Friday, March 19, 2010

Psalm 90, re-visioned

When I stayed most recently with my dear friends Tony & Ali in Scotland, I would walk slowly through the wood behind their bothies, breathing in the air and putting my arms out to the trees and God in nature, saying, "Please come into me and revive my tired bone marrow..... transplant your God-holiness into me now!" I didn't do this every day but I did it more than once. This past week of psycho-shakeup finds me actively visualizing yet again the revivification of my insides, that dried marrow that I now ask in Jesus' name to come alive, like in the Valley of the Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37. I'm seeing a plump and revived marrow pumping out vigorous white cells and neutrophils, leaping into my bloodstream and getting ready to show all that God is even more powerful than my considerable array of herbs and potions.

I would walk this trail in Morayshire and pray.

Acceptance is a very high state. And the Serenity Prayer gives me options: God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. On a seemingly smaller scale I did that this morning during Morning Prayer.

I don't remember which psalm I was reading, but it was the one appointed for today. And I read it dutifully. It was dire, dour, lackluster.... I had an attitude and I didn't like it. "But it's the appointed Reading!" I thought.

And then I thought, "I will read some other psalm NOW." I grabbed a glorious book that was gifted to me during the St. David's Women's Retreat back in October, in Sewanee, Tennessee..... and found this lovely reweaving of Psalm 90 by Nan C. Merrill. I will share it with you now.

Eternal and Immortal One, You have been
our refuge in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
before You had formed the earth and
the world, from
everlasting to everlasting,
You are the Alpha and the Omega.

When our days on Earth are ended,
You welcome us home to your Heart,
to the City of Light,
where time is eternal
and days are not numbered.

You gather those who love You as
friends returning from a long
giving rest to their souls.
You anoint them with the balm of
healing wounds of the past.

For our days on Earth are a mystery,
a searching for You,
a yearning for the great Mystery
to make itself known.
The years pass and soon the
Harvest is at hand,
a time to reap the fruit of
one's life.
Who has lived with integrity?
Who will reflect the Light
Who can bear the radiant beams
of Love?

Who have reverenced the Counselor,
and opened their hearts to the
Spirit of Truth?
Teach us, O Beloved, to honor each day
that we may have a heart
of wisdom.

Awaken us, O Holy One! Too long
have we been asleep!
Have mercy on your people!
Help us to wait in Silence listening
for your gentle Voice;
Strengthen us with courage to
face the fears within.
O, that we might be converted in
our hearts
and walk together in peace and
Let your Love be known to the nations,
your glory to our children's
Let the grace and gentleness of the
Holy Spirit be upon us,
guiding our feet upon paths
of Love Consciousness
Increase the Light within us -
O Beloved, heart our prayer!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

and on this side....

It's hard for me sometimes to find the right photo. I choose one to focus on the post's topic and I want it to be Just Right. Seeking and choosing this one took a bit more effort as that which I hope to share is still unfolding for me. So klutzy attempts at perky cuteness will clatter to the floor.

It's Lent and I can be a bit dour, even though this fermenting shift attends to things ultimately joyous.

The question on my plate is one I struggle with: At what point in time will I stand up and accept that I AM HEALED by Christ's mercy?

An old and ostensibly current dividing line in the cancer dance is the 5-year mark. In many cancers, one can graduate from an edgy "remission" into a full-fledged CURE! in 5 years. {And who decided THIS?} I have no idea who came up with that number or why, but it has also been pointed out that if someone dies 5 years and 2 days after the initial cancer diagnosis, then they did not die from the cancer. (Camera close up to eyes rolling). And when you think of it, five years is a pretty solid chunk of time to spend living a life whistling in the dark and HOPING that The Thing doesn't rear its ugly head once again.

So amidst my 94% organic raw vegan cuisine, daily prayers, fresh air, juicing, green smoothies, exotic herbal supplements.... on and on and ON, and it's quite a list!.... is the need to address my consciousness, my faith and what the squirrel cage between my ears is doing on any given day.

There are times when this is hard.

At what point do I believe that Christ can and would heal me? And to the extent that my mouth and my solar plexus part company in a pathetically slipshod manner, how may I step across that divide and say, "Yes, Lord, I receive this whole healing from You NOW!"

Look. I am going to die someday. My will is seriously entangled in "when." I don't want it to be soon and I don't want it to be from leukemia. Writing books and doing aerobics in my eighties are part of my living fantasies. And with everything in my being devoted to prayer (mine AND yours!), to trusting GOD, to doing the work of rebuilding myself as best I can....I acknowledge that that hour is out of my hands. So how do I not cross but bridge the divide of saying, "I receive my complete healing now in Jesus' name!" and "Thy Will, o Lord, be done."

