Friday, December 20, 2013

Tis the Season for Giving

I was honored to get an email  asking me to come and share about Cancer, Chemo, and Care Packs with the fifth graders at Bethany Elementary in Oklahoma City. My cousin, well my "third cousin", but she might as well be my first cousin, is a 5th grade teacher there, and has been sharing my fight against  Ovarian
L to R: My cousin, myself, and a friend and
fellow Cancer fighter, Cindy Wales
Cancer with her class.

The word spread and interest was peaked
enough that the kids had a desire to get involved. They collected several donations to support Tenaciously Teal's mission to encourage individuals battling Cancer by meeting both their immediate and long term needs. Tenaciously Teal has grown through it's initial and primary endeavor to provide Care Packs to Cancer patients battling Cancer as a way to extend hope and joy to those in the midst of what at times can be a dreadful and terrifying battle.

My sister's passing out "Fight Like
A Girl" bracelets.
The Care Packs consist of items both myself and other patients have found beneficial in their fight against Cancer including; Gatorade, mints, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, Cheeze Its, Protein Bars, puzzles, Peanut butter, and note pads to name a few.  
Donations brought in by the kids, and
placed underneath the Tenaciously Teal Tree.

The fifth graders at Bethany Elementary not only blessed me today with their sweet spirits and kind hearts, there generosity will bless and bring joy to many other patients for months to come. Thank you Bethany Elementary for inviting me to share some of my own and Tenaciously Teal's story, and thank you for collecting items to fund the Care Pack Operation! It was an honor to be with you today!

More items for Tenaciously Teal's Care
A letter from Jack that brought me to tears.

Nothing better than being surrounded by so much love and joy!

As we snapped a few shots the kids starting holding up their bracelets
shouting "Fight Like a Girl"!

Christmas is a season for giving, in fact a GIFT is at the center of it all!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I've Had Help Fighting Cancer

When this day came I thought I would have something more profound to say. Actually, not much thought has gone into it, but as the one year anniversary of my major Cancer surgery approached I assumed there would be some sort of divine inspiration or maybe a specific feeling I would have as I looked back on a significant day in my life. One year ago today my oncologist removed more than most of my insides and worked for over eight hours to eradicate my body of Cancer that clung to me tightly.

On December 10th, 2012, the fight began, and a new chapter of life with Cancer was opened. I am thankful a year ago I did not know how the chapter would be written. Mostly because of the old adage "had I known then what I know now".. Lets just say had I known then what I know now another side of Tarah may have begun this battle, and on the wrong foot. More importantly I am thankful  I did not understand what this year would hold, because of the pleasantry in seeing how evil can be used for good.

After being diagnosed with Cancer, or any major disappointment in life, it's hard to be reminded of a world where evil seems so powerful. We've all been there, felt like we were at the losing end of a battle against darkness and indescribable feelings of helplessness, pain, sadness and maybe even anger commence, doing their best to consume you. I give full credit for overcoming, or at least not backing down to, Cancer to God, and the support that has graciously surrounded me. After my diagnosis and throughout this Cancer journey I have received cards, messages, and phone calls assuring me people were praying for me, and reminding me of the power of God's love. At some point in the journey I truly started to feel the obvious strength and power that came from the prayers I was receiving, and a time came where I felt I was called to use that power to spread God's love, which has led to the ministry of Tenaciously Teal. T. Teal, I am proud to say blossomed out of darkness, and I hope is a shining example of the good that can come from a desolate situation.

In examining my Cancer journey people may ask, "Why didn't your God stop you from having Cancer?" This is a tough question, and if I am being honest one I have asked myself. If I was pressed to answer I would say,  from the beginning we've all been given the ability to make our own choices, good and bad, and with the freedom of choice comes the consequence of evil in this world. On paper freedom of choice with the potential for evil or Cancer or suicide or depression or murder seems to be a hefty price for the simplicity of choice, however, with choice good and love shine more brightly, and the only way good can truly be in us and shine through us is if we freely choose it over all else. So, in retrospect I don't know specifically why God didn't stop me from having Cancer, but His good, His Light, and His Love shine more brightly because of it.