Nalora

Archive for January, 2016|Monthly archive page

Time Well Spent

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2016 at 6:28 pm

I suppose every once in a while I should post about just the daily living things and stuff I have spent my time on. The mundane. Although for me now nothing seems mundane. Every moment is a cherished one. The usual and the routine do not exist for me anymore.  That was something that happened right away, at the beginning. The harsh edges of the world disappeared. Grey turned silver.

So, I spent a couple days with my beloved nephew Steve. Although we had big plans to play games and such, we ended up mostly in deep introspective conversation, talking about life, the universe and everything.  I of course conjured up many family memories and stories. His house is comfortable and warm and inviting, and I felt someone had dropped me off at a luxurious and expensive spa. It was a good two days.

Then Friday we got all the Legal mumbo jumbo out of the way finally and finished and that was an accomplishment. My hair had fallen out the day before so I showed up at the law office in my Sock Monkey hat. Gave new meaning to the phrase “Are you of sound mind…..”  That night my sister Denise and I celebrated with great cheese, wine, and some antipasto meats, and a movie together. I had actually had a lot of the legal stuff done years ago (not done well, mind you, but done and legally binding)  but my niece Mysi (who is executor of my estate) in her most competent and efficient manner set it in stone for me by getting a lawyer and we re-did it for accuracy and for them to be more up to date and current.  So, Power of Attorney, Last Will and Testament, and Advance directives all done and we good to go.

Most of the past month has been kind of a whirlwind of activity.  Who knew cancer was so darn busy? My ten radiation treatments ended last Tuesday. It was painless (and actually quite interesting and educational for the clinical side of me.) I had some side effects, but not anything to write home about. There was a feeling in the afternoon of exhaustion, but a good nap and I was back up and at ’em. Main thing was the funky taste in my mouth all the time and all food flavors went haywire.  This of course led to me doing a kind of running experiment with food. Catsup turned hot. Actually all tomato products gained heat. This begs the question does radiation have a special effect on tomatoes?  Dill pickles were flat. Black Pepper lost its taste completely, it was a flat flake. Some foods had the taste of burnt fire wood throughout. Salt was so salty it bordered on caustic. Things that were still good: Ice cream, malts and shakes, peppermint, Orange Juice, apples, dates, rice, and salad. I really look forward to the day when my mouth tastes normal. I am not sure when it wears off.

Friday we saw the big dog Oncology doc and set up the PET scan appointment to take a look see how the radiation affected the tumors/swelling. Talked about what can and cannot be done and other various treatments depending on a number of things, He did some lab to identify various cell markers, which may or may not lead to chemo, but he really does not think it would be beneficial, not even in a palliative way. So, a couple more weeks, we revisit.

I am not sure that I ever explained my feelings about Cancer treatment. I have given it considerable thought, and discussed it all at length with my niece Mysi, who knows my feelings about it.  I of course was a cancer nurse for some time. Actually, the floor I worked on was Oncology and “clean heart”; heart caths, pre-op readying for open heart surgery the next day. It was a good combination of patients, since the cancer patients are so vulnerable and the cardiac folk were not ill with communicable diseases.  Anyway, I saw so many valiant struggles—some awe inspiring, some horrendously gruesome and heart breaking. But I had decided that if it ever happened to me. I would accept it, and not fight for more time…but BETTER time. If anything would debilitate me to where I was more sick from the treatment than the disease, if I was not ME, if I was incapacitated and my quality of life was diminishing from the treatment then I would not have it done.  I want to be me til I die.

Good news on the religious front as well, The priest is coming over on Tuesday, 9 am. I should  make a separate blog post just about that. Maybe I will.

We have had 4 glorious days of Spring like weather. I have my windows open now as I write this. It is 72 degrees on January 29. I count my blessings everyday. The weather is one of them lately.  God loves us in Oklahoma.

 

 

 

Bravery and Fear

In Deep Thoughts, Faith on January 27, 2016 at 5:08 am

A person commented recently on my Facebook and called me brave. Being a “word person” this set me on a rather lengthy meditation on the real meaning of bravery. Brave. This is a word I have used all my life, a simple word, really. I looked it up again. Read all the definitions.

brave
brāv/Submit
adjective
1.
ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.
“a brave soldier”
synonyms: courageous, valiant, valorous, intrepid, heroic, lionhearted, bold, fearless, gallant, daring, plucky, audacious
noun
1.
people who are ready to face and endure danger or pain.
2.
dated
an American Indian warrior.
synonyms: warrior, soldier, fighter
“an Indian brave”
verb
1.
endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behavior) without showing fear.
“we had to brave the full heat of the sun”

I don’t really feel brave. It seems too heroic for me. But then again is bravery heroic? In truth I think that if I come off as brave, then really it is just my ability to accept circumstances in my life and to struggle through them in the best way that I can. My life has been rough. Very rough. I have seen things few human being see. True evil. I have been alone through  much of it.

