And things feel better!

As you know, I have recently felt disconnected from God and all the magical stuff that I love. But now, I need to tell you about this past week…

I was supposed to go see John of God at Omega in Rhinebeck, NY. I have been seeing him, either in Brazil or North America, for a number of years, as I find it worthwhile on many levels. But this year, I had to cancel due to my procedure.

They say that the entities who work with John of God begin to work on you when you set your intention and book the trip. Some years, that has been obvious. Other years, more subtle (as in, I can’t tell at all).

This year, I saw nothing. But then, I was in my grumpy mood and wasn’t about to see anything, I guess.

Now that I am at the end of the week, I will share a couple of stories with you that I found fascinating.

“Random” meeting

Nancy and I planned to go to Omega together, but she was there by herself (among 2,000 other people) this year.

At lunchtime, all 2,000 people converge on this tiny lunchroom, and you find a seat anywhere you can. Sarah scanned the room and there were few, if any, open seats, but she found one next to Nancy.

They chatted over lunch for about 45 minutes and, when they got up to leave, Nancy mentioned that she was supposed to travel here with her friend, Marie….

Sarah said something like, “This can’t be the same Marie!”

What a “random” meeting! I loved that!

Divine guidance

As you might remember, my surgery went better than anyone expected. The nephrostomy went smoothly. And, despite the fact that the doctor said that he NEVER places a stent in that same first surgery, he placed the stent. “It was just clear,” he told my husband. Yay!!! Really glad that he had some divine guidance and followed it!

Lovely surgeon

You might also remember that I wasn’t crazy about my surgeon, but my urologist calmed me down.

When they were prepping me, a young, very nice doctor came to see me. I asked if he would be doing the surgery. “No, I’m the resident. I’ll be in the room observing. Dr. XxXx will do the surgery.”

That was an unfamiliar name and I wasn’t sure if I was crazy about the switch.

“Who is Dr. XxXx?” I asked.

“The Fellow,” he replied. “Dr. XYXY is attending.”

Then he said goodbye, see you in surgery, whatever.

I looked at my husband-the-doctor.

“You are at a teaching hospital. The room will be filled with all kinds of doctors learning.

“I know. This is what I signed up for. Still…”

And they wheeled me in.

Just before I went under, this amazing woman appeared by my side. She seemed kind and competent.

“Hi, I’m Dr. XxXx.”


And finally, on a personal note…

Without going into too much detail, there is something that one of our boys has wanted in his life for a long time. We couldn’t see a way to make that happen – there were lots of obstacles, the logistics seemed to be crazy, it just wasn’t going to happen.

And then, within a very short period of time, circumstances changed to allow what he wanted to become reality. We are still working on it, but the path feels clear and joyful, and I’m so excited for him. I’m looking forward to this more than anything else right now, even more than a vacation.

Right now…

Sitting in so much gratitude and wonder, and soaking it all in. Thanks for taking this path with me, and hoping you are feeling the light. Thank you for all the support you gave as I walked through a darker place, and for all your prayers and positive thoughts when I could generate none of that. You helped all of this come about, and helped to move me to a better place.

Chemo tomorrow (Tuesday) morning…

Love and blessings,

Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4

How long, O LORD? I cry for help
but you do not listen!

I cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not intervene.

Why do you let me see ruin;
why must I look at misery?

Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and clamorous discord.

Then the LORD answered me and said:

Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.

For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;

if it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.

The rash one has no integrity;
but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.

Next chapter in the Kidney Stent Story

Thank you so much for your support. I know that I cannot do it without it. Even prayer is failing me lately.

Want to hear the latest? A quick recap: I needed kidney stents. The urologist was able to put one in, but not the other. MY UNDERSTANDING was that I had to see an interventional radiologist so that he or she could go through my back, through the kidney, and place the stent into the ureter. More complicated, but fine.

My oncologist felt it should be done as soon as possible, which would be the week of Sept 26. I was scheduled to go to John of God the week of Sept 26 so I needed to cancel that, which bummed me out. And, given my chemo schedule, that meant that I would meet the interventional radiologist this week, chemo next week, and procedure the week after that. A crappy series of events, but I’ve done harder things.

