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It has been a remarkable week. First, my father is building up his strength after suffering a stroke in the early part of December. His several weeks of recouping from his illness have gone well. Truthfully, it will take months for him to recover for a man at his age. My brother-in-law had two surgeries this past week. According to my sister, he is doing all right, just in pain right now. My mother has healed from a broken hand and my fractured ribs have mended over the last few months.

I have been looking for transportation to Emory whenever my sisters can’t take me. It is a lot to ask them and interrupt their schedules; however, I’m getting where I’m afraid to drive to Atlanta now. I found someone this past week and it is a blessing. The charges are very reasonable and she lives close by. More importantly, God provides our needs if we ask Him. In addition, on Friday I was approved home visits for infusions. It couldn’t have come at a better time. The doctor is increasing my treatments next month. The IV-Gs will be added two days monthly, as well as continuing chemotherapy for the autoimmune condition.

There are ups and downs with a chronic illness. I realized that I used to identify with the disease, but I’m working on changing that. It was my ego getting in the way. I was in a dark place. I didn’t want to get out around others or socialize for awhile. My health had worsened this past year. I was getting weaker and very depressed, as I was getting more home-bound and bedridden. My quality of life was getting very poor, but the good thing is that I still maintain hope and optimism.

I find encouragement and balance through my writing. It is therapy to me. It gets me out of my depressive state. People don’t seem to understand that it is my livelihood, my passion toward life. Sometimes, I feel discouraged by others’ comments, especially when they tell me to stop publishing books because of printing costs. When I received the derogatory remark about my books a few weeks ago, it first pierced my heart. In retrospect, it helped in publicizing my books on social media. So the person actually helped me instead of harming me. A good lesson to learn.

I hold on to faith. It is easier to give up and let this disease take over my body without treatments. A decision I was thinking about at one time. But I still resist; I still fight for life. I believe God has plans for me. If it to only encourage and inspire others, then so be it. I am amazed by His everlasting love and wisdom. I’m beginning to understand more of myself. God is good and with Him beside me, I feel comfort and determination.