First day with John of God

On the way to breakfast, I ran into Elena. She laughingly told me how she had just shampooed and her shower went pfft. I asked her what she did and she said, “That is it. No rinse.” I silently gave thanks, not just for hot water but for water at all.

After breakfast, we took the short walk to the Casa to see John of God. Though we arrived early enough to get a seat, I still got a bit claustrophobic in the crowds. After awhile, I left my seat and sat outside for a bit, then stood by the door the rest of the time.

This place draws a mixed crowd, from every walk of life. Older people and babies and every age in between. All styles of dress, though almost everyone adhered to the all-white dress code. Though some people were in obvious physical distress, most people looked just like anyone you might meet in your daily life. Understandably, there are no photos allowed.

After an hour or two of meditating, praying and listening to speeches, our the line started, then moved quickly. A warm entity (not sure which one) was inhabiting John of God today. Like last year, right after I saw him, I had about 10 minutes of free-flowing tears. Where do these things come from?

Anyway, I am scheduled for an invisible surgery this afternoon. Following that surgery is a 24-hour lockdown period (otherwise known as a spiritual recovery period or spiritual ICU) where we stay in our rooms and sleep or just be quiet. So I will be offline for at least 24 hours, though meals will be delivered.

Have a beautiful and blessed day!


Hey y’all!

I actually got myself up early enough to walk to see the sunrise! Much of the path looks like this:

Walk to sunrise

During the sunrise, the birds chirped louder and we could hear the monkeys making their noises. The monkeys quiet down once the sun is fully risen.


 After breakfast-time, a bunch of us went to the Casa to peel veggies for this week’s soup. I got there early enough to choose carrots, one of the easier vegetables to peel.

Peeling carrots for blessed soupLove that woman behind me; what a good sport to smile for the photo!

I’m getting to know my group. Though most live throughout the US and Canada, we include people from Iran, Uruguay, Mexico, Norway, Romania, Trinidad and China. They are all more familiar with geography than I am. I listen and learn and can hold my own on other topics.

I had a 40-minute crystal bath today, which involves sitting under lights that are colored for each chakra. That actually feels more cool and intense than it sounds.

We had a long meeting about the protocols and expectations for tomorrow, which will be our first day to see John of God.

After dinner, we went orb hunting.

Orbs at the Casa

Though no one knows exactly what the orbs are, they seem to appear wherever there is strong spiritual work going on. These orbs were over a group of people saying the rosary at the Casa. I took pictures elsewhere but the orbs were strongest there.

The funny thing is, after awhile, I could see orbs on my camera WITHOUT taking a photo, but then when I clicked to take the photo, they weren’t there. I don’t question it.

I ended the day at Frutti’s to get a green drink for my breakfast. I LOVE that they have pure green juice and lots of other healthy and yummy things.

Drink menu at Frutti's

I will close with my favorite quote of the day. It makes me smile every time I think of it. Imagine hearing this in a lovely Arkansas accent:

“I don’t talk about my problems with my friends. We have more fun things to talk about. And I don’t think them over by myself. I’m the one who got myself into that mess to start with. I talk them over with God and Mary. They’re my ‘Hey y’all!’”

Thanks for being my hey y’all! Have a beautiful night.


Day 1 and we are all pretty tired

My overnight flight to Brasilia held eight people from my group. (There are 22 total in the group.) I was the first through customs so I sat waiting for the rest of the gang. It reminded me of last year, when I waited, looking around and not knowing what was ahead of me. At that time, Shelby soon sat beside me and a whole world unfolded.

This time, I sat and waited but was peering, not into my future, but into my cellphone. After realizing that particular behavior would hinder meeting anyone new, I looked up and saw a family of three waiting as well.

We started talking and got to share the two-hour cab ride to the hotel. They were new so I could pretend I was like Shelby, last year’s more experienced traveler.

Then over lunch, the four of us plus two woman from British Columbia (but originally from Romania) had a long and animated conversation around manifesting what is in your life, seeing auras, the fifth-dimension (which I am just learning about), God, spirits and entities and a gazillion other topics along those lines.

We joined the group to do a quick tour of the town and the Casa, where I kept getting the message to soften. And now I am back in my room.

I’m happy. And exhausted. The sun is already setting here at 6 pm (it is warm but wintertime) so I will get dinner and head to bed. Hopefully I’ll be awake in time to watch the sunrise.

