Wednesday, June 4, 2014

anchored with hope


It started with the little white pill.  I was down to my last lopressor pills, on a Sunday.  And we simply didn't call a refill in on time.  So I took a half that morning and night to get by.  It was Monday night, as I went to take my handful of vitamins and several tiny pills.  And one of them felt like it slipped out of my palm and went down into the sink… and I envisioned it had gone right down the drain.

At first glance, I saw nothing.  So what would I do if I didn't ever see it?  How would I know which one fell?  Which one I should take?  Here I had missed that lopressor pill, and badly needed to take it for my heart rate to be on an even keel. Panic set in quickly.  So I sent up a quick "help, please."

 As I bent over to see the sink more closely, I was astonished to see, somehow a little white pill had stuck to the side of the sink and was waiting like a gift for me to rescue.

Holy canoli!  It felt like someone was watching out for me in the tiniest of ways.

I notice these small moments so much more often.  They feel so big to me.

The next morning I hurried off to infusion at Roger Maris.  As I registered at the front desk, my friend Cathy, beckoned me over to her registration spot.  She handed me a little box saying, "we all have one, and I thought you should have one to wear too."

Inside was a dainty silver necklace with the word hope scrolled into the chain, along with a silver cancer ribbon- to me signifying all cancers.  (I draped it over the canvas in my top photo.)

I was so touched.

I quickly sat down and worked the clasp loose and then closed it around my neck.

Shortly, I heard my name being called and I was walked back to infusion.

I was settled in quickly and had my blood drawn right from my port.  It was slick.

But after checking, my nurse Toni, said I wouldn't get tumor marker results until the next day.

So I sat and waited for my iv bag of herceptin to arrive.

And waited.

And waited.

The pharmacy was all backed up, it would be awhile.

So I journaled.  I read.  I wrote.

An hour later, my drug had finally arrived.

And then in the midst of everything, my nurse reappeared with a single sheet of paper.

"Apparently, they were wrong.  Here are your tumor markers."

I'm barely focused on what she is saying, as she smiles and hands me the sheet.

My tumor markers went DOWN.

My tumor markers went from 42 to 32!

They'd been slowly climbing each week, and then, wham.

And suddenly I wanted to see Dr. Panwalkar in the worst way!  If anyone would high five me, or hug me in a knowing way- it would be him.

Its the tiniest victory.

It simply means, the Arimidex must be holding the tumors in check at least.  We still won't know, until I have a scan a few weeks after surgery.

But it feels like "more time."  It feels like gift.  It feels like grace.







I even make it to baseball to watch Colton play later that night.

I come home to prepare a special gift for a special woman.

One of the first breast cancer survivors to come into my life- my friend Steph.

Who just so happened to become Colton's teacher this year.

How lucky are we? 



I found this book mark in the cities and it spoke to me of her.  We put a bunch of goodies in a bag for her and hope she can feel how grateful and blessed both Colton and I have been by her presence in our lives!  

Finally, I crashed last night but had to read just a few pages.  I am still dog-earing and highlighting and re-reading my Cold Tangerines. And there it was.  All that I have felt, and slowly been discovering. 

Here is what she so brilliantly summed up for me:

Shauna Niequist is speaking of writing:  "What writing teaches me, over and over, is that God is waiting to be found everywhere, in the darkest corners of our lives, the dead ends and bad neighborhoods we wake up in, and in the simplest, lightest, most singular luminous moments. He's hiding like a child, in quite obvious and visible places, because he wants to be found.  The miracle is, that he dwells in both… the light… and the darkness."

I could just keep going on- its all so worthy.   Her words keep rhythm with the strumming of my heart, and the evenness of my breath and I am sleeping soundly in no time.

















45 comments:

  1. oh Vicky...my heart flutters reading your post dear one. So many gifts and the best gift of all...that you have eyes to see them. Sending love my friend xo

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    1. Sweet friend- warms my heart to see you pop up here first, just like old times :) Fills me with joy- love to you Robin.

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  2. such wonderful news….i'm so happy for you!!!

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    1. Thank you Beth- love having you celebrate along with me!

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  3. Super happy for you and this good news.

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  4. our Lord is the God of details, and He is standing with you! such fantastic news!

