This Time

June 10, 2013
Prompt: 10 minutes: “this time”

This Time
This time I am braver. I haven’t even sent out an email yet, put it on Facebook, keeping the cancer private, more or less, for the past week. This time it feels so much more manageable — almost routine. I mean I know it’s surgery and I don’t like pain or recovery exercises, but this time I don’t have a fear of death — I truly believe it’s just a little left over from five years ago, a remnant. But we’re going to get it good this time, and hopefully I won’t have to deal with this again for a long time, if ever.

This time I’m taking it in stride. Getting my ducks in a row, practically speaking, but the emotional component either hasn’t hit me yet, or it’s really just not a big deal the second time around. I guess if the docs were more worried, maybe I would be, but …



How bizarre it is to know there are malignant cancer cells inside of you, just waiting, waiting, waiting for an MRI to provide more information so you can decide how to proceed. “Simple” lumpectomy, again, no nodes this time? That would be awesome!

Awesome. Really? isn’t awesome a relative term now! I guess most of life IS relative, dependent on your experiences in the past, your hopes for the future, your interpretation of the present.

Interpretation. A choice as to how to view your life. Perspective.

Bring on the day.

“Shared Thoughts”

Prompt: “shared thoughts” 10 minutes. Go!

Shared Thoughts

Sometimes I just can’t help but share my thoughts, words exploding from my mouth like hot lava before I even realize what I’ve said. Can’t exactly stuff that lava back inside the volcano. No. Thoughts are out now. And so the argument begins.

Sometimes I just can’t get the words out and thoughts stay stuck inside my head, as if held inside while centrifugal force dizzies me, and the other person looks quizzically, like “What? What?” I just shake my head, not knowing how to begin, knowing that IF I begin, there will be no end, or a bad ending, or I’ll wish it would end. Or have never happened. The thoughts inside my head too scrambled for even me to make sense of them yet, so why blurt it out. No, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” That’s what my mother taught me. And it’s pretty good advice, it turns out.

That’s why I love my journals. And I mean LOVE my journals. Free therapy. A form of prayer. Reaching up to God through tears of pain or ecstatic joy or messy confusion. A way to get those thoughts out of my doggone head, sharing them somewhere, but not where they can do any damage. Or invoke some false message I’m not even sure I mean until I sit with if for a while, let it roll around for a bit like a snowball gathering substance until it’s big enough to make part of a snowman. Until it feels complete enough to stop, plant it on the lawn, a solid base from which to proceed constructing something of tangible substance.

 I breathe. I sigh in relief. I breathe a breath of gratitude, relieved to have come to a place where a thought feels complete. True. True for me. Thank you, God.

And so from there I can begin to see how I might, one day, be sure enough to share this thought. But in a constructive, snowman-making kind of way, not blurted out, a knee-jerk response in the heat of a moment. No, there’s wisdom in biting one’s tongue sometimes, letting thoughts swirl around inside a mouth clamped shut on purpose, as if swishing before you decide to either swallow it or spit it out.

The Wait

Monday, May 7, 2012 8:40 am

I am not a morning person. I am a night owl. I stayed up late last night paying bills since I had some mental energy, playing Words With Friends on my iPhone, taking a bath with my White Angelica scented Epsom Salts and reading Anne Lamott in the tub. I joined my sweet husband in the bed about 3 am. I know. I know. I know I need more sleep, but today is a big day and I just couldn’t get to sleep.

In an hour I will leave for UNC for my first appointment ever with a neurosurgeon. A neurosurgeon. Really? Who ever thinks they might have a brain tumor? Who ever thinks they might have to go through brain surgery, radiation, chemotherapy? Isn’t that just in Grey’s Anatomy? Movies? In the lives of friends of friends on Facebook? Occasionally a real friend or family member? But not you. Or your immediate family.

There have been so many prayers from so many friends and friends of friends of friends on Facebook and friends of my real friends and family members. Whole church prayer groups, prayer chains, women’s groups, book clubs, small groups.

I think I’ll ask this neurosurgeon for a new MRI. I’ll bet that sucker is GONE! In the name of Jesus, it is no longer THERE!