I’m Quiet and I’m Here

Hello out there.

Two years later.

It occurs to me, some of you who only know me through this blog might have asked, “What happened to that lady?  Gosh, I wonder if she’s still around?”

I don’t write much anymore, but I am here.

Let’s cut to the chase.  The breath in my lungs is only thanks be to God, my Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  You can be an atheist, Muslim, Jewish, a Buddhist, a Wiccan, a Shaman, undecided, etc… I love you.  I can’t help it.  I’m commanded to by the Lord who says love Him first and foremost and then love the other humans next.  But, to be real, this is me.  You don’t have to love me.  But, I just want to be real with you.  I’m trying to follow Jesus.

All good fortune is from above.

All not so good fortune is also from above.

I know this bit a little better day by day.  Sometimes I forget.  But, then I remember again and I am back on track.

All of it can be taken away.

In a matter of minutes.  One second.

And then what would be left?

Only this…

All good fortune is from above.

All not so good fortune is also from above.

I am married to a beautiful man.  Beautiful doesn’t mean we don’t get in annoying entanglements.  He’s so infuriating at times.  Oh, but to be married to me.  Correction.  He’s a beautiful and silly silly man.  I’m his person?  The Lord help him every day!  Bottom line is, I’m grateful for this thick or thin sort of fella.  He’s one of those “they don’t make them like that anymore” kind of guys.  We’ve been through breast cancer and he’s never waivered.  Solid rock.  Gem.

Our teen children are so “grown up” I barely see them throughout the day.  One has returned to public school very recently and is distance learning.  He wants a chance to give the public high school a shot.  And… he wants the homework.  He wants a lot of it.  So, he’s happy.  The other one is learning he’s needing a different kind of structure, when he didn’t think structure was for him at all.  That structure looks like everything starts at 10:30am seven days a week for him.  So, he’s not giving public school another shot because he works better this way.  So, he’s happy.

We have a super whiny, needy, mopy, greedy for love pup.  He’s the picture of what I don’t want to be like as I grow older.  That’s a gift, to live with someone who reminds you how you don’t want to behave every day.  Excellent opportunity for personal growth.  Sweet soul he is.  Still, that’s no way to grow old.  Whiny, needy, mopy and greedy for love… Lord, have mercy on my soul and don’t let me go that way.

So, I grow too.  I relearn French, Spanish, science, math, history, instruments… I learn as much as I can to keep the brain from turning to mush.  I challenge myself with “scary” things, like putting my shoes on when I am too anxious to go out for a walk.  Like, tackling something “technical,” that I would never go near.  Like walking away, when I want to blow my top.  I try to figure things out.  I try to realize my “weakneses” and challenge myself.  Whomever I thought I was in all these things doesn’t matter.  If I’m a child of God, and he puts in my heart to learn how to do something, I’m not going to argue.  He’s a better truth teller and I’m a pretty good lies listener.  I think his way is better. 

At the end of the day, again, I know all of this can be taken away.

And then what would be left?

Only this…

All good fortune is from above.

All not so good fortune is also from above.

Oh, and I trained to become a Music Together teacher and, apparently, returned again to teaching yoga.  Both are going smashinly well.  I think part of what I love about these circumstances it is that I get to use the gifts I have been given by God to share.  I don’t always know when to share about God, or, when to share my gifts.  But, I know that, as long as he wants me singing and caring for people through singing and yoga, that’s what I’ll be up to.  He’s the boss.  And, I am learning to trust him more and more every day.

I’ve faced the prospect of death.  Having had breast cancer and survived it, means I get to take medication daily and see the onco and breast surgeon every six months.  No chemo.  No radiation.  This is only because God said so.  It doesn’t mean I’m favored.  Maybe people who go before us are favored.  Maybe they are spared further suffering we, by staying longer in this place, get to endure while we’re living as humans.  Maybe they get the break, instead of us.

I don’t need to know.  I just need to trust.  If I can trust more every day, I’m living better by the minute.  He’s in charge.  I don’t want that responsibility so he gets to know, he gets to understand his master plans… I get to ask for my faith to grow; I don’t want his job.

