Thursday, January 15, 2015

Is there a horse in my backyard?

Thanks Therese for the hat and Melanie for the jacket. You love me SO WELL! 

Do you remember the joke of the two twins on Christmas Day? Santa left a bag of horse manure (sorry) under the tree. The first twin said, “Why is this happening to me? I’ve tried to be a good boy!”  The second twin ran out the back door all excited looking for the horse, “I knew Santa would know just what I wanted!” the horse was, of course, out there. Well, I think I’m still working on being the second twin and I won’t get into the false theology of the first twin thinking he was earning his gifts. 
We started yesterday with a wonderful time of prayer, exercise, and an early lunch. I was feeling good! When I was escorted into the little lab where vitals are taken and the port is accessed (hooked up), the nurse manager said, “I see you have a rash on your hands. Is your doctor aware?” I replied, “Well, she knows my whole hand peeled after the first chemo and it was healed completely a week ago and this is just a minor rash. I wouldn’t worry about it”. Nurse: “I think we should let her know before we make up the dose. She may not want to give you chemo today”. In my head with a completely calm face I thought, “What? You are not going to give me a drug to kill my invasive cancer because I have a rash? I’m a fair skin Irish woman. I get a rash by looking at the wrong thing! I can live with a rash! Why do you people make such a big thing about everything?” Then she took my blood pressure and it was 147/99 and it is usually 90/60. I needed to calm down but couldn’t. 
I went back to the infusion area where Walt was waiting. I told him what happened. He said, “Your hands look bad”.  This wasn’t helpful to me. (Sorry, Honey) I said, “Are you going to side with them?” Walt said, “I didn’t know we were taking sides. I thought you said you had chosen this oncologist and were going to follow her wisdom.” At this I cracked a smile and realized he was right. I made a good discernment. We have a prayerful method borrowed from the Jesuits to decide the course to take in life and I decided to go traditional medicine with the best oncology team in the best medical school in Indiana and maybe the Midwest, Simon Cancer Center. Adjunct therapies would be used if advantageous down the road. Ok. So why was I so excited? It’s just my planning nature. I have events on my calendar and so far I’ve missed almost everything this school year! We have a March wedding, Easter, Grandson’s First Communion, Graduation for IUPUI, Action Summer (Please check out the website [Indy Action Summer 2015 on Facebook]  to donate, pray, or come be part of the staff for the summer or the team for 2 weeks.  I’ll promise you that you will never be the same.) Then there’s my nephew’s wedding that I’m so excited about. If chemo gets slowed down and elongated, MY plans are going to be affected in a negative way! I know who is healing my cancer through medical means, and I know who is ultimately healing my cancer if it is God’s will for me to stick around here (thank you, Jesus). I just need to let go of control and look for the horse out back. (See paragraph 1)

Did Jesus plan on having Syrene help him carry the cross? Did it embarrass him to realize he would need help in the dramatic finale of his world saving work?  In Catholic tradition it is believed that St. Veronica came up to Jesus and wiped the sweat off his face while he walked to Golgotha. A miraculous picture of this face appeared on her veil. Did he desire this intervention? Did he plan it? Did it embarrass him?  And what about his mother Mary?Scripture has her at the foot of the cross. Did he want her there or did he beg her to stay home to save her some of the agony. My father would have wanted my Mom to stay home for sure. She and other women friends I know don’t go to violent movies for that reason. I really think Jesus, as part of his cross, had to submit to the unveiling of the events with little control of how they occurred. I want to be more like Jesus. So…

If next week’s side effect is of interest to my medical team, I will be patient first of all. I will give thanks for thorough assessment skills. I will (not literally) run out the back door and look for the horse. Maybe something is occurring on the weekend that the Lord wants me to enjoy and be totally present at. I’ll take it! God will have his way if I have to delay, miss events, or go to events under the weather. I can talk about everything to him and he will be my savior. He’s been faithful all these years. In other words: 

 “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”  Psalm 27: 1
Dr. Mina approved the dose. So I’ve now had 4 doses of chemo in my body. I’m learning the pattern of when the GI and other side effects kick in. Walt and I went out before dinner for a nice walk in the downtown mall and home for spaghetti, vegan sauce, reading, and an episode of Blue Bloods. Thank God for a perfectly delightful day! 

Today is my friend Geriann’s brain surgery, a 5-7 hours surgery. When you’re done praying one sentence for my side effects, please pray for Geriann that they will get enough of the brain tumor to stop the functional problems that will be coming her way when the tumor pushes on the brain. I want this wonderful woman building the kingdom of God with me all the rest of our lives. She has yet to experience son or daughter-in-laws and she just this summer moved into a poorer neighborhood in St. Paul, MN to build the kingdom of God through love and neighborly involvement there with a group of People of Praise people. What a great reason to keep her here a few more decades! Come Lord and heal Geriann!


  1. Praise you, Jesus! Bring healing to my sisters.

  2. Beautiful post Pam, just beautiful! I'm inspired! See you soon. XO, Lisa

  3. Pam I admire your faith filled yet reality based sharing. To God be the glory and I pray daily for you... There's a bond that was made years ago and I want you to know it is unbroken . I love you dear friend!

  4. Pam, you look so cute! I love your new hat and jacket! And I especially like following your thinking process. You started with manure and ended with the horse :)

  5. Pam, I so appreciate you sharing your journey through this cross, and what God is teaching you, as well. I took the liberty of copying it and emailing it to a friend who is facing a serious medical problem (I hope you do not mind!) May God grant you peace through your journey! Love, Connie

  6. My first thought upon reading this is ah ha, so this is where B gets her writing skills. My second thought was ; you're so right on all accounts! Control is a hard thing to give up! Still praying!! Hugs, Nikki Macke

  7. Thanks to all who prayed for Geriann today. She is doing great and the docs were able to remove lots more tumor than they originally thought they could. Geriann says to tell you that she is out back looking for her horse too. In fact she says she thinks she saw glimpses of it today. In other words she saw the Lord in all the doctors and staff. I did too. We love you Pam (and Walt too)

  8. Pam I love reading your postings, they do inspire me. your faith is unshakable. I thank GOD for you, My prayers are with you and your friend Geriann. we at FNC love you and are praying for divine healing for you .Hugs. Winnie.

  9. All I can say is....AMEN and AMEN!


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