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  5. Inspiring & beautiful entry from beginning, middle to end.Congrats on the great news! Big hug and high five to you!

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    1. Hugging you and fiving you right back- so happy you're here with me Cheri!

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  6. What joy this brings to me as I read it, Vicky.
    First of all, that the little pill that could've gotten away but didn't....then, the necklace of hope drapes around your neck, then the news about the tumor markers. Wonderful beyond measure.
    To see that you were able to go to Colton's game and sit under that beautiful sky and behold all of God's blessings and wonders...not only this day but each day is breathtakingly amazing to me. I have already given thanks to our Lord for blessing you in these ways....among others.
    Know that I think of you each and every day.
    I only have one person's link on my FB page. I never have had any others....except yours.
    Sending you love and gentle hugs,
    Jackie

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    1. Typo: Your link is on my blog...not FB page.

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    2. So happy to see you here Jackie! Think of you so often. And am so blessed by you- and the goodness of that link on your page- warms me through!

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  7. This post made me smile. He has SO many gifts, if only we see. Thankful for your great news (it is great right? It sure seems GREAT to me!)

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    1. Hi Kellie! Yes- its pretty darn good news. Cancer can be pretty sneaky- so you typically want to see more than just one test reflect less cancer, BUT, I will take this one at face value for right now :) Thanks for stopping in!

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  8. Wonderful!!! I am so glad and I am rejoicing over here, and nodding my head in agreement. The Lord is good and he brings light and life to guide us in our days, and to give us hope in all times. Hugs.

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    1. Thanks Susan- its like knowing something at one level, and then knowing it a deeper, more personal level- and I am finally feeling like I am there. Hugs to you!

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  9. PS - beautiful photo of a truly lovely necklace!!

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    1. Thank you- so glad the necklace came through ok!

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  10. Glorious news! Celebratory news! Meds are working and your body is responding! Can healing from that wound be far behind after surgery? So good to send up another prayer of thanks and thank you for praying for me this week. I really should blog about it because it was so obviously God who went before me into the battle. Love you.

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    1. Oh Robynn- that last little bit sounds so encouraging and promising to me! Yes- please-when you are ready you know we would all love to read your story about that day. Love you!

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  11. Dearest Vicky,
    Can you hear the sign of relief, the rejoicing, the "HURRAH" and giant "AMEN and THANKS!" bounding to His ears from Spokane? Prayers of thanks and grace for the answered prayers of thousands. "And when two or more gather in His name...."

    The markers are DOWN...DOWN ...from 42 to 32. Stable. More time. Two more days and weeks and months and years. An army of prayer warriors are lifting your name and prayers
    are being answered.

    I am OVERJOYED for this "tiniest of victories"...this moment of grace. And a baseball game on top of all that. A deep breath of relief. Good News! More good news. Stable and now this. I can hardly contain my joy!! :)

    Tears streaming down at this blessed news, Hugs and LOVES and prayers from Spokane...always prayers!
    God Bless, sweet friend and liove you to the moon and back.
    Linda

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    1. Gosh- that is so beautiful to read Linda- you always leave me speechless and teary-eyed as I feel the emotion flowing through your words. Thank you friend! Love-love-love to you!

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  12. As always, Vicky, a beautiful post. So happy that your markers are down. God bless...

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    1. God Bless you Katie and thank you for your sweet words~

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  13. Oh Oh...happy happy dance! he is waiting on us to find him..isn't he!..and sometimes our human nature makes it so we need to find him over and over again...I love what you wrote, how you wrote it and the part from the book...Finding God in dark place's as well as light place's..i believe that! even in finding your tiny pill and you knowing..he is watching out for you! because he is...he knows what is in your heart!!! he KNOWS. ( I just had a God gift..I just posted about it..) I am always amazed how he works and can never question it...for he truly see's our hearts and is there! this I KNOW! much love, continued prayers and HUGS!

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    1. I am coming over to read shortly Peggy Sue! Thankful for your sweet words always! Love and hugs to you!

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  14. I know there is an answer and a solution to be found out there.
    I am very happy to hear about the markers and that you are taking such good care of yourself.
    Enjoying life is something we all have to do and sometimes forget to do and yes God watches over us all and knows ours hearts and souls.
    xoxoxox

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    1. Thank you Vic- so well put! xxoo right back to you!

