Letter to my friends

Published 1:06 pm Wednesday, August 16, 2023

By Jan Penton-Miller

The sound of a mower drones in the background along with Christian radio. Both are comforting sounds on a day that I’m planning to do something that is quite honestly a little intimidating.

Over the past couple of months I’ve had some medical issues that resulted in a small surgery that went really well, but now I am advised to take medicine that I’d rather not take.

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We all have things that cause us anxiety and this is one of those for me. I haven’t written about it up to this point because who wants to hear the rough things we all face, but today seemed like the day to mention it for a couple of reasons.

The first being that I always want to be a transparent writer. We can all be phony and talk about how great God is and how wonderful life is even when it’s not.

The second reason is that I want to speak to those who may be facing a difficult time and remind you as I remind myself that God is great even when things aren’t all rosy. Perhaps especially when times are tough the peace and strength we can find in God is the most beautiful and the most important. And let’s face it we all go through tough times, but our God is faithful to walk with us.

I’m not trying to be overly dramatic because I may be able to tolerate the anti-chemo medication very well; lots of people do, and I hope and pray that I am in that number. I had never even heard of anti-chemo medicine before, but it is a sort of cancer preventative. Anyway, enough of that.

When I was in Newport, Tenn., I interviewed and photographed many beautiful women for the Plain Talk’s magazine on breast cancer awareness, never realizing that I would deal with something similar in the future. I still have the magazine and plan to dig it out and reread the stories of those women. I know we all gain strength from people who have successfully navigated things we are currently facing.

God has been so faithful to me in this journey. I feel very blessed to have access to wonderful health care that so many around our world only dream about. My surgeon and doctors have been totally awesome and supportive along with my wonderful family, and friends.

Another reason that I have been reluctant to write about this is because so many people I know are facing much more serious medical and personal issues. I have been blessed with a very positive prognosis, but it’s still a pretty big deal to me so again, I’m just being transparent. I hope by doing so I will give encouragement to my readers whom I truly think of as friends.

I feel like I’m writing all of you a letter today so in closing I’ll say, “I wish you beauty, joy and a faith that gives you strength and encouragement for all your days.