Much of the true evil I have had to face was during my years homeless and on the streets at a very young age as a hippy runaway chick. Murder, rape, violence, death and all the various “mini evils” that  hover like dark satellites around people in this outcast world were a part of my daily life for a long time.

I wrote a book about it. My life that is. I never finished it. I found that writing about some of the worst parts was too painful. I began to talk to people about it, because I could talk about it, but the writing of it brought too much of that memory into the present and was too painful. I was not brave enough I guess.

But in all this, my decision that to share it all, openly, my passage from this life, I suppose to others it may indeed seem brave. Or perhaps it is my attitude towards it. But you see that comes from God, and so it is effortless on my part. He is the one giving me strength, comfort, and peace. From the very moment that the news was given me, I have been wrapped in His arms, I am safe, so there is no reason for bravery of my own volition.

Even having said that, there is Fear. But the fear is so small, human worry. And it does not affect me deeply, I instead turn again to God.

Jesus, I trust in you.

My fear is not death, or dying. My fears are mundane little things. I fear that my first seizure will happen when I am alone. I fear seeing the pain in my sister’s face when I am in the darkest parts. I fear my brother Paul’s grief as he loses his Lolly. I mostly fear that my dream of becoming Catholic before I die, and having a full confession and partaking of the Eucharist will not happen. But it is God’s timing, and it is in His hands, I reassure myself with this knowledge and release the fear to Him.

Easter.

Let me make it to Easter.

 

 

 

Tell Them Its Ok To Talk about the CANCER

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2016 at 10:07 am

There is a great movie “Terms of Endearment” that if you want a good weeper, you should see if you have not. To force out some good sobs and tears (remember there is always sadness in death, and sad is not a bad thing, and letting yourself have a good cry is very cleansing), and there is a scene in it that I love. Well, several scenes, actually but this one is currently stuck in my head. I guess because I find the cancer easy to talk about and I don’t mind if people ask me questions. I also have always had this odd ability to step outside myself and look at myself clinically in a very objective way. And of course there is this inner teacher screaming to get out.  I also find that if I let go of a good cry, the laughter later is easier and better.

There are other good “death” movies that will make you sob: “Steel Magnolias”, “Beaches”,

There is a scene in “Beaches” (I cannot find it online) where the two main characters are talking and Bette Midler’s character says “My memory is long.” and the dying character says “I am counting on it”. It always struck me. The death scene in this one is also very poignant.  “Beaches” though for me, will always be in my heart my sister Denise. Denise was always the wind beneath my wings. She encouraged me, listened to me, aimed me to my dreams and told me to go for it. Without her strength, I would have been so much less than I am now.  When I graduated Nursing School I dedicated Wind Beneath My Wings to her as “our” song.

 

 

Convoluted Blessings

In Deep Thoughts, Faith on January 25, 2016 at 11:17 pm

From the moment I was told that I was going to die this year, and probably quite soon, the world changed. I changed. But it was not in a way that most would expect.  This shall probably be the hardest thing to convey or explain because it is indeed : convoluted.

Every single moment is a blessing.

Every single moment is a surprising revelation.

I have always been a troubled soul. I have never felt worthwhile, loved, or even redeemable. I have suffered for years from deep depressions and a sense of utter failure as a human being. I have had to fight suicide ideation that never leaves me. People who suffer from depression as I have all my life cannot explain it to others, and usually try all kinds of remedies to rid themselves of it to little or no relief.  I identified my own “cause” for my permanent depressive state, and perhaps others may recognize it.  I am a romantic thinker.  I see the world as it should be, could be, and it is not like that. It has gone horribly wrong. It is MacArthur Park. It could be heaven on earth. But it went wrong. I cannot fix it. I cannot tell people it could be all right if only…..if only…..because most are realistic thinkers and think me a fool for dreaming.

My cure was to cling to any small joy. Any “rightness” I experienced so that it would keep the dark shadows at bay. This was at times the only thing that kept me alive.

