Cancer Journey/ HEALTH

Cancer Health Update – I Get To Live Longer, My Heart Soars & God Kisses

Patient Parking only Sign

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.

Blood results of cancer patient

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.

Her hand stops on a familiar spot, the same spot she always pauses on.  It is between my port scar and my armpit, a lymph node that hangs around and greets us every time.  She looks me square and says, “it still feels soft.  It feels benign.”  It has been a year since looking at it with ultrasound, so we decide it is time to take another peek.

Breast cancer survivor in green dress

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.

Outside of a hospital

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.

Hospital band on a breast cancer patient

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?

Strawberry blonde woman and her nephew

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.

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  • ourwolfden
    September 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes and got me all choked up (my puppy sitting next to me is upset she thinks there is something really wrong with her mommy!). Thank you for sharing your story, your journey. I am so happy you are well. I understand what you are living though. My husband had testicular cancer (6 years clear thank the Lord) every six months we made the trip to the hospital for tests and ultrasounds. And then we had to wait until we got the call saying the blood tests are fine.

  • Becky
    August 26, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Just found you – enjoying reading what you post. This one brought tears to my eyes. Rejoicing with you over these wonderful blessings! The part about your nephew is so special — my son (who is 10, a cancer-survivor too) is unable to speak, but he does sign language very well — hundreds of signs — recently started spontaneously signing “I love you” to me. Not prompted. On his own. My sweet boy 🙂
    Again, rejoicing with you!!! God bless you!

  • Bethany McGough
    August 26, 2013 at 2:53 am

    I just cried my eyes out reading this. You are such an incredible woman…I am humbled reading your story. You truly are an inspiration and role model in how to truly appreciate the life God has given each of us. Thank you.

  • Marilee McCarthy
    August 24, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    This is very beautiful news. Keep that amazing positive spirit. Your happiness helped cure you. 🙂 i love happy survivor stories since my mom’s wasn’t. Thank you for sharing, it keeps me hopeful!

  • Michelle
    August 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Happy tears for you. What a wonderful day, full of His gifts. How blessed you are to recognize the gifts for what they are and to give thanks. How blessed *I* am to read your beautiful words!

  • Helen Dooley
    August 23, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    That is wonderful news! Im so happy for you! Live it Loud!!

  • Jessica
    August 23, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Just found your blog because of Lisa Jo Baker’s twitter. what a beautiful post! SO happy for you and praise God that you get to LIVE. Thank you for sharing your story. When I have more time, I will go back and read other parts of your story. Blessings to you!

  • elizabeth
    August 23, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Rejoicing with you!

  • Jennifer @
    August 23, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Good gracious girl. What an amazing post, and a praise-worthy story! Thank you, God!

  • kmac
    August 22, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    That is the most wonderful news. And again, the world seems a bit brighter. I celebrate your living!

  • Karen Gerstenberger
    August 22, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Amy, I’m so happy for you. God is good, and His faithfulness is so good to see. It is wonderful to come here and share your joy as you sing His praises.

  • Unknown
    August 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Amy I am so happy for your God kisses shared with me! God bless you more! And enjoy your opportunities to get more God kisses!

  • Maggie Jones
    August 22, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Congratulations! What a sweet blog post, I started crying right here at my desk in the middle of the office!

    August 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

    My heart sings for joy as my eyes cries at the same time{something I could not stop}, I am telling you, your story is simply amazing and so heart warming to the soul. You have so much love and I would love to live near you so I could be closer friends with you. God bless you and your family, Amy!

  • fleur
    August 21, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Congratulations on your results and all of your God kisses reminded me of the “trail angels” in the book “Wild” that you really HAVE to read. The author is amazing and she speaks to the healing heart and recovering back into living as you do. Your post made my day! The eye contact by your nephew was the 2nd best of all to me. Sounds like you and he will share a special bond. 🙂 Enjoy your newfound joy and rock it! 🙂 HUGS!!

  • Katie @ Wildwood Creek
    August 21, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    What a lovely day filled with answered prayer! Blessings to you.

  • sweetmelbelle31
    August 21, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Praising God today for the wonderful news you received and all the love you felt.

  • Anna@stuffedveggies
    August 21, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Wonderful news – I’m so happy for you : )

  • Christy
    August 21, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Wow, Amy what a beautiful post. I am so glad for your news and your answered prayers. You have touched me today and for that I thank you. Keep smiling and keep LIVING. Blessings from a friend.

  • Debi
    August 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    What an awesome day you had! Thrilled for your good news and God kisses… keep smiling! 🙂

  • Linda@Creekside
    August 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    sharing your gratitude in these gifts, huge and small. but all very, very significant.

  • Erin @ Why Not Sew? Quilts
    August 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    This may be the happiest post ever, Amy! My heart and eyes are over-flowing! Praise God!!!

  • Claire
    August 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I follow you on Pinterest, but I have never taken the time to tell you how I admire the way you have walked this journey to which the Lord has called you. Rejoicing with you and your good news! HE is FAITHFUL!

  • Anonymous
    August 21, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Praise God. As a casual follower of your blog, and an avid follower on pintrest, I am thrilled by your news. I pray that God gives you many many more kisses in the days and years to come.

  • Ana Tesileanu
    August 21, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    God…, that made me cry… You are an inspiration! God bless you!
    Thank you for everything you do.

  • Anonymous
    August 21, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    ok teary eyed at work! seeing the blessings in everyday life – smart lady you are.

  • Patty
    August 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Your gratitude is inspiring. So happy for you!

  • Anonymous
    August 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Godspeed to continued health and wellness. I am so very happy for you!

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