Finding Hope, Redemption, Courage... from Cancer

"(At one time) my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend." - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What Lies Around the Bend, for "What Lies Around the Bend." Aka. The Renovation of This Blog

Some of you will have noticed that "What Lies Around the Bend," is not what it used to be, which was, an attempt to communicate concisely with our close-but-physically-far-away-friends about my health situation, to inform them how things were going and how they could support/think good thoughts/pray for us. We still need that support/good thoughts/prayers, very much, but it seems that the past 2 1/2 years have brought so much growth to myself and our family that we'd like also to be able to share the wealth of that freedom, and hope, with you. And by you, I mean everyone who cares to hear it, anyone who could be helped, encouraged, blessed, or supported by our journey through chronic leukemia and how it has changed our lives for the far, far better than we could ever have imagined.

It seems so much news, literature, and commentary today is so overwhelmingly negative, or even disturbing, and while we need to be confronted with hard truth that disturbing things present, I want to use this blog as a place to bring hope, to share stories of redemption, to inspire us all to have courage, no matter what monotonous daily task, or insurmountable hurdle, we might face. Along the way I hope we all find a bit of humor and light-heartedness as well.

I will not attempt to be doing this alone! There are many friends whose perspective I admire and, with their permission, hope to share with you. There are many more gifted, insightful people than I to provide you with their well-balanced ideas of how to take life by the horns and say, hey, I'm going to leave a real, palpable, footprint on my world. And by that, I do not mean ecological footprint - I am very much on board with initiatives like #GreenCity - but rather, the positive impression, memory, or legacy we can leave behind with the time we have left.

That being said, I hope to have an update for you on most days of the week ! I know, what is she thinking? It won't always be the kind of update I've been tending to write lately - no, wait, don't worry (or worry, depending on what you thought of those!!) we're going to keep those, because those-deep-thinking-reflective-how-do-we-do-this commentaries (and I intend to write overall, positive, commentaries, even if my spring-board for them may be something painful) are some of my favorite things ever, cathartic and challenging and the best way for me to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life, no matter how long it is. Those commentaries, with the overall theme of how difficult things may actually make your life better, will continue, and I hope to publish them EITHER once a week, or once every other week, on Sundays. The rest of the week will be short links or quotes, or something else I find inspires me and, far more importantly I think will inspire you.

So here's my proposed routine:

Monday's Momma Musings: This will be a short paragraph about why I love my kids or what they've taught me that week; I am in NO means the example of motherhood, and I can think of several other people who I look up to in this role, so if they'll allow me, occasionally I will share something that they've found helpful or encouraged by. Those of you with young kids, or just Mommas-at-heart, may find Mondays the day you prefer to check this place.

Tuesday's Pick of the Week: This post will be a link, either to a place, organization, article, thing, or song that I think is awesome or worthy of some more thought/attention. If you're interested in news and our community, and how that impacts your life, these Tuesday-quick-link-posts will be for you.

Wednesday's Profile of Courage: This part I'm pretty excited about; either once a week or once every other week on Wednesdays, I will be doing a short blurb on someone I respect for showing courage in hardship, someone who models what it means to be positive - or even FUNNY! - despite the circumstances. As a cancer fighter, many of these stories will be fellow cancer warriors; as a Vancouverite/British Colombian/Canadian, many of the stories will be heroes who've fought for our city, province and country; as a voracious reader, they may be someone famous, either now, or in history who's passed on but left a legacy of courage, humor, or hope under pressure; or maybe just someone I love dearly who I think many of us don't recognize enough. If you want to feel not alone in what you're dealing with, I think you'll like Wednesday's Profiles. (Also, I would love EVERYONE's input for ideas of who you think deserves part in Wednesday's Profiles;)

Thursday's Thought: These posts will be either one or two short quotes I've found inspiring, encouraging, or helpful that week; I hope to have two, one thought-provoking, and one funny, because heaven knows we could all use a little more laughter. Those of you who want something quick to give a boost to your day, Thursday will be for you.

Friday's Good Read: This will be a quick reference to a book I love that I either just read and felt it deserved a mention, or a book that's directly relating to one of the themes of this blog (ie. #vancouver, #hope, #redemption, #courage, #cancer, #parenting).

Saturday, I'm sure you're all too busy having a good time to even think about what I'd have to say!!! but Sunday's Commentary, or "What Cancer - and the _______ - have Taught Me, Part 360ff" will continue, and this is the day that will look most like what you've seen in the last couple of months. It will either be every week or every other week that I'll post, probably on Sunday evening.

I realize that most of you will check in only sporadically, and may only be interested in certain parts/days, and that is great, whatever works for you. Again, I'd love your feedback on what you liked or what you'd like to see.

Other, small things have changed; I've added an opportunity for anyone to follow the blog by email, which opens up the possibility for people other than gmail subscribers to follow this, and I hope, will bring the new posts directly to your email. I've added a search engine for this blog, or google, or the web itself, in case there was some keyword in particular that you were looking for on my blog or topic of discussion on the internet. I hope also to insert a poll soon and some pictures of my favorite city on earth, unfortunately currently known as 'riot city.' Hopefully we can rename it or at least make the 'riot' part about people laughing out of joy.

PLEASE let me know what you think, what works for you, what helped you, what you'd like to hear/read more about. Even though what I write about affects me, I am far more concerned that I would share what could help others. Any time you have to share your thoughts with me will be greatly appreciated, just as anytime you choose to spend reading what I have to say already means more than you know.

Please email me at, message me/post on my facebook wall, or, easiest of all, follow me on twitter to send me your comments: @lana_meredith.

To place a comment on the blog itself you have to create a guest gmail profile, which can be challenging... so if one of those other options works for you, use it!

All this being said... we are headed on family vacation for a very VERY needed holiday. I may be offline until next Monday, depending on the wifi capabilities of where we stay. In any case, expect to hear from me either late next Monday or early next Tuesday.

Grace and peace, and a whole lot of sun and laughter wished for each of you this weekend!

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