Wherever you are, I hope you are manifesting fun conversations that help you move  to anywhere you want to be in your life. And that the sun is still shining and warm, in the sky and in the faces of those you love.

Lots of love and blessings,

Checking into the hotel

I got one of the new rooms, constructed sometime in the past year.

Here is my bed, with fresh towels and an instruction booklet for getting around here. There is a patio next to the bed (through the sliding doors).

My bed in Hotel San Raphael

The closet comes with a blanket, about six hangers (you know I packed way more than that) and three rolls of toilet paper.

The Closet

Nice tile on the shower wall. No shower curtain, which is fine.

The shower

If you look closely at the shower head, you will see the electrical cords that provide the power to heat the water.

Shower head

Just outside my room is construction for a new patio.


That is a board attached to the wall with the metal pieces (only on the left). It is meant to protect one from falling a full story You may also recognize the pack-n-play on the side. Don’t worry – it holds tools, not a baby.

Still, this place is really clean and warm and friendly, which magically transforms all of these into simply heartwarming quirks of a foreign culture.

On the road again…

Woo hoo – I am headed to see John of God in Abidiania, Goias, Brazil!

Thank you for all your prayers and positive vibes that got me to this point. And for all the logistical help as well!

Yesterday, my parents arrived to help my husband with the boys, and we went to Mass this morning. Not that those are related….

The Gospel reading was about how to pray, the one where the disciples ask Jesus how to pray, and where Jesus teaches the Our Father and speaks of “ask and you shall receive.”

After that came the homily. The priest forgot to turn on his mike so we had to strain to hear. However, it was a good homily and worth the effort to listen.

Once we returned home, I finished packing and headed to the airport.

Last summer, when I went to Brazil, I set off unsure of what to expect. At that time, I cleared customs in Brasilia then met the cab driver, who showed me where to sit and wait for the other passengers. Soon, Shelby appeared next to me, this gorgeous, tall blonde woman in just the right clothes who had seen John of God before. Between my inexperience and my uncoordinated travel outfit, I felt like a glaring newbie.

However, Shelby’s heart was so generous and open that she seemed to be surrounded by a golden light and I couldn’t help but be drawn to her.

Two weeks later, I returned home feeling like a completely new person, with treasured friends who I feel like I’ve known forever.

Last time was so incredibly special, so unique for me, that I almost don’t want to go again. When I think about it, I worry that this new experience will trample on that first one, or that I will try to protect that original experience and, as a result, won’t be as open to this new one.

But like my first trip to Brazil, I felt called to go on this one. Even pushed.

So, I am putting one foot in front of the other and am on my way. Despite my dog, who practically begged me not to go. Despite the broken check-in kiosks at the airport, the interminably long security line, and a packed airplane to Atlanta where my seat was broken. I kept moving forward, past each obstacle.

This time, although I do know the ropes, I realized that I am still a newbie in that don’t know what this experience will bring.

But I’m asking my questions, and I’m listening closely.

Let my love open the door

Thank you for your healing prayers. As more than one person pointed out, I should ask for your prayers for FULL healing, so thank you for focusing your prayers on that!

Thank you also for staying so connected. I am more and more convinced that we are connected in invisible but vary tangible ways.

Mostly, those kinds of connections are just so fun and open my world even wider. My family and I recently returned from a magical vacation where we got to connect in real time with dear friends.

Of the gazillion stories, I will share something from my time in Ashland, Oregon (USA), visiting two friends I met last summer in Brazil.

At one point, my friends and I were talking about this blog and I mentioned Tom. Tom and I met through this blog and I shared with my friends some of the cool “coincidences” related to Tom and our email connections.

Shortly after this conversation, I checked my email. Around the time we were talking about Tom, he was writing an email to me! Love it when that happens. AND this is what it said (slightly edited with his approval):

I was just … beginning to read the first post: “How This Blog Began”

During my reading…, I had my iPod going on shuffle with ensuing random background music.

At the moment I started to read why you started to write this blog based upon a clear message from God, my iPod Shuffle started to play the song “Let My Love Open the Door” by Pete Townsend.  It isn’t a song I know super well but it instantly caught my ear & I immediately felt the need to look up the lyrics since I didn’t know them. I feel like I got my own message at that moment  – I don’t know Pete’s background of why he wrote the lyrics but it spoke to me of God’s love, especially after the first verse, wonderful timing to reading about why & how you started the blog.

