Sunday, December 23, 2012

That's Why I Pray....

“This world keeps spinning faster, to a new disaster, so I run to you”…..

“I’d go back to December all the time”…. 

“I’m begging for forgiveness, I want to make a difference, even in the smallest way.
 I’m  only one person, but I can feel it working, I believe in better days…
I Believe in better Days”.

Listening to Pandora and reflecting while the music washes over me. The songs have sparked thoughts that have been circling for a few days now. It would take several posts to reveal all of them. Another time.

Christmas is upon us. Normally I have all of my shopping done well in advance. This year however, I have not stepped foot in a store, or a mall. In fact, I haven’t left this house since we took Jillian home from the hospital almost four weeks ago. My focus has been on Jillian and my family. At first I felt guilty. I expressed my concern to my kids, but they just scoffed at me and assured me it didn’t matter if I bought gifts this year. It just wasn’t important. And they are right. We already have our gifts. The gift of family, the gift of love. Tonight, when you tuck those precious kids in bed, celebrate your gifts. Cherish them, protect them. Love them unconditionally.

Yesterday morning I was lying in bed with Jillian, holding her hand while she slept. She has been sleeping most of the time now, waking up occasionally for her medications, maybe some food, and something to drink. She isn’t talking much. I think it just takes too much effort. But even with her eyes closed , I know she is aware of what is going on around her. She nods or smiles when we are talking. That cocky half grin she has. So cute. And sneaky. J                        
Lying beside her, I listen to her breathe. I watch as her chest rises and falls. I look at her precious face as I stroke back her hair.  She looks so peaceful. I am filled with so much love for her, and the silent tears fall from my face.

Things are spinning fast, and I can’t stop this roller coaster of Melanoma Cancer for her. I think back to when we were in the hospital and the doctor told us that the treatments weren’t working. When we were hit with the reality of coming home with Hospice care. I will never forget Jillian, with tears streaming down her face saying, “ I just want things like they were, I just want things like they were”. And my choked reply, “I know sweetie. So do I. But they won’t be the same. You’re tumors are growing. Things aren’t the same”.

Life is never the same. Things are constantly changing in our broken world. We do have choices though. We can choose to let life break us, or we can chose to live. I know what Jillian would do. And to honor her life, her fight, and the fight of so many others currently waging their own Black war, I will keep my promise. I will try and make a difference so we can all see better days. Because I believe.

Love and Peace~

24 comments:

  1. We are all better people because of woman like you! Thank you for giving us hope and the will to push thru anything. You and your entire family are an inspirations to so many.

    I wish you all very happy holiday. The greatest gifts are those that cannot be unwrapped, they are simply being together.

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    1. Thank you Kisma. There is always Hope. As long as we keep our eyes open, we will find it all around us.

      Merry Christmas to you, and your family!

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  2. So so amazed by your love and caring Sue, for all that you are doing for awareness, and all that you are and have done for Jillian and your family. I am certain your kids know just how special you are, you are an incredible mother. I am hoping you feel the love that surrounds you all this holiday season, as you have an overwhelming amount of friends, family, and even strangers thinking of and praying for you all constantly.

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    1. Thank you Ashley for being there for our family. You and Travis are a remarkable couple, and we are all blessed to know you.

      Have the best Christmas with your family, and I hope to see both of you soon.

      Hugs,
      Sue

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  3. None of us will ever forget Jillian, or the love, care, and devotion you have for her. You are a shining example of everything that is good in the world, and how we all should live our lives every day of the year.

    I hope this Christmas season is filled with beautiful memories of precious time with Jillian and all your family. My love and prayers are with you, now and always.

    Merry Christmas to Team Hayes!

    Barbara

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    1. Thank you Barbara. This will be the sweetest Christmas yet!

      Merry Christmas!

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  4. Susan, you are one of the strongest women I have ever encountered in my life. You are a true inspiration to so many of us. My prayers are with you and your family.

