Showing posts with label bucket brigade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bucket brigade. Show all posts

23 August 2011

I'm Looking for a Miracle a Day

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” --Alexander Graham Bell

My miracle today came after a treasured door was closed and locked in my face: a new door of opportunity was flung wide open, and two beautiful people stepped into my world, bearing gifts of kindness and friendship. One of the pair reminded me to look for a miracle each day and keep a record as they collect.

Good people. Good miracle. I will be satisfied and I'm not going to let myself stare sad holes into the old door. I'm moving with the moments.

Thanks, friends.

10 November 2010

This post has nothing to do with cancer

This post has to do with people and their stories, which I have just spent two days recording. It has everything to do with listening. And telling. And being here, now. So we can carry each other.

Thank you, Becca. Thank you, Grandpa Joe. Thank you, Mickelle. Thank you for sharing your voices and letting me simply sit and adore you. Our sessions were over much too soon!

05 May 2010

Human Beans, Indigestion

Do this:

Go to Pandora.
Scroll down and click on "Genre Stations."
Select "Latin."
Then select "Mexican."

Now you can celebrate Cinco de Mayo with me while doing your day's work.

Sick at my stomach. Umpteenth day.
Adoption orientation/intake in a few hours. Step one.
Kneeling. Praying.
Pep talk.
Couldn't eat a taco now if I tried.

¡Gracias al cielo de Pandora!

And gracias to our dear ones who are sending prayers and happy thoughts our way.

P.S. Thanks to you-know-who for paying more than we asked for the guitar amp. You are sneaky and crazy and we love you.

25 August 2009

Thank you, mamm.

A couple nights ago I dreamed that—
I looked into a mirror and noticed a grain of sleep in the corner of my left eye. I rubbed it away and it was yellow, like maybe I had a bit of an infection. I leaned in closer to the mirror to get a better look and pulled my eyelid open, out to the side. Hiding next to my eyeball, I saw a large mass, maybe an inch across. It was a strange smooth green, not a friendly-looking sort of thing. I stretched my eyelid open even more and turned it almost inside out as I pushed the thing out with my fingers. It fell into the sink. Looking deeply into my own eye again, I felt satisfied there was nothing left of the infection. It had all come out at once.
I thought about the dream a long time and hoped it was a sign that soon I would get a report from my surgeon saying that I am now clear, and that I don't have to worry any longer about a malignancy. I've also been playing around with another interpretation: that something infectious and hidden has been threatening my vision, but a recent discovery has brought it to light, and I am able to rid myself of the danger, though the process is an unusual stretch. I imagine the answer is a hybrid of those two ideas.

I can claim that because we just got word a little while ago about my pathology report: BENIGN.


I want to thank you, dear Bucket Brigade, for all your kindness and love and prayers and good thoughts and support. Thank you for indulging me and for patiently reading a few too many emails about a problem that was far less heavy than some of what you are presently dealing with. You are good people, the best. I love you. Thank you for extending your friendship and faith in our behalf. I've learned a lot from you.

I have to tell you this. There was a time early on, when I started receiving some responses to my initial call for prayers, etc.—it was that Saturday when we fasted for help—that I felt something I'd never felt before, and it was about you. I could FEEL the energies you were investing in Rob and me, via your prayers, anxious and hopeful thoughts, and whatever ways you chose to be with us. My heart was moved in a new way. I don't know how to describe correctly the thing that happened inside me, except to say that I prayed for you too that weekend, for every one of you, as well as for the ones I would never know were enlisted in the Brigade. I asked God to bless you in your heartaches and troubles and dreams, and—here's the interesting part—I asked him to bless you forever for the love you were sending and would send our way through this scary blink of time. (How, how, how can I say that so it comes across to you as big as what I felt and still feel? Augh! Words are such a bother sometimes.) There will never come a day when I stop appreciating the sweet fine gifts of encouragement and compassion you've shared with us, whether I actually heard or read them or whether you kept them quiet and private. Every day as long as I exist someplace those energies will be important to me, and will be part of who I am and what propels me forward. Your gifts are never-ending. It kind of blows my mind. Even if next year some of you disown me (please don't) or worse (don't), what you created for me/us in our vulnerable time will continue to be. Am I making sense? It was the greatest feeling to have the sense of one giant round of concern circling, to pray for you while you were praying for me. I'm still praying for you.

So. So there.

Did you hear? It's BENIGN! (Good job, Brigade.)

P.S. Clarification for a few people who expressed confusion about the details of surgery, etc.—The alien mass inside me was right up against my chest wall and that made it impossible for the surgeon to do a simple biopsy. I didn't have a mastectomy; I had kind of a two-in-one operation; the surgeon opened me up and took out the mass and surrounding tissues, and sent it to the lab for analysis. Since he had to go in like that just to do the initial biopsy it made sense to try to remove the entire problem on the first go in order to hopefully avoid a second surgery if the biopsy came back malignant. Does that make more sense than whatever I said the first time? Bottom line for now: NO malignancy, NO second operation. Just vigilant mammograms from here on out. (Oh, joy.)

