I had my every- six- month check up with Dr. Midathada yesterday, and for the first time since diagnosis, I was able to walk into Nebraska Hematology and Oncology without feeling nauseous. The familiar smell of disinfectant and latex was there, but even that didn’t get to me. Instead, I walked in with just a sense of peace & quiet. A stillness of sorts. Time heals.
It is always so good to feel Dr. Midathada’s reassuring hands checking for lumps and bumps. I trust those hands…they have always been right with what they have felt. I also appreciate her eye contact; gentle, serious & reassuring. And her hug. She always leaves me with a genuine hug that makes me feel so very cared for.
She raves about my blood results and I marvel at normal numbers. I know how very fortunate I am to have normal numbers. No highs or lows, except for my heart that is soaring with gratitude & my bowed head, humbled & amazed by continued good news.
It is the next day and the ultrasound tech now knows me by name. So does the radiology staff at Saint Elizabeth Hospital. I used to pout about that–“poor me who is there so often that I am known.” Now I just feel gratitude that they take the time to recognize me and care about my story. There is no room for self pity when I continue to get good news. There is no room for self pity when there is so much to be thankful for. There is no room for self pity when you get the privelege to live.
I get to live. My heart soars.
The ultrasound tech finishes and tells me to wait as she goes to get Mr. Radiologist. This is the only time my heart stops soaring and instead skips a beat. I’ve been in this place before, lying in the dark & exposed, heart racing; wondering why she is bringing back the man who knows. Last time that man told me what I already knew, and his words turned my world upside down. Cancer.
He greets me with a smile and a hand shake, and stares at the screen as the tech rolls over my outgoing lymph node. Every time it catches and rolls,it is an uncomfortable feeling. I feel uncomfortable until I hear him speak, telling me it looks totally benign and the tissue around it looks great.
I get to live. My heart once again soars and I feel the first kiss of God for the day. One of many in a day. August 20, 2013 was a day full of God-kisses.
God kiss #1–I don’t have to wait 3 days for results. Doc stood there and told them to me. Results delivered personally.
I drive toward home and decided to get groceries. A farm-fresh produce stand on the corner catches my eye. I decided to stop. I realize I can’t stop smiling and feel silly. I notice how people smile back at me and decide I need to purposefully smile more often. I then see her. A beauty bagging produce, the same one who showed up at my door when I was sick and bald in the middle of treatment with these words, “you don’t know me, but I have been following your story. God urged me to bless you, so here I am and here this is.” She held out a very generous spa gift card, & my tears fell at the perfect timing of that God kiss. She is once again here front of me again and we greet each other. After sweet word exchanges she tells the stand keeper that my produce is on her today.
God kiss #2–Free farm-fresh produce & a reminder in flesh of His faithfulness when I was sick.
I continue on to Trader Joes, where I grocery shop weekly. I am always happy to see my favorite grocery checker; he is tall and slender with grey hair and smiley eyes. He asks about the hospital bracelet I am wearing, and I tell him my good news. He rejoices with me, then tells me that he will be right back. He comes back carrying a bouquet of flowers. Exactly what I would have picked. I wonder if he knew just how much fresh cut flowers make my heart soar.
God kiss #3–An unexpected gift of fresh cut flowers. Stranger-friends rejoicing with me that I get to live.
I arrive back home and I’m greeted by some of my most favorite people in all the world. My lil’ sister and her 2 kids, age 3 & 1. Can this day get any better? Even on the worst days their company would make my heart soar. Ready for God kiss #4?
My nephew is autistic. He is a joy and I am amazed at my sister and her husband and their dedication to helping him. I see the results of their love & answered prayer in so many ways, including my little nephews’ eye contact. He holds may gaze, greets me and smiles at me, responds to his name & shows off his counting skills to me. These are all new things, and I am in awe. Later, after a full day visit, after a walk & playing in the sand and helping me water the garden, it is time for a bath. He does NOT like baths, and was quite upset when it was over. I take my freshly scrubbed nephew out to the swings to find his smile again. It comes back immediately and we count together “1-2-3 WEEEEE!” I sit next to him in the swing, and say “I love you.” He looks at me in the eye and says “I love ooo.”
God kiss #4–Hearing my nephew say new words. The 3 most very special words. “I Love You.”
Yep, my heart soared, higher than I though possible in one day. I shut my eyes and receive the kiss, and vow to live life to the fullest.