Sunday, September 30, 2012

The River of Truth

Amazing when we are still and quiet we can hear so much more than when we are loud, than when things are loud around us.  Tonight I am reflecting on the anniversary of finding the most surprising thing in my life, on October 5, 2010.  I realized I have a mammogram this month October 17, and I wanted to see where I was in my journey in 2010.  I have my journal printed out and I flipped back to beginning.  I saw handwriting on the back of the first page and I can’t believe it is just what I need to hear right now!  I have to admit that a diagnostic exam is really making my stomach turn. I know the mammogram is going to be painful in my radiated area.  I know the radiologist is going to want an ultrasound. The whole process is just unsettling and I understand why so many people opt for a double mastectomy to avoid this annual ritual.  I had to do what felt right for me at the time and a lumpectomy was my choice, so annual rituals are essential now.  Anyway, I really feel unnerved, disconnected even from this whole thing. Perhaps now that the doctors’ appointments have thankfully slowed to once every six months the nerves will come with them.  Here’s what I wrote on the back of my journal.  I think it was while I was on retreat in October 2011.  Wow, so many references to October in my life…..

The river flows gently, calling me at every turn, “Come float with me, “ it says. Through the trees I hear the voice of the river, but where am I? Which way do I run to find the river? I rush through the branches as they slap at my arms, and the thicket underfoot cuts in to my bare feet.  Confused and dazed I cannot find my way. “Come float with me, I am here,” the voice calls out again. I quickly run the other way looking for a path, searching for the water.  I run for miles exhausted, parched, and bruised from journey, “I’m here, “ the voice calls out so strongly. My desire to find my way engulfs my very being. I climb a tree to rise above the canopy of my own confusion. I see the river runs in every direction all around me. I was never far, just needed one more step and then I hear, “I am with you always,” and I joined the river of the truth.

Prayers tonight for my Rachel recovering from surgery and my friend’s mom who will have surgery Tuesday. May Jesus’ lay His healing hands on them, and give them the rest they need to recover and do His will. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I can see clearly now

I have a confession to make today.  I have been at this computer for the last hour laughing hysterically so much so that my cheeks hurt from smiling, all by myself in my little computer room with my real virtual friends.  Many people have asked how I got though this or that, and if you know me well, you know God is my first answer. He is my hope and my salvation, no question no doubt.  My family ranks right under there, my daughter, my immediate family, my Doug, my whole extended family, his family, my ex’s family, my friends that are family, etc.  Of course, the doctors that God placed in my life at different times and the friendships that grew from them too, like Dr. Joe and Barbara.

Just some of my family

Donna's memorial day celebration
However, what I haven’t mentioned a lot of, are the friends that I have met because I got the big bad "C" word.  There are so many people in my life at this very moment that I can’t believe I spent thorty something years without.  And yes I meant thorty, it lies somewhere between the thirties and forties in my imagination.  But I met Donna K. because her friend Karen befriended me at my second chemo infusion. Then Donna and I met at Karen’s funeral just a few weeks later.  Through Donna I met Cyndie G.  and we have melted together as “hell-n-backers” as Donna calls it.  They suffered great losses in their lives, but it’s not sorrow that glues us together, it’s hope twisted around love and friendship.  

If I hadn't gotten “c” I also wouldn’t have met the wackiest, funniest, interfaith, hope filled group of women on line. This group of women is remarkable. Each of them has or is battling the “c” word, each has a life all their own with everyday problems too.  Yet each of them is just like me, swimming against the current sometimes, and enjoying the ride back down.  The fun part is that we get to say “weeeeee” together as we journey.  We laugh out loud at our computer screens, a lot, no even more than that.  We have private jokes that perhaps wouldn't even be funny outside our internet lives.  And we share intimate details of our c battles, that yes, we understand together.  Funny enough I have never spoken with any of them only typed to them.  I know their children’s name, when chemo head allows, I know where they work and what they like to do when they aren't working or aren’t at doctors appointments.  It’s been such a blessing meeting these women, as we encourage, pray, and laugh with each other, every day. 
women under the age of 30, stage IV breast cancer signed these pants

I have had the privilege of meeting so many different people along this way.  I have been given a chance to step back and let the goodness of people shine though, when I needed it most. I found myself somewhere along that way, and didn't even know I was lost. The world is greener, the sky bluer, I love more deeply, and pray more often and with so much more passion and praise.  I guess my confession today is that I am grateful for the gifts I have been given, even the gift of c.  You see, "C" really, all it stands for is clarity

if you let the waters lay still, you can see yourself so clearly