Every Day Food

My dogs jump up every morning and head to the kitchen, ready for their favorite event: E A T I N G! With all the excitement, you would think I had cooked up a feast, complete with a variety of flavors and textures, put it out on the fine china and ordered dessert.

Heavens no! In their dog food bowls I pour exactly 1/2 cup of dried dog food: NutraPro, Lamb and Rice. The “lite” version for Dora Mae and her adult body, the normal version for Thelma Lou.

They dance excitedly while I dump the contents into their bowls and place them on the floor. After their food, they head out through the doggy door for a necessity run. And once they have checked out the yard and done their business, Dora finds me. If I am sitting down, she jumps next to me and looks at me with the most precious face. She reaches over (if I’m not careful) and licks my face. She is so grateful for her food. This dog is easy to love.

Lately I’ve been calorie counting, point watching (if you are on WW you know what I mean), and daily I’ve been eating a bowl of Weight Loss Oatmeal (with lower calories, higher fiber and protein). It comes in a few flavors but they really are just oatmeal. Its edible but after a while, its more bleah than anything. I sometimes get bummed out, thinking I’m missing yummy chocolate calories somehow.

And then I think of manna. How would I have handled God’s daily provision while the children of Israel roamed and browsed through the wilderness? Would I have gotten an attitude and grumbled along with the crowd? I would hope I’d be more like my dogs who get dished the same meal day after day without complaint AND demonstrate gratitude. But I fear not. My oatmeal reminds me I tire easily like the rest of them.

Then Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35

A Changed Life

In 1998 I had finally finished researching enough to make a decision. I would have a hysterectomy. I had a few pesky fibroids but nothing that was bothersome to my life. I didn’t even know I had them as I had no symptoms. So why the need for a hysterectomy (removal of uterus)? I needed my ovaries removed. They weren’t diseased either. Shocking. I know.

A prophylactic hysterectomy is surgery that is chosen sometimes based on genetic make-up. Just in case.

My mother was 55 years old when she died of ovarian cancer. She was a first grade school teacher. Loved by hundreds of children and parents within the public schools of Texas. Her cancer was discovered quite accidently on a routine pap smear during her annual GYN visit. Cone biopsy showed no cancer of the cervix. A uterine biopsy proved clear as well. Exploratory surgery found ovarian cancer at a stage that hadn’t provided any symptoms at all to her personal health and yet proved too far along in that decade for much hope of survival.

One and a half years of chemo therapy. She died over Christmas break and our lives were forever changed.

Her mother had died in her early 40’s of what they believe now was related: breast cancer. And so my sister and I were encouraged to have a hysterectomy and oopherectomy by the time we turned 40 when the risk factors increased.

I waited until the summer I would turn 42. I was in excellent health by most standards. My recovery has been ordinary with the usual struggle at times to find a hormone therapy that worked properly.

It was out of this life changing decision that led me to where I am today. The summer I had my surgery was the summer I launched an online website for women. Women to talk to other women. Support. Help. Kindness. Hysterectomy Support by HysterSisters.

I spend my days energized by the simple notion that women desire to help other women. I am encouraged by the day to day kindness demonstrated by the 30+ volunteer moderators that make sure the discussions are helpful and our website remains organized and kind.

My hysterectomy changed my life. I now have the hope of seeing my children marry and to know my grandchildren someday. But it also provided a day to day opportunity I lovingly consider a ministry.

“Therefore if any [wo]man be in Christ, [s]he is a NEW creature: old things are passed away; behold, ALL things are become NEW.” 2 Corinthians 5:17