Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Everyday Miracles

I’ve lived with vHL since my first surgery in 1984. After 25 years and 11 major surgeries I’m facing imminent kidney surgery to remove a remaining ‘remnant’ of a kidney, then dialysis, and then a transplant. We have spent a year preparing for this, lining up the surgeons, getting a donor tested out, funds lined up, etc.al. We have done everything we can do. Now it’s time to leave it up to a higher power. I feel lucky in general – lucky to have been on my own ‘kidney power’ as long as I have – lucky to have a friend willing to make this huge sacrifice for me -- lucky to have friends willing to chair my nonprofit kidney account – lucky to have people willing to contribute to it – lucky to have the doctors involved that we do -- the list goes on and on.

I understand the surgery to remove the remnant is a ‘tricky’ one, since they’ve been inside my abdomen four times and there’s a lot of scar tissue. The possibility of a hard recovery on top of dialysis looms before me. If I think about it too hard it freaks me out. I’ve always told my husband Excy that dialysis is one thing that I’ve dreaded from the beginning of this cancer journey. The specter of some dark times ahead has me clinging these days more than usual to the precious ‘normal’ of life now. I relish the mundane routine I have at the moment, knowing all too well how circumstances change in the blink of an eye.

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving. It had been an odd week. A long-time friend died suddenly of pancreatic cancer that came almost overnight and aggressively. The day before he died he had sent an email saying he was prepared to fight. Days later, we celebrated a new friend’s 90th birthday. That seems to sum up in a nutshell the tenuousness of this life. It’s precious. It’s fragile. It’s what we make of it. And it’s fleeting.

I learned long ago to try to give up worry and care and attempt to live as Zen-like as possible. I slip up constantly. Every hour of every day. But I still try. After all, regarding this vHL journey, what else can we do after all the research, the meetings with doctors, the decisions are finally made – but to settle on a course of action and know we’ve done all we can on our part, and now it’s time to resign ourselves to fate and a higher power?


Sitting around the Thanksgiving table, gazing at the faces of those dear to me, made it easy to remember all the blessings this life has bestowed upon me for so long. Remembering these blessings gives me strength to face any coming hardships.

I wish all of you reading this post countless blessings and many sunny days to come. Have a wonderful holiday season; one in which you know love and joy and freedom for pain and worry, and a world where everyday miracles occur.

17 comments:

Life Laugh Latte said...

Really beautifully written and so true. I'm thankful for all of those people that love and contribute to your well being as well. I'm feeling super frustrated with all of the negative posts people are doing lately...particularly about the holidays. Have we all forgotten how good life really is...what a gift it is that we have another day...another holiday to share with our families. Perspective is a good thing, grounding, and true. Thanks for that. Hope you don't mind me adding my prayers for you to the mix of others doing their part. Holly

Eva Gallant said...

I pray that all goes well for you.

e said...

Sending you hugs and good wishes from afar and the hope that all goes as well as is possible for you, your donor and all of those around you.

Secretia said...

You are an amazing woman to be able to give up worrying. My deepest admiration is here for you.

Secretia

ReformingGeek said...

I love the positive energy from this post. I think the higher power has it in hand. Take care and a wonderful holiday to you and yours!

Doris Sturm said...

I will pray for you. Seems like that I see so many stories lately of people with serious illnesses and cancer and I feel like I'm going to be next...I'm all alone without any family and I don't know how I would handle anything serious.

I hope and pray you will be ok and that everything will work out for you.

Love,
Doris

The Vegetable Assassin said...

Good luck with your upcoming surgery. You have the best attitude and here's hoping that after this, you actually get a break for once!

secret agent woman said...

Powerful post, and all my best wishes for a succesful surgery and rapid recovery.

Chris said...

You amaze me. Every day.

hereinfranklin said...

That was beautiful. Blessings to you and your family.

Krimmyk said...

Tres elegant! Blessing and love to you and your family during this holiday season and beyond also.

Bendigo said...

Wow...what a wonderful post... You have given me some much needed perspective ...Thank you and I too will be praying for you ....

Tam said...

You are truly inspirational with your optimism and hope after all you have been through. Sending you good wishes for the upcoming challenges...

Candice said...

Such a beautiful post.

Good luck with your upcoming surgery. We will all be rooting for you.

Christiejolu said...

YOu really are a remarkable woman! I wish you all the luck with your surgery.

Thank you so much for checking for those toys. It means a lot to me!

strokeofliving said...

I'm sending a little something to you C/O Wingspur.org. I hope it brings you much joy to look at it and know that 'luck' has no place in your forthcoming surgery and recovery.

God has his hand on your life and with all of the prayers going forth on your behalf you will be fine. Besides I [we all] look forward to reading your posts/articles.

Many ((hugs)) to you Lovely Lady and have a great holiday season!

Kenny said...

You are amazing, my sweet friend. You are so grounded, and during this hustle bustle crazy time of year, your quiet peace is such a blessing. I have just discovered your blog, and will return often. love you.....Shawn :)