Prayer Circle

There are a lot of people who pray for Meghan.  And we are grateful for every single one of them.  But, there are a special group of ladies…

Well, between them they have 9 children – 3 each.  They all have incredibly busy lives, and all of our lives connected some years ago.  We don’t see each other all that often, and rarely in the same place, but they are my prayer group of sorts.  Our children are connected, in a bunch of different ways.  Our lives are intertwined, and we have vowed to support each other.

We all seem to share the belief that –

Ultimate-reality-check

And, with that belief comes responsibility.

So, they were among the first people I shared my blog with in its infancy last year.  They are the ones I turn to and say… lift this up…  PLEASE, and without fail it is done.  And they do the same for me.  We all pray fervently for each other.  For friends, and family.  For people we know well, and for people we haven’t met, and for people we may never meet.

We pray because we believe it works.

We pray because we have seen it work.

Last spring when my sister’s dear niece was knocking on death’s door – felled by a virus of unimaginable strength, we (along with countless others) prayed.  And we witnessed nothing short of a miracle.

The day of my mastectomy, wracked with fear – terror actually – my cell phone rang as I was checking into the hospital.  My brother-in-law, a Lutheran minister was on the phone at 6AM, ready to pray with me.  As the tears rushed down my face I felt the calm envelop me.

Prayer is powerful.

But, it doesn’t always take worry away.

sleeplessSo tonight, as I struggle to sleep, I will think of them with gratitude.  I will also think of the countless others – those we know and those we don’t, who are lifting my little girl up in prayer.

Tomorrow we go for the biopsy.  Then we wait.  I am not sure which part we will need your prayers for most.  But, please – whatever you believe, remember us this week…

life doesnt get easier you get stronger

Patience and Wisdom

I am patient – sometimes.

I am also wise – sometimes.

The trick really might be meshing the two.

patience and wisdomThat’s where I sometimes have some trouble.

I got a call this morning from Dr. S.  The biopsy is scheduled for Tuesday at 12:45.  Pleased to have it scheduled, quick math told me it would still be a week before we had  a definitive answer.  But at least I had the wisdom to shut my mouth and be grateful to have it scheduled.

My next question was about anesthesia.  Had they decided to give it?  In FNA (Fine Needle Aspiration) thyroid biopsies, anything more than a numbing lotion is uncommon.  But Meghan had such TRAUMA from her FNA at  another hospital in November of 2011. We had to push.

I had just told this child she could have cancer.  I just told her she was likely looking at another surgery.  She was unaffected.  “I will have whatever surgery I need to.  Just make sure I don’t have to be awake when they put those needles in my neck!”

This is the burn the cold spray that was supposed to numb her left on her neck in Nov. 2011.
This is the burn the cold spray that was supposed to numb her left on her neck in Nov. 2011.

All day I carry my phone everywhere.  I literally put it down for 3 minutes and missed the call about the anesthesia.  So the voicemail said, “We need Meghan at the hospital at 9AM tomorrow (Friday) to clear her for anesthesia.”

“When?  What type?  Why?  I can get you a cardiologist report from December.  I can be to my pediatrician in 30 minutes, and you just took blood on the 27th.”

“No, we have to see her here at 9Am.”

Patience and Wisdom.

I had pleaded for the anesthesia on her behalf.  Now I would pay the price.  Very careful not to take days off after my attendance debacle last year – I guess I will be at Sloan tomorrow,  ensuring the anesthesia my kid asked for is in place.  She doesn’t ask for much.
PatienceWorking hard on gratitude, I am relieved at least things are moving.  Not on my schedule, but progress nonetheless.

So then my oncologists office called.  They want me to see the surgeon.  The surgeon we first talked about a month ago.  The surgeon who had little more information than he had on December 7th after my MRI.  The surgeon who insisted he needed the sonogram, but whose system at the hospital cannot upload it.  No one thought to send me for another abdominal sono at their hospital – even though I asked.  They would like me to see this surgeon at 10:30 Weds.  They will have to have patience now.  I have a kid to take care of first.  If they were in such a rush I could have been healed by now.

