All is good!

I’ll admit that it is way easier to celebrate God when things go well.

I’m totally celebrating! I am thanking God and all of you for all your prayers and help in making the surgery even more successful than ANYONE expected.

The plan was to place a nephrostomy for at least two weeks, to make sure there is no infection, to deflate the kidney and make it easier to place the stent, etc. And the doctor told me, he never places stents in the first surgery because he always has to go back and fix it.

So I was prepared (as much as I guess I could be – was still freaking out) to have the nephrostomy and a constant companion bag.

BUT they not only placed the tube but they also PLACED THE STENT!! We were thrilled.

The show isn’t done: This is sort of a “starter stent” and I have to have the “big girl stent” placed another day. And I still have a tube hanging out of my back, along with a huge bandage (and still no showers allowed). Awkward.

But, really, NO BAG for the expected 2-4 weeks! I had it for about 36 hours, more than enough for me, as I’m running out of places to hide bags under my clothing. Woo hoo. Hopefully soon, I can have the tube removed and shower again. But in the meantime, I am THRILLED about the forward progress!

I know for sure that your prayers and support made the difference. So much energy going that way. Thank you. When I was under conscious sedation, I could feel it. I believe that faith can move mountains. What a difference! Thank you.

If you want a story from the day, here is one. Otherwise, thank you for reading this far and for all you have done with your connection to God and the great energy grid! Sending love love love! And, now, this story:

I arrived pretty nervous, but EVERYONE I encountered was not only pleasant but also uplifting. After I signed in, the receptionist sent my husband to the cushy breakfast area while a volunteer took me and another woman (older than I am) to get prepped.

It was a little bit of a walk, including an elevator ride, so the volunteer made small talk and I let the other woman carry the other side of the conversation. I really wasn’t into it.

When we reached the prep area, the volunteer left and the other woman and I sat in adjacent chairs, waiting to be called.

Already in chatty mode and actually quite friendly, the woman asked me, “Is this your first port?”, leading me to I assume she was there to have a port placed.

“Oh, I’m not here for a port,” I told her. “But I do have one.” And I showed it to her.

“They ran out of veins,” she sighed.

“Oh, the port is MUCH easier. Much. To be honest, it took a couple of months to get used to it.” Her eyes got wide, so I quickly added, “But now I barely think about it.”

Like me, she had a right-side mastectomy, so I told her they would likely place the port above her left breast. “I do notice it when I drive, when the seat belt hits it a certain way. Otherwise, I really don’t think about it.”

They called my name and I told her that she was going to be great. We never shared the type of cancer we were dealing with, or why I was there, but that is okay. Allowing myself to make a connection helped me to relax and regain confidence, and I hope that her procedure went just as well as mine did.

Thanks to God and to you!

Love and blessings,
Marie

 

 

Open heart

Last week at yoga, my instructor gave me a new routine with poses for opening my chest a bit more. Maybe because of this, I began to consider opening my heart a bit more.

I don’t generally lead with my heart. Most times, I approach situations with my guard up, even a little. Lately, I try to recognize the feeling of impending doom that makes me put that guard up, and instead, I work to shift my heart to open (as much as I can – I am still new at this!).

For example, the other day, I smoothly glided into a parking space at the grocery store, inadvertently cutting off the woman who was waiting for it. Only after I drove past her car and into the space did I see her angry expression.

She snagged another nearby space so I hoped that all was well, though I cringed inside as she got out of her car. I could feel her fury three cars away and I felt my defenses move into place. When it comes to interpersonal interactions, I generally feel like I can handle almost anything, so thankfully a new approach felt more experimental than scary. I shifted to open my heart and walked toward her.

I approached her, immediately and sincerely apologized, and even offered to trade spots. She was still angry when she spoke to me, but the whole interaction felt different than I expected, at least from my end. Retrospectively, this “open heart” approach seemed to allow her feelings flow through me, rather than bounce off my armor. This was even kind of fun.

Fast forward to chemo. I start by getting my port accessed. A nurse jabs the port (which is in my chest) with a needle that will stay there for three days. This needle, with a tube dangling from it, enables them draw out blood and pour in chemo and IV fluids as needed without finding new veins every other week.

As soon as they start prepping my skin for the jab, my inner self escapes to a better place while they do any invasive or uncomfortable procedures to my body.

This time around, I noticed the similarities between the feelings I have just before they access the port and the protective feelings I have in other situations. In that split second, I wondered, what would happen if I approached this with an open heart.

So I opened my heart to a situation involving smelly alcohol rubs, a needle, bandage and a nurse totally invading my happiness circle, all in the name of a larger healing. This time, the open heart exercise was decidedly not fun. But here is what came to mind: How the HELL did Jesus keep an open and loving heart through that entire crucifixion when I struggle to do it for this short process to access my port? And this didn’t even kill me (even if someone later thought that I was dead). I surely got a new appreciation for that scene.

One week later, Tiron and I went to a Wynton Marsalis Gospel concert and these lyrics jumped out at me, driving the point further home:

Our Lord gave with loving kindness
On Mount Calvary

So amazed.

Though I always appreciate these insights through pain, I truly appreciate that it is way more fun to practice having an open heart with you.

Love and blessings,
Marie