Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for surgery, for me, was to run around as fast as I could and do everything possible to not have to think about the nightmare I was living and how afraid I was. From diagnoses to surgery was a 2 1/2 week span during the Christmas holidays and I was trying to forget and go on autopilot by “distractions.”

A dear friend of mine asked me if she could come over and explain how to calm down before surgery. She had been faced with a rare nonmalignant tumor and had her share of adversity. I was bitter, angry, terrified and closed hearted! But she was persistent, patient, and I am sooooo thankful she was both!

This is what she introduced to me.  Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster by Peggy Huddleston.  I remember sitting on a bean-bag chair with J, in our family’s play room.  I was uninterested,bored and couldn’t wait for her to leave so I could distract myself some more.  I hated sitting quiet!

But I changed in those few moments.  A change that I needed to experience, which pioneered the beginning of being open to many many more changes to come. As I sat and listened to a tape of how this book came to be, and why it was important, I felt this feeling that I NEEDED to hear this.  Without going into too much detail, here are the steps that saved me not only through surgery, but many terrifying procedures that I needed to face that I was unaware at the time.

1.  Your mind is a powerful part of healing and how you think of things will determine how you will heal.  I HAD to change my rage and anger statements to positive statements that were less fearful because I was pumping those negative feelings into my body to feed my anxiety.  Things like “I am so thankful for modern medicine to help me heal.” or “I will be comfortable and heal well,” were more healthy than, “I hate this experience and it is all bad for me!”

2. Emotions and attitudes lesson pain and anxiety.  That is a powerful thought and I wanted to believe it.

3.  The book explains that you can hear during surgery and that it is important to be in a relaxed state for your body to respond at its best. Dr. Huddleston explains to have positive statement told to you during surgery, that you bring to your anesthesiologist to read to you while you are asleep.

4.  She has a 3 step process that helped me so much.

a.  Anchor to peace by listening to a relaxation tape to learn how to calm yourself. This was difficult for me as I was not “in” to yoga and mediation at this time.  Peace speeds recovery and allows for less medications.  I liked this statement because I was not a pill taker.

b.  Think of someone you love and get heart centered.  This brought good feelings of comfort and warmth to your body.

c.  (My favorite) Call on some special people to be your “Pink blanket of Love” and ask them to think or pray for you at the exact time you will be having surgery, a procedure, chemo or radiation.  Tell them it will be at 9:30 a.m. on  this date.  As you are there ready to go into surgery at that very moment, think about that support group sending powerful positive messages to you or praying for you.  As Peggy   puts it, it will feel “utterly delicious and peaceful.” I have done this and it works!  I testify of the power of prayer!

d.  Tell your doctor and anesthesiologist to say positive healing statements during surgery because you can hear them! You are the consumer and you have the right to say what happens to you.

5. Patients who feel empowered by being involved in how they heal do better as they heal.

My friend J gave me a gift that day that I didn’t know I needed.  I am posting it because often, in our fear we stay closed to things that may be the very thing we need.  For me, it was these wellness ideas.  I have passed them along to others.  If you have something that helped you, don’t hesitate but pass it forward.  We need each other.

THE NEWS!

What do I do now?

Dear One,

You just got off the phone.

You have received the news.

News you never ever wanted to hear.

Someone you know has the “C” word.

You heard it but it could not be real!

It can’t be.

How you must feel…

I know.

I felt it too.

You are numb.  In shock!

You may want to cry.  You may feel nothing.

You may want to hit something or scream out loud.

You put your hands to your face and bow your head with a huge sigh.

NO!  It can’t be Cancer!

“What do I do now?”

This is the question to be answered from this blog.

Come sit and let us hold on to one another.

This is not only for the newly diagnosed.

It is for the neighbor who wants to know how to help a little.

A friend who wants to know how to help a…

View original post 154 more words

Who is your God?

sun-coming-through-clouds

Who is your God?

What is He or She like?

Do you talk to Him or Her?

A friend and I were discussing God over dinner after she had offered grace before we ate. She had grown up Catholic and felt it was easy to pray to Mary because she was comforted by Jesus’ mother. But when talking to God as a child she used to feel intimidated like he was too omnipotent to be bothered by a little dot on the earth, which was her. But since then her relationship with God has changed. The discussion began.

Who is your God?

What is He like?

Do you talk to Him?

We both believe in a similar male God that looks like a man but contains all power over the universe, and we both believe that love is the first and most powerful law of the universe.

But what came out of the discussion was the influence our dad’s played in establishing a relationship with that “Father Figure” in heaven. It had a huge impact on both of us.

When she mentioned her first impressions of the scary God, I told her that I never ever felt that way about God. I explained that the reason was because my dad was such a kind, loving, soft-hearted father to me that I carried that father figure model clear up to the heavens, beyond the clouds to my God in Heaven. According to my belief He had those same characteristics as my own dad but on a grander scale. She agreed that her father had also been a positive influence in her own life and was also what influenced her new relationship with God as she grew older.

Isn’t that interesting. Our dad’s relationship with us on earth influences how we feel about our Father in the Heavens.

That is pretty powerful and a big responsibility.

We both enjoy talking to God every single day.

And we both believe he listens to our prayers and guides our lives.

Thanks dad’s who love their children so we learn to love GOD.

(I also ask God to give hugs to my dad and mom up there, too.)