Of course, I totally loved the synchronicities of all that. I completely believe that events are connected in ways designed to speak to our hearts. I love that that song came on during the reading of that particular blog post. I love that Tom’s experience helped me to hear that song in a new way.

But wait, there is more! In the liner notes of Pete Townsend’s Gold (Remaster) CD, he refers to this song as “Jesus sings.” Who’d have thought?!

So, maybe you will hear this song in a new way as well. Or, if it isn’t the song for you, I hope that you will see and hear your connections with new eyes and ears, always.

Joy and love to you (and the lyrics that follow),

When people keep repeating
That you’ll never fall in love
When everybody keeps retreating
But you can’t seem to get enough
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

When everything feels all over
When everybody seems unkind
I’ll give you a four-leaf clover
Take all the worry out of your mind

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

I have the only key to your heart
I can stop you falling apart
Try today, you’ll find this way
Come on and give me a chance to say

Let my love open the door

It’s all I’m living for
Release yourself from misery
Only one thing’s gonna set you free
That’s my love

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

When tragedy befalls you
Don’t let them bring you down
Love can cure your problem
You’re so lucky I’m around

Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
Let my love open the door
To your heart

These are Days to Remember

How would you live if you felt your days were limited?

A few years ago, I asked the doctors how much time they thought I might have left, because I assumed that I might live my life differently if I had three months vs 18 months vs some uncountable number of years.

Their answer did put a lot of pressure on me to make every minute count. That kind of pressure generally results in my doing absolutely nothing.

The happy news is that I am gratefully living more months than “the average and expected.”

Retrospectively, I don’t know if I live differently as a result of what the doctors told me. I definitely do far less long-term planning than I used to.  I buy trip insurance. I make fewer firm commitments. I withdrew from doing anything I absolutely didn’t want to do and found more passion for the things I needed to do. Like many people I know, I strive to balance living in the moment with looking toward the future.

I imagined that I would savor every moment, but some moments remain easier to savor than others. I thought that I would do only amazing things, but much of my day still consists of the mundane – cooking, dishwashing and picking up after the kids. I thought that I would forgive more easily and love more deeply and while I aspire to this, I still have my own internal barriers to both.

The ground shifted yesterday when I heard about another death from cancer, someone I didn’t know personally but who touched my life nonetheless and passed too soon, causing me to reconsider how I live my life.

Of course, there are countless ways to live. Before I could again be paralyzed with indecision, I heard the old song These are Days by 10,000 Maniacs and the words resonated in my soul.

To be part of the miracles you see
In every hour

That appealed to me as a pretty awesome way to live, whether for three months or 18 months or some uncountable number of years.

And on a more tangible level, I like the idea of aiming for this:

These are the days you might fill with laughter
until you break.
These days you might feel a shaft of light
make its way across your face.

And when you do, you’ll know how it was meant to be…

Know that you are blessed and lucky – these are days to remember. These truly are days to live and grow and bloom.

Love and light,

My own little prayer study and results

To clarify – I am not currently doing chemo. I am on a chemo holiday and would like to remain on a chemo holiday. To that end, the tumors need to shrink or stay stable.

So – the prayers I am regularly requesting from you are for the tumors to shrink or stay stable. Although I do a lot with my lifestyle to stay healthy, your prayers truly are my very best medicine right now.

My life experience convinces me of this. This week alone, within a 24-hour period, I got a message from

  • Tom sharing that his CEA (tumor marker) remains normal – woo hoo!
  • Deb rejoicing in her four- and possibly eight-week chemo holiday (I’m gunning for even more for her) AND
  • M amazed that her surgery AND recovery went better than the last time due to positive thoughts sent by friends. (I sent prayers along with positive thoughts – hope that was okay, my dear friend.)

All things for which we have specifically been praying. I LOVE it!

I will add one more to this list, although it requires sharing something that feels a bit personal. I have water from Lourdes and a few people suggested that I put it on the tumor sites and pray to Mary.

So, every morning, I do exactly that. Except, I only did that with one tumor site, the one that is between my liver and diaphragm.

During one of those prayers, I said something like, “I totally believe that you can take care of this, but it would be great to have a sign.”

