I don’t usually go so serious with my posts being that I’m a real life goofball, but I do believe that this is important.
A few years back our previous next-door-neighbor who was like my second mother, was diagnosed with TNBC- triple negative breast cancer. Sadly, that was only the beginning of her battles. After almost 4 years, multiple surgeries, chemo treatments, and radiation, Shelly went home to be with the Lord. Though I grieve for the moments and memories she will not be here to make, I rejoice in the life that she has lived and the memories that I do have with her.
I don’t know how it came about but sometime at youth group she came up with “ordinary people plugged into an extraordinary power source.” God continuously finds ordinary people, the ones who stutter, the ones who doubt, the ones who seem the most unlikely and ordinary- He takes them in, and gives them the power to be extraordinary.
Let me say this again, God takes ordinary people, Moses, Abraham, David, Esther…the list is endless, and He gives them the power to be and do extraordinary things. We are ordinary people. We eat, sleep and breathe as they did. We stutter, we are the youngest brother, we question whether or not God will fulfill His promises, we are an ordinary woman. It is through faith, the power and love of God that we have the ability and strength to be extraordinary.
If there is anything that Shelly taught me, it was that though we are ordinary, that we can be extraordinary. Through her more recent treatments she continued to teach. Up until about a month ago she was TEACHING with her brain and body riddled with cancer, she continued to love her students. Her battle with cancer was only a chapter in her life. She was extraordinary well before she ever heard the words “you have cancer.” She was an extraordinary teacher who loved those who needed love, who sought to make learning fun, that went above and beyond to make sure her students were successful. She was an extraordinary mother who not only loved the children that God blessed her with, but everybody else’s as well. It was not uncommon for her to walk into room of kids to a chorus of “Mama Sobel!” A testament to her acceptance, love and kindness to all. She was an extraordinary listener. Regardless of who needed to be heard and for what reason, she always patiently sat, listened and gave counsel. Shelly had an extraordinary faith, facing everything with a strength, grace and perseverance that could only come from the Lord.
It would be easy to write another few hundred words to describe the person that she was, but I think you get the point. I can only hope to be as plugged in and extraordinary one day.
Some people have the genetic disposition for cancer to develop and grow in their bodies. Others make choices that have the potential to lead to cancer later in their lives. Here are some tips and facts to encourage you to make better choices and protect yourself.
-SUNSCREEN! Skin cancer, though it can be very treatable, is one of the more common cancers. By keeping up with and applying sunscreen, you can cut down your chances significantly.
-Stay away from tobacco in any capacity. When I was on the local Relay For Life committee, I went to a meeting at the ACS building where they had a box filled with cigarette ingredients that included ingredients in rat poisoning among other things. It was repulsive. These toxins are also in second-hand smoke. If you do smoke, have the courtesy to not subjugate those around you to it.
-Eat well! Foods high in antioxidants, along with a well-balanced diet with little to no processed foods and proper proportions can go a long way to helping your body prevent and fight cancer.
-Be aware of your body. Some lumps and bumps are normal depending on hormones, injuries etc. Others are not. If you have a history of cancer in your family, you should be extra wary and start screenings earlier than most. For more info on common cancers for men and women and what to look for, check out the American Cancer Society’s Find Cancer Early page. Early detection saves lives!!!
For more information on cancer, Relay For Life, research that is happening right now to find the cure, your local ACS, how to get involved, even support and treatment, visit www.cancer.org– it just might save your life.
Though you may be ordinary, when you are plugged in, God has a plan and the power to make you extraordinary.