Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hooray for Half Time!

September 20, 2009

Hooray for Half-Time!

Cheerleaders spring into action when the whistle blows half-time. While teams hit the locker room, the squad flips into formation. The funky music and their fancy moves infuse the audience with fresh hope for the game’s final outcome. Will my team get the win? When does coach call the game-changing strategy? Who runs the eye-dropping upset? Half-time—full of potential! Just as many minutes lay ahead as those that have fallen behind. It’s the shining moment when anything seems possible.

On the other hand, half-way just doesn’t sound as thrilling as half-time. “Hey, I’m half-way through War and Peace; just 700 pages to go.” When working toward a PhD, hearing “I’m Mid-way with only 5 more years of study and a dissertation to write,” sounds daunting. And no NASA astronaut wants to make it half-way to the moon. Am I right? One term leaves you wanting more, but the other overwhelms you with so much more to come.

Last week I hit my half-way chemotherapy mark. I should be optimistic. “Woo hoo, I’m half done!” But I’m having a hard time looking at three more installments with excitement. The first series have caused a level of fatigue indescribable to those who have not undergone this type of treatment. I play possum like a pro… Awake enough to hear the news on the television, but lacking the energy to open my eyes and see it, too. For a few days, things just don’t taste the same. Even drinking water leaves an after taste, something akin to morning mouth. My digestive system functions like a preview of “Alien vs. Predator.” Who’s living in my intestines and what does it want? And today my hands twinge slightly with a tingling neuropathy. That could end my beading career.

So I’m asking how to change my half-way mentality into half-time momentum. You know the glass half-full or half-empty scenario. The answer is knowing that Christianity is not a solo sport, but a team effort. My previous blog likened perseverance to running a marathon. But running alone leads to isolation and defeat. So today, I recognize my teammates. First, the strategy from my Head Coach Jesus ensures ultimate victory over sickness and sin. The course He’s marked doesn’t end in a ribbon decorated park, but at heaven’s pearly gates where there is no pain or hurt. He’s, also, enlisted fellow competitors to show me success by running ahead with endurance. I can almost hear my half-time cheerleaders rallying in the grand stands, Give me an “L!” “L!” “Give me an E!” “E” Give me a….

This is my half-time prayer, to, “take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong” (Heb. 12:12-13). I'm pretty sure I got another half-a-game in me.


  1. we love you and are praying
    we know it is not easy and think of you everyday
    it will get better
    we have a girl friend who is 46 and did treatment for breast cancer (lost hair , and does have beautiful head of hair now curly) she was sick during treatment. it is okay to feel sick and let your body rest. none of us would be champs. i promise you , you will feel better
    we will continue to faithfully pray for you
    it breaks our heart that you have to go through this. wish it could be different we are praying for God to interceed when you can not and your friends and family to an incredible say the right things
    most of all know we love you and and are praying
    we feel sad...
    rick and linda

  2. thank you Lenya. even in the middle of your own battle your words and your courage inspire me in my battles. "Hang on to THE ONE who loves us."

    I'm praying and I know that this too shall pass.
    sad, but encouraged.

  3. Thank you, Lenya, again for inspiring all of us. I want to encourage you now as you are not able to see the end as clearly as those of us on the outside. You are half way there! I know it's not been easy but you've done it. Yahoo! Hooray! You have done an amazing job. You have maintained an incredibly positive attitude and have even gone so far as to continue your passionate ministry with all of us by sharing this blog and by teaching on Tuesdays. And God has proven His faithfulness in being with and in you in each moment this far. Now "take a new grip", hang on and it's downhill from here. You can do it, you are doing it, and praise God for His continued wisdom and love in your life. I'm going to Dixon's Apple Farm today. I'll bring you some champagne apples. There may be a time in the day when that will be "a-peeling" to you.

  4. You can do it! You can do all things through HIM Lenya! We are cheering you on in the Naranjo house!!

    Lots of prayers and love headed your way!

  5. I have no doubt that God will bring you through this. I am so sorry you are having to suffer. He loves you and so do I. Renee

  6. Hi ya Gorgeous :D

    You are so amazing, courageous and inspiring. Thank you for your humbleness and honesty in sharing the true picture of chemo treatments, without fluff that this is easy, but truth with endearing positivity.

    Praise God for bringing you to the halfway mark. As the road gets more challenging, allow those around you to be your Aaron's and Hur's -- lifting you arms up as the battle gets tough and tiring.

    Listen to your body and don't over do it, even though it's frustrating because you want to do more, and you expect yourself to do more.

    Don't pressure yourself to expectations. This is a time, more than ever, to be selfish (I know that sounds weird), but there are times you need to be -- especially to stay well and keep your treatments on track.

    Avoid the drama movies and tearjerkers. It's amazing how the emotions of what you watch or read can easily enevelope you during weariness.

    Instead, watch silly and funny movies, listen to audiobooks (it takes less energy), etc, even if you fall asleep half way through. I have alot of audio books you can use.

    Try napping in a chair outside so you get the wonderful breeze and warmth of the sun. Being outside is so rejuvenating.

    Most of all, know that this is the time when Jesus is carrying you. Like footprints in the sands, there are no more two sets of footprints -- only one.

    Only three more -- might sound daunting, but just think then there will only be two, then one. Then you are done!!!!!!! You can do this. You are strong!! You don't back down from a challenge!! And most of all, you have an amazing Heavenly Daddy taking care of you.

    But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

    Love you Lenya, You're in my prayers.
    Tricia Walker

  7. Hi Lenya,
    Many, including me, are cheering you on as you embark on the last 3 chemo installments. It has to be difficult and I thank you for being truthful about your season of sickness. None of us know when we might be facing a similar situation and I hope & pray you will keep this blog up long after you're brimming with health again. It's truly inspiring, yet painfully honest.
    Your glass IS half full! Though your legs be shaky now, the day is coming when you will run again!
    May our Lord give you strength & an attitude that is overflowing with optimism.

  8. I'm praying for you Lenya... I keep hearing when we are weak, He is strong. Praying for strength for you.

  9. Lenya,
    I have always been a basketball player, but I'll be a cheerleader for you :)
    Prayers & Hugs <><

  10. Good Morning Lenya, I love you, paula

  11. CONGRATULATIONS!!! You made it to the 1/2 way mark!! You've done fantastic and then you only get better!!! YIPEEEEEE!!!! 2010 Here comes Lenya!!! You were strong, inspiring, motivating - what will this do but better equip you - watch out ladies an even stronger Lenya an even more inspiring Lenya more motivating Lenya - won't we be Blessed! Wow what does next year have to offer what does God have planned for you??? Love & Prayers :)