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    1. Katie, thank you for your kind words of encouragement, and support. I am pleased that Jillian's story has given people Hope and inspiration.
      Merry Christmas to you and your family!
      Hugs :)

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  5. What a wonderful world it would be if we could clone you! You are every bit of the true meaning of a phenomenal women and mama bear! A true inspiration to so many! My prayers, hugs and love are with Jillian and your family.

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    1. Thank you so much for your continued love and support, and prayers. I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

      Love to you!

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  6. The way you honor Jillian and her fight by spreading Melanoma awareness is inspiring to me, Susan. Tim was just upgraded to Stage 4 and starts Zelboraf tomorrow and more than ever, I want to help in spreading the word about Melanoma. I pray for all of you daily and Jillian is always in my thoughts. Surround Jillian with family and memories this Christmas as that is the best present for Jillian! Love you, my friend!

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    1. Thank you Becki!I will continue to hold your precious brother, you, and the rest of your family in my prayers.

      Merry Christmas to all of you, my friend!
      Hugs and love xoxo

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    2. Becki,

      My husband's pain went away while he was on Zelboraf. I hope this is the minimum that Tim experiences from it.

      Maureen

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  7. God bless you, Susan and Jillian. You are both so courageous and such an inspiration to the rest of us.

    As a survivor of 4 Melanoma malignancies, I count my blessings every time I read your updates on Jillian's condition. I am reminded that we must never take any of our loved ones for granted - and we must live each moment to its full potential.

    I still pray fervently for a miracle for Jillian. It is Christmas, after all - and I do believe. <3

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    1. Thank you Jane.I remember a day in the hospital, quite awhile ago after we had scans telling us that Jillian's tumors were growing. This was right before she started chemo. I was talking with a friend, "Staci, where is my Miracle"? She replied, "Jillian IS your Miracle, Sue".
      I too, believe in Miracles. Every single day.
      Prayers to you and you're fight with the Black Beast. Please keep me posted, if you would.
      Hugs,
      Sue

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  8. Hello Susan,
    We have not met, but my family also has fought melanoma. I was stage IV 2 Christmass ago....for some strange reason the horrible treatments of biochemo stopped my cancer. I cannot imagine why it works for some and does not for others. These are answers only God can provide. You and Jillian are in my prayers constantly...and the strength you show by sharing this with others. May we help others from "getting" melanoma. May I have your mailing address to send an angel card? Since surviving cancer I paint angels. Blessings to you and your this Christmas. Love, fellow melanoma warrior in California.

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    1. Steph,
      I am so happy to hear that the treatment has worked for you! You are an inspiration to those that are fighting this wicked disease. If you would like to email me at jemsforjilly@gmail.com, I can email you my address, as I would love to receive one of your angel cards!
      Thank you!

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  9. Jillian is leaving footprints no sea can wash away. God Bless.

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    1. Thank you Kris...I plan to walk right beside them. :)

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  10. I thought about you and Jillian and the rest of your family yesterday, I hope you were all able to spend time together. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers daily :)

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  11. Thank you Melissa, for the thoughts and prayers. The family was together all day. We had a great Christmas!

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  12. We keep Jillian in our hearts and will join you in your battle against melanoma!!! Thank you for making such a huge difference!

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  13. You cannot know how your words have touched me.....I have 2 brothers , they are 28 and 27. We live in a small town in Tennessee where nothing bad happens, but there is a murderer on the loose.......Cancer......and its found my family too.
    My baby brother, John, has stage IV sarcoma of the lungs. The left side of his chest is a solid mass of tumors, and many say there is nothing we can do.
    BUT we have time, and it is precious. I hope we do as well as your family in not wasting one second of the blessing of time we have been given.......your blog, the memories you are sharing with us, are precious and I am thankful for them. May God bless Jillian, you and your family.

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  14. Dearest Sue,
    I have no idea how I missed these last blog posts. Jillian is in the arms of her Savior, and while I know you are in deep pain, she at last is freed from it. I wish things would have turned out differently. We all do and none more than you. I am so sorry.
    There is so much sorrrow in this world. It is overwhelming and incomprehensible. But, in spite of it all we plod ahead knowing that really there is more good and that we have a loving God.
    I pray that Jillian's passing was peaceful. And I wish you peace.

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