You know what gives me hope? There are plants that grow in the absence of light, there are sea creatures that exist at depths no light can reach and from winter comes spring.
For the past few days our front tree has had buds on it but no blooms. Other trees in the development bloomed and blossomed but not ours. We’ve had beautiful bright sunny afternoons all week and I was sure I’d look out one afternoon and the tree would be full of cherry blossoms. But, alas it was not to be. And then, this morning I awoke to the first blooms of spring. After a dark damp night and foggy morning the tree finally blossomed. If that isn’t a metaphor for life nothing is.
It’s been a rough year hear at Casa de Soapboxville. Lots of family members sick, me included. I know we should all be rejoicing in the fact that both I and my father survived pretty serious health scares but instead it’s a fairly low key Christmas. I think everyone’s exhausted and worn out from worrying over the past 12 months. It breaks my heart to see what my sickness has done and is doing to my parents. They’re in their 70s and the shock of what happened and now constant worry about my well being is and has taken its toll mentally, emotionally and financially. I wish more than anything that it was not worry about me (or anything) that weighs heavy on their hearts.
I’m not sure we’ll get around to Christmas shopping or Christmas card writing. I’m thinking everyone gets New Years cards and Valentines Day gifts. We’ll see what comes of this week.
Changing gears and moving on to more positive news, I had an appointment with Dr. Bussey, the neurosurgeon on Friday. As it turns out the MRI revealed there is less cancer than they first believed and the blood clot has shrank significantly. I have to have another Cat Scan in mid January to check the blood clot’s progress again. There is the possibility that I could be off the Lovenox (blood thinner) by late January.
I have an appointment with the plastic surgeon on Wednesday. She is the doctor who will give the go ahead for me to begin radiation treatments. My head is still healing from surgery and I am unsure when Dr. Matthews will give the go ahead. She’ll check me again on Wednesday and let me know how I’m progressing.
The hubs and I watched Miracle on 34th St. tonight on AMC. It helped inspire a holiday mood and reminded me of a favorite holiday tradition. Each year on KYW 1060 AM they play a reading of Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus as read by Vince Lee. It never fails to make me cry and remind me of the beauty and magic all around us every day. I looked for it online tonight but it’s not up yet. If I find it I’ll post it. For now I offer you the text of the letter and a reading I found on You Tube.
“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
“Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
“Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
“Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
“115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.”
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Hey! Good early morning kids. I hope this morning’s post finds you all well and enjoying your Sunday.
Yesterday’s post was a me feeling sorry for myself wasn’t it? What can I say? I have my days. But as with everything else this too passes. I went this morning for my blood work then the hubs took me to Target to buy multicolored lights for the Christmas Tree and then to Talluto’s and Duffield’s to buy lunch meat and a tomato for lunch. One almost four hour nap later we ran out to Liscio’s Bakery to buy a few slices of tomato pie.
I never did get around to putting the lights on the tree. I did however read some encouraging words. My Aunt Gloria, who I think might actually be my great aunt lives in Florida and has been through quite a few health problems. She’s been sending me cards and writing me letters since I got home from the hospital. In this week’s letter, which I didn’t actually sit down and read until this evening she writes, “Believe me time heals all.” She closes with, “I sure hope you soon see the light at the end of the tunnel, believe me with time it comes. Over time I have learned to enjoy each day.”
Before I sat down to read Aunt Gloria’s letter I received a Facebook message from my cousin Alice. She writes, “Hi Carol Anne – Thinking of you. I read a bit of your blog. I don’t think any of us like to relinquish control. We come to realize that it is all an illusion anyway. When I practice giving up my will, things get alot easier. When I take it back (which I often do), everything goes haywire. This is the basis for the famous 12 step programs. I repeat to myself, “Gods will be done, not mine”. It is a daily practice. The more I practice, the more faith I muster. Praying for you and your family. One day at a time.”
Amazing how God sends what you need when you need it. I’m so grateful for everyone who has taken the time to think of me or offer me a kind or supportive word. Thank you.
