Be Like Bonnie

Do you remember almost ten years ago when stick figure drawings of  “Be like Bill” were the craze? All of a sudden social media was flooded with people creating their own personalized memes of why we should “Be like Bill.”

It was amusing for a while, but like any craze it soon lost momentum.

Let me lay the background for why we should each “Be like Bonnie.”

At my work I support women who have been diagnosed with cancer. They can be at any stage of treatment from just newly diagnosed, to having active treatment, to living with metastatic cancer, through to palliative care at end of life.

It can be emotionally impacting work, and as I am only just into my second year as a cancer survivor myself, I have quickly had to learn the importance of recognizing early signs of compassion fatigue. Despite the challenges, it is very rewarding when I get to talk to amazing women like Bonnie (not her real name).

Cancer has a way of putting everything else into perspective. The silver lining of cancer is that it gives the gift of living for today. Suddenly there’s no time to sweat the small stuff. Today is precious.

Bonnie, who only had six to nine months to live, was entirely focused on enjoying each precious moment with her two young children and wanted help with memory making ideas, now…today, while she could.

She said to me, “We’re all palliative. Some of us just know it.”

Pause. Let that truly sink in for a moment.

None of us can escape the reality that our physical body will one day die.

Was Bonnie a Christian? I don’t know. But I do know we each need to “Be like Bonnie” and live with a fuller appreciation of the gift of today.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)


17 thoughts on “Be Like Bonnie

  1. This hits homes! I have Stage IV inoperable Neuroendocrine cancer. If caught early, surgery can remove small tumors, treatments and scans become your life. For many reasons, mine grew and grew and spread more. With all this said, I recently told a friend we all ARE in palliative care (just as what you wrote!). I’ve experienced depression,…I feel it, get it out, take a step at a time. I’m NO tragedy! Thank you for sharing this! Go, Bonnie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Karla you certainly are no tragedy! Your blog continually testifies to God’s goodness and grace even in the midst of depression or pain, and your writing is impacting many, many lives. Be blessed in His strength today precious lady! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jo, I applaud your ministry with cancer patients. Being a survivor yourself, makes you a great person to show love, support, and compassion to others who are on the same journey. Both my mother and mother-in-law had cancer and were under palliative care. So, kudos to you, sister!
    Also, as a former full time minister, I relate to your reference to compassion fatigue. One can only give so much before it’s time for a recharge. The challenge is to gift oneself that time–early on, as you say–when the signs first start to show.
    From a blog writing perspective, this post is gold, Jo! You made one strong point–we are all terminally ill, so adjust your perspective–and let the reader fill in the blanks. As one of our American presidents said, “Be brief. Be sincere. Be seated” Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Well done, my Aussie friend!
    Your post also sent me to my Bible, which is always a good thing.
    “Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am.” Psalm 39:4 (NKJV)
    “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
    God’s best to you, and yours, always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankyou for your encouraging words David, they mean a lot! I have been busy doing academic writing for my studies with no time to blog, but these thoughts had been bubbling away and needed expression! You certainly would understand about compassion fatigue because of your own personal experiences, plus having being a minister (hats off to you!!) and I’m not sure how long I’ll work where I do, but for now it’s where God has me. It’s a secular organisation so I can’t talk about God, but I certainly pray (behind the scenes) for each dear lady. Thanks for sharing such relevant verses! Blessings to you 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this, Jo. I have a dear friend with Stage 4 cancer of lungs, bones and liver. She is a Jesus follower and her attitude inspires me so much. I shared your words with her today. We really all are palliative and need to remember that in our relationships. Thank you for sharing….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Benita I’m sorry to hear about your friend but I’m so glad she knows Jesus and has the assurance of a new, glorified body. I can’t evangelise my work clients, but I always pray for their unique situation that somehow they’ll find God’s love in the midst of their trial.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jo, your words touched me. My pastors wife has stage 4 breast cancer and she shares that we all have our days numbered, she just knows hers are fewer than some others. She says that when she wakes up she focuses on the fact that she has got breath in her lungs that means God is keeping her alive today and she will try and live to the fullest in the day. She has two young children too. Her attitude inspires me and so did what you shared about Bonnie.
    Compassion fatigue- I have experienced a bit of it as I have had the privilege of walking alongside some friend who have had some very challenging times. So hats off to you for recognising the need to look after yourself as only then can you pour into others.
    May God continue to bless you where he has placed you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Manu. Your words touched my heart, as your pastor’s wife is definitely one of those “Bonnies” who has a huge battle every day to cling to what is good, and to be thankful for every moment. I hope and pray God will bless her with the extra time her heart longs for to be there for her children. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s