Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sanctity...

“This is my secret," he said. "I don't mind what happens.” ~ Eckhart Tolle























I arrive early for my appointment with Dr. Panwalkar.  I sit with my gratitude journal, filling in line after line.  At 15 minutes past my appt. time I start to wonder.  My friend Carrie assures me my pager is working.  Dr. P is never late.  He never leaves me waiting.  I grab my phone and start going through my vacation photos.




5 minutes later we all hear it.  An announcement.  Reality crashes my mental trip back to the beach.

Code blue to exam room 7.  Code blue.

Then again a few minutes later.

A flurry of activity ensues.

A lab person goes carrying a big red tray of supplies.  Other techs go scurrying past.  Patients sit wide-eyed.  Quietly taking it all in.

My photos beckon me back.  Back to the ocean, the sand, the blue, the serene.  

Another 10 minutes go by.



Its warm in South Carolina.  Not hot.  If I lay flat, the wind rides past me and I bury my legs into the heat filled sand.  I attempt to wade into the waves, but after mere minutes, the water numbs my legs and I scurry to get out. 





I'm startled when suddenly my pager goes off.  I greet the nurse and she takes me back. She asks me all the questions, I answer and then she hesitates.  

"Dr. Panwalkar had an emergency this morning.  He went to the ER with his patient.  He will still come to see you.  Can I get you a snack?  Something to drink?  It could be awhile."

I assure her I'm fine, because, I really am.



Not more than 5 minutes later, I'm surprised to look up and see Dr. P.  He apologizes instantly.  I tell him I completely understand.  "Rough morning," I say and he nods.  Then, the consummate professional he is, he immediately asks how I am.

He tells me we will cut my dosage by 30 percent which will be equal to 2 pills morning and evening, instead of 3.  

He then tosses the gown aside and has me hop up on the exam table.  He deftly examines me head to toe.  

I have a little surprise in store for him.

When he goes to find the lump that started this whole new cancer adventure, he discovers it is next to nothing in size.  Just 6 doses I tell him.  He now smiles big.  

I marvel at how he goes from a "rough" morning, to being completely in a grin--worthy moment with me.

He wraps things up conveying to me we will work to find the right dosage to make it manageable.  "I think this is going to be great for you!" He says enthusiastically and then grabs my hand.

He walks me to infusion, and then rests his hand on my shoulder- see you in 3 weeks he says.




Infusion is full.  I wait another 20 minutes.  They finally come to get me and tell me I am in the overflow room today.  Its in another wing, in a corner room that is clearly a makeshift room.  There are no magazines, no tv- just a chair wedged awkwardly in the middle next to the pole.


The nurse again, is apologetic.  But it doesn't phase me.  



 I'm still emerging from the sanctity of the beach.  My body longs to dive down to the ocean depths of the clear sandy bottom, while my lungs fight for air.  I feel myself break the surface of the water, blinking into the light- fully cleansed, and steeling myself for my full return back into cancer world. 













50 comments:

  1. Once again, beautiful words...beautiful pics...and a beautiful reminder of God's gracious love in our lives. Prayers continue...

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    1. Thanks Kim- I hope you are well- I need to come and check in with you :)

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  2. You know what this tells me about Dr. p? How incredibly invested in his patients that he is, and that he truly feels deeply their sorrows and joys. Such a gift.

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    1. So true Melissa- it shows in his actions and I garner strength from his. Pure gift.

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  3. Vicky... what beautiful pictures! So happy you had a good time. Great news that the meds are doing their job! Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thank you Katie- I hope you have a wonderful weekend as well!

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  4. I'm echoing Melissa - I enjoyed the glimpses of your holiday at the beach, and to read of the Peace that remains since returning, but above all I am encouraged to read of Dr P's manner, and like Melissa said, how invested he is in your journey.

    Which is what we would all hope for in a caregiver but we're realistic enough to know that it isn't always the way it turns out.

    Thankful along with you, Vicky, for the blessings and touches of grace that we read about here.

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    1. Thank you Susan- I so appreciate your kind and thoughtful words. Yes-"blessings and touches of grace," is exactly what so many of my moments could be called- thank you for that.

      Blessing to you!

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  5. A peaceful feeling overcame me as I read this blog; loving that you are home.
    Feel this hug... Big squeeze.
    J.

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    1. Got it- and here it comes right back to you :) Love to you and yours Jackie!

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  6. I'm new here and want to tell you that I am sure you are an inspiration to so many. As I was looking at your beach photos I was thinking "precious memories". I'll be back. :)

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    1. Hi Nancy- welcome! Thank you for taking the time to write- yes precious memories is exactly right :) Blessings to you!

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  7. Feelings of peace came over me while reading your post. Sounds like good news! So incredibly happy for you!

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    1. Thank you Genny! Blessings on your day :)

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  8. Praising God for this post and for you sweet Vicky. Love. Gratitude. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much Kelly- love and blessings to you!

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  9. Wonderful news, Vicky! You are such a great example of equanimity - accepting what is - moving gently and lovingly with the flow of life - not letting external events disturb the pure, conscious light you emanate from within. Dr. P. is so lucky to be able to have your aware energy in his space, and I am sure he looks forward to learning from you - as do I.

    Your holiday looks like it was just what you had envisioned! What a statement about your home and family that your boys so treasure their home environment!

    So good to hear that these new meds are working for you!!!

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    1. Thank you so much for your gracious words Bonnie :) I'll be the first to admit on some days I of course let the external get to me- but I am getting better at recognizing and acknowledging it and then figuring out how to move through it. I recall how you described that your daughter became so well versed in her cancer that she spoke at ease with her own doctor in a very medically advanced manner. I took that straight to heart and have found that becoming more well-versed in my own bc converys to Dr. P how invested I am along with him. You, my friend, have taught me SO MUCH :)

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  10. April is your month for blessings! Blessings that you got to go on your beach getaway, blessings of spending time with family and last but not least, blessings that your treatment is working so quickly. So happy to read all your good news. Hugs!

