Living on a prayer

These days, I am living on a prayer. More accurately, living on YOUR prayers. Thank you. This is way more fun than living on chemo. I am incredibly aware of each lovely chemo-free day and insanely grateful for the prayers, positive thoughts, presence and other gifts of your heart that enable me to have this life.

These provide an uplifting strength, enabling me to attend the boys’ May Day celebration at school, participate in my yoga class, attend a reunion, meet a friend for coffee, and throw (and enjoy) an early birthday party for one of the boys and his friends.  I even got to go rowing – woo hoo! – and rowed further than I ever have. (For those of you who are familiar, I rowed from the Cambridge Boat Club to the basin.)

I also decided that I had enough strength as well as enough distance from medical appointments to stomach a mammogram. In the face of actual cancer treatments, my regular mammograms fell out of the picture. Lately, I’ve had this panicky feeling that I need one, but every day this week, postponed making the call.

Finally, on Friday, after dropping the boys at school, I looked at the phone and thought, I’ll call in a bit. Just then, the phone rang and it was….The American Cancer Society. Seriously? Okay, message received and mammogram quickly scheduled.

On Saturday morning, I started bleeding and feeling ill, sending me into a bit of a tailspin.  To reign in my anxiety, I attempted to reframe the situation.

I tried telling myself that it wasn’t really happening. I tried telling myself that it would stop. I tried telling myself that it wasn’t a big deal.  I tried telling myself that it doesn’t mean anything.

As each approach failed, I kept thinking of that Bible verse, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” So I gave thanks for the good-feeling stuff in my life. Still didn’t help. Then I gave thanks for this. At first, that was a stretch, but I surprisingly did get there. Talk about practicing gratitude.

I could give thanks and be grateful but still wasn’t entirely thrilled about the bleeding. On Sunday, while listening to the song, “Let It Be” by the Beatles, I studied the logo on my iPhone, trying to figure out which face was which Beatle. Awhile later, while speaking with a friend, I noticed that same logo on his t-shirt, along with the words Let It Be.

I LOVE serendipities. They feel like personal messages from my guardian angels. I could sink into the Beatles. I could trust Mother Mary. And I could just let it be.

I hope you are finding lovely serendipities in your life. I know there are lots of us who need help and support in so many ways. Thank you for your continued prayers and your help in my life. Know that it makes a tangible, positive difference.

I thank God always for you.

Ephesians 1:15-19

Love and prayers,

9 thoughts on “Living on a prayer

  1. Hello Marie,
    I am sending a prayer your way.
    I am thinking about the exhortation to give thanks in all things….and trying to remember to begin doing it… those diffiult moments when that is the last impulse. Thank you for the reminder.
    “Can I find something perfect in this moment?,” Shaw Sprague at Quincy Tong Ren urges us to look. This is another practice I’m working on.
    Again, I am sending prayer your way.

  2. Dear Marie,
    Such an amazing post. You write beautifully and tell us such deep things. I am sorry for the bleeding. It would be frightening – and yet you turned to gratitude and kept honing in until you could only give thanks for that which was frightening you. It’s an ancient spiritual practice and very powerful.
    I admire you so much, and since I live on the river not far from the boathouse, I have no doubt even seen you.
    I do pray for you. I also give thanks for you.

    • Pamela, I am so touched by your words. Thank you. For all of this. And you TOTALLY got that part and put it so well – honing until until could only give thanks for what was frightening. Thank you. And I will keep an eye out for you on the shore today!

  3. Marie – you have my prayers and my absolute admiration too. I think you are amazing to feel grateful for your cancer but then it is so obvious from what you write that your experience has led you on your ‘adventues in spiritual living’ . This is a really powerful post for me as I am working on feeling grateful for my infertility, because it led me to my children. But for you it is a daily propostion of trying to find the good, being brave every day. That is so very brave..

    • Thank you for your prayers, truly! I’m still working on being grateful for cancer, though I will admit that I have had truly amazing experiences and become someone I would not be without it. But thank you for thinking that I can be grateful for it more regularly – that helps me to believe that I can do it regularly as well. The more I practice, it helps, too. Though then I laugh and think, wish I didn’t have to practice THAT. ha ha

      I also know that finding peace with our fertility paths isn’t straightforward, no matter how grateful we are for the children or lives we have as a result. You are there, living in gratitude with joy and humor and the details (both ups AND downs) of daily life. Thank you for sharing all those.

  4. God Bless Marie. You’re in our prayers every night and always in our hearts. I will try to remember to give thanks in all things – especially for you and your wonderful blogs.

  5. As you know, you are always in my prayers I am on way to NYC to see my children I’ll have to miss yoga I hope the bleeding was something not serious , Marie I am happy to be your Beatles consultant anytime Love, L Sent from my iPhone

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