Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the day after

It was a marvelous day of goodness.... considering I limp, whine, gasp and frown. I have beloved friends!

Pat C. from St. Paul's has appointed herself as one of my more energetic errand angels. Retired yet fit enough to begin her days with 60 push-ups (!?) plus gardening, she has been over several times. She arrived yesterday at 11:30 am with flowers and homemade chocolate cookies. Praise God! Putting a load of laundry in downstairs in my basement - or cellar, as her Midwestern sensibility calls it - we then ambled out to my first appointment of a Lymph Drainage Massage in San Rafael. My friend Stacey had found the studio recently. When I saw the website and the lymph drainage service, I did not hesitate to phone. My lymphatic system is a nightmare and I need HELP!

Nirmal's (Neer-MAHL) studio is in an old Vic up two flights of stairs. It took at least 5 minutes with multiple heaving stops for me to ascend them, Pat holding onto my portable O2 canister. Nirmal and I weren't even sure if we could do anything, between the drainage tube in my back, O2 up the nose and my inability to lie flat on my back.

We were surprised and delighted to discover that we could. It felt lusciously, quietly healing. I will be back on Friday, with Pat at my front door!

I haven't driven in almost a week. I could, I think. I won't - just yet.

Then to Novato Hospital for a blood draw to make sure I have the right numbers for tomorrow's PLEASE GOD Thoracentesis. The phlebotomist was on it - one look at my veins and she could see they were a piece of work. She was a champ.

Last stop Whole Foods - this time me staying in the car while Pat grabbed a few items for me. My world slowly spirals smaller. Can I Welcome the small? Can I breathe into it, even though I ache for true breath as I'd known it? I struggle. Pat brought me home, put away my groceries, hung out my wet clothes onto my drying rack on the deck, and scooted off.

I collapsed on the couch for an hour and 20 minutes.

My birthday's not over! From numerous phone calls I wasn't able to answer, to the requisite 35 Birthday chirps on Facebook to emails galore, the LOVE poured in including a visit from my fellow alto choir mate Kari who brought her utterly delectable homemade hummus, raw veggies, corn chips and chocolate cake. We chatted and snarfed until there was an unexpected knock at the door - my choir director and his wife, Mike and Peggy! Ha ha; Kari had spilled the beans. We had a little party of four with candles, laughter and fun. Kari dashed up and down my basement stairs bringing the touched-up laundry from the dryer. A delivery arrived of flowers with balloons, from my precious friends Chris & Alice in Seattle (and Jane, Emma & Rosie, the four-leggeds). Balloons!

Love. I gasp and am loved.

The unexpected visit from Mike and Peggy touched me in a deeper manner: For the first time in years, I can be "dropped in on". Ain't that what LIFE is all about? None of this "let me check my Day Timer/iCal/whatever and we'll make some time...." I live that way normally. This is almost country life - just come on by, pull up a chair, you know how to make yourself at home.

I'm supposed to hear the results of the chest biopsy today. I've had many, many friend angels come over the past blur of weeks, visit, bring love, bring food, help me with things I grow weaker to do on my own. When will I hit bottom so I can rise again?

I'd like to start now.


  1. And this is what it means to live "smaller". It's not that your world is growing smaller. It's that you, the real you, the soul, the heart of you, that essential you, is growing larger. You can now encompass drop in visits, spur of the moment and more important than calendars and appointment books. You touch and embrace the real essence of life lived in the moment, doing, but being helped to do as well. That reach out, those friends, all of your universe that have waited to be able to help, to reach out their hands to you, THAT is life. THAT is letting go and letting the Divine take over.

    Breath will come. Healing will come. You don't have to hit bottom to rise. You have only to reach your hands out to the Divine. Help will come. Joy will come. Strength will come.

    Hugs and blessings to you. May your birthday last all year long, 'til the next one comes around with even more joy.

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  3. 12:37pm Thursday (duh!) the 21st and NO biopsy results yet.

  4. We are all praying and breathing with you. Any news?

  5. I so wish I lived closer and was able to help in more concrete and physical ways ... And yes - waiting sucks.....

  6. Hoping that today's 2nd L drainage therapy finds you feeling better & breathing easier.