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Friday, November 2, 2012

Inventory- Blessings Large and Small

I am taking President Monson's challenge to write down blessings and focus on the good things through all we have been given this past year.  There is no way I could ever write a post long enough to include all the people who have extensively blessed our lives and even if I tried to list your names I know I would leave some out. Just know that I have a huge list of people by my bedside that I have tried to thank in some form and I definitely haven't gotten around to thanking you all, but you are in my daily prayers (literally, there are 3 pages of name after name taped to the wall beside my bed that is ever growing :).

Inventory: Blessings Small and Large>>>

1. I am blessed that Marshall is still alive. If he would have been born a couple decades earlier or even if his ALL would have shown up when he was a child, he most likely would not have lived past the beginning of this year.

2. I am blessed to have a sister and a mother-in-law who have both set a high standard and example of a caregiver in my life. My sister Emily has recently received a national award for beating the odds! She's been very quiet about it, but you can read about the reward she's received and see how awesome she is here! We were helping her edit a paper at 1 in the morning on Halloween which will be published in the official history of Idaho. She's putting Idaho on the map baby! Plus, my ever tireless mother-in-law who has been providing for her family and being the best possible mommy she can be for years has helped us immensely on top of her load too!

3. I am blessed that I married the most optimistic person I have ever met in my life. I don't think anyone else in the world could handle all the tough moments as well as Marshall has.

4. I am blessed we were able to find a donor even after Marshall's five living siblings were not a match after all. For Caucasians in the U.S. there is a very good probability that you can find a donor by using Other ethnicities have not registered for the national bone marrow registry in so great a number so if you are of a different race or not register today! Marshall and I have even been inspired at times to start up an international non-governmental organization to help the odds of our brothers and sisters all over the world of finding a match that could save their life!
Celebration of Life Monument 2012. Thank you anonymous donor. Can't wait to meet you someday! 

5. I am blessed we do not live on the Eastern shores of the U.S. during all of this and get hit by a Frankenstorm last week.

6. I am blessed to have a wonderful, darling, and healthy baby boy! He has been laid back, social, and so easy since the day he was born. Yes, he has his moments (usually during church) but he is an awesome son!
First snow fall this year

7. I am blessed that we have our home and have not lost it yet through the expenses of cancer and bone marrow transplant treatments. The reason we haven't is because of our wonderful friends and family donations at Marshall's benefit in March and throughout the year. I'm surrounded by wonderful, selfless people!

8. I am blessed to be born of goodly parents. Really- my dad is my hero and his goodness never fails. He understands what a trip through Gethsemane this year has been for me and puts it in words more eloquently than anyone else I have talked to this year.
The day Kez was born

9. I am blessed to be getting to know my in-laws so well this past year. I have had to rely on them for a lot of things and it has been hard to lean so much on family and friends I just met a couple years ago.
Aunt Martha is a nurse at LDS hospital and blessed us with lotions, visits, and love 
Kelly moved all the way from Washington to help with Kezman! She's incredible. Mom Jensen is a gift 
Kez adores Keith

10. I am blessed to have been able to work little jobs here and there this year like tutoring and tending to help ends meet and still be close to Marshall if he needs to go in the hospital.

11. I am blessed to have wonderful friends and neighbors who pooled their resources together to gather food, wipes, diapers, etc. for my little boy through our trial this year. He was well taken care of at the beginning of the year! Friends and family also graciously watched and cared for him during my long nights at the hospital.

12. I am blessed to have been a bioethics T.A. for a few years and to have extensively learned about medical prerogatives, social and physical situations surrounding death, bringing new life into the world, and ethical issues and choices that surround us as people in a modern era. I did not think I would be using what I studied and taught so extensively in college so early in my life, but Heavenly Father knew exactly what he was doing when I was offered a pay raise from my other job at an International Admissions Office in order to make the change to BioEthics.

13. I am blessed from the people who have gone before us. Not only do I have life, skills, and everything that surrounds me because of them, but we have heard success stories from others who have received bone marrow transplants that keeps us going amid all the setbacks and failures.
My grandma Joyce (drawn by my Uncle Daryl). We are 100% sure it was her canned peaches that cured Marshall's cancer 

14. I am blessed to have scriptures, prayer, and church to attend. These actions give me a spiritual sense that is otherwise impossible to attain. Spirituality helps to provide an eternal perspective, a broader understanding during catastrophe, and knowledge of what is really important which does not include "stuff" that will rot away when we die. It also helps me to forgive quickly.

15. I am blessed to have a healthy lifestyle and body. It doesn't help to explain how in the world the hubster got leukemia, but at least I am able to take care of him. It'd be extra hard if I had health issues too.

16. I am blessed with an active mind that is eager to learn and grow in every way possible. Knowledge is one of the things we will carry on to the next life and I'm thankful I learned at a very young age to love school and to be studious and pensive as a small child. This helped a lot when researching cancer, transplants, care giving, etc.

17. I am blessed with contentment knowing what to come is the best for us and that I am being pushed in ways I need to grow and become even stronger than before.
Dancing with damaged nerves in my right leg 2 months after Kezman's debut 

18. I am blessed to have the nicest neighbors ever who share their amazing food, meals, and time with us and our son. Especially one family who I have kind of adopted as my family while my blood-related relatives live such a distance away from me. They are awesome!

19. I am blessed to have music. Without Marshall being able to pick up the guitar and sing away at any tune he chooses or writes, I think this year would have been ten times worse. There were many touching moments in the hospital that he blessed the life of the nurse, the volunteer, and the other patients more than he will ever know with his beautiful talented voice and song. Music gets us through the waiting games, the mundane procedures, and even repetitive chores while I raise a son.
Marshall performing at Survivors at the Summit 2 months post transplant 

20. Cancer Wellness House. We have made friends there that are going through hard times.
Fighting Young Adults 

21. Blessing galore! All the blessings I don't have time to list here. Sweet texts of pictures from nieces that make me smile, a warm bed, letters of hugs and kind words, messages of admiration, our heroes telling Marshall that he is their hero, Kez learning new things every day, being able to read and sing to him, family asking how we are, hair that grows back, help with bills and groceries, being able to run and exercise, volunteers helping to tie ribbons, print pictures, and organize more blessings, etc. etc. etc.