Their recommended interventional radiologist was not available on that timeline, so I booked with another. Yes, you can see a bad moon a-risin’!

I showed up for my appointment and someone took vitals and left. Fine. A nurse practitioner arrived with a stack of papers that it looked like she would give me at the end of the visit. Fine. She started to talk about this tube in my back. I knew they might do this as a temporary measure while the stent healed. Fine.

But then she started talking about coming in every three months to have the tube replaced and having a home health aide come to my home every week or maybe every few days in between. My head started spinning.

“How long will I need this? I thought it was just temporary until the stent healed.”

“Everyone needs it a different amount of time.” She looked at me sideways.

“But THREE MONTHS? How long does it take the stent to heal?”

Ignoring my question about the stent, she added, “And you need the home health aide. Don’t cancel that.”

I don’t mind a home health aide as a temporary thing. I relied on them to get used to the idea of having a colostomy bag and learning how to care for myself and it. But, despite all these weird things on my body (mastectomy, colostomy bag, tumor coming out of my belly button, a fistula to manage, and a tube coming out of my chest every other week for chemo, to name a few), I kind of like having a place, like my own home, where I can pretend to be a normal person.

Having a home health aide come to my home destroys my little mythical world. Not only that, it is inconvenient. You have to plan your day around their arrival. They are sometimes late. They take your blood pressure, temperature, oxygen – in other words, they don’t just come in, change the dressing and leave. They have a whole intrusive process. And there is a different person every time, so, no relationship. Plus, if I need home health care, I wonder if I will be so sick that I can’t get my butt out of my house and to a medical facility.

But the biggest thing is, a health care worker marching into my house makes my home feel like a treatment area. I hate that.

My more immediate issue, though, was that I felt like the nurse was talking about a different procedure than I expected. She never mentioned a stent. Only going on and on about the nephrostomy tube or bag or whatever.

Since she couldn’t seem to talk about my topic, I thought I would ask her questions about her topic.

How do I sleep with this? How do I dress? How do I live with this? What does it look like? Does it require taping anything to my body? Can I sit back in a seat? Can I lie on my back for acupuncture?

“You cannot sleep on your back because the tube is sticking out of there. The bag, at all times, needs to be below your kidney, so you need to place it before you go to sleep and don’t move around. You will learn as you go,” she said with a confident smile. “Some of those answers are in these papers.”

I get to read about it after I leave? When I can’t ask follow-up questions I guess. And learn as I go? Am I the first person to deal with this?

I’m much better dealing with these life changes if I have preparation. I’ve had enough of those to know.

“I’ll get the doctor,” she said, apparently done with her part of the conversation.

About 10 minutes later, she returned with the doctor. He greeted me pleasantly and I was hopeful. Fool that I am.

He, too, focuses his little speech on a nephrostomy, and I went along with it, following his lead on the topic, asking questions about the procedure and the follow-up.

In retrospect, I had hoped that he would say, “We are putting in a stent, but first we have to do a nephrostomy.” And then go on to describe the multi-step process, culminating in my having my body back without tubes.

But he stays focused on the nephrostomy and never mentions a stent. Hmmm. So I ask him.

“I thought I was getting a stent.”

“This will be much easier. Trust me.”

Oooh. I have never been good with phrases like “trust me.” And after enduring this election year, I cringe hearing it. And, this will be much easier? For whom?

There was so much going on that I didn’t know where to start. Focus on facts, I thought. Maybe something tangible. I studied the doctor’s physical characteristics. He was shorter than me, with dark hair and lamb chop sideburns. He had a tiny diamond earring in his left ear and a wedding band on his left hand.

I took a deep breath and thought, someone, at some point, loved him enough to marry him. They think he is a good guy. Maybe he is a good guy. He means well. Maybe he just is bad at communication.

I really should have brought someone with me.

I decided to take control of the conversation. These are some snippets of the conversation as I remember them:

Me: I thought I was going to get a stent. That you were going through the kidney to put in a stent.
Him: Well, if you really want me to, I can try.

What? I thought. If I really want him to? I thought that was the program….

Me: If I can, I want the stent.
Him: Let’s play Let’s Make a Deal. You want to play Let’s Make a Deal? I can do that.