I’ve lived for myself, and I return to this easily, however, I pray to be cured of this affliction more and more.  I’m not kidding.  My plans almost killed me.  Remember, when you’ve faced the prospect of death, you get to realize how quickly everything can disappear.  And, it’s not cruel or unfair, it just is.

God is the all powerful being who allows me to walk on this earth still.  He made it.  I’m just an action figure.  Or, one of those innanimate ones that gets to stay in the sidelines, until it’s time for me to move again.  Running his world is not in my job description, it never was.

I don’t know how long my staying on in this world gets to happen.  I don’t get to see the great big picture.  None of my business.  I wouldn’t know what to do with all that all powerful knowledge, so, yes, please, your job is secure Father God, my Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

At the end of the day, I’m LIVING because He says I can.  I hope to never forget that again.  I’ll sing and pray and repent (oh the human in me….) as long as I walk this earth.  Sometimes I’ll do it more badly than other times and other times I’m going to feel like a gosh darned flawless preacher (joke, they are also human….) and everything else will be everything else.

So two years later, I see things a little differently.


I was half dead, tired all the time, so that’s ironic.  That’s what happens when you try to control everything, and nobody wants that, once they realize there’s another way.

I prefer this kind of living.  Living for God and his purpose for me feels just right.  What’s my plan?  I don’t know.  Whatever he puts in my heart.  How do I know it’s him talking?  I guess I have to keep the conversation going.  You don’t get to know anyone by watching from a distance.  That’s creepy.  I go where he says I can find him.  He tells me.  Sometimes it’s pretty subtle.  Sometimes it feels like a frying pan to the head.  Hey, sometimes you need a bigger wake up call than other times.

It’s all good.

Because, remember?

All good fortune is from above.

All not so good fortune is also from above.

Why do I keep repeating this?  Because if you put all your stock in your “fortunes” or in your “afflictions,” you are defined by your circumstances.  For me, my fortune was in my false identity, instead of the real one which is a child of God, with certain gifts, to share.

You don’t get to be God’s kid one minute and then not the next.  That’s just not the way things work.  How do I know?  My being a parent is a very very small picture of God’s love.  Yes, I could ring my sons’ necks sometimes, but I will always always love my them with a fervor I can’t even understand at times.

They may one day wander off and never call me again, as they get more and more involved in their own lives; that doesn’t mean I’m not going to pine for that phone call or visit – not as badly as the dog does for me when I go away to shower – but I’m obviously going to want to hear from my kids.  My love for them can only grow.

That’s just how true love works.

Glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost for each breath in my body.  It’s more than I could ever ask for.  Everything else is icing, but, it turns out, he’s the cake of my life.

And that, friends, is where I am two years later.  ALIVE.  No longer exhausted and feeling like a shell of a person.  It’s simpler living this way.  And, I get to sometimes see things I would have never have imagined were even possible.  And then I get to say, “Ahhhhh….” that’s why you got the job, Sir, Sir and Sir!

I could have started out telling you I was a Music Together and Yoga teacher first… this blog is, after all, tied to my work.  But, after sharing all the above… that just didn’t seem as interesting or as important for you to know.

So, thank you for reading, if you made it all through.

And, in all things, friends, be blessed!


Kid Humor

I may be the only one who thinks my kid is funny… but it’s my site, so there.

Me: Kiddo, make sure you have your water, please.

Kiddo: Mom, water is for hydration fanatics.

Ba rum pump

One Part of the Chapter is Closed

I should have been elated, right?  It was my last visit with the Reconstructive Surgeon, unless I have worsening issues with my abdominal bulge in the next six months, year… This means, officially, everything that had anything to do with my breast cancer diagnosis and surgeries is over.  Not everyone gets to say that.  It’s over and I got to walk away from it.  Emotions are like roller coasters when it comes to situations like these and you never know how you might feel at any given moment.  It’s OKAY.  Pay attention.  Let yourself feel whatever you feel.  Let it out.  Keep moving forward.

