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Thankful - this writer's year

It’s always a big day when you get your book in the mail. Today was that way again for me. The box came… filled with something I made. 
It is more than a little exciting and overwhelming, knowing how much work and heart went into something. The journey to write this book was so much longer than I wanted it to be.

 My prayers today are filled with my own hope, that the book is good and the mistakes are few and easy to fix. (No book is ever perfect, we all do our best.) 

There is one thing I didn’t add to this last book - the real thank you list. 

While trying to write this last book my health deteriorated so badly in this last year that I nearly died. 
The thank you list for the people that held me up during that horrible and painful time weren’t listed in the pages. 
People weren’t helping to get credit. They helped because they cared. 

I remember a day last year when I was at the zoo, a woman in the midst of surviving breast cancer, doing rounds of chemotherapy, was telling me how much she had been praying for me. I was speechless, I had been on my face in prayer for this woman, knowing her two children were wanting their mother to stick around. Her survival has been so inspirational.
I was still undiagnosed, in the land of mysterious illness that had me down for the count. It took me until February of 2013 to finally find a diagnosis. 

I had a core group that really knew what was happening. Some of my organs were shutting down and no longer functioning. I was dying… I had an appointment with a specialist in 4 days. Not sure I could make it four more days. I remember talking to God and asking for him to comfort my husband and daughter, and my parents, thinking if they lost another daughter that would just be… fill in the blank… I have no words for that moment. 
There is a line in my new book Angela’s Hope that is so very personal for that night. 

"Only a few hours ago she had accepted that she would probably die soon. God had other plans." 
- Angela’s Hope

* * * * *

Sickness and financial hardships go hand in hand. I knew I had a short window to get help before I was going to lose the battle at home. I was only willing to add a emergency room visit bill to my families debt stack if I had too. I was desperate to avoid that.  Choosing between money and life is not a fun choice to make. It brings tears to my eyes now as I remember the struggle. 

With the desperate call from my mother to the specialist, she is very persuasive,  I got in before the office was officially opened the next day. I really feel like I would have died that day if we hadn’t gotten in. My body was done for. 
A plan was made, tests were run, a friend stayed with me overnight and during the day to make sure I stayed hydrated and alive. My doctor called often to make sure I was still holding on while he tried to solve the mystery. 

One stupid blood test - the right one - changed everything. 

Diagnosis is such a beautiful word. Having answers doesn’t mean a cure but it sure does help the heartache and anxiety. There were lots of unpleasant things to do and prescription drugs to take and a long, long recovery to look forward too.

I am on the rocky road of recovery, thanking God for every good day. Holding on to faith on the bad ones that still come. 
My body has been through a blender. 


I want to thank those that helped me. 
~ For the rides to the hospital, tests, and procedures. 
~ For the friend who stayed with me through the horrible and scary days. 
~ For my husband and daughter for basically waiting on me hand and foot. Without complaint and with great care. 
~ For the friend who helped pay for one of the tests that had to be paid up front. 
~ For the visits, flowers, and the few little gifts. (Demitri the stuffed dog still lives on my couch, he watches me as I write.)
~ So thankful to God for getting me through. I cannot say enough about the everyday conversations I had with God. He is my source. 


I want to send out prayers for those still suffering. Living with undiagnosed pain or a diagnoses with no relief and no cure. There is not always the support groups, ribbons and marathons for everyone who is suffering. My experience throughout all of the pain and suffering over the last seven years has taught me so much about leaning on God. Finding peace and communion with God was the only thing that kept me going.  
Praying that anyone that is hurting while reading this will go to God for the peace and love that He offers freely. 

Being able to write during the time of healing has been such a blessing. I prayed for a purpose during the storm. 
So very, very thankful for a way to pour my heart out. It had been a lifelong dream to write. 

Still asking for prayers as I heal, prayers for my family for a way to pay for all the medical bills. 

Believing that God still has a purpose for me. I am still here. I am so very thankful. 

- Leah Banicki

written 11/12/13


1 comment:

Pat Harris said...

Wow, what a year! I'm thankful also to those who helped you. And thankful to God for His mercy for sending help when you needed it most. God bless you and have a better year next year.