Okay, what is up with all that? I don’t want him to place the stent as a “favor” to me. I don’t want to try and place a stent if it is going to screw up my body even more. I don’t want to try if it means a useless procedure. I DO want someone to say “It is likely that I can do this” or “Probability is low because…” I want someone to be on my side, to understand how huge this is for me.

And seriously, “Let’s Make a Deal”? Once, okay, weird, but he used it multiple times throughout our conversation.

Here is another….

Me: I’m focused on quality of life. What will this be like to live with?
Him, smiling: This will improve your quality of life.


I’m thinking about the hassle it will be to shower, as the bandage (around the site and is not a temporary thing) cannot get wet. I have to wrap myself in Saran Wrap to shower, and make it quick. I can never again take a bath or go in a swimming pool or the ocean.

I’m thinking about sleeping with tubes and drainage bags and getting out of bed in the middle of the night to pee and forgetting to grab all the bags I need to and having one detach. And what about if I am drugged, which doesn’t happen often but happens often enough.

This was crazy. I started crying, and then I started sobbing. He gave me a consent paper to sign, and a phone number to call to set up the procedure. He and the nurse left the room. And then I left.

Okay, here is another weird thing. I am IN THE OFFICE. With a waiting room and staff and check out people. And the phone number they gave me to call to set up the appointment was THE OFFICE NUMBER. But they want you to call to set up the appointment.

I left the office, took the elevator down one floor, and called the number to sign up for a procedure day. And then I raced out of the hospital.

I paid for parking, found my car, and started sobbing again. I didn’t know what to do, so I frantically made phone calls, including to my oncologist’s office and the social worker, leaving messages for everyone I could think of.

I had five minutes (after paying for parking) to leave the garage, so I started driving. It’s amazing that I made it home. I was heaving sobs as I drove while I talked with my friend Julie on the phone, who alternately asked me to pull over and tried to keep me calm when I insisted on driving.

When I arrived home, our dog excitedly came to my car and jumped in and on my lap. He is rarely outside and he never sits on my lap, so I took this as a sign that somehow, I would be supported.

People started calling me back, and I either didn’t answer or I talked their ear off. The social worker gave me some ideas, and the oncology nurse practitioner told me that he would contact my oncologist, who was in Australia.

I’m finally calming down. Still freaking out a bit, but at least I can speak clearly. My oncologist called me as soon as he landed at Logan and we discussed the option of switching doctors versus the timeline we set up. He promised to work on it over the weekend, which was above and beyond the call of duty. I feel like someone has my back. (Ha ha – especially since that is where the nephrostomy would go…)

I have so many parts outside my body that are supposed to be inside (and out of sight) that I’m starting to wonder if my body is turning itself inside out. I’m spending a lot of time appreciating my back, especially the fact that there is currently nothing hanging out of it. I wonder what life will be like. I’m noodling over the best way to explain this to the boys.

Thank you for helping to keep this all together. It really is unbelievable. But like everyone, we do what we need to do and continue moving forward. Deep breaths.

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
– Pema Chodron

Love and blessings,






The reverberation of my time with John of God

Thank you for all your prayers and support. I am fully convinced that there are greater powers at work, and I appreciate that you tap into that to help me. Thank you.

I took last week off chemo to go see John of God at Omega in Rhinebeck, NY. Because I took a week off early in September, I was a little nervous about taking this week off as well. But I also know that when I see John of God and the entities who work with him, I experience positive and unexpected changes.

So off I went.

I arrived at Omega with specific intentions in mind so that I could be clear during the many hours of meditation and prayer.

Rather than describe the experience, I’ll share some of the outcomes.

But first, I will share a little background. The first time I went to see John of God (in Brazil), my primary intention was to be healed of tumors. (My summary of that trip is here. If you want to read more about it, I have more details starting on July 30 in that same blog.)  When I returned home, friends asked if I was upset that I wasn’t “healed.” But I felt great. Compared to a few weeks before, I was softer, happier, less judgmental. I felt like layers of yucky feelings had been removed from me. Maybe I still had the tumors, but I also had my life back. That was worth even more.

Because of that experience, I bring my own intentions but trust that the best things will happen.

And yes, one of my intentions was to remove the tumors, and specifically, the tumor in my belly button.

