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Thursday, June 2, 2011

PERSEVERANCE

Some people consider 'perseverance' the cornerstone of SUCCESS.  To expect the roads we travel to be a 'cake walk'  is naive.  NONE of us is immune to the obstacles which life throws our way.  BUT---each of us does hold the power to choose what we do with whatever lands in our laps.  Like my blog last week on "Forgiveness" (click HERE),  I made the choice to get some help dealing with my childhood sexual abuse so that I could go on with my life.  (Thanks Be to God!)

Today,  I'm not talking about me--but about a very very good friend of mine,  Susan.  Susan and I grew up together and have kept in touch almost all of our lives.  Several years ago,  I got an email from Susan --and the title said "Breast Cancer".   My heart immediately sank....  It was hard reading her words saying that she had just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  Obviously,  my heart was broken.

Cancer is such a horrible disease.  In fact, it took the life of one of my brothers in 1985.  I have prayed for Susan almost continually through her battle.  She has truly had several good years.  But--she has had some rough times as her cancer spread to her bones.

Anyone who knows Susan knows that she has a fabulous attitude and has worked hard (without complaining) through all of the pain and suffering, to have the best life she can have.  She even took a trip to Alaska last Summer.  I truly think it is because of her attitude and outlook that she has done so well.

However, these past several months,  she has had a really hard time.  She's been in and out of the hospital several times with fluid build-up in her lungs and around her heart, along with other problems.  I was so afraid that her end was near.  She seemed to have given up the fight.

BUT--thanks to a wonderful doctor (and to her fabulous family and set of friends),  and ONLY after Susan hit 'bottom' did she finally decide her future.  Lying in her hospital bed recently,  she asked her doctor if she was dying.  This doctor said that it was all up to her.  He wasn't ready for her to die ---and wanted to send her to rehab at another facility.   He said that he wouldn't send her IF he thought she was dying.

Susan thought about those words,  and told herself that she could just lie there and die ---or get up and keep on --keeping on.  She chose to  PERSEVERE.  As I write this,  Susan has been in a rehab facility for a few weeks.  When I talk to her,  she sounds like a new person.  She says that they are working with her about six hours a day (physical therapy) to help her get her strength back.  (She had lost all energy and strength since she's been so sick and in the hospital so much.)

She's eating again ---and gradually getting better.  She actually hopes to go home soon.  I am so very very proud of her.  So many of us would have just given up.  She is the ultimate example of PERSEVERANCE.

Who knows what Susan's future holds?  That dreaded cancer is WINNING --but she's not going to give up until  there is just no breath left inside of her. Susan does a have a goal which she is working on now.  Her youngest son is getting married in the near future.  Of course,  she doesn't want to miss that wedding.  God be with Susan,  my special childhood friend.

You can read more about Susan on a couple of previous blogs (click HERE and HERE).  Today,  I will share a few more pictures of Susan.

Here's Miss Cutie Pie in her shorty-pj's  ---when we were teens,  and she was spending the night with me!!!!!



Here's me (with my niece, Carolyn) and  Miss Prissy Susan ---also taken when we were teens!



Here is a picture of Susan and me after playing tennis with our high school boyfriends.  (Neither of us married those boys!!! ha)



Here is a fairly recent picture (Dec/Jan)  taken of Susan with her newest grandson, Andrew!!!



And  here is a proud Nana with Drew's two big sisters,  Lindsey and Rebecca.  Susan's three grands are the children of her oldest son, Brad and wife Joy.  She ADORES her grandloves---as all of us Grandmothers do!!!!

++++++++++++++++
So,  what about you?  Do you give up when times are tough?  The truth is that our true character is determined by how we deal with our obstacles.  The bottom line is that it doesn't matter if you get there fast or slow,  as long as you keep on going.  Hold steadfast to your vision,  your hopes,  your dreams and your desires.  Never stop and never give up!!!

Calvin Coolidge once said:  "Nothing in the world can take the place of PERSEVERANCE."   God Bless You,  Susan ---and all of the others out there who are struggling with a dread disease.  You are an inspiration to all of us!

By the way,  today is Susan's BIRTHDAY..... Happy Birthday, my Friend!

Hugs,

66 comments:

diane b said...

