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    From the daily archives: Sunday, November 14, 2010

    As I reflected on the caringbridge entry I posted yesterday, I remember vividly making a very deliberate decision. When I was diagnosed, I sat myself down and told myself that I would make a practice of saying yes to whatever anyone wanted to give me during this undertaking. I would do so whether I thought I needed to or not.

    It seemed to me that I could use some practice allowing others to help me. I knew I wasn’t very good at it, and I knew I didn’t even have a clue what I needed.

    I just decided to say yes, just to get used to saying it.

    What happened was beyond amazing, it was exhilarating, it was heartbreaking, it was more deeply healing than I could ever have imagined. I had to open the doors of my heart as wide as they could open to keep saying yes. The more I stretched, the more blessed I felt, more tearful, more in awe, carried by a wild, rushing wave of grace.

    Now, three years and seven months since that wretched infusion, I smile and remember. I try to remember the feeling now, when my life has resumed, my kids are growing, my focus scattered most days. I almost feel nostalgia for the suffering, because, in Kahlil Gibran’s words, “the deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.”

    During that period of deep suffering I felt some of the most indescribable joy I have ever felt, joy that made me sing and cry at the same time, overwhelmed by the breeze on my cheek and the smell of a rose.

    To have a heart that open is unsustainable, and it is paradise.
    Saying yes still, today, helps me remember.


    Here is the continuation of last Saturday’s post. As you can see, there was a crash!

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007 5:45 PM, CDT


    blech, blech, blech. Thanks mom, for letting me bellyache and whine when it gets miserable. This one came on top of the first 3 with a cold and some antibiotics for good measure… I feel truly rotten. I keep telling myself, it’s the last of this one!

    I hope Steve is right, that since the bad part started sooner, maybe it will be over sooner, especially since I may have a less fierce shot tomorrow, and I don’t have my energetic little sidekicks to take care of.

    Thanks so much for caring, everyone. I’m going to take my weepy little self to the sofa, and…

    just got the knock, dinner arrived, thank you Donna, you have no idea what a difference this makes. I have to eat to make the nausea subside, but it’s hard to get motivated. Thank you! I look forward to seeing what’s in the bag.

    And in the mailbox, Becky’s weekly “healing card”. Oh Becky, your timing is impeccable.

    one day at a time…


    Postscript, present time:
    This fourth infusion was in fact the second worst(!), but it was bearable with help. I look back on it and wonder where I would have been without all the wonderful people who helped me. Healing cards once a week like clockwork, others managing my energetic children, food appearing at my door…I often wondered during those times what people did who didn’t have people to help them.

    After this experience I had a new appreciation of how we humans really do need each other, and for how much a difference something that seems small can make.
    The thing that amazed me most of all was that I didn’t have to organize or delegate at all. People did what they were moved to do, and each time it was perfect.

    Now when I am in a situation where I could help someone, I ask, and if they let me, I do.

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