Here is what I experienced:

  • On Tuesday afternoon, I had the start of a bowel obstruction. I could barely move. By now, I know the gig for these: I’m up all night, in pain and vomiting, until everything frees itself. But this time, I lay in bed (still feeling intense waves of pain) and FELL ASLEEP. That has NEVER happened before. When I woke in the morning, the pain was gone and the obstruction was freed. Immense gratitude!
  • On Wednesday, I felt the belly button tumor. Doing that gives me the heebie-jeebies, but I need to know if there is any change. It wasn’t there. In place of that small, hard ball was soft mushy skin. Hmm. I checked again on Thursday. And Friday, and Saturday. I’m still not sure what to make of that.
  • The opening in my belly button is barely noticeable.
  • When I skip a week of chemo, I am usually in more pain that second week and my energy level is low. But right now, I’m actually in less pain that I have been in years. I can lift grocery bags and move the dryer. I had the energy to attend a religious service, go to the grocery store, and cook two full meals, all in a good mood!

Plus, one more fun event that happened after I arrived home, totally unrelated to health.

I bought these Birkenstocks, wore them once, and left them in the car.



Recently, I noticed there was only one on the floor of my car. I looked through the car and the house. I asked my husband and kids. No sign of it anywhere. I hate losing things, especially brand new things.

The shoe was missing long enough that I considered throwing away its mate, but I didn’t.

On Saturday, I drove one of our sons to his friend’s house. My husband usually does this, but I was feeling great and wanted to go. I had never been to the house and was driving slowly to find it when our son said, “His house is right there, the one with the fence that has your shoe on it.”

He was very matter-of-fact, like this happens every day. Ha ha, I thought, funny.

When we walked to the house, I examined the shoe. It was the same style and color, the right size, and even the right foot. Hmm, maybe I’ll keep it, I thought. I can use it. It was even brand new. It felt just like mine.

Once in the house, I asked my friend about the shoe. She had found it on the sidewalk in front of her house. They considered throwing it away, but it was brand new, so thought they would put it on the fence. Maybe whoever lost it would come looking for it. It had been on that fence long enough that they again considered throwing it away. But they didn’t.

I was just thrilled.

But I had never been to the house. How did it get there? We figured that my husband drove my car there, and it somehow fell onto the sideway. Possible.

I’m just giddy that all the pieces fell into place and I have my pair of shoes together again! (Now I just need the warm weather to return.)

On another note (literally), I attended a beautiful Humanistic Judaism service at Kahal B’raira. I wanted to share this song with you, especially the words in bold, because I so appreciate the way you share the source of strength deep within you.

Song: Makom hako’ach

            Makom hako’ach b’tocheinu,
            M’korot ha-b’racha m’chevroteinu.

           May the source of strength
           That dwells so deep within us,
           Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing,
           And let us say: shalom.

            Makom hako’ah b’tocheinu,
            M’korot ha-b’rakha m’chevroteinu.

           Bless those in need of healing with refuah sh’leima
           The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit,
           And let us say: shalom.

Debbie Friedman
Adapted by J. Falick, M. Jerris , and A. Chalom

Blessings and love,


Thank you for all your good feelings and good wishes last week. It helped so much. By Monday afternoon, I was on my way to feeling much better.

I was also on my way to see John of God, who was scheduled to be at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. I recovered enough to drive there and, honestly, I believe I was carried there safely by spiritual entities. I am so grateful that I made it, especially because I knew that was where I needed to be at that time.

In the past, each time I saw John of God in Brazil, I experienced lots of fun coincidences. More than that, I walked away changed to my core and receiving at least one big message. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Omega.

The fun coincidences showed up. For example, my friend Kate told me to look for her friend Gillian. In a sea of 1600 people, all of whom were wearing white and doing introspective soul work, what are the odds? But the next day, standing in line, I turned to the woman behind me and said, “You wouldn’t happen to be Kate’s friend, Gillian?” Bingo!

Happily, I can say that I do feel changed as a result of this experience. In fact, I feel wonderful in so many ways. The simplest way to describe it is to say that I feel great peace and health.