The world should be filled with Susans, they are such an inspiration to us with few problems. I have a blog friend, Chez, who has been through breast cancer but has developed more cancers. Her fight to continue on and her positive approach are also an inspiration. I must send her this story.I am also proud of Bill the way he tries to live a normal life with heart disease and remains a cheery soul. I am so lucky that my perseverance hasn't been tested too much, other than with a sore back and knee.

Pam said...

Betsy, you have written a beautiful tribute to Susan. Your words are so inspiring.. I like the way you think!
I too have had family and friends who have had to battle cancer.. its not an easy road.
Attitude and persevering is everything.

Hugs,
Pam

Twilight said...

Happy Birthday Susan and she is indeed very fortunate to have Betsy as her God-sent BEST FRIEND.

As I read your lines slowly, my head was reeling back to all the cancer patients who have crossed paths with me during my tenure as a volunteer with Hospice Care where it was my duty to fetch terminally ill helpless patients to hospitals for treatments with my own transport, at my own time and expenses voluntarily. Therefore, I am quite familiar with their pain, worries, death or even recovery. My comments could run into pages if I detail out all my experience and observation therefore I will share a few lines only. This is just my thoughts and opinion only as an ex-Hospice volunteer.

The word "Rehab" is similar to our Hospice Daycare which is a very important place to help all patients and their families to cope. Almost all became positive and cheerful within days. This 'positive feelings' is essential for recovery and healing. Several patients have recovered miraculously and are still alive after a decade.

Many who switched their diet to vegetarian and added unpolished brown rice to their daily diet, managed to recover and became cancer-free. I watched this whole documentary as well over the Korea's KBS-channel where scientists and recovered patients were being interviewed all over the hospitals in Japan and Korea. The scientists pointed out that white rice is harmful due to its bleaching while its original unpolished brown rice contains all the valuable nutrients and natural supplements that could heal the cancer cells. Having 100% meat-free diet is great help to heal the cells.

Drink plenty of lemon juice or alkaline water daily to flush the cells and body system as cancer patients have too acidic bloodstream.

Big prayers do help. I witnessed a friend stricken with last stage of leukemia getting healed with the help of prayers when all medical treatment could not help anymore. It has been 10 years and this friend is still alive, making lots of money as a property broker.

I am sure Betsy and Susan could enjoy each other's company for many more years! My prayers are with Susan too.

Big Dude said...

Great story Betsy - you write so well. This quote has always been a favorite of mine:

Perseverance is omnipotent!

"Nothing in this world can take the place of Persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more commonplace than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genuis will not; unrewarded genuis is almost a proverb.
Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent."

Calvin Coolidge

~mel said...

You're a great friend Betsy and I'm sure Susan feels very blessed to have someone like you in her life to see help see her through the tough times. She's got the right attitude about it ... not giving in to the disease. Calvin Coolidge was right ~ nothing can take the place of perseverance!
There are days I could just curl up in bed with all my health issues; but people die in bed and I'm not ready to be one of those people. There's too much living that needs to be done:)Have a great day my cyberspace friend!! LOVE YA!!!

Arkansas Patti said...

Happy Birthday Susan.
She is all ready are quite gifted in her choice of a lifetime friend.
Attitude is so helpful when battling Cancer and support of family and friends is vital.
She is in my prayers.

Pam said...

This was such a wonderful post, sad, but wonderful. I will keep your friend in my prayers. My favorite pic is the sleepover one, so cute!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Happy Birthday to Susan.This woman deserves a medal.I don' know if I would have that kid of perseverance.Susan has been in my prayers and will continue to be.I pray that she will be able to attend this wedding.

Corker2 said...

Best Wishes to your good friend Susan. She must be a real trooper to keep on trying even though that dreaded cancer might claim her Life as time passes on. I wish her well.

Back in 2004 I lost my Mother to Cancer of the Spine. She was 85 then. The thing with Mom was that she didn't want to be in this world anymore. She lost her long fight with it. She had told me that her job on this earth is done. She had raised her 2 Sons well and they both were out on their own. I'm thinking that she just gave up and wanted to have the Lord claim her and go on to a better Life. She never complained to her Sons. Why, to this day, I will never know why she never said much about her Cancer. Maybe, because she was a tough, but fair, Southern gal, she was just to proud. On December 22nd, 2004 she lost her fight. Even though my Mother raised me with a stern hand, she is missed.

After my Mothers passing, I had a experience from her. If you believe in Ghosts or Spirits like I do, I think that one evening she was here with me for just a few seconds. Maybe she was letting me know that she was alright.