Hey! Good evening kids. It’s going to be a bit of this, that and the other thing tonight. It’s been a while since last we spoke. I caught a cold over Thanksgiving weekend and have been kind of miserable. I did manage to write one politically themed post but I just wasn’t up to writing about recovery this week. I’d say it was kind of nice to just have the common cold this week instead of having cancer and recovering from brain surgery but I spent most of the week monitoring my temperature making sure I didn’t spike a fever.
I spent most of Monday morning making doctor appointments and scheduling blood tests, a Cat Scan, an MRI, a flu shot and a pneumonia shot. In about ten minutes I’ll have to finish drinking my soda and fast until my scheduled 9:30am blood test appointment. I was scheduled to get the flu shot directly thereafter but since I’ve been sick all week that had to be rescheduled until next Sunday, which is the day after I’m scheduled to have both the MRI and the Cat Scan.
Hopefully I’ll be able to get my pneumonia shot on Monday. We’ll see what the doctor says. I get a break on Tuesday I have no doctor appointments scheduled. On Wednesday I head back to the plastic surgeon’s office to see if the two big scabs on my head are ready to come off *shudder*. I’m totally freaked out about this appointment.
I wonder if other people worry about upcoming medical procedures like I do. I’m so consumed with worry that in removing the scabs from my head the doctor will make me bleed. I’m on blood thinners and I’m terrified I’ll bleed heavily and end up in the hospital. I realize that she’s a medical professional and I should put my trust in her but all I can focus (fixate?) on is things going terribly wrong. (I worry in technicolor and I have an amazing imagination) The same goes for the MRI, Cat Scan, flu shot and pneumonia shot. I’m worried I’ll have some horrifying allergic reaction to the dye/vaccine and end up dead or in the ER. I know I should have faith in God and in my wonderful doctors but I can’t seem to let myself relax and put it in their hands. It’s like I blogged about earlier this year in On Flying Planes & Treating Depression. I have no control over what happens. I can’t make the scabs come off cleanly. I can’t even watch because they’re in the back of my head. I can’t control what the dyes/vaccines are going to do to my body. I don’t know how to deal with that. I like being in charge. I like controlling my circumstances. I’m afraid and I can’t do anything to fix that. I have Xanax for the MRI, which they tell me should last about half an hour but I can’t exactly go around popping Xanax every time I have to have a shot or take a pill though I very well may request a full prescription and stay on it during radiation treatments. I’m not sure I’ll be able to tough those out on my own. I can’t bring myself to worry about these in detail just yet.
Once the scabs come off and the plastic surgeon clears me for radiation the neurosurgeon and his tumor team (really, they couldn’t have come up with a better name?) will use the information from next Saturday’s MRI to plan my radiation treatment. No matter what happens I have an appointment with the neurosurgeon to check my progress and to see if the blood clot has shrunk any more on Dec. 17, which is 3 days before my 38th birthday and 8 days before Christmas. I’m hoping for all good news but I’m worried about that too. It’s not as if I can look in the mirror and see if the clot in my brain has continued to shrink. I can’t monitor whether or not the tumor is in there growing as we wait for my head to heal. The uncertainty, the inability to control any of this makes me feel powerless and out of control. I can’t do anything to make anything better. All I can do is wait and do as the doctors tell me to do, take my medicine and have faith in God and the doctors.
I wish I could tell you that I have that kind of faith but I suppose I just don’t. I believe in God, I pray, I go to church. I have faith, I do. I believe that God loves us all and that he’s there at the very darkest moments holding our hands and helping us through. I believe he doesn’t send us more than we can handle but the worry wart in me can’t get past knowing that bad things happen to good people every day and no one gets through live without suffering. I don’t want to suffer. I don’t want to be sick and I hate this being powerless to do anything but trust. I don’t want to trust. I want to do. I’m scared and I have moments when I’m overwhelmed with anxiety. I can’t be the only person who feels this way, right?
I read these blogs of people who are going through so much worse than I am and they write so eloquently about their trials and tribulations and how they’ve put their faith in God. I feel so much less faithful than they are. I feel like a coward reading these stories of people facing sickness and hardship head on. If it were up to me I’d run screaming as far away as possible. If you’re one of those people and you’re reading. How do you do it?