Finally, I received a message this time as well: Forgiveness. This word came from many directions and in many forms. The topic came up in random conversations with strangers. People would spontaneously begin discussing ho`oponopono (a Hawaiian forgiveness prayer) with me. I heard that voice in my head that told me that now is time for forgiveness. When we said the Lord’s Prayer, the words “as we forgive those who trespass against us” sounded louder than the rest.

I don’t feel like I harbor any grudges or walk around bearing ill will. I assumed this meant day-to-day forgiveness, like toward people who are inadvertently rude to me or annoying. I got excited – I was up for that! I could be a light of forgiveness, with bad things just bouncing off and away. This would be awesome!

Then I randomly met Donna at lunch. We soon discovered that we not only had mutual interests but a mutual friend. Later, I ran into her again, and she made a comment that went straight to my core and illuminated grudges that I harbor that are so old and so much a part of me that I don’t even realize I am carrying them. These are the kind of grudges that drive my daily behavior, that define who I am. Dropping these grudges would be like cutting out a part of me.

Forgiveness suddenly did not feel so easy or fun.

I know that when I get these messages, I need to listen and act. Not knowing where to start, I began with trust. I asked for help and promised to do the work that is in front of me, even if only one step at a time. Here goes.

With love, gratitude, and, hopefully, the beginning of humble forgiveness,


Introducing St. Rita

Chemo on Tuesday.

We don't ride alone

My friend Marygrace drew this for me. Isn’t it wild? I love that my angel is right behind me, pedaling along, sporting purple hair that blows in the wind. I also love the flowers in the wicker basket in the front. I have been told (and Marygrace didn’t know this) that I NEED to put a wicker-type basket in the front.

A cool reminder that we are all energetically connected and that we are not alone.

From here, this note gets a little graphic. If you have a weak stomach, you may choose to skip it.

Last week, those horrible intestinal pains started again. (By now, the pattern is familiar. They start out feeling like stomach aches, then over a period of 12 hours, move into stronger and stronger intestinal pain and blockage. Eventually, I throw up several times, then the pain subsides and things settle out.)

My amazing energy healer can usually stop this in its tracks, but because of the work I did in Brazil, I am not supposed to work with her until mid-September. She taught me how to get rid of them myself, but

  1. it is much easier to turn a ship before it goes full-speed in one direction, and my pains were, by now, moving full speed ahead and
  2. the approach to eliminate these pains requires intense mental focus, and I kept getting distracted by the actual pain.

Instead, I used some amazing and effective pain management techniques. After a few hours, I realized that, while they manage each wave of pain as it comes, they don’t eliminate it. I’m a slow study. Or an eternal optimist.

Still, it was the best I could do. Then I remembered St. Rita. I first learned about St. Rita in Brazil and heard of miracles attributed to her intervention. St. Rita of Corsica is, among other things, the patron saint of the impossible.

So, I asked St. Rita something like this: Please stop this pain. Just about anything else would be preferable.

Suddenly, the pain subsided. Wow. Very cool. But, I felt this need to throw up. What on earth? I sat up and….my nose was bleeding like a faucet. And not just out of my nose, but down the back of my throat. Well, that solved the question of why I felt nauseous.

Avastin is part of my chemo cocktail, so any bleeding I get is profuse and takes a long time to stop. Still, I had to laugh. This was a decent trade-off for the pain, and I could not believe how immediately that trade-off was made.

I’m so grateful for all the non-physical beings around me – I have no clue why or how or even all the who’s, but they help. And I am so grateful for your physical help, as the physical and non-physical are so intimately intertwined. Thank you.

I head into chemo tomorrow, joining friends who are also doing chemo this week, recovering from cancer surgery, or are being scanned or biopsied to make sure there is no cancer in their body. Prayers all around!


Returning the way I started, with some changes

I love it when the universe works in sync.

Two weeks ago, when I boarded the overnight flight to Brazil, my footrest wouldn’t retract fully. A minor complaint in the scheme of things, for sure, but I noticed it. The mechanics were not able to fix it and my choice was to either delay the flight for the repair or take the seat as is. You know me: I took the seat as is.

Last night, when I boarded the overnight flight returning from Brazil, I was assigned a different seat number and….my footrest wouldn’t retract fully. I looked around at the nearby seats and all those were fine, so I laughed out loud. What are the odds? Something bigger was going on, even if it was subtle.