Les

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

Tears are streaming down my face-- what a beautiful tribute to Susan. God bless her on her birthday.

*Honest Abe said...

Happy Birthday to your dear friend, Susan.

Her story, told beautifully by yourself, echos my wife's breast cancer. A double dose of horror, first in one and ten years later, the other. Lots of radiation and treatment. After 5 years there is some hope that it won't come back, her doctors said, and we are just squeeking past five years. If it comes back they cannot give her any more radiation due to the damage the doses she has had. I guess it would kill her to do so. So we have to hold onto what we got out of the deal and feel fortunate to still be together after 56 years (on July 12, 2011).

KathyA said...

Wow! Good for Susan -- persistence and perseverance -- two great words!!

And, no, I'm not the type who gives us easily -- more like a dog with a bone someone once said.

Mildred said...

Hi Betsy and HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSAN! I will continue to pray for Susan. Thank you for sharing her remarkable story and attitude and these delightful photos.

Diane AZ said...

Happy Birthday to Susan! It's so inspiring to hear about her perseverance. The pictures are wonderful.

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

Sending Happy Birthday wishes to your Friend!!! Looks like you have persevered in your friendship also!!! Beautiful and true words Betsy!!!

Sandra said...

this is very touching and moving, all the way to my heart. I pray God's blessing and strength for Susan. like those old photos that are a blast from the past. brought back memories of shorty PJ's which i had forgotten. as i type this the tornado damage in Mass yesterday are pouring across the screen. perseverance is going to be needed all over our country from all these tornadoes.

Beth said...

So inspiring to read of Susan's courage, Betsy! God bless Susan and her family...and Happy Birthday to her. How wonderful that you've been friends for so long---what a blessing.

And I wanted to say how much I admire your courage in posting about your childhood sexual abuse. (Sorry I missed it last week---I've not been much on the internet.) I know how hard it must have been to write about it, but I know that in doing so, you probably blessed many others who've experienced similar hardships in their past. Thank you for that.

Daisy said...

Susan serves as a good example for us all. I hope your friend has a happy birthday, Betsy.

Tracy said...

Awww, Betsy, what a lovely tribute and such an inspiring post! What would the world behod if there were more 'Susans' out there taking the world by its horns? We can only imagine!
Thanks for well, for being the wonderful person and friend you rea; to celebrate her life and her perseverance! I will pray for Susan that she makes it to her son's wedding!
I don't think you need to ask if I've persevered through anything...
love and hugs...

linda m said...

Very inspiring story about your friend Susan. i don't know if I could persevere after all that. She is a very remarkable woman and very lucky to have you for a friend. My prayers go out to her.

amelia said...

Unfortunately we have all had many friends who have been in our lives and have been diagnosed with cancer. I lost one recently to AML. It took her in four months start to finish and I don't think her husband will ever get over it.

The very best of luck to Susan and may she win the fight.

Rose said...

I think of her quite often, believe it or not. I am not sure I would have her preserverance but I do admire it.

Rose said...

I meant perseverance....

texwisgirl said...

God bless your sweet and stubborn friend. :)

Ginny said...

Oh, such a sad story about your dear friend. I am so sorry!! Cancer is awful, you know my mom had two kinds and died a slow and painful death. And Phil had cancer, though we think it is cured. I do believe that fighting or not can make a big difference with how soon we die - up to a point. Sometimes it just gets so hard that we want to die. I will pray for her, Betsy.

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

What awesome ladies you two are! Here's to happiness and health!

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

She is doing great! Happy Birthday to Susan...

Snap said...

Happy birthday to Susan.

Janice K said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your friend, Susan, and so much wisdom shared by many of your readers regarding diet, etc.

I remember when my mom was diagnosed with lymphomia at age
89. When the oncologist asked her if she wanted to undergo chemo, her immediate answer was "Yes." He later told us that when he told his colleagues that he was giving chemotherapy to an 89 year old woman, they thought he was crazy. However, he said, "If I hadn't, I would have been making a big mistake." It wasn't easy but mom made it through. She felt God still needed her here on earth to take care of my dad and her blind grandson, and also she had the birth of a great grandson to look forward too. I am thankful for her perserverence and God's answers to our many prayers, because we were blessed to have her with us another 5 years.

Happy Birthday to Nancy, and may God bless her with many more years to spend with her family. And thank you, Betsy, for sharing your friend with us.

