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The "Two Week" Queen...

Written by: Bill Sparks Posted on: September 19, 2022 Blog: Warriors

"We had to stop your procedure!"


Get up...20220721_153502.jpg

Start the day...

Volunteer at Gilead...

Stop by the church...

Meet with the girls...

Routine...

That's what this was supposed to be...

Just go to your appointment and get your mammogram and go about your day...

THEN... The routine visit interrupted her routine and the swirling began...

Nothing could have prepared Rhonda for the next months of waiting, hoping, crying, lack of sleep, struggle, treatment and eventually back on a routine...

A new routine that now includes a trip through cancer treatment and a maintenance drug to, hopefully, ward off any cancer in the future...

Rhonda has been volunteering for years at Gilead. Her presence always brings joy and laughter to the office. She is a multitalented, fun-loving, and grace-giving person...

But cancer tested all of the norms...

The most obvious was her "normal" for getting things done. Rhonda is a "worker" to say the least and was used to "getting things done", but cancer changed that...

Every appointment that was supposed to happen got delayed... 2 weeks...

Each test...results...and action plan...radiation....everything she faced that was promised in days seemed to take 2 weeks!

Promise made...

Promises stretched...

Promises broken...

All of it began to test her ability to hold on, it became nerve-racking and by her own admission, it became a fight greater than she first anticipated.

Faith...emotional stability...life...everything seemed to be under duress...and the pressure was more than she could handle from time to time...

She was at her wit's end occasionally...


Life's not supposed to go like this...

You're not supposed to have the world jerked out from underneath you when you're living for Jesus...Right?

WRONG...

Rhonda's attitude... "Why not me?"

It's not that she never asked "Why?", but once that struggle surfaced, "I just knew that I wasn't any better than anyone else...God didn't love me more or less than anyone else...who am I to say to Him, "God this shouldn't happen to me." Not only could it happen, but her heart is settled that God had all if it in his hands the entire time.

"I got scared." She admits..."But I was never "frightened." she says to explain the struggle with her fear and yet the sense of a calming from the Holy Spirit in the midst of her concern.

That doesn't mean it didn't impact her faith, but it does mean that she knew that in the scheme of things, God knew best and His will was what she wanted to be in...nothing else...being in the middle of God's will.

It has always been her focus and by His grace, her heart and mind were able to hold on to her focus of serving Him faithfully...

But some days...IT WAS HARD...and other days...well, let's just say...She looked around for help...

First up on the hero list was the one person she's leaned on for years... Cheryl...

"She's my sister...not biological...but she's my sister anyway..."

"Cheryl has been with me EVERY step of the way and she's helped me laugh, been there for me when I cried." "She was with me every step of the way...I could be myself and let go with her."

"The guys and gals (from Gilead) were amazing!" Rhonda pipes up as we are doing this interview.

"And the regular texts and reminders I was being prayed for were exactly what I needed to get me through. I could not have made it through without the support I received."

Her friend Cathy Timmons spearheaded a "final treatment" celebration outside of the cancer center on the day of Rhonda's last treatment. It was overwhelming for Rhonda, and for those of us who were so proud of her courage.

Today...after the battle...Rhonda lives with a new routine..

And How does she make it work? Jesus... that's right, for as cliche as that sounds, it's the most powerful resource that Rhonda places her life's hope in...not just a "belief" but a man who loved her so much he died for her, and as she was before breast cancer, she is now... wanting to serve Him and please Him...

Until...

She sees Him face to face...

And on that day...the "ROUTINE" will be so amazing that she can't even imagine how much outside the box it will be...

Rhonda continues to volunteer, and she now has a deeper understanding of the work she's always been a part of here at Gilead, but now it's...

PERSONAL...

Rhonda doesn't want anyone to feel bad about what she had to say when I asked her about the things people did that wasn't helpful...she just added..."It was very hard...because people would shun me...avoid me...like I had the plague."

Then she admits... "That is the way I have reacted in the past." Such an eye-opening experience for Rhonda.

As I watched Rhonda's face during our interview, I realized she was not the same person I've known for years (30+)

She was now a warrior...a victor...an advocate...

She would say she wishes all patients had an amazing support system as she had...

To have a circle of friends who have loved her and supported her through this whole journey.

And that's what we wish for all our families and patients fighting a life-threatening illness like cancer...that they would know they are loved...that we are here to support them emotionally, spiritually and in any practical ways we can.

We hope they don't just feel loved but cherished and sought as a friend seeks another friend, and know they are loved by the Savior...

It's the real reason anything ever happens...

If you would like to give a donation in honor of Rhonda's volunteer work and in honor of her battle, please click on the donate button below...Every dollar raised will be used to continue supporting the ministry of encouragement for as many patients as possible.

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