Outstanding Teachers

by Michael Schnabel
Who are the people that have helped shape your life? Parents, friends, and people of faith have substantial impacts, but what about the others who randomly step into our lives and change our direction? People who believe in us, give us a chance or take the time to share their wisdom. Sometimes their impact stays with us a lifetime.

Patient Responsibilities

by Michael Schnabel

You have a life-threatening disease. The doctors, nurses, and caretakers focus on helping you. They know what they have to do, but as the patient, what are your responsibilities? What can you do to help yourself and them overcome your illness? I want to share what we learned during my daughter's fight with cancer, hoping it may help others.

Forgiveness

by Michael Schnabel
I think of myself as an emotionally balanced person, but occasionally things happen that cause my emotions to overcome logic. It’s a safe bet that this has also happened to you. Someone wronged you. How you react may depend on the person who did it, the extent of the damage, or the frequency it has happened. We might be able to move on and not deal with the person or situation ever again. Short-term memory lets it fade away. Other times it sits and festers with growing anger, pain, and plots to get even with your offender. Our emotions build the issue into something bigger than it is, allowing us to become a victim.  

Disease

by Michael Schnabel
An enemy enters your life in the form of illness. It quietly grows until it becomes a threat to your life. How do I get rid of it? What am I going to do? I’m not ready to die. This story plays out every day in the lives of people around us. Then it happens to you and becomes very personal. It’s normal to react with anger and fear, but you need to overcome these emotions and fight for your life. I know, that’s easier said than done. Here are some things we learned in my daughter’s fight that might help you. 

Faith, part 2

by Michael Schnabel

The oncologists told Stephanie that her survival was a miracle. I was amazed at how strong her faith was. She never blamed God or asked why this was happening to her or gave up. She just wondered what she was supposed to learn from this experience. Twice when she was hours from death, she was saved. There was never any doubt in her mind that God was with her. She became our hero and role model. When fear overcame her, she asked God to take over and was rewarded by feelings of peace and serenity. 

Faith, part 1

by Michael Schnabel

Faith has always been an important part of my family’s life. Some use it as encouragement. “You can do it, just have faith, and do your best." Sound familiar? Faith often refers to trust and confidence in someone or something. That something is frequently God. I never knew how strong my family’s faith was until my daughter's illness tested it.  

Caregivers

by Michael Schnabel
When a crisis hits, everyone asks what they can do, right? It takes a unique, loving person to jump in and become a caregiver. It's a demanding job, but it’s also rewarding. When our daughter received her diagnosis of stage 4 cancer, we filled with fear, apprehension, and dread. The crisis touched each of us in a personal way, but it was my daughter whose life was in jeopardy. She needed an infusion of hope, the essential element to never giving up. We formed a team to stand with her and promised to do everything in our power to save her. She would never be alone in this fight, and that made all the difference in the world. She automatically had three caregivers; Her husband, mother, and me, her father. It's natural to stand next to your loved one and help any way you can. Love is the foundation most caregivers build on. Here are some of the things we learned.

Thank You

by Michael Schnabel

There is definite power in the two words Thank You. It's common courtesy to appreciate someone helping you, and yet those words aren't as common as they used to be. Do you notice it too? Opening a door for someone usually gets a smile and thank you in return. Everyone feels good about it. Other times they don't even notice it or just expect you to do it. This really doesn't bother me, but I see it happening more often. A person feels good helping others, and I guess that is enough of a reward.

State Fair

by Michael Schnabel
Do you love to go to State Fairs as I do? Watching people, exploring exhibits, and tasting sugar-coated, deep-fried, and smoked whatever on a stick makes me smile. My wife and I visited the Iowa State Fair last week and had a wonderful time. They had 70 different foods on a stick, and no, I didn't try them all.

Stress, part 2

by Michael Schnabel

Search for the good in things. When you are in crisis, finding good can be very challenging. If you had an 8% chance of living, you probably wouldn't wish you had a newborn child. That's what happened to our daughter, and she chose to look for the silver lining. She quickly realized this newborn was timed to uncover her cancer with a chance of survival remaining. This beautiful child then became her reason to never, ever give up. 

Stress, part 1

by Michael Schnabel

Most of us feel stress from time to time. Fear and too many things to do mixed with emotions can quickly overwhelm the mind. Listening to Bobby McFerrin's song, Don't Worry Be Happy, may not be enough to change things. So what can we do about it? There are a few simple things we learned during Steph's illness that helped us move forward through the fear, stress, and too many things to do. 

Finding Medical Help

by Michael Schnabel
You find yourself in a medical crisis and are scared about the diagnosis. Then it hits you, “How do I find the right medical care to get better?” I would love to tell you I know who you need, but we both know that I don’t. There are too many variables. I can tell you some of the things we learned while trying to deal with these questions for my daughter.

Attitude

by Michael Schnabel

Do you have any sayings or quotes hanging on the wall? I do. Things I have read or heard that I do not want to forget. Some are funny, and others are just true. Here is one by Charles Swindoll about an attitude that hits home for me. "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Looking back on my life that sounds about right. What do you think?
 

Developing a Plan

by Michael Schnabel
What do you do when an obstacle presents itself? Scream or punch the wall or ignore it? I do not remember hitting any walls, but I have done the rest and more. These reactions can add a lot of drama and resentment if you start blaming everything around you, but do they help or provide a solution? You are shaking your head no, so maybe we should look at another approach.
 

Create a Support Team

by Michael Schnabel

A crisis has fallen into your lap, and you wonder what the hell do I do now. Our issue was Stephanie's cancer, but yours is probably something different. It doesn’t matter because the result is the same. Your world is spinning out of control, and you're in shock. You become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. It’s your life under attack, and that’s very personal.

Introduction

by Michael Schnabel

Hi, my name is Michael Schnabel, and I am excited you are visiting my blog. This is the first time I am blogging, so bear with me as I get started. Have you ever had to parent through a crisis? I did when my daughter, Stephanie, gave birth to her first child and learned she had an 8% chance of living. Her story is about hope, love, and faith with a little bit of miracle mixed in. Stephanie, along with her support team, found a way to survive.