Peggy said...

What a blessing to have such a wonderful friend. Happy Birthday Susan!

Out on the prairie said...

Many times our friends can help build our strength when times are tough. This places a lot of value on friendship, and we should all treasure it well.I started working with Hospice when I took a death and dying class in school.Treatment and survival have come a long way since then.

Karin said...

What a wonderful post on your dear friend - so beautifully written. Am reminded that to perseverance is added godliness. So wonderful that you've been honored to be a huge part of Susan's life and no doubt used by God to keep growing that perseverance in Susan. I feel so strongly that we can't go it alone! God bless Susan and you! What an inspirational story! Thanks!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Happy birthday to your dear friend Susan, and may she have many, many more!

None of us know the appointed day the Lord will call us back, so living each day fully, and treating it as a gift to be enjoyed is a wise lesson for all.

Your wise words helped me today, Betsy, as I have been dealing with a stubborn eye condition that is taking a very long time to heal. Perserverance is the word I shall keep repeating to myself when I feel down about it. Thanks!

Happyone : ) said...

A very Happy Birthday to Susan. May she still have many many more.

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, This is another outstanding post! Happy Birthday to your pal Susan! I like your header with the Lillies, by the way. Have an excellent day!

NCmountainwoman said...

Happy Birthday Susan!

Moving post, Betsy. I will keep positive thoughts for your friend.

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

what a powerful tribute to your friend, Betsy!

oh, so touching post.. tears roll down my cheek. :(

happy birthday to Susan, sending warm hugs!

betty xx

nanny said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet friend! I hope today finds Susan feeling soooo good!

If this comment makes it I will be shocked.....I am having such problems with blogger.
When I saw your Title I though you were relating Perseverance to blogging but you have a much more real life issue at hand....puts it all in perspective. (I have missed talking to you)

Darla said...

This is a timely post on so many levels for a lot of us Betsy. She has a wise Doctor, God Bless them both.....the Lord meets us at our Faith that's for sure!

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Betsy,
I wish the very best for Susan. She sounds like a very strong person and I hope and pray she gets well and lives a long, long time. Thanks for sharing about this wonderful lady. She's an inspiration to all of us.

LV said...

Attitude plays a very big part in any situation. Sorry about your friend. It is hard for me to understand why they have not found better treatment of cure for this dread disease. My the good Lord bless and keep her and family.

Jane said...

What a great post! My wish for Susan is a complete recovery and many happy years to come with you by her side! How are you and George doing?

Jane

Ron - 'T.O.Geezer' said...

I pray that God will heal your friend Susan and she will make a full recovery.

We have some close family members who are currently going through a battle with cancer. Hopefully someday they will find a cure for it.

Lana said...

What a great story about your dear friend! I truly believe that most medicine is only as good as we BELIEVE it to be. My grandma once gave me some pills and told me they would help me lose weight. They did! Guess what...they were vitamin E pills! But it didn't matter because I believed in them. I wish I could find that determination and perseverance to lose weight again. I did walk today and hope to get back into that routine. I guess as long as we keep trying, that is all that matters! Hugs!

Linda said...

This is such a lovely tribute to your sweet friend. None of us can imagine how we'll deal with suffering until it comes. I hope, when my time comes, I'll be able to deal with it as graciously has Susan has.

Retired English Teacher said...

I hope Susan read your blog because I want her to know how inspired I am by her story. Susan, you are an amazing woman. I'm glad you are fighting for a victory over breast cancer. I'm glad you asked the right question, and that your doctor gave you hope and a new treatment. God Bless you. I will remember you in my prayers.

Betsy, you are an amazing friend. Thank you for sharing this story with us. Thank you for your words of encouragement about perseverance. You radiate hope and determination. My world has been blessed because you, my blogging friend, are in it.

Ann said...

A very happy birthday to Susan and may she celebrate many more. She's truly an inspiration. A positive attitude goes a long way.

Cassie said...

Happy Birthday to your bud Susan! She has a good friend in you dear Betsy. (I bet she loved the pics of her youth that you posted!!)

CottonLady said...

A very touching post, Betsy. My prayers are with Susan and may God bless her on her birthday.

My mother is a cancer survivor. She had stage 3 colon cancer in 1995. She will be 90 this August. It is indeed faith and perseverance!

Blessings to you!
CottonLady

Deb from WhatsInMyAttic said...

