On Rhema this morning we've asked people to comment on something that they are grateful or thankful for. Here are some of the responses:
Thankful for Life
I have so many reasons to be grateful to the Lord, but my biggest reason I am thankful is that the death threat of cancer is no longer in my life.
20 years ago, when I was 17, I was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. We were told that my tumour was the best type of tumour in the worst possible place in the brain. Because of where it was located one of the ventricles, or pipes, in the brain was completely blocked and I had critical pressure in my brain.
After my diagnosis I had a year at home and then studied and lived independently for 5 years. However in 2000 things went majorly wrong. Mum and Dad flew down to Wellington and I ended up having 6 lots of neurosurgery in 8 days. It was a dire situation where I had brain haemorrhaging, brain clotting, and it is now thought I also had many small strokes.
After all of this surgery I didn’t know who I was let along who my family were. I had to relearn how to read and write and walk all over again and I was left with chronic pain all over my body. Later that year I reluctantly moved home for what I thought was going to be until the end of that year.
In 2002 my tumour grew and we had to decide whether or not I should have radiotherapy. We felt God led with peace about it, and I had 6 weeks of radiotherapy. Over these past 20 years I have had 12 lots of pretty major neurosurgery. A couple of years ago my oncologist told me the exciting news that he now hesitated to call my tumour a tumour anymore.
Rather that it was like a little bunch of grapes, cysts, held together by a few cancer cells. And then last year I was given the extraordinary news that I no longer have any form of tumour or malignancy in my brain. My oncologist told me that I could celebrate that the death threat had been lifted from my life; however it would not change my ongoing reality of continual pain throughout my body and constant headaches. In the place where my tumour once was there is now a mound of scar tissue, as well as my brain being riddled with scar tissue from all of my surgeries and this is the cause of the continual pain and headaches I live with.
All of this was unfathomable news to receive and it took me many nights of no sleep to get my head around it. I am so incredibly grateful to the Lord that I have a full life to look forward to! I also want to thank God that I no longer have a tumour in my brain and for his guidance over my neurosurgeon, and my oncologist who helped direct me in my decision to have radiotherapy back in 2002.
Through that radiotherapy God has slowly but surely shrunk my brain tumour until it no longer exists. Yes, I still live with continual pain and headaches but I am so extremely grateful to the Lord for the ways that he has given me ways to help cope with and manage these. When I was first diagnosed I was told that my tumour would undoubtedly shorten my life, but this is no longer the case. So, most of all I want to say how incredibly grateful I am that I can now look forward to LIFE!
Thankful for Robbie
I lost my Kiwi husband, Robbie, of 26 years of marriage, 3 years ago, on this May 29th. I'm thankful to God 4 all the years I had with him, and that God is my husband now. I'm thankful that He promises to look after me now. Robbie was only 58.
Thankful for Marriage
I am thankful for 40 years of marriage celebrated yesterday - and the lessons learnt on the journey. -Maxine