So I am waiting still to hear from my car insurance carrier who somewhere in the midst of all this chaos decided I was totally responsible for the accident where I suffered a DIRECT HIT from a car who took no action to avoid me.  Waiting to hear exactly who that letter of appeal gets addressed to.

All of these things that keep happening, keep me from seeing my Grandparents as often as I would like to.  My heart weighs heavy.  Time and stress are hard to manage.

patience-buddha1-300x248

Patience, I am convinced – is more than a virtue.  It is down right necessary, and almost debilitating with exhaustion.

Patience for me is hearing, “It is likely your child has cancer,” and then WAITING to take care of it.

I get that in the scheme of things thyroid cancer grows slowly, and 2 weeks won’t make or break things. But this is my little girl we are talking about.  May God bless me with the patience to get through the weekend.

hand ove rmouth

And give me WISDOM with that PATIENCE too please?
And give me WISDOM with that PATIENCE too please?

The Storms of Life

As we prepared for Hurricane Sandy as best we could on Monday morning, we stopped by my grandparents house to tie up their barbecue and a few other things.  Wind precautions.

We stayed for about an hour.  We had comfortable conversation in the living room.  The same living room they have occupied my whole life, and for years before I was born.

We spoke about the storm, the trees, and being ready.

We spoke for a while about some of the storms they have seen in their lives.

I am always amazed when I stop and really think of all the changes that have taken place in the world since they were born in 1919 and 1920.  They have done such an admirable job keeping up – with everything.

They have been a  constant source of strength, support, and pillars of faith for our family in the midst of many storms.

So as the wind picked up, we kissed them and headed home.

Some time around 3:30 I started to hear of power outages.  I instinctively picked up the phone to check on them.  Pop answered with a concerned voice.  “Your grandmother fell in the basement. Your Mom and Ken are here.  The ambulance is coming.”

Suddenly Hurricane Sandy didn’t scare me as much.

These were the storms I worried about when I wrote this Sunday night…

“The greatest storms of life aren’t the ones that threaten our things, they are the ones that threaten those we love.”

Grandma‘s 90th birthday in 2010

Hours ticked by.  Shoddy cell phone service kept the updates brief.  Pop went in the ambulance.  Mom and Ken followed behind.  Head CT for the trauma to the head, confirmed no bleeding inside the brain.  Stitched and stapled, they waited for more confirmations – no broken bones.  A significant bruise on her hip earned her a bed in ICU as they are waiting to just confirm that it’s not bleeding either.  Strong vitals.  Strong woman.  That’s my Grandma.

Four generations of strong women!

I went to visit her in the hospital.  She was itching to get home.  Annoyed by all the fuss.

The hospital, which had lost power was running on generators.  The storm was wild and raging all around.

The nurses in ICU were calm and patient.  Attentive.

I listened as they recounted medical history and was impressed and almost stunned to hear Grandma at 92 has NEVER had surgery.

Guess the Cowden’s Syndrome didn’t come from her!

Trees crashed all around us.  Storm surges cost so many nearby their homes and their possessions.  It was hard to stay upset for long about the inconveniences of lost power.

Local Hurricane Damage

I spent a few hours last night with Grandma again in ICU.  We are hoping she is released to home soon, and hoping her power is on REALLY soon.  I watched my grandfather, still a pillar of strength at 93, by the bedside of his bride of almost 67 years, and I once again was awed by their ability to weather the storms of life -together.

At Pop’s 90th birthday in 2009

No need to remind me how lucky I am.  I already know.  No need to remind me that angels exist in this life – several were clearly softening Grandma’s fall Monday.  No need to remind me that the storms will pass.  I have seen the models of resilience.  I have been blessed with them for each day of my life.  I will cherish them always.

I will pray.  I will pray for grandma, and her health.  I will pray for those devastated by hurricane Sandy.  I will pray prayers of gratitude for those who weather the storm to help others.  And, I will offer prayers of thanks… lots of them.