"Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then, it will be a really good day." Louie Schwartzberg
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Introducing Melinda and Naomi...A Guest Post and a Little of Their Story

posted by Susan Dominikovich on , , , ,

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Three years ago I was taking my five-year-old Madeline to school, helping her with her reading and spelling homework, enjoying coffee and shopping dates together, laughing and joking and sharing, doing what mothers and daughters do.  

Three years ago my beautiful friend Melinda Elgot was nursing her five-year-old daughter who suddenly had inexplicable vomitting and headaches.  Soon after, little Naomi was diagnosed with a brain tumour.  Thus Melinda and her family began a very frightening and a very public journey.  

Melinda is my model of vulnerability.  In many respects, she is the reason for this blog.  I am sure she and Victor could have considered closing ranks and journeying with their little girl in private.  Instead, Melinda has given her friends, family and supporters--her community--every single prayer request and every single update through various public arenas including facebook.  While it has been heart-breaking to learn, to pray, to hope, to sing and to cry with her through the surgeries and the medications, through the good news and the bad, I, like so many others, am thankful to have been able to journey with her.  I have been brought to my knees a number of times and I know God has wrapped His arms around their family through my prayers and songs for them.  

But I am glad for me, most of all.  Through Melinda, I have seen first-hand the blessing of vulnerability.  I have learned what it is to have faith when there is no hope.  I have marvelled and I have wept and I have acknowledged I have so much to learn from this amazing woman.  

Melinda sang at our wedding.  She had the voice of an angel.  She has honoured me by agreeing to be my guest and to post her latest update here on my blog.   You will see from her words below that she still has the voice of an angel.  And I hope her words will wrap themselves around you as they have enveloped me.

As Naomi lays sleeping on the couch beside me , I am overwhelmed with love for her and begin to reflect on the last three years. Three years!!! Yesterday marked the three year anniversary of the day we found Naomi's first tumor. As I think of this I feel in the same moment like it has been an incredibly long three years, and that it has happened in a flash. But before I reflect, I should give you a quick update on our girlie.

It seems like our reprieve is over and she has had daily headaches since Mother's Day. After a home visit from the docs yesterday, we have put her on round the clock pain meds, to not only help the pain, but to try and prevent it. She was waking up everyday with pain and then we would have to increase medication to get on top of it, so round the clock is much better for her. She is quite drowsy, but when the meds kick in we continue to enjoy wonderful interaction and family time. Thank you for rejoicing with us during our weeks of amazing and praying with us as the journey changes again.

As for the last three years, we are truly blessed. Though it may not be the normal or popular way to view cancer, we are thankful for what cancer has given us. Cancer has given us a deeper love for our family and friends. Cancer has given us a new appreciation for an amazing medical system and team that continues to fight for our daughter. Cancer has allowed us to see the goodness and generosity of not only those who love us, but also complete strangers. Cancer has given us moments to savour, reflect, smile and weep. Cancer has given us a profound appreciation for a church that lives out Jesus to us every day. Cancer has granted us patience and believe it or not, hope. Cancer has given us sleepless nights to spend on our knees lifting not only our family but many of yours up to our gracious Heavenly Father. And cancer has given us a deeper appreciation for our Fathers great love and mercy for us, His children and his love. These verses have come to us many times in these last three years and its truth is the same today, yesterday, tomorrow and forever: 

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:16-21

Be blessed dear friends and supporting community and take a few moments to reflect upon the blessings the last three years have brought to your life. All our love.

Naomi and Melinda
Kia kaha Melinda.  Kia kaha Naomi.  Stay strong.  God bless you.

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