Wonderful, inspiring post, Betsy. There's more than aircraft involved in the saying, "Your attitude determines your altitude." I have a coworker who has taken the absolute opposite attitude of your friend Susan. I'm fearful that she won't make it past the "about 18 months" that her doctor mentioned 16 months ago. It's very uplifting to read your post about Susan's story.

Catherine said...

It breaks the heart to have to watch our friends go through such a terrible decease. But if she is anything like you Betsy ~ I know she will keep fighting!

And how sweet are you gals as such young pretty things. It's wonderful to have friends from childhood. I am thinking she is very special to you.

Beautiful.

xo Catherine

The Incredible Woody said...

What a wonderful tribute to your friend! She sounds like an incredible woman!

Janie said...

Happy birthday to Susan. She sounds like such a strong person, a wonderful friend, mother and grandmother. I'm so sorry she has to go through such a difficult struggle, but she seems to be meeting the challenge as well as anyone possibly could.

Small City Scenes said...

What a good friend you are, betsy. We will all send some strengthening prayers along to Susan. Happy Birthday Susan!!!
What an inspiring story of Susan and Perseverence. MB

Shug said...

Hi Betsy....I first send Birthday wishes and Blessings to your wonderful friend Susan....
What courage...what strength....she must have...
You are a very good friend...the kind of friend that we all need to be...thank you for sharing Susan's story...I am sure it will Bless many people!
I lift Susan in prayer to the Lord and I am asking God to bring her a healing that will bring HIM glory..
Hugs to you Betsy...
shug

Diane said...

Happy Birthday Susan.
Thanks for sharing her story Betsy, I'm glad you and her are friends, I'm sure you're a great support to her.
I have found that you have to go on, what else is there? I have been so sick that I couldn't and that's a rough place to be. But we must go on. Diane

Glenda said...

God bless your friend, Betsy! We could all learn from her example!
What a blessing to have a life-long friend like Susan!

SquirrelQueen said...

What a remarkable woman, her story is proof of the power of perseverance and inner strength. Anything is possible if we believe and keep moving ahead.

Me, I'm a scrappy fighter. While I have never been faced with anything like your friend is going through I can't see myself giving up, it's just not in my nature.

Happy Birthday Susan!

mudderbear said...

Wow, what a heartfelt,wonderful post.
and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SUSAN. There are some who must be here to show us the way. They do such a good job of it.
I fear I am prone to giving up when things get rough, except for when it concerns my family and dear friends. Then one just can't give up. What is the alternative? Where would you be going?? This is a good post, giving us all things to think about. Thanks, Betsy. You're an angel.

Sunny said...

Very inspiring story. Happy Birthday to your friend.
Perseverance is my middle name, haha!
Thankfully we are about 40 miles away from where the tornadoes hit, it was a very scary weather day!
☼ Sunny

Carletta said...

A Happy Belated Birthday to Susan!
I loved your words "it doesn't matter if you get there fast or slow, as long as you keep on going." A simple statement but very powerful.
I'm glad Susan found something inside her to keep going. Those little grandchildren are a lovely incentive!
I have to give thanks for my Mom who had breast cancer that was caught early and she didn't have the same struggles as Susan but I admired how she lived day to day to fight it. Last year was her fifth year being cancer free.
Susan is lucky to have a friend like you Betsy. She will be in my thoughts and prayers.

carolina nana said...

What a wonderfully inspiring post Betsy. Cancer is a horrible thing but I'm glad your friend has decided to fight for what time she has left.
Blessing to her and you for lifting her up in prayers
Marilyn

Loren said...

Betsy,

You have such a beautiful heart and no doubt you have been such a blessing to Susan! Happy Birthday to her and prayers for her as well!

I hate Cancer. It took my Daddy 2 years ago and I miss him soo much! I know having a fighting spirit and good attitude makes enduring all the treatments so much better!

Bless you Betsy!!

Fred Alton said...

Happy Birthday to Susan! And congratulations to you for being a true friend. May God bless both of you.

Chatty Crone said...

Well I think Susan is a hero - and I wish her the best birthday ever. I know the grandchildren help her too. Good bless and prayers are sent her way. sandie

Cheryl said...

Betsy thank you for this insightful post on your friend Susan.
My Australian Blog Buddy, whom I see has mentioned my name, recommended I visit to read the story about your wonderfully inspiring friend. I am so glad I did!
Go Susan!