RAK Dating Ideas

 https://www.randomactsofkindness.org

 Posting dating ideas to support the fun of being kind:

Here is today’s RAK Date Ideas:

THEME: Be Kind To Animals

  1. Bird feeder date: A. Pool your money and go to, Walmart, Home Depot or Lowe’s and purchase one inexpensive bird feeder (or as many as you want), a bag of bird seed, and twine or thin rope. (And/or optional a little hook holder stake that you can push into the ground with your foot. It looks like one of those shepherds crooks but its metal and can hold the feeder). B. Now the fun part. Look for a place where people can watch the birds come feed. Ideas: A Kindergarten window at a school, (ask first), a window or garden at a senior center, a Big tree where you get food at college or gather with friends at a park, a place where people sit for a bus or stop to rest from jogging… and place it there. C. In a few days go and refill it…You get an automatic second date out of this!

  2. Doggy Park date: Go to Walmart or a grocery store and buy some doggy treats that contain bacon. Find the local doggy park and be the dog candy passer outer. Be sure to tell people this is for RAK and ask permission to feed the dogs. The dogs will love you and you will have a blast getting licked to death with your date. Then go eat bacon cheese burgers at Carl’s Jr.

  3. Gather a bunch of old towels from your neighborhood and go buy cat and dog treats (always treats with bacon for the dogs.) Tell people the towels are for the local vets and animal shelter. Drop off the towels to the Vets or take direct to your local Animal Shelter. Then ask if you can volunteer for a few hours for RAK week. Play with the animals for awhile and pass out your treats you bought. 

  4. At a local park, pick up trash. Buy a small bag of birdseed and just spread it around the bottom of trees. Make a place clean for animals. Then have a picnic.

    I support innocent/getting-to-know-you dating. It’s fun.

    During Random Acts of Kindness week, the acts of kindness do not have to be big. Do small acts with someone you want to get to know better. It is a great way to have fun together…

    BTW my boys: Being kind to animals was one of the things to look for….remember that road trip conversation…

Out with the old…

img_3319IMG_3321.JPG

Yesterday I walked out of this cancer center for the last time. It will be emptied out and boarded up in two weeks. There is a brand new top-of-the line modern  cancer facility sparkling clean and ready on the other side of the hospital which has been in the works for years. “Good riddance.” my husband commented last night when I told him about the change. “That place was a dive.”

Yep, it really was.

But I still felt sad.

This was the place I came that dark day when I met my oncologist for the first time.

That automatic sliding door I walked through, I don’t even know how many times. I stretch my arm out and point to the door like I had magic powers and the door would open.

It opened every single time.

I lived through a plethora of emotions and ailments walking through the walls of this old place;

anger, terror, sorrow, fatigue, exhaustion, elation,…aches and pains, bandages, nausea, hair loss, strange illnesses, low white blood counts, radiated, and so many I can’t even list…

I sat behind the curved windows in those green chemo chairs wishing and pleading this was a nightmare that I would someday wake from.

I never did wake up.

It was real.

I met people who had real courage.

Some lived long.

Some lived short.

But we lived facing cancer.

Yesterday I began reminiscing to an infusion nurse as I completed my appointment. We both began to get teary eyed.

I pointed one last time at the automatic door to magically open for me. It made that whoosh sound and a blast of New England winter air filled my lungs. I stood there looking at my cancer center.

The one which held my story.

I hated it.

I loved it.

When my car was retrieved from valet I got in, turned the corner and sped away. I pretty much cried on my way home every single time I left that building.

Today I cried one last time because it grew to be my familiar cancer home with my cancer family there.

They will still be there when I come back.

But not where my story began…

Change is good.

 

 

Story #21: Mystery Box

The box’s postage was stamped and canceled but we could not see where it had been sent. There was no return address and it was addressed to Travis, our middle son. It was far before things were bought on the Internet. We set it under our Christmas tree, thinking it was from a grandparent and the sender would be revealed when we opened it. We lived far from family because we had just moved cross country.

On Christmas morning we gave Travis the honor of helping cut open “his box.” When he opened it there were many smaller wrapped gifts inside which all had a tag written, ‘To Travis.’ All the gifts were exactly what a seven year old boy would want. We let him open every single one. I looked at my husband at each gift and he looked at me as if the other one did this without the other knowing. We would shrug with every single gift and look under and around and over each paper, each bow, each tag to see if the mystery giver was revealed.

To this very day we never found out who the mystery giver was. We believe that it was from the Big Man from the North Pole. We don’t really know why our little boy was singled out that year. Perhaps he needed some special treatment we were not privy to. Perhaps he wished for his very own package, one quiet night sharing a bedroom with three other brothers because being in the middle of a family of five siblings is not easy. Whoever it was it did the trick.

He has never forgotten.

Christmas magic is real.

Thank you Santa for allowing the ‘middle man’ be the special boy that Christmas.

Story #18: The Christmas Guitar

The young musician showed me several guitars he would like if someone would give him one for Christmas. It was my very first official Guitar Center purchase alone. At first we looked up at all the pretty guitars hanging in rows on a wall. He then would select one down, hold it tenderly as if it were a baby, then play for me. His passion for music and this medium was flowing out through his fingers. I stayed in the store for many hours trying to pick the right one.

 I had been watching my son for awhile. He experiences music. Many people practice and learn songs and get very good but there are a few others that feel music in an intimate way and it truly is another language for their souls. I knew this son had to have this gift and that it was up to me to notify Santa Claus which one he should have. I had my own little stash of money that I had saved for the purchase. I purchased one that sounded rich and clear. I was so excited.  It was one of those gifts that I could barely stand the wait and wanted to tell him so badly. I hid it for Santa. Christmas morning came. He didn’t say much when he took it out of the case. But he touched that guitar exactly like the musician who showed  it to me at the store. And I knew exactly what he felt about it.

Young musicians at Guitar Center are now my good friends. All of my children have discovered over the years that music is one of their love languages.  Guitars, drums, violins, key boards, pianos and even voices are a rich part of our life. As an artist mother my heart swells to see how the arts have become a part of my children by their own choices. Purchasing that guitar was one of the best gifts I ever have ever given.