The first blessing was that I was no longer depressed. For the first time in my life I felt complete peace of mind and happiness.  I was immediately relieved of any suicidal thoughts. Seems logical of course, God has that covered, I am going to die, no need to pull out the gun and bump myself off. But that was not it. It was that those two horrendous, endlessly cycling problems in my head went poof in an instant.  This was no small thing. For the first time in my life I got to feel like what it is like to be me without the depression, without the nagging thought to take my own life.  It was monumental and instantly freeing.  I had always wanted just 5 minutes of peace from these thoughts.  Now I was given months of this happiness. What….a …..blessing. What a gift!!! I will gladly suffer physical pain to have a brain that loves this planet and the people in it and all its beauty!

This was the first of many convoluted blessings that have occurred over these few past weeks since I learned I am going to die.

The second was learning people love me. Seems simple huh? Not so much. I have never felt loved, truly, nor even known. I hide so much of me because I think of myself as an oddity–an outcast.  I have always felt outside looking in. Surely I have had people who I thought love me, but thinking and knowing are two different things. But again one of the first blessings God gave me in this was to be wrapped up in a blanket of warm and glorious love showered on me suddenly by family and friends, that I could no longer deny that by gosh by golly….I am loved. I was gobsmacked.

The third blessing was learning I had made a difference. I had harangued and ruminated and worried for years that I was so very blessed by God with so many talents and yet I have done nothing with them. What a waste I was. What a disappointment. I sat on my behind and let the talents grow dust.  How could I face a God who gave me so much and that I just squandered it all?

But then people began calling me and thanking me, and again I was just….shocked. And I realized that I actually did use my talents, or more so….God used them for HIS purposes in ways that I did not see or know, the silly things I thought were important, the talents I thought I had wasted were just used in ways I had never thought of. Again….what a Gift to know this!

I will share more of this in the coming days, until my brain no longer lets me use language, since that will eventually happen given where the tumor is, but right now It is the happiest time of my life.

 

 

The Set Up

In Deep Thoughts, Faith on January 24, 2016 at 5:45 am

 

One advantage to having been a nurse is that you know a lot about what is available to you in the world of medicine at times like this. Because of my other medical issues I have been under the care of a home health nurse for some time.  I specifically chose an agency that had the broadest range of services that would not only help me, but my family should my illnesses become terminal.  The availability of Hospice by this agency was paramount.  The agency I am using is filled with caring, loving nurses, social workers, health aides, occupational therapy and a great office staff. I chose Ross Health Care here in Oklahoma. I highly recommend them.

At the beginning of this journey, while I am still cognizant and able to make decisions, I began to set up (with my most competent niece and sister, Denise) all the legal falderol. Advance directives, Power of Attorneys, bank account access, and other things that would be needed by my family once I fell silent, and unable to be my own advocate.

I included my loved ones, my care givers in as much of any and all information given to me by Doctors, nurses and others as I could possibly manage. I involved them immediately in my care. I wanted them to know each person in the health field who would be caring for me, so they would have resources and support they needed.  This was a lot of what the last couple weeks was like at my home. People coming in and out doing various things and my family, most specifically my sister, getting to know the routine.

Also because I am a nurse and I am just a zippity doo dah kind of gal, I set up my own system of chart keeping and communication by paper stuff. Stress is a mind killer, and keeping track of things in a terminal illness is hard, but can be done. Jotting things down so you know what happened when, helps ease that stress some, and knowledge is power.  The greatest boon to doing this is the family does not feel helpless. They are doing something. Helplessness in an illness like this is debilitating to them.  Cancer is also especially sneaky and the changes in the patients condition can be subtle. Making little notes of changes you see can identify a big change soon, and also allows you to be more knowledgeable care giver to the health care team. Catching those creeping secondary illnesses and nipping them in the bud before they get out of control increases the quality of life for the ill person.

So, all our ducks are in a row, we have a good system, we have good communication and all the legal mumbo jumbo is on board.

I could go on and on about how important it is to make your wishes known to people before you begin to die, but it certainly has been harped on by better minds than mine. I have always made it known I want no heroics, I do not wish to be on machines, I do not wish to die in a hospital where frequently despite everyone’s best efforts you die alone or with a crowd of strangers chaotically trying to extend your life in vain while your family is in the hall. No. I want to die in my sweet little home holding my sister’s hand, with people I love milling about drinking coffee, and hearing their sweet voices in the background in quiet conversation.

So Hospice is for me.

I have not started Hospice yet, but it is waiting in the wings when the time comes, They will be there to give me care, and more importantly to me at least, much needed emotional and spiritual support to my family.

