Monday, December 28, 2009

make a joyful noise unto the Lord every day

... and oh was it a succulent pleasure on Christmas Eve when I was gifted to sing again with my choir from St. Paul's. Many of you know that exactly a year ago I watched the same service via Skype in my hospital room, putting sticky tape over my Macbook Pro built-in camera so that no one could see the tears streaming down my face. As it was, I was choking back the tears during many rehearsals. During the service, I sang and thanked God.

I began this blog 14 months ago with another name after I was slam-dunked with the AML diagnosis; it was the only way I knew to keep up with friends in many places while I was overwhelmed with the tsunami of this hideous health crisis. I am noticing that I write less frequently in here now, as the emergency aspects have blessedly evolved into positive lifestyle changes and daily grace. This is my Where's Waldo? space online for photo gallery links and updates. When hospitalized a year ago (a year ago!), I felt that I had a frail hand arising from a voracious ocean and many times you would grasp it when I couldn't even tell God was. (If you're a copy editor, forgive me for that last sentence). Today I am creating a renewed and joyous life based on God's Gracious Love, a still-strong remission, focused holistic health practices, community, work and play. Until it is time to cross over, and I have no idea when that will be, I will cherish every moment and all of God's Gifts as I am able. Clearly I'm still around for "some reason." Today I step into that with joy, curiosity and a listening ear.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

This photo is from the pasture gate at Fisherman's Bothies where I spent a slow and healing time from April to mid-July of this year. Tony sent it to me as a Christmas greeting. This is a female pheasant next to a Rowan Tree, a Celtic symbol of considerable mystical attributes from the visionary to the psychic realms. I love it because it brings forth in me the quiet and peace I especially desire right now.

I am grateful to have the energy to create a renewed life here in Northern California. 'Tis the season, and much time is expended not only in my own slowly revived business but in welcoming Christmas and the joys of a new home. Right now a robin is in the cotoneaster tree outside my 2nd floor living room window, looking at me curiously. (At least I think s/he is looking at me. Looks can be deceiving). The other day a flurry of birds were stuffing their liddul faces with the red berries covering the branches. Soon I hope to find a small round corner dining table that could double as a desk perch with a heavenly view. Finding the right furnishings at the right prices takes time!

I have more of it today - the gift of time and presence - than was suggested a year ago, when I was in the leukemia lockup ward at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. As we approach the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at my Church, I stumble into tears when I recall that I was not able to sing with my choir a year ago.... and that my Church "beamed in" the service via Skype to my hospital room. I am reminded of the enormous gratitude that today I am NOT in a hospital, praying for my white blood counts to revive while getting nightly Neupogen shots to artificially coax them on.

This week I see two physicians at the Preventive Medical Center of Marin. Last week I met with their founder and director, Dr. Haas, who I had been seeing for health building prior to the rude interruption of leukemia. He's a fantastic healing practitioner and has referred me on to those who would help me zero in on the underlying issues of this bone marrow disorder. They are not "cancer doctors." As far as my awareness can say, if you're not an AMA Board Certified oncologist and you call yourself a "cancer doctor," bad things happen. These are my own observations after the considerable studies I've embarked on in the realms of alternative healing with cancer. Hang out a sign with the c-word in it, and wowie - suddenly you can only work in Mexico or another country. I will not quote books or websites here. So in addition to my own designed program of live foods, God's Grace and a growing array of nutriceuticals, I am giving myself the gift of others' wisdom. (Cue laugh track). I know where the chemo lives. I've had enough, today, thank you very much.

And my journey continues.

May this day bring you the magic, the grace, the spiritual enlivenment and the joy you desire at this most sacred time of year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

come on in from the cold!

I have created a new Mobile Me Gallery - which you can CLICK on HERE! - with some higher res photos of my new digs than were earlier offered via my iPhone's camera. Slo-tech with my Mifi device means that I can take this uploading opportunity to.....

.......................just .......
....................................a bit
................................................with breath.

I'm tango'ing with a conundrum. Just one for now. It's been aeons since I had the energy and life force to dash about. My aliveness is delicious and is not the trapped behind leukemia ward bars of a year ago. A year ago. So I have this blessed energy which I would dare say is not manic but - but! Dare I push it and my little hardworkin' neutrophils (who I thank regularly for being SUCH troopers) will curl up in a corner and scowl. I neither need nor desire to be ill, from a common cold to swine flu.

I get to pray for balance.

And it's ADVENT! and I have this glorious new HOME! and it's all so much FUN! and I can breathe and be reminded that the blessed Saint Julian of Norwich would say, "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." Thank you, Susie of Rivendell, for reminding me of that.

There is plenty to be fussed about, trust me. "Just for today" I'm choosing grace and praying for the release from those gripping, icy corners of my psyche that have had big ole hangin' tendencies in the past to chew me to the bone. And since my healing is daily and on all levels, including down to my bones, I shall choose God's Grace today.

So whassup with this glorious remission, speaking of bones?

Today I feel extremely well and grateful on a mostly organic, plant-based diet, supplemented with a gaggle of supplements (nutriceuticals) chosen mostly by myself to both nuke the cancer cells AND to strengthen my immune system so that this thing doesn't come back in spades and try to eat me alive again. I exercise every day that I am able, either brisk walking or jogging while eyeing a local gym AND the purchase of a Rebounder. I pray. I meditate. I have a spiritual community that feeds my soul, from my Church to my 12-Step groups. I'm beginning to work again, shifting the emphasis from living on savings to generating some gains. Next week I meet with a holistic physician so that I am not alone in this path. Did I say juicing? Did I mention the Blessed Sacrament and singing in my Church choir?

Yes. Yes!

At my Hallelujah Acres cleanse in Branson, we began our mornings with Bible Study. Me, an Episcopalian, getting to know the Bible! (This is an insider joke). And we found this passage in Proverbs 17:22: "A happy heart is a healing medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones."

Why did I get leukemia over a year ago? I don't know. However I believe that a significant contributor to my immune system malfunctions involves my heart, my emotions and my spirit. "...but a broken spirit dries up the bones." This is serious stuff. Yes, there were surely environmental toxins et al, but the life within needs my loving embrace. Not a dutiful pat, not a sideways glance, but deep care. If I truly believe that the Holy Spirit lives inside of me, in this earthly shell now invigorated, I cannot be cavalier.

Today I get to show up for this life while I wait for Mo or Izzy to snuggle up in their owl box just outside my living room window. It's cold and sunny today. It is a good day.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Strollin' on through my new 'hood...

... and getting to know some of my neighbors :-)