The surgery in early December went really well – my system had responded dramatically to the chemotherapy and everything Dr. B. took out was already “dead.” All that remained of the many tumors (reading the pathology report was a little depressing and impressive at the same time – it was so intense it made me think I should already be dead) barely filled a shot glass, he told us. He is blown away – we are light years from what the pictures showed back in August.
The surgery recovery has been super painful – I became violently ill right after I got home, dehydrated and re-admitted for exploratory surgery which Dr. B. later changed to a few days of observation. This setback took my head to a place I was trying to stay away from since all of this began.
I got in a room a little after midnight – the hospital was quiet. A heavy shift settled over me – sort of like a blanket of weary. Looking out the window at the night sky I felt so sick and so exhausted and for the first time ever, without the will to fight.
I stared into the darkness and drifted to a place where I saw myself – a terminally ill, weak, bald, atrophied woman who used to be so strong for her age, now with such a dim life light within, on the side of a dark pool, balancing, putting in a toe, then a foot.
I noticed there was no weight or resistance from the water – it went through me where it surrounded my leg – promising to completely fill me and take me if I chose to go. The water neither beckoned or blocked – the water just was. The lure of – nothing – no pain, thoughts, fear, concern – only surrender – began to make more sense than fighting and was very inviting.
A week before the surgery I had a session with animal communicator and healer Tammy Billups that Donna had gifted me – a lot of our discussion was still in my head – this is about so much more than cancer. I remembered her telling me that my life forces were not yet ready to cash it in. I was thinking about that standing at the side of the pool – and it happened like it always does. I smelled him first. Dash detergent still lingering about the blue Dickies work shirt, trying though never able to completely erase the underlying fabric weave of garage oil and concrete, the smell of metal tools, tires and belts and at the same time a hard day’s work in the field – with a little salt and pepper and just a hint of a butterscotch candy in the pocket.
“You always save me,” I whispered – those golden eyes not too far away in the bed beside me – holding my soul.
“Hello,” he said. I smile thinking of how Liam always begins our meetings with a simple and unassuming “hello.” I caught a sob in my throat as he snugged closer, pressing into me. “Put your hand in my ruff – right here. Good, that’s good. Close your eyes. Let’s walk. The water knows you are not ready yet.” I gave my trust over to him – pain and fear rushed out of me in muted, muddy river water, pushing, pushing, pushing its way into the water of the dark pool, drifting away from us.
We walked along the bank of the pool and as we turned a corner we were surrounded by beautiful light. As we stopped to take it in Liam smiled and said, “I’ll walk you back and stay with you till you fall asleep. Let it in you – the light is here for you to receive so you can begin to heal.”
I stood with Liam – engulfed in the return of Hope – its bright light filling me. He spoke to me in a low voice and I made him a promise. We looked into one another and shared a hug. When I woke he was gone though I could still feel his warmth all around me.
I felt better – the fluids pumping in me began to take effect. In a day I was eating solid food and drinking fluids and walking by myself. Dr. B. came in to check on me each day and was impressed with the improvement I was making especially with as sick as I was when I came in. He uses all of the diagnostics to his advantage for information, though Dr. B. is big on treating patients on how they tell him they feel and his 30-plus years’ experience in treating cancer patients. On day four, he sent me home.
In early January I went in for my fifth chemo infusion and received the incredible news that my CA-125 (Cancer Antigen – a tumor marker) had plummeted after the surgery to 34 – normal is regarded 0-35. Dr. B.’s PA Cindy told me that if a doctor looked at my blood work and didn’t have my history, they would not realize that I am in treatment for advanced stage cancer, while also warning me with a wagging finger after my last infusion they would be watching me like a hawk as I work my way to wellness.
After my walk with Liam and what I experienced in that dream, I am not surprised about any of this – not with all the support I have. From near to far away and people I don’t even know – I have truly been blessed with a miracle and I know there are reasons for this. Time still can’t be fenced and anything can happen, though that’s true for each of us – we’ll take it one day at a time with a smile and a heart filled with gratitude always remembering in the beginning, it wasn’t going to be this way.
Must have been something in the water.
“Something In The Water” lyrics – Brett James / Carrie Underwood / Christopher Michael De Stefano