Surrounded by a Circle of Grace

In February, as you know, I chose to stop the trial chemotherapy. Within a couple of weeks I began to feel better. The cancer is still there but the worst of the side-effects have gone to wherever old side-effects go—to hell, I think! The fatigue will forever be with me, but at this time it’s wonderful to get away from the house every now and then. I have been out to eat and shop for books at a thrift store. The most fun of all is getting to see my 4 year old granddaughter’s T-Ball practice. What an absolute hoot! I laughed so much that my ribs were sore!

Alas, just when you think that you’ve gotten the hang of living in a state of “new normal,” another “new normal” jumps around the corner to greet you! On Friday my oncologist called to say upon closer study of the CT scans, a relatively large area in my upper left lung has been identified. He said I had made the right decision to stop the chemo. If I had not chosen to stop the trial drugs, the research folks would have pulled me out of the study because the tumor burden is now too high to remain in it. The plan at this time is to come to the Cancer Center every 2-3 months for labs and CT to keep an eye on things. There will be no further treatment just as we planned last month.

It took a bit to let this news sink in–more tumor than we knew about. Well, pooh! I’m back on track now after a few hours of “O, woe is me!” When a spurt of energy hits me, I’m working on my book, seeing the grandkids as often as I can, enjoying visitors, and doing a little housekeeping.

Terry has been under the weather for two weeks with a urinary tract infection. It’s been my joy to help him with some of the daily chores that have fallen on his shoulders over the past few years. We heard that the preacher at church yesterday asked how Terry’s recovery from the “flu” was going. That same precious, truthful, 4 year old granddaughter that aspires to be a T-Ball player “whispered” to her mom, “Pop doesn’t have the flu! He just has to pee a lot!” Now that, my friends, is not “fake news!”

I recently received the gift of Jan Richardson’s book, Circle of Grace. It’s a book of amazing blessings inspired by the seasons of the church year and the seasons of our lives. I commend it to you for your prayer and meditation time. When I first saw the title, I immediately thought of the “Circle of Grace” that surrounds me and my family. Family, friends, friends of friends and family, congregations that I’ve never heard of in places that I’ve never been–all make up my Circle.

Jan writes in her blessing poem “The Map You Make Yourself”…

“Travel the most ancient way

of all:

the path that leads you

to the center

of your life.


No map

but the one

you make yourself.


No provision

but what you already carry

and the grace that comes

to those who walk

the pilgrim’s way.”


Grace and deep peace be yours as we walk together on the pilgrim’s way, Donna


  1. Pat Churchman
    Mar 28, 2017

    So sorry to hear about Terry’s problems. Glad you have a brief respite at least, to do some normal things. I loved watching t-ball games. The little kids in the outfield playing in the dirt oblivious to whatever action there might be in the infield, but here probably three years later and they’re great ball players. That early practice with those wonderful Dad coaches really gives them a head start. Our son John surprised us Saturday by coming to Catherine’s 50th birthday party. Then today he went to our great granddaughter’s class to read his books. Three other great grandchildren were allowed to come listen, so we enjoyed that quite a lot.
    As always you’re both in my prayers.
    Much love,

  2. Sarah Phelps
    Mar 28, 2017

    I hope you continue to feel better, Donna! Quality beats quantity, I think. Much love to you and Terry ❤❤

  3. JoEllen Delamatta
    Mar 28, 2017

    So good to read you once again Donna and count on my prayers for you and Terry. I live and appreciate the gift of verse when
    in your writing. May your energy expound as you continue your book.

    Blessings beyond measure to you both,

  4. Cindy
    Mar 28, 2017

    My prayer is that you and Terry are aware of each and every blessing every moment. Prayers, hugs and love to both of you.

  5. Shannon
    Mar 28, 2017

    as we listen to our Lord, the truth becomes clear. Donna, Terry our prayers continue for both of you. With grace, the Lord leads us and with great joy we listen and follow.

  6. Gerrit McDaniel
    Mar 28, 2017

    Glad you are feeling better. Poo, double Poo on the report. Spring is finally here. Enjoy the fullest of new life, flowers blooming as “you continue to Bloom Where You Are Planted.”
    Love and prayers,

  7. Harriet Smith
    Mar 28, 2017

    What a trooper you are! And what an inspiration you are. Out of the mouths of babes, for sure. Hope Terry gets over this soon. Singing praises for the T-ball games and being free from chemo. Sending hugs and prayers.

  8. Debbie Link
    Mar 28, 2017

    Donna, I am so glad you are enjoying your new normal. You deserve and have earned it. Nothing is better than being with friends and family! Chuck and I love you and wish you and Terry the best. We would love to see you!

    Debbie Link

  9. Mary Lou
    Mar 28, 2017

    Dear, dear & precious friend… may grace surround you & shower you & BE FOR YOU each step of this journey even as you share your grace-full-ness with each of us. May God’s ‘water-wheel’ (a Richard Rohr image) of love keep on filling us & emptying us out only to be filled again & again & again!!
    I love you!!

  10. Ann Held
    Mar 29, 2017

    Grateful you are feeling better. Your words are always right on target and your life is an inspiration to all who know you. Prayers for Terry’s health as well. Love, Ann

  11. Melodie Davis
    Mar 29, 2017

    Good to hear/read your long update and somewhat shocked to find you helping take care of Terry! Bless you both and I wish you time and energy to work on your book, and to visit and maybe travel a bit. Your spirit is ever bubbling. Blessings,

  12. Nancee
    Apr 8, 2017

    Continued prayers, love and light to you and yours, Donna. I don’t comment often, but know that I am delighted when I see your name in my inbox. You inspire me, make me laugh and cry.

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