03-05-12 Random Acts of Kindness

Recently I wrote this post for the MD Anderson Cancerwise site.  Thought I would share it with you.

Random Acts of Kindness

This morning as I was putting my grocery bags into my car, a gentleman walked up and commented about how skinny I was.  He then asked if I was OK.  I said I was fine, it was the stem cell transplant/chemo diet.  He was very kind and genuine wishing me the best.  I have never seen this man before.  Random act of kindness…..

On Halloween at Harrington Cancer Center (my local oncologist), a little girl came up to me and gave me her favorite piece of candy from her trick or treat bag!  Random act of kindness…..

In Houston, Wade and I were trying out a new Mexican restaurant for breakfast and there was only one other English speaking couple in there.  The woman came up to us and recommended what we should order, which turned out to be amazing!  By the end of our meal she had given me her business card and offered to help in any way we needed her to.  Random act of kindness…..

Receiving a beautiful, handmade prayer shawl and not knowing who made it for me!  And my mother-in-law’s brother, whom I have never met, giving me his wife’s scripture quilt (she had passed away from cancer).  Random acts of kindness…..

All of the cards, prayers, gifts, calls, food, and blog comments.  Random acts of kindness…..

One of my nurses, Mara, when I was in the hospital for my stem cell transplant, brought me a vase with silk flowers in my favorite color.  (We weren’t allowed to have any living plants or flowers in our rooms.)  And my friend Patti, also a nurse at MD Anderson, bring me a beautiful stained glass piece, a bouquet of pansies.  Random acts of kindness…..

But the most amazing, ultimate, random act of kindness is my donor who donated stem cells for my transplant, anonymously.  Wow!  I honestly can’t put into words how this makes me feel.  Thankful, grateful, loved, lucky, blessed, all of the words are just inadequate.  It is the ultimate random act of kindness to give of yourself to save a stranger’s life!  Thank you, Donor!  I love you!

I could keep going on with my personal experiences with random acts of kindness, but this morning’s incident made me think about what a huge difference it makes to those of us who have or who have had cancer.  It is so easy to let yourself get into a funk when you are sick, weak, and tired.  And to start feeling detached.  Those side effects don’t help either!  (Actually I pretty much love my skinny body, crazy fuzzy hair trying to come back, my prednisone cheeks, and those peach fuzz whiskers!)  What a difference a smile can make!  The small things can make a huge difference for us!  It can just lift you right up!  Don’t be shy, don’t be afraid!  Reach out!  It will warm your soul a thousand times over!

“The love you get is equal to the love you make”   Sir Paul McCartney

My cozy prayer shawl


I saw something on Facebook last week that kind of fits right in with my motto, “You’ve Gotta Fake It Until You Make It”.   It goes like this…”We believe what we tell ourselves”.  The more you think and act like a well person instead of a sick person, the better you will feel.  And with my latest issue, the dreaded cankle (!) caused by deep vein thrombosis, I needed to think about it and write about it.   Before I went to Houston for my stem cell transplant, my dear friend Rosanna, told me to always think good, positive thoughts because the body follows the brain.  I’ve experimented with getting down in a bad funk, and have decided that I really did feel much worse and don’t really want to go there!   So here’s the latest on my condition.  My swelling is just now beginning to get better….yay!  I can still wear only one pair of shoes (boots), but I can tell that the inflammation, pain, and swelling are subsiding.  And here is a happy thing:  Wade is getting to be an expert at giving me the Lovenox shots, and I am getting less squeamish about receiving them.  My side effects from the last round of chemo are subsiding so things are looking up!  Next week we will fly to Houston for my bone marrow biopsy, a couple of appointments at MDA, and my appointment to be interviewed and video taped for MD Anderson’s Pre-Care website.  I’m excited about this!  Wish me luck.  It will be a very quick trip.

Think good, kind, happy thoughts…and believe them!

Here are some pics from my last trip to Tyler.

    Jan and I eating tacos


Me with my Mom and Dad