Again the mechanics weren’t able to fix it, but this time, the flight attendants offered me another seat, which I took. My new seat was next to another woman returning from her trip to Abadiania (with a different guide), and we had a fun chat about spirituality and portals before we fell asleep.

I feel like I returned the same way that I came, with the same things that don’t work, EXCEPT that on my return, I was given special physical gifts in the form of a new seat and fun seat mate.

This also helped me to trust that I was also given special spiritual gifts that have yet to be revealed.

So psyched!

Love and blessings,

Last night in Brazil

After a pretty lazy morning, I did 4.5 hours of current this afternoon. Once “released,” we took lots of photos of each other, but I don’t feel like I can post them. Instead, I will post the view of tonight’s sunset from my little balcony.

Sunset #1Sunset #2

Some orbs showed up.

Sunset with orbsOrbs at night

We had our last group dinner followed by a little outing to Frutti’s. Tomorrow, we say goodbye in waves as we each leave at different times. It’s been an amazing trip.

Thanks for being here.



The unusual begins to look normal

After seeing John of God (in entity) yesterday and having a spiritual surgery, I had a pretty cool 24 hours in the “spiritual ICU.” I did stay in my room, but it was hard. My emotions ran the gamut, which can be crazy-making.

I've seen some weird shit

I’m still pretty wiped out, but saw that Alice in Wonderland piece (above) and it very much captures how I am feeling. Often, I think about something and an answer materializes. For example, I wondered if I should write my own obituary (not that I’m dying, but obviously I think about it from time to time), and then a friend sent me the obituary of a woman who wrote her own. Wild.

AND, I prayed in Current on Friday for a child who has been displaying a particular behavior and on Saturday the behavior abruptly stopped.

AND, I saw another aura.

AND, during my time alone today, I was obsessing over someone here who was making me crazy (and sad). I heard a voice saying that I shouldn’t worry about her, that they are taking care of her. I later found out that she had some pretty intense work going on today.

But wait, there’s more….One day this week, I took off my jewelry before I went to bed, the same way I do every single night. The next morning, I found my Alex and Ani hummingbird bracelet under my pillow. I thought, there is a slight chance that I left it on my bed, but under my pillow? The next day, I learned that someone else in our group found her iPad under her pillow. Tooth fairy entity? ha ha

I took these photos in my bathroom. The sparkles you see are like the sparkles that I occasionally see in my room (no kidding), though I will admit that some of these dots could be toothpaste on the mirror. 🙂 Still, notice the orb and the blue light. In this one, it is by the left side of my head.

Orbs in the mirror

In this one, it is by my right elbow.

Orbs in the mirror 2There are other experiences that I am too tired to write out fully, so will end on a more everyday note…the meals at Frutti’s are HUGE, fresh, delicious and a good value. This is a salad that runs about $5.

Salad at Frutti's

Love and blessings,

Typical Tuesday at the Casa

We started the day cutting vegetables for this week’s soup.

Here is a bucket of shu shu, a new vegetable for me. The inside is light green and has the consistency of zucchini, maybe a little more firm. It has one seed in the center. IMG_2045

Anything with ridges is harder to peel, and shu shu also needs to be cut and the seed removed. I got there early (notice, very few people!)….

Lots of buckets of vegetables on benches

…so I was able to find a sharp knife and a peeler (truly rare commodities) and laid claim to a bucket of carrots (easy to peel). That is my blue water bottle, above, and my bucket of carrots, below.

Bucket of unpeeled carrots

Friends soon arrived to peel with me.

Peeling with friends

Sam does some creative carving as well!

Carving a carrot

Once peeled, the carrots are cubed using this tool. A trained professional places the carrot on the grid, then lowers the handle. The carrot cubes drop into a bucket below.

Cubing the carrots

As folks slowly arrive, peeling becomes the morning social gathering.

A garden of us peeling vegetables

After peeling veggies, I sat in the garden, went to the waterfall (3rd time – I love it there!), and joined a group doing some truly uplifting spiritual singing (led by three guitar players). So fun!

Tonight, alot of us met up at Frutti’s for dinner and dessert.

Hanging out together at Frutti's

Tomorrow, we see John of God again.

Love and blessings,