Cracked but Not Broken

Ouch ouch ouch.  Yes.  Like an old wound.  Nothing but a scab being picked picked picked at. What is this laceration? What chance of healing?  What festers so deeply underneath and how resiliently has it tunneled through me?  Gauze falls off and washes away.  New patches.  New tape.  Out of sight.  Never out of mind.  Scratch scratch scratch.  How it fills with vinegar and salt, mingling with despair.  It erupts, needing a washing.  A cleansing.  A diagnosis, please?  What are you made of?  Are you of the same substance from which I hail?  Are we a disease?  A parasite?  Relegated to capacity of battle scars that wear on the soul.  Like an anvil on a soon to splinter chest.  The distance each splinter might reach upon release.  Ribs, like a cavern, ready to cave in.  Would the wall around the heart still stand impenetrable?  Could Water truly break through and smooth out these old stones?  Will the boulder disintegrate over time and the Spirit emerge free, from within this carcass of a form?

Loving through the Pink – Homeopathic Detox

Back to balancing allopathic and naturopathic care.  It has been our MO to see the Western doctor for a diagnosis and recommendationand then the naturopath.  Two approaches; more informed decision making.  However, once I received the breast cancer diagnosis, we were most comfortable going completely with allopathic care.

This means I only gave myself enough pressure to choose between two options:

  1.  mastectomy
  2. lumpectomy + radiation

The most comfortable decision for me was fueled by, “What if it comes back?  Our kids are 10 and 13 years old.  Just get it out of me.  Get it all out of me.”  Plus, I wanted nothing to do with chemotherapy or radiation, if it could be helped.  Early detection made a big difference for us and our options.

I was more comortable removing body parts than risking the effects of these treaments and my fears (reasonable or not) of their failure to prevent recurrence.  That was what drove ME.  However, this is something each woman is going to have to come to terms with herself.  I cannot make that decision for everyone.  According to one of my surgeons, the attachment/identity some women have to their breasts can be far greater than their wanting to do anything at all.  Some may choose to go an alternate route, and, there are many.  Some have nothing to do with Western medicine at all.

While there was a 6mm cancerous nodule to remove, we found out later, after pathology, that it was actually 8mm and there was a second one, a 3mm cancerous nodule off the the side on the same breast that they discovered.  This was undetected by the mamogram, the sonogram and the MRI.

I found great relief, in our decision to remove the entire breast.  Not only that, that we removed the second as well.  Now, part of what made me confident in this decision is the dedication and integrity I sensed my breast surgeon had for providing me with information to weigh – sitting with me for an hour or so at a time to go over things at different stages – as well as the pride in continuing to study and master the latest and greatest knowledge and skills in her area of surgury.  She has been provided accolade after accolade for truly caring for her patients and for the incredible strides she has made in the breast surgury field.

That being said, I did not wish to do more research than I could handle, once I made the decision to go for a bilateral mastectomy and DIEP Flap reconstructive surgery and felt a peace over it.  Prayer and well wishes helped beyond imagination.  Two surgeries in, I did everything by the Western medical book.  All the blood tests, CT Scan, MRI, pre-ops, etc…

I stayed away from herbs, red wine, shaving, accupuncture, chiropractic, etc.. as directed prior to my surgery.

But at this stage of having been cleared completely of cancer and been given a clean bill of health by my oncologist, I am working with both him and our former naturopathic doctor.  Both are happy that I am taking a well rounded route to continued healing and overall recovery and rebuilding.

This video is a snippet of my first day on the homeopathic remedy our naturopath put me on.  I am posting this three days post starting on the regimen, and so far, so good!

There are many roads to healing and recovery.  I am grateful I have come this far and have been able to incorporate more natural ways into my healthy lifestyle again!



I get sad.  Lonely.  Hopeless.  Angry.  Disappointed.  And, at times, for no obvious reasons at all.  It doesn’t last.  I have hope, joy, love and comfort too.  The challenges, the successes and, the little ho hum things in-between, are part of what define me.  All of it.  Not all or nothing.