At my last doctor appointment, he reviewed the CT scan with me and reported that two of the measurable tumors grew slightly. The other tumors they see but are too small to measure grew a bit as well. But the tumor between my liver and diaphragm, the one I have been praying over, was stable.

Yes, ONLY the tumor that I have been praying over is stable.

And yes, I then changed my approach to pray over ALL the tumors.

Like the prayers for Tom and Deb and M and me, I know that this works for you. Pray. Or send out positive thoughts regarding your life. Or tell me what you want me to pray for on your behalf, and I will do that.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued prayers for my healing. I know they make a difference. My family and I are deeply grateful, as your prayers enable the life we have together.

Love and blessings,

P.S. You may be thinking, if everything has grown a little, why didn’t I jump back on chemo.

If you have been following this story for awhile, you know that one full year, and then another, revolved around chemo and surgery and other treatments. At some point, I switched it around. Chemo and treatments became part of my life, but, where I could help it, my life didn’t revolve around them, making all of us much happier.

It is summer and we have vacation plans and life needs to be lived. My doctor and I discussed several options, and we came to this conclusion together. I get tested again August and we will have another discussion then. So please keep on praying for tumor shrinkage or sending positive vibes if that is more your thing and giving thanks for the wonder that is life!

Summer of Love

Because of your prayers and positive thoughts and good wishes, summer has been amazing.

The weather is hot and humid – just the way I think that summer should be.

We had friends at our house this weekend, then travelled to Pittsburgh on Sunday and Monday to visit my family and take the kids to Kennywood, the awesome local amusement park. On Tuesday night, I got to help host a Mexican-themed community cookout at the boathouse. Tonight, our neighborhood held a pizza party, then everyone shifted to our house for an  impromptu after-party.

Family and friends all around. That is also the way that I think that summer should be.

I know that I am fortunate to get to enjoy all of this and actually be fully part of it. In the quiet moments between the activity, I give thanks for you.

Thank you for helping to make my summer all that I love. I hope that you are also able to craft the summer you love, that you deeply enjoy it and know that you are blessed.


Pain in the neck

I truly appreciate your continued prayers on my behalf, and I wanted to share with you my experience of the power of prayer in case it is helpful for you, too. Know that your prayers are just as if not more impactful!

Last week, I had intense pain in my right shoulder and neck. Last September, I injured that shoulder while carrying a large boat, and the pain periodically returns.

This time, I used all my pain management techniques. I tried to go to sleep at 9:30 p.m. to escape, hoping that the pain would just be gone when I woke, but I couldn’t sleep.

I tried focusing on the space between the bouts of pain, those moments where there was no pain at all. Often this follows the theory of “What you pay attention to will grow” and those spaces between the pain get larger and larger and the pain itself smaller and smaller. Didn’t work this time.

I tried breathing into the painful areas and observing them: What do they look like? What color are they? Spiky? Smooth? I got lots of information. I also continued to get lots of pain.

I tried tong ren (beating on an acupuncture doll with a metal hammer). That brought temporary relief but eventually the pain came roaring back.

I noticed that my shoulder felt better when I was sitting or standing. Bummer, because by now, it was 2:30 a.m. and all I wanted to do was sleep. And I prefer to do that lying down.

With all of my mental activity, my husband couldn’t sleep. He knows my aversion to drugs but suggested that I try an Aleve. I was so desperate that I agreed.

Over an hour later, the pain was even more intense, so I went downstairs to avoid bothering anyone. I sat on the sofa in the dark house and closed my eyes. Without thinking about it, I started to pray. Of course, always my last resort.

“Dear God and all the entities, I would really love to get some sleep right now. Could you just remove this pain? If I am supposed to have it for some reason, I’ll happily take it back in the morning. That would be awesome. Thank you.”

And then I sat. Only a few moments later, with my eyes still closed, I saw a bright light on my right side. And then, twinges in my shoulder and neck. With each twinge, the pain went away. They followed each other in rapid-fire, one after another, until all but one spot of pain was gone.

I added, half-joking, “I hate to be greedy, but can you get this one last spot?”

And the last spot of pain disappeared. I sat for another minute or so, briefly thinking, did that really happen? I need to figure out how to do that for the tumors.

Then I walked to bed, exhausted, and fell right to sleep.

At 8 a.m. I woke up with raging pain in my neck and shoulder and had to laugh with gratitude.