Saturday, January 22, 2011

How you carry the weight

I have Mary Oliver's Thirst on my nightstand, and this beautiful poem titled "Heavy" spoke to me today.

That time
I thought I could not
go any closer to grief
without dying

I went closer,
and I did not die.
Surely God
had his hand in this,

as well as friends.
Still, I was bent,
and my laughter,
as the poet said,

was nowhere to be found.
Then said my friend Daniel,
(brave even among lions),
"It's not the weight you carry

but how you carry it -
books, bricks, grief -
it's all in the way
you embrace it, balance it, carry it

when you cannot, and would not,
put it down."
So I went practicing.
Have you noticed?

Have you heard
the laughter
that comes, now and again,
out of my startled mouth?

How I linger
to admire, admire, admire
the things of this world
that are kind, and maybe

also troubled -
roses in the wind,
the sea geese on the steep waves,
a love
to which there is no reply?

It's been a weighty week. I had certainly not recovered from our Cincinnati trip and news about Danica when we headed into Thursday. Still, I felt a real peace about whatever would happen. I just wanted to be moving forward no matter what Dan and I's appointments held.

Dan's ortho appointment about his back went well. He will begin physical therapy next week and try to heal without any kind of surgery. The disc issue is there, but he has successfully managed in the past by regular exercise to strengthen his back and avoiding heavy lifting. We are so thankful for the time donated by the employees at his company so he is able to not only take off for Danica's Cincinnati trips but also now for his own health needs and mine.

I did not get my third Lupron injection as scheduled the week before last. Walgreens speciality pharmacy called before they shipped my dose. Because of the new year and Summa's refusal to cover the MRI I had on January 3rd, which has been appealed and denied three times, I was asked to pay almost $700 for the shot before they would send it to the doctor's office. They informed me I would have to pay cash until my entire deductible was met. I knew I had the appointment coming up with Dr. Falcone the next week. I decided I just couldn't spend that much money for one shot knowing how limited our resources are and knowing in a month I would be asked to pay again. I was already feeling the side effects of the Lupron wearing off. As the hormones began coming back I was very nauseous and dizzy and my pelvic pain definitely began increasing, but the wonderful thing is I felt like the old Monica was returning. The anxiety and irritability was fading, and this also helped me make the decision to hold off on getting another shot. My family and I truly hated what this drug did to me.

My dear dad drove me to Cleveland Clinic. It was already beginning to snow here, and I was so thankful for his willingness to go with me. My appointment was very reassuring. As the resident chatted with me about my history and loaded the pictures from my hysterectomy of the endometriosis left she asked me about my pain. I looked her straight in the eyes and one tear ran down my cheek. I told her simply I need to be well so I can care for Danica and my family. Dr. Falcone came in and went over each picture and my MRI. He said very confidently he believes he can remove one hundred percent of the disease with a laparoscope including an appendectomy. He explained the amazing technology they have and also the advances made in this kind of surgery and his experience. After ten years of extreme suffering I am so thankful I landed at the Clinic with this compassionate doctor. He walked me over to scheduling when we were done. My surgery will be his first case on Friday, February 18th.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't overwhelmed a little with the thought of ANOTHER surgery and recovery. There are days I am barely making it through now lifting Danica and carrying her around. I don't know how we will handle the weeks between my surgery and our returning to Cincinnati the second week of March. If you are fatigued of hearing about our story and continued trial and suffering imagine how weary we are of living it. We are so weak and tired, but a beautiful thing is growing. By God's grace we are carrying the weight a little differently every day and when we cannot bear it anymore we are learning to lay it down for awhile.

This weekend we turned off the ringer and huddled in our warm home and counted blessings. We heard our Father's voice reminding us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Danica and Delaney played sweetly together. We went through the dozens and dozens of cards we have recieved from all of you and reread your notes of love and support. We collaged and listened to our favorite playlists. Delaney collaged every dog picture she could find and Danica collaged Disney princesses. This afternoon the sun was shining and the house was quiet as we settled in our bedrooms for Sunday naps. It felt hopeful and good to practice normal for awhile and linger to admire simple gifts like rest.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, my dear, dear friend, a beautiful thing is growing. I love you. You (and so many of us through your testimony) are "growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ...

    To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)

    I. love. you.