This is what is on my plate today and I cannot always make sense of it.

I limped through a very unpleasant illness for much of February.... without pneumonia, sepsis or a visit to the E.R. I emerged and I am well! My white counts and neutrophils however remain extremely low, the kind where their numbers light up in red on some lab reports. They've been too low since I was sprung from my last hospitalization on January 2nd, 2009 but lately they've dribbled even lower. I need my bone marrow to fatten up, be filled with the Holy Spirit and begin cranking out those little workers in some SERIOUSLY NORMAL numbers..... NOW. Now the good news is that, after prayer and perhaps two of those pricey IV Immune infusions, my platelets are UP! My red counts are nearing the bottom of the normal range, which is really worth shouting about in gratitude. But the whites need to MOVE IT upwards if the healing I claim is to be manifest.

My weakness in conviction became apparent when one of my holistic practitioners said, "I think it would be a good idea for you to get a bone marrow biopsy." In that one comment on Monday at midday, my psychic world went into a complete tailspin. You see, that is the ONE test that will tell me without fail whether or not the cancer has returned. Yes, the CBCs give signs, but that needle-in-the-butt bone for which no local painkiller will keep away the pain is IT. And this test can only be performed by an oncologist. The land of allopathic medicine suddenly came into my view once again.

It's one thing to feel GREAT. I do! I love my Lord and I love my team of holistic healing professionals!

It's another to say, "Let's know for sure. Now." Dan Dunphy needs to know whether he's treating low white blood cell counts or actual active leukemia.

Between the Daylight Savings Time "hangover" and feeling as though I was sideswiped with a nail-studded 2X4, it's been a rough 48 hours.

It is humbling what fear can do to me.

I have written before that until I can accept the eventuality of death, my living is a charade. And if I spend my psychic energy living in worrisome fears, many swept under the carpet, I have chained myself and cursed a projection of a jail keeper. I will neither live in denial, however.... in Whom do I put my trust?

It's Lent, and it's been a bit gritty the past few days. "Yes, God!" to the vibrant paradigm shift of claiming my COMPLETE HEALING has been knocked around not a small amount.

As it is, I've put in a message with my former oncologist, "Dr. K." Scheduling is supposed to phone me up and make an appointment for the coming few weeks. There is no rush. However, my inner work is set out for me. I do not wish to shuffle towards this procedure with bowed head, afraid. Each of the past seven I've had since November '07 have been choked with that restrictive vibration. I want to move past my old fear-based pattern and instead step into this in solid expectation that the biopsy/aspiration will show NO active leukemia. No legion of myeloblasts doing the backstroke between slamming down shooters at the Dead End Saloon. I want my white counts DOUBLED by then.... and then doubled again! Trust me, they have that far to go and that is what I want them to do by the Grace of God.

I have a fantastic life today. I will not let my struggles deny me of my gratitude. And to those of you who pray for me - more, please.... for my complete healing, my courage, my reliance on God. Thank you and bless you!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

23 years ago today....

.... I awoke from yet another night of obliterating my consciousness with booze. I think it was cheap wine, if my confession be unadulteratedly self-humiliating. And I scrawled in my morning journal that I wanted it to be the first day of a very long sobriety, each day one more step away from drowning my life in alcoholism. By an amazing Grace of a most Gracious God, it has been so. Foolishness and deception have been my companions more often than I want anyone to know, but by God's holy Grace, I've remained sober and been a part of an anonymous group that has been a core of my spiritual walk. Aside from Steps for living, the joys of this fellowship fill my heart with joy. And when they don't, I am reminded of the worn aphorism that if you like everyone {in this Fellowship}, then you're not going to enough meetings.

The photo is from a Roman Catholic study in Forres, Scotland, where a mid-day meeting gathered for years. It was the summer of 2006. Having an icon of the Blessed Mother and her Precious Son above the meeting slogans is vital for me. My salvation and hope breathe in both the world of recovery and my worship of God in Christ.

February was rough. A mere 28 days long, I spent 3 weeks of it unwell with what I can only guess was some manner of influenza. I took no antibiotics but poured holistic remedies down my gullet and twice into my veins! (Legally). The 2nd run with the IV "Immune Drip" barely produced a cough. Go Diane's immune system! Now that the cobwebs are clearing from my consciousness, I can think of rebuilding my physical strength again with long nature walks, jogging and learning some bouncy-wouncy routines on my new Urban Rebounder.

It's Lent. I'm healing. I'm sober. And I'm very very grateful.