The power of belief. And heart.

Seven years ago, our older son was four years old and almost two months into his new “big” school. This school holds an annual country fair – a big, fun, Fall fundraising event. That year, we attended his school fair for the first time.

At that time, I had been diagnosed with a cancerous polyp but not yet had the surgery that would show that the cancer had spread.

About four years and countless surgeries later, I attended that same school fair. Standing at the hot dog station, trying to talk my son out of getting yet another hot dog, the woman manning the grill turned around, putting me face-to-face with my amazing surgeon. Her presence also implied that she was a fellow parent at the school! (I was so stunned that, when my son took that moment to ask again for another hot dog, I could only nod yes.)

Today, my younger son and I attended that same school fair. I was thrilled to run into my surgeon again and joyfully hugged her because I AM STILL HERE. Of the myriad doctors I have seen, she is not only technically gifted but also the most optimistic and encouraging by far. Her goal, she once said, was to continue to see me, healthy, at the fair for at least 20 years to come. I needed to hear that from a medical professional, to know that someone on my medical team was on my side to live a long time and be able to do fun things.

I am here because of the power of that kind of belief. I lived my whole life convinced that my mind and thoughts were the most powerful tools in my life. I am only beginning to see the power of the heart and the power of belief itself. You helped to open my eyes and my heart simply by doing that yourself and sharing it with me. You built on the power of the words of my surgeon, and you keep that belief, and me, going.

Thank you for sharing your heart and your positive thoughts and beliefs. It lifts me emotionally and I know it has a physical impact. I am always grateful to you and to God that I am still here. Seven years later. Wow.

Much love,

Letting life unfold

Tomorrow, I go back into chemo and appreciate your prayers and good wishes for an effective session free of side effects.

Though I think I’ve long believed that there are greater forces at work, my trust in them continues to grow. I am used to planning and directing things in my life, but I’m excited to be learning how to simply let events unfold. It seems that one aspect is to ask for help when I need it.

For example, we decided to add an au pair to our family. I spent most of last week online, culling through the many candidates and conducting Skype interviews. At one point, we had three good candidates and one more to interview. I wasn’t sure which person to choose and my head was spinning.

So, I did what I am learning to do: I asked God for help and trusted that he would take care of it. And then I went to yoga.

During yoga, my mind drifted to the decision I needed to make. Typically, I would turn it over and over in my mind. But today, in the split second after I had that thought, I heard something like, “It’s not the time to think about that.” Then the thought mercifully moved on. This happened several times.

After yoga, I received three e-mails. One of the girls decided to leave the program, the second selected a different family, and the third was undecided and explicitly told me that she loved us but to keep interviewing others. (Felt a bit like dating.)

So I went ahead with our next scheduled interview, mostly out of obligation and without high hopes. But she was AMAZING. She had the infectious energy I was hoping to find, a positive attitude, and a willingness to pitch in and be flexible. She connected with each of us and her loving heart shone through. Our choice was clear. We felt so lucky to find someone so fantastic, and we look forward to her arrival.

I hope that your life is unfolding in wonderful ways, you are able to ask for help when you need it, and that you see the hand of God (or greater forces, if that is more your slant!) at work in your life. And I thank you for the help you share in mine.