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  15. Love, love your title: anchored to hope. And what wonderful news! I know that was such a welcome surprise, and I hope the joy you felt from that piece of news will carry you through the next several weeks!

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    1. Thank you Melissa- I love that image- the joy seeing me through. Yes- am going to hold onto that. I needed that bit of encouragement and reassurance before surgery and am hopeful it bodes well for the upcoming weeks!

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  16. Praise for the light that is today! How wonderful to get unexpected good news. Thanks for the reminder that God is present in the light and the dark. He is beyond what I can understand...so grateful.

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    1. Jenny- so well said! So true- beyond what I can understand too- very well said! Blessings to you sweet friend!

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  17. Vicky, what a beautiful, inspirational quotation to share at the end of your post! Thank you for visiting me from Peggy's blog. I am thinking of you and praying for you :) My friend who I walk with several times a week (and perhaps I will see her tonight!) had breast cancer last year. I'm sure she will add you to her prayers as well. I'm soooo happy for you, that they had your markers for you and that they are going down! It sounds like you have a wonderful doctor to share that information with as well! All my best to you,
    Donna

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    1. Donna, how nice to hear from you! Thank you for coming over to visit and saying such kind words. Prayers have gotten me through so much and I appreciate any new ones that come my way. So hello to your neighbor for me! Blessings to you!

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  18. Vicky.. just read your comment that you are going to read Defending Jacob. Don't do it. The ending is awful and spine chilling! Read something by Claire Cook - Must Love Dogs. Much lighter...

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    1. Ahhh- I replied via email but not sure you have your name attached to email or not. I won't- based on what you say I will steer clear of it! Thanks for the notice!!

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  19. So glad you got some very good news.

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    1. Thank you Francis- a true gift in the most unexpected way!

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  20. What wonderful news - lower tumor markers! I am celebrating with you, my friend! You always remind me to give thanks for each and every blessing, no matter how big or small. This is a big one!

    Those who are diagnosed with breast cancer share an immediate and very special bond. Although we would rather not have gone through the initiation for this "sorority", the sisters we have gained are true gifts. You have blessed my life with your grace, your faith, your friendship, and your gift of the written word which always causes me to pause and look at something from a different perspective.

    This year, I had the very good fortune of being Colton's teacher. Not only is Colton funny, enthusiastic, and full of wonderful energy...he has the heart of a boy who loves and values his family, and isn't afraid to show it. Thank you so much for the very thoughtful and meaningful gifts that will always remind me of Colton and your whole family. I will miss him very much!

    Take care, dear Vicky! Love and hugs!

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    1. So sweet of you Steph- Colton was very involved in finding the "right" gift for you :) I treasure the feedback about him and will hang onto that always. It will seem very different to us, not to have someone at Reinertsen! Hope to see you this summer- but if not- enjoy some time away! Love and hugs to you!

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  21. More time sounds like a good plan. And sounds like GRACE! God bless you in every way!!

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  22. Such great news! So happy for you! Keeping prayers coming your way!

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  23. REJOICING with you!!! God is SO able!!!! (((HUGS)))

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  24. Dearest Vicky,
    Today is Tuesday, June 10th and if I remember correctly, your surgery is tomorrow... Wednesday, June 11th. You have been on my mind all day today, and I have been feeling such positive anticipation of the blessings this surgery will bring into your life. I know it may not be easy or simple, but I am anticipating great outcomes and new HOPE for you.
    I'm praying for your peace of mind, your sense of His presence, and the skills, attention to detail, and intentionality of Dr. A. I am praying big time that His grace will FLOOD that surgery room. And His knowledge will GUIDE every step and decision. His spirit will be with you and around you, my sweet friend. He will be holding your hand through it all.

    I'm also praying for Rick and Nolan and Colton (especially Colton who loves his Mommy so) that they would not be worried, but see this as a good step forward. That they would feel inner peace.

    I am only one of the hundreds of prayer warriors who will be praying. Know, my dear friend, how deeply loved you are.

    Loves, hugs and prayers, always prayers.
    Linda

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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