-I-am-panicked” mode. My brother says that is the definition of a Wheeler Christmas! That’s probably true.

I’m always a bit melancholy around this time of year. 3 years ago, I was in the hospital being treated for a particularly ugly little malignant tumor. It was my “Chemo Christmas.” I remember shuffling down to the hospital chapel at Christmas midnight – toting my IV pole filled with chemo drugs and other bags of whatever was being pumped into my system. I remember sobbing for a while and then making it back to my room. It was the first time I admitted to myself that I was very scared.

Much has happened since that time in 2007. I’m still in remission, but I’ve witnessed too many people I know not make it to the Survivors Club – including one brave 13-year old. If I’m passionate about anything, it’s children’s cancer research. I thank God for the angels at St. Jude Children’s Hospital and MD Anderson Children’s Hospital in the United States.

The title of this blog – “Michelle’s New Normal” reflects my life after cancer treatment. Radiation & chemo are the gifts that keep on giving and giving – and taking, too. So I continue to adjust to my new way of life – my new normal.

My family has been incredible in their support. So have friends like Aurora, Marcelle and Phoebe. Caregivers all. Caregivers, if you don’t know, are the most special people on earth. Not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver. It takes a certain kind of caring and love.

Postcrossing opened my world about 18 months ago. I would say that I’ve gotten at least 1,000 cards since then. They come from people who I now consider friends…Nordbaer, Goyesca, Chaelamonstah, Minnasusanne, Mindanao, Lori, Lotty, Angee, Fisherman, Volvomom, Kaheli, Crizle. I love sending to young people. I just sent a card to Zoe, a 15-year old in China! My favorite had to be the card I sent to a 3-month-old girl whose mom is raising her to be a Dallas Cowboys fan and is planning a “Pink Cowboys” party for her 1st birthday. She, of course, wanted a card showing the new Cowboys stadium! I’ve got a new friend in Canada, Roger, who sends me small, fun things every so often and I respond in kind. I am the first on “my block” to receive an “official postcard” of the Royal Engagement couple – Prince William and beautiful Kate Middleton. I hope their lives go a very different path from his mother and father’s.

To all my friends, in Dallas, Austin, the US, Germany, Finland, The Netherlands, Iran, Israel, Estonia, Belarus, China, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Maldova, Italy, United Kingdom, France…Happy Holidays and many good wishes, big hugs, lots of kisses to every one of you.

Michelle

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~ by Wheeler on December 18, 2010.

3 Responses to “Into the Holidays – Reflections”

  1. Nice post. Your blog is fairly new to me. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

  2. I consider it a privilege to be your friend. You have inspired me to stay strong and take a deep breath as new normals come our way. I have drawn from your perseverance for my own son’s sake this year. Thanks for your post as I too have been melancholy thinking of our last Christmas at Children’s. Boy have you and Jax come a LONG way. And have touched many hearts!!!

  3. What a beautiful post!! i am honored and grateful to have your friendship (and be an enabler to your postcard addiction). Who knew post crossing would bring such riches?

    As Phoebe says you have come a long way

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