Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hope and Redemption

I've been neglecting my blogging and I don't like that.

My six week checkup was a bit of a fiasco, but I suppose all's well that ends well. The Ct scan showed a spot on the liver> They wanted a closer look at it and so I had to do an MRI. In the words of one of our professors at work, "let me just say this about that"--I was well conditioned to fear MRIs. But I went to have it done, after talking to several people about the thing, and gathering various tips on how to cope while "in the tube." The machine was not open air, but it allegedly had a larger opening than most. I would love eventually to write in more detail about that experience. For now, I'll just say it went far better than I ever expected. And, the spot they say turned out to be a benign mass of "tangled blood vessels" (hemangioma). So everything is clear and I report back to the oncologist in October for my next check up. 
Needless to say, I am beyond excited to have this positive report. I am currently absorbing this information and perhaps inexplicably, I am asking myself the question, "What shall I do now?" Cause, you know, I don't want to waste my privilege. And when one is faced with the possibility of their own demise being way sooner than one expected, one does tend to think about things, perhaps overly so.
The words on this photo are lyrics from an older song. I don't do well at keeping up with current music so I'd never heard of the song or the group but the words do appeal to me. The background is from a photo I'd taken of partially assembled prayer flags I was working on, edited in a "Tiny World" app on my phone.

I'll not be around much for the next several days. I am off to gather again with my camp out tribe sisters from blogland, for our second annual retreat. I'll be seeing old friends again and meeting two friends in person for the very first time!

Thursday, July 09, 2015

When Things Don't Go As Planned

I made six more prayer flags last weekend! These are my five hanging on the end of my porch on my room in the country.

"Be well" and "breathe" are particularly relevant to me right now. I had a mixed up two days when I went for my six week check up. We got there and they informed me they couldn't do the cat scan because they didn't have the pre-certification paperwork. With it being Sunday of a holiday weekend, there was no way for them to communicate with the insurance company (never mind that this appointment had been set for six weeks). We had to leave and come back Monday morning for them to expedite my cat scan. As it turned out, the expediting did no good. They still needed 24 hours to have the scan read, and by the time the scan was done, it was time for my oncologist appointment. But they had called to say there was no use to come to that appointment as they had no results for me. So we came on home, very disappointed. It's hard when you gear yourself up for one thing and something entirely different happens. I'm usually pretty good at adjusting and going with the flow, but this situation took the wind out of my happy little sails. I'm still not quite over it!

I received word yesterday that they see something on my liver and they want to take a closer look. So now I have to go back Tuesday to have an MRI. And return on Friday to see the oncologist and hear the results. The physician assistant started out telling me she didn't want me to worry, that this could be any number of things other than cancer. Let's hope it's just normal for my liver. For right now, I am trying to concentrate on surviving the MRI and trying hard not to think too much about what they might find as a result of the MRI.

These two I made to give away.
And this is one more that is hanging on my porch. I have room for two more at the end of my porch and had already decided I'm make one with hope on it and another one with joy. I may work on them this coming weekend.

And I will remember that I am loved and will work on bathing myself with that awareness so that I can carry it with me into that hulking noisy machine with whom I have a date on Tuesday morning! I'd appreciate any prayers, good thoughts and light you have to offer on my behalf.

I wish I had some strong words of wisdom to offer but I'm not quite over the assault this has been on my hopes that I'd get a definitive word on a clean bill of health. I'll come around, though. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

An Instrument of Grace

I checked out several (five) books about and by May Sarton when I took my longish weekend in the country. One of the perks of my job at the local university is that I can check out library books and can keep them for the whole semester! So I generally (mostly, ahem) don't have to worry about missing the return deadline!

I just finished reading Endgame, a journal of her 79th year. In that year she struggled with a lung that kept filling with fluid, a fibrillating heart and irritable bowel syndrome. Of course, she had my sympathies with the last problem! But she didn't want the journal to be all about her illnesses. In the end, it really wasn't. She wrote a lot about the support of friends and about having to learn to ask for and accept help, things I am somewhat acquainted with myself.

There were several quotes I gleaned from my reading. This was one of them I particularly liked...