19 August 2009

Good therapies

• crying over a beautiful belated anniversary letter from my fella
• enjoying a triple chocolate sundae for elevensies, solo and guilt-free
• a hilarious story about my 60-something male cousin in Carolina having his first mammogram (and a not so funny lumpectomy—but it was benign, gratefully)
• a get-ready-for-it meal at our new favorite restaurant, Fusion
• this:

• wrapping my arms around the African detachment of our Tribe for the first time in too many months
• scrumptious archetype: Pooh-shaped toddler
• nieces and nephew blowing stinky plastic bubbles with their aunts and uncles
• making it comfortably into adorable size 8 green cords in the hospital gift shop (I owe it all to 2% spandex) (too bad they weren't on sale)
• wearing my dad's ruby aviator ring for courage
• an expertly done blood draw
• dabbing on just a tich of Chanel No. 5, vintage 1940s, and thinking of my mom
• significant pre-pay discounts
• helpful advice, strengthening words, and partnered faith from loved ones
• finally figuring out the recurring dream metaphor that had me freaking me out this morning
• reading a random passage of scripture in a way I never had before, and recognizing a personal answer that put an end to my panic attacks about surgery
• two backrubs!
• many excellent hugs
• check-in time changed from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Becca's lemony peach pie
• being encircled by husband, father-in-law, and brothers-in-law and given a priesthood blessing
• family members fasting with me after 11:00 p.m.
• finding an AVEDA CARE PACKAGE waiting on my doorstep, complete with helium balloons I can suck on for breakfast!
• fantasizing about answering hospital intake questions in a helium-induced Munchkin voice
• not a mastectomy
• not my right side
• petting a clean dog
• a relatively clean house to leave and come home to
• laundry's done
• carrying around a lot of love
• taking "Before" pictures
• knowing Johnny Cash is on the way
• looking forward to being held
• by this time tomorrow it'll be over

18 August 2009

Bucket Brigade update

Here's another cheater blog post—a letter I just sent out. I know some of you in the Bucket Brigade mainly keep in touch with me here, and I want to include you in this, so read on—

Hi, all.

Just letting you lovely folks know the latest. I have major surgery scheduled for Thursday, in two days. I'll be able to come home the same day, which is good. Rob and I met yesterday with the surgeon, Dr. Lichti, and his squad of compassionate and capable nurses, and we both felt calm about proceeding with this next step in their care. Mind you, I'm not the least bit excited to come under the knife, but this feels like the right decision right now. We'll see where it goes from here.

Some of you have sent some very encouraging words along with your prayers and good thoughts, and those have lent us strength and cheer. Again, I'm sorry I'm so behind in my communications. Maybe I'll catch up one day! Just know that none of your loving efforts have been wasted. I'm absorbing your love like a fat thirsty sponge.

From troubled hearts, a few of you have expressed some feelings and convictions from the less optimistic end of the spectrum—frightening stories about doctors and treatments. Some of you are afraid for me to follow the path I'm currently on. I want you to know I appreciate your concern too. I know that you've shared your truth and your experiences in an effort to help and protect. And I know you hurt. I hurt with you. If there's any way I can assure you that Rob and I are trying as hard as we can to be completely open and receptive to our own best course of action, please let me. I don't doubt the validity of any of what you've shared, not one bit. It gets tricky when there are so many "right" and "wrong" medical approaches coming from a dozen different directions. We're in hot pursuit of healing, and we're focused on taking this problem one step at a time. We are open to changing direction at any moment, if it begins to feel right to do so. Meanwhile, we're trying to trust ourselves to make it from point A to point B, then point B to point C, and so on, praying and testing and listening all the while. We're open to input. For now though, we feel that this step on Thursday is the best option we've been able to identify. After Thursday we'll see what's next to decide, if anything is even called for.

So, please keep us in your prayers and emotional embraces. We love you and there's no way to adequately say what your caring means to us. Likely this will all seem like a small thing in a small moment when it's past, though right now it feels so big. You will have been a large part of the reason we didn't go crazy while getting through it.

Love you muchly,

10 August 2009

Bring me little water, Sylvie

I started this post over a week ago, during the time when I sent out my battle cry for prayers. This was the song in my heart the day that we fasted together and I'm singing it again right now. I dedicate it to you. Of course there's a story that goes with it, but that's going to have to wait a little longer till I have time to finish writing it out—maybe later today, maybe Wednesday. Meanwhile, I'll just say this—when I let my little world know about this cancer scare Rob and I are facing and asked for support, one of my brothers-in-law was quick to respond and commit his family of six to carrying buckets of love and faith and healing effort to help put out this fire. Suddenly I saw in my mind's eye an entire "village" of family and friends and caring neighbors turning out and forming one big beautiful bucket brigade. I can't tell you how it touched me.

We are all part of each other's bucket brigades, and I love that. I'm here to help you put out your fires and you're here to help me put out mine. And if the flames turn out to be stronger than we are, we can at least roast marshmallows and make s'mores.

When I came across this song last weekend I listened to it a zillion times, and laughed and cried. I thought of you. This song's for you!

(Characteristically rambling story to come later, I promise.)

P.S. THANK YOU, darling C Jane, and THANK YOU, Red Apple Cottage for treating me and my sweet to a night in San Pete! I'm thrilled!)