Gift of Gab Life with Leukemia

Keep It Movin

One of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life is say goodbye to my life. Well, at least life as I knew it – the life I had become comfortable in. Great job, great friends, great opportunities. I think this was the first time I realized the magnitude of my diagnosis and that it wasn’t going to go away overnight. You see, most of my support system was in Indianapolis and it was becoming increasingly difficult and costly for everyone to keep traveling down to Orlando, FL to come check on me. In addition, I was stretched financially trying to keep up with my monthly expenses, medical bills, and prescription co-pays, all on a reduced income. So, after my second round of chemo was completed, my doctors cleared me for ground travel and I started the process of moving.

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As I began to call moving companies and get quotes, I realized that I couldn’t afford to move. Even do-it-yourself options like U-haul were simply astronomical for the items I would be moving. I never knew how expensive cross-country moving was because I had been blessed to have relocation expenses covered by my company. I looked into storage, but I would still have to find someone to move it into the storage unit and maintain the storage fee. Well, that’s when things got really tough because I realized that I would have to sell or give away most of my stuff just to be able to move. OUCH!

Not only would I be leaving my lovely home, my colleagues, the beautiful sunshine, palm trees, and friends, but now I would be forced to part with my belongings. I was very comfortable in Orlando and had what I considered a great life. Truth be told, I was handling my diagnosis of leukemia much better than dealing with the reality that life as I knew it was over. I started to feel like I was seriously losing. Then and there a still small voice whispered to me “sometimes you have to lose something in order to gain.” I screamed internally, “but not my good life and all my stuff!!” I mentally went through each room thinking about every piece of furniture, artwork, and electronic device I had handpicked. Not to mention, I was leaving the first home I had ever owned. I was almost in tears. (It’s amazing how attached we can get to our material possessions.)

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Not soon after, my sister Mia wrote a post on her blog after she moved from LA to TX that changed my whole perspective! [Below is just a short excerpt. Click here to read entire post.]

I will never feel like “myself” again. And though it can be uncomfortable, it’s a good thing because that feeling of self is linked to the past and God has promised me a FUTURE and a good one at that! My lack of response to the future He has in mind for me was causing me to miss out on His present goodness – His new mercies every day. 

WOW! The message was so simple, but yet so powerful. Although this transition was terribly uncomfortable, I began to get excited about my future. I stopped focusing on all the things I would be giving up and began to embrace the change that was inevitable. I prayed and told God that I never wanted to hold on to anything so tightly that I can’t open up my hands, release it and receive the blessings He has in store for me. A clenched fist will never have room to receive anything outside of what’s in it! With my renewed mind, I sold the majority of my belongings and gave away the rest. I packed up what I had left into my car and me, my fiancé Duane and my sister Lynna began the 14-hour drive back to Indy. I was going back to my hometown after living away for almost 5 years.

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Although there are times that I miss my life and friends in Orlando, I wake up every day thanking God for the MANY blessings He continues to give me every day! I have a team of family members and friends who come to stay with me at the hospital, check on me when I am home and visit me just to make sure I am ok. I was able to rent out my home so I have one less expense to worry about and a little extra income to help cover some other bills. I now have two of the most renowned leukemia and BMT specialists in the country as my doctors. I had the opportunity to be with all of my siblings for the first time in six years on Father’s Day 2013. I gained a renewed perspective on life and what’s important. This list could go on for awhile. All in all, what I gained far outweighed what I had “lost” and I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for my future! For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

-MEL-STRONG

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comment (7)

  1. lennie the 2nd

    03 Jul 2013 - 12:18 pm

    And they overcame by the word of their testimony and the blood of the lamb. I hate to hear that my childhood friend is suffering but I love to see God get the glory. your test is for the testimony of another.

  2. LaKecia Mason

    03 Jul 2013 - 2:04 pm

    Mel! It’s been years since we’ve spoken but you and your sister will always have a very special place in my heart. The news of your diagnosis hurt my heart, but what I told Lynna and believe very strongly is that God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle! Your family is precious and you are one of the strongest and most positive women I know. You are and will be blessed. You are a blessing to others and your story will push others to FIGHT! Love you Gorgeous

  3. Candice Jones

    03 Jul 2013 - 2:14 pm

    Melanie!! Your testimony thus far is so totally awesome and encouraging. I bless god for your strength and faith during this journey.. I Love you very much Meli-Pooh and I’m praying & praising for you.. Cant wait to see Gods completed work and join you in the ridiculous praise that is going to go forth.

    Love Candice

  4. Mia

    04 Jul 2013 - 12:16 am

    Woooohooooo!!! Awesome, sis!!

    LOVING this journey of encouraging one another, that you and I have. LOVING that you are overcoming this battle beautifully. LOVING that your latter is going to be far greater than your former……Oh, just you wait and see. 🙂

    Besos…
    Mia
    …and thanks for the shout out;)

  5. Aunt Barbara

    08 Jul 2013 - 10:40 am

    Yes… “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of host…” Greater Anointing, Greater Witness, Greater Compassion, Greater Power, Greater Love… what the enemy meant for evil, God has made good! Melanie, The Kingdom is being blessed and God is being glorified through you, like never before! A fresh anointing has been downloaded into you and I am waaaaay excited about your future! Auntie loves you bunches!

  6. Barbara J. McClain

    11 Jul 2013 - 3:19 pm

    Giving GOD praise for what HE is doing in, through, and for you. “The Best is Yet to COME!!! Praying for you my dear. Be blessed.

  7. Sara Cunnard

    28 Jul 2013 - 8:32 pm

    Mel!! Orlando is lost without you!! We can’t wait to have you back!! Our team is and will be stronger for your story of victory over fear!!

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