The Power of Prayer

Thank you for your prayers and good wishes. They make a world of difference. I will give you three examples from the past seven days.

Years ago, when I initially (thought I) finished chemotherapy, I had a ring made in commemoration. Heavy and beautiful, it was meant to remind me not only how heavy the process was, but also how beautiful life became.

Over a year ago, we were going on vacation so I hid it somewhere in the house, then  promptly forgot where I put it. Since that time, I searched the everywhere. I would wake in the middle of the night with new ideas. But never found it.

As you may suspect, I pray to God and a myriad of saints. Among them is St. Anthony, to whom I pray for my healing and the healing of my friends (providing a long list of names and specific healings for each).

Last Friday morning, I suddenly remembered that somewhere I heard that St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost items. So, I threw in an extra prayer to help find the ring.

Less than 30 minutes later, I heard my husband call out, “Look what I found!”

On Thursday, I had a CT scan and I appreciate your prayers for good results. The following Tuesday, I met with my doctor to get the results. These meetings make me feel like Alice in Wonderland: I walk into the office feeling my normal size, information is shared, and I leave the office feeling larger or smaller.I suspect that is why they take your weight before you see the doctor.

The good news is that, in spite of skipping two of my last three chemo treatments, I learned on Tuesday that all tumors are smaller. Woo hoo!!! Thank you for your prayers to this end!

When I returned to Dana Farber today to get my pump disconnected (I’m connected to chemo from Tuesday – Thursday), everyone was very nice. I even saw my friend Chuck, which usually makes me happy. But I had just spent three days vomiting and was on the verge of more. So instead of talking with Chuck, I found a seat away from everyone and collapsed into silent tears.

“God, I just need to know that you are here.”

I felt a hand on my leg and looked up. I feared that it was Larry, a well-meaning man who visits each person in the waiting room asking if they need anything. I don’t mind him but didn’t want to see him right now.

Instead, I saw a young woman with dark skin and a kind face. I saw a tear falling from one of her large, beautiful eyes. She said that she could feel me in her heart, and she asked if she could pray for me.

She placed her hand on my leg for a long time and prayed outloud, certain of my healing, peace, grace and all good things through God. I felt calmer, more relaxed, and less like I was going to lose my insides.

At the end, I thanked her and she asked if she could hug me. I warned her that I had not bathed for three days but she laughed and said, “You are filled with the scent of God, more beautiful than the most beautiful flowers. Honestly, that is what I smell.”

God bless that amazing woman. God bless all of you. I am constantly in awe of the power of prayer, and thankful that you include me in yours. May your life be blessed, always.


Angel in the waiting room

When I walked into the waiting room at Dana Farber, I noticed an older couple sitting together with some space between them. Her face pointed slightly away from him and turned toward a wordsearch book she was holding. She held a pen in her right hand but wasn’t using it. Her eyes appeared to be unfocused.

Settling into my seat, I heard his harsh tone.

“You are crying? You can cry when I croak.”

Without even thinking, I looked up. Since I was sitting in the section next to them,  I wasn’t looking straight at them, but saw them both from the side. She was closer to me and I now noticed her shaking shoulders and realized she wasn’t saying a word.

He repeated his words again, in the same harsh tone. “You can cry when I croak.”

Of course, everyone has their own way of dealing with emotionally difficult issues, especially heartbreak, and no one way is right. I still felt this overwhelming desire to help somehow (see previous posts on stranger-friends!), to hold her hand or give her a hug, I also felt like they would both turn on me and that it wouldn’t help. This was a private matter playing out in a public setting.

Her shoulders were shaking while she still made no sound. Soon, the nurse called him to get his vital signs taken and she remained seated.

Right then, a man in his early 30’s sat down next to her.

“Hi,” he said kindly. “Can I sit here?”

I didn’t listen to the rest of their conversation and I don’t even know how much they actually spoke. I did see that she looked at him almost as one would look at a lifeline as he continued to slowly connect with her.

I don’t know about her, but I was grateful.

Transforming experiences

CT scan this morning and any prayers and good wishes are welcome!

The waiting room is frequently full and always interesting. Today, I am sitting next to a woman, her daughter, and the daughter’s two-year-old son. He is cute and fairly well behaved for being in such a confined space for hours, but still, he is loud and I like my personal psychic space. I started getting annoyed with his behavior when I remembered an earlier visit to this room.

That time, I was glad to find a seat and wanted to keep to myself, but soon, the woman next to me started singing. Not in a “My Life is Musical” kind of way but more in a “crazy person talking to themselves” kind of way. It was too soft for me to hear the words, but loud enough to be bothersome. I tried to read. I tried to write. I mostly got distracted and annoyed.

After a few minutes, I declared defeat and stopped doing anything. Her voice became clear and smooth and the rhythm was familiar and calming. She was singing prayers in Hebrew, which speak to my heart and have the power to absorb me. How did I not recognize that before?

Out of the corner of my eye, I watched her. She looked to be in her early twenties, with short dark hair, a pleasant face and large build. I imagined that she was a student. As she chanted and sang, her head swayed a little and she had a slight smile. She held a prayer book on her lap and her finger traced the words as she read. I lost myself in her chanting / singing, and before too long, her name was called and she stood for her scan.

“Thank you. That was beautiful.” I told her.

She stopped and looked at me with a smile. “Most people find it annoying, so I try to do it softly.”

“It is beautiful. Good luck with your scan.”

“Yours too.”

And in those few moments, what started as annoying became a beautiful gift.