A guest post from Evelyn Hausknecht —
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This year I have chosen the word live. I am using this word as a verb expressing how I live not where I live. This verse embodies my desire: “Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.” (Psalms 119:175)
In April 2008 I had a stem cell transplant. This transplant was necessary because a year earlier I was diagnosed with a rare type of T cell lymphoma. This disease was aggressive, recurrent and deadly. I survived the transplant, but have chronic Graph versus Host Disease. This occurs because my body tries to reject its donor. This battle has continued for 5 years this April. Due to this battle I take immune suppressants to keep a balance between my DNA and the donor DNA. The immune suppression requires me to have many restrictions on my life. Germs are my enemy. I have dietary rules, environmental rules, and social rules. This makes me feel like I am living in a bubble. I have to be very careful when I go places where I will be in close contact with other people especially during flu season. Also it is hard to eat at a friend or family members home unless they know my dietary rules. Gradually these rules have become less restrictive, but they are still there.
Along with the rules, I have experienced fatigue, shortness of breath, joint stiffness and severe dry eyes. All of these limitations have put limitations on my life. Even though God gave me the miracle of life, I did not feel that I was living a full life. At the beginning of 2013 I believe God is telling me LIVE, really live, live fully, so that I might praise him through my life. This will involve taking some risks and moving out of my comfort zone. I’m sure this challenge will play out differently on different days.
Singing with gusto at the Sunday morning church service is helping my shortness of breath. Driving a one ton truck filled with ladies to a bible study class, going with friends to new restaurants where I am not sure about the menu, and participating in a 2 mile power walk three times a week, are just a few of the risks I’ve taken so far this year. I am also riding motorcycle with my husband and caregiver more frequently and for longer rides.
Now I realize that most of these activities don’t sound risky to the average person, but they are for me. You see, I haven’t had enough
oxygen in my lungs to sing for a long time. Driving the one ton truck is new to me, and I am gradually getting comfortable with it. The two mile power walk is something I could not manage until this year. I am looking forward to new challenges each day and have a mindset that with God’s help I can Live Fully.
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Evelyn Hausknecht is a married grandmother of 6 that loves bright blue skies and very sharp pencils. Currently a retired tracher and cancer survivor, who enjoys life.
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