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    1. Indeed Eileen- I love that perspective- thank you! Thank you for sharing in those blessings with me and I pray that you are equally blessed :) Sending love!

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  11. i am choked up and have tears in my eyes as i finish this. that medication that was the one that made you sick, that wasn't supposed to be the one you were going to be treated with, that you WENT OFF OF while you were on vacation--sounds like the Great Physician knew better just what your body needed, or He just shrunk the tumor all by Himself.

    whichever it is, it just was such a powerful testimony to the intimate involvement of our Maker in our daily minutia that i am in tears. what a wonderful surprise, not only for Dr. P, but for ME too!

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    1. Its true Jenn- so true. I reflected just recently that those visible and palpable tumors of mine are a bit of double-edge- yes, I'd rather just not have them in the first place. But they have lent to me not having to rely on a scan to know if the meds are having an effect- or if God is healing me. I just need to continue to hope that the lymph node will eventually go down and so will the lung mets as well... but am leaving that too, in HIS hands.

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  12. WOW! So happy for you my tan, gorgeous friend. SO HAPPY! Looks like a wonderful trip, glad you are still reeling with all the memories you made. You need to seriously consider writing a book. I never want your posts to end. xoxo

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    1. Oh girlie- that seriously makes me teary eyed- the idea of a book is occupying a space in my head for sure- in search of a direction to take perhaps :) THANK YOU- xxoo

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  13. Deeply blessed by this ... all of this.

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    1. Thank you Susan- I see your photo and I am instantly thinking about the precious new babe in your life- and oh how that blesses me :)

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  14. This is beautifully written. And I am blessed to hear the good news!! God be with you and grant you lots of beach time with your family in the time to come...

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    1. Maddy-thank you for your kind words- blessings to you!

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  15. I wish you could see how this made me smile; tear up and smile again.

    Everything about the beach and you getting time there makes me smile! Everything about cancer makes me tear up! Love hearing that the lump has decreased in size - grateful for this news!

    Love and blessings to you!
    xoTiffany

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    1. Your heart is so tender and beautiful Tiffany and your words bless me so~ sending love to you today. Please feel free to email anytime- vwestra14@gmail.com- will wait to hear from you :)

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  16. :-) !!!


    Can you send me that last photo - the two beach chairs?

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    1. Picture sent to you- hope you got it :) Let me know if I should resend :)

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  17. Bless your sweet heart. I was sitting here in a yucky mood today - not happy but not sad - and then realized that while I do have a debilitating auto immune disease, life could be so much more challenging. You handle your challenges so well and you inspire me. Take care and hope those treatments go better this time. And, you have a beautiful family.

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    1. Thank you Gale :) Glad we got a chance to exchange email yesterday! Hope that today is indeed a better day!

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  18. I could get lost in your photographs. Beautiful.

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    1. Oh thank you Francis- that is such a nice compliment- the scenery was so beautiful it took very little for me to get what I did :)

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  19. i love your doctor.....and i love that that lump is barely there.....hugs to you sweet girl !

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    1. Hugs back to you- thank you for loving my good news along with me :)

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  20. The pics are GREAT and I'm so THRILLED that the lump is almost gone! Yay, LORD!!! Thank you that Vicky can take less medicine and that Dr. P is so happy it's working. Aren't we ALL????!!! Good news, beach girl. Keep feeling the sand and the sun and water. Good place to keep your mind and heart. Love you!

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    1. Love you too Robynn- sent the photo you asked for on the other post- hope its the right one? Just let me know if for some reason it doesn't show up or if its not the one you wanted :) GOD is GOOD :)

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  21. Vicky, you are CRAZY GOOD at weaving stories...and today was a great read. I'm so glad, even with all the inconveniences you had at the Docs office, it turned out to be a good day for you. And, your doctor sounds like a wonderful human being.

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    1. Mark- you are CRAZY KIND for saying so- thank you :) How are you Mark? I need to come spend some time catching up- I could use some Mark humor :)

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  22. Dear Vicky, I really, really love how you bring us back and forth...into your vacation and its beauty, into reality and whatever it is for that moment...and how you move into each with such inspiring grace. And with words that come straight from the center of your soul. Thanks for taking us with you on this blessed journey.

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    1. Roxane- thank you- I have been so clearly caught between two worlds and it just seemed easiest to write from the place my mind and heart were in. Thanks for coming along with me- I hope you know how much I treasure having you along!

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  23. We are all smiling big - you go girl. Love the vacation shots - that white sand, those big smiles. And those legs of yours - wow! Beautiful writing as always. X

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    1. Lilly! I was wondering about you- will have to come and visit and get caught up with you soon. Hope you are well- love nothing more than seeing YOUR smiling face here :) xxoo

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  24. I bet it was a rough day. Some days are like that. I am glad you took your pics with you. You made some beautiful memories to keep you smiling and made the doctors day lighter too.
    Oh I could almost feel the hot sand and sun :)

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  25. Sending you prayers and feeling your joy in the lines you are writing Vicky. I am glad you had your photographs with you at the clinic. I love how you share what was going in your head xo

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  26. How wonderful that your doctor finds a way to be present with you after something so difficult. He would probably have enjoyed pulling up a chair alongside you in the sand. Very lovely post today.

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  27. You're an amazing writer, Vicky. I'm telling ya--I was there with you reading this--could hear the seagulls, feel myself getting a tad burned (which happens easily with my fair skin!) and then your moment with Dr. P.--I had happy tears.

    XOXOXO

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