I am not trying to eliminate sadness, sadness and death go hand in hand. But being prepared allows you to give in to the sadness and heal it with tears and laughter without much of the “trappings and suits” of it all.

I aim for a good death. There is an excellent article here should you want to read further.

The Big Old Run Down

In Deep Thoughts, Faith on January 23, 2016 at 4:31 am

 

Let’s go back to the beginning, sorta and kind of give the low down on how this all came about, and also to kind of consolidate it in one place as a reference point. There is also a bit of hindsight and speculation on mine, and my family’s part, now that we know what is going on with my body, about “oddities” in my health over the past couple years that now make a kind of sense, or that we can see a connection.

THE DAY

It was January 8th.  Not only the day Elvis died, but my brother Mitchell’s Birthday. Finally after suffering for many months, my sister Denise convinced her hard headed sister that something was truly wrong and I should get it checked. So I told my doctor and he scheduled a CAT scan. Denise accompanied me. I could tell you horror stories about the various odd symptoms that had been going on for a year or more, but in the end I was literally falling over from the sheer magnitude of the pain in my head. I felt as though it was going to explode, while at the same time burning hot ice picks were being shoved into it from all angles. I also would just begin to drift walk to the right and get lost. Then stuff in my head began to go poof. I could not write. Words looked like scribbles jumbled on the page. Computer skills were gone. I was back to “What does this button do?” stage of computer use.

So we have the CAT scan and they tell us to wait and the Radiologist is going to look at it then we will be free to go. A few minutes later they come get us. They put us in a room, and tell me my Family Doctor needs to speak to me. They give my sister his cell phone number. She calls, puts him on speaker, and I feel her hand clutch tight to mine.  He says: “I really hate to do this on the phone, Nalora, but they have found something and you will need to be admitted today. Now.” He was actually crying.

So then the whole Chaos ensued, and for hours I was run here and about getting this test and that test and blood was drawn, and finally got to my room just after supper time. Then family began to arrive and a few days later all the tests were in and it was Terminal Cancer of the Brain. Lung cancer that had metastasized to the brain. Not operable, no chemo. Radiation would help shrink them some and keep me functional for some time, as well as steroids to control swelling. “How long Doc?”  6 or 7 months is the median survival. (He had an app for it, pretty cool.)  So essentially half the folks with my kind of cancer are dead in 6 months, some go quicker, some last longer, but 6 months is average.  As they piled on the meds, I saw a vast improvement daily. I got some of the function back. I was surprised when the doctor told me I was virtually blind in one eye. I had known it was going, but had not tested it. “Just old lady stuff.” I told myself. I had also been bumping into things on the right. I just never see them.  I actually laughed about it. “How the heck did that big thing get there and me not see it?” Your eyes are great pretenders and fill in the blank tools. Cheaters.

 

THE INITIAL REACTION 

To truly understand my initial reaction one must understand several important points.

  1. First and foremost I am a Christian. We do not die. We stand on the promise of Jesus Christ John 3:16
  2. I am a Registered Nurse. I worked Oncology for a number of years during my life, and have witnessed many deaths. I also have had a life long interest in death and dying. Read a lot about it, studied it. My interest in death at times I am sure seemed to border on the macabre to my family and others who know me.
  3. I began to plan my death/funeral when I was in my early 20’s. I had seen so many be so ill prepared and thought how odd that we all know we are going to die, but few plan for it. Death is a certainty. Yet people think it will never come. All these arrangements for me have been set for many years. And paid for in advance.
  4. I thought a lot about the way in which I would want to die. There is always that question, tossed out in conversation: “How would you want to die?”  Most choose “Peacefully in my sleep.” This was not me. Too quick, and no one says goodbye. Folks left behind are left with an emptiness. a question, something undone and missing. In absolute honesty I can tell you that my choice was to die of Cancer or some other disease that would give me some time to say goodbye, enjoy some of the beauty of the world, love my family and friends, tell them what they meant to me, and then check out.

There is also the nurturing side of me. I am a very caring loving person. (some may think otherwise, but I know myself– I cried at Casper Cartoons as a kid because he could not get any friends, I once came home from school devastated and crying and when my dad asked me what was wrong I wept out: “I hurt a girl’s feelings at school.”)  Watching death from the sidelines so to speak as a nurse and human being, I know it is the living, the ones losing the loved one who have the hard time. They must let go. Each one will be different in that letting go.  Dying with a slow goodbye allows me to assist them in the letting go. This gives me much peace. I know I cannot take away their grief, but I can ease it some I hope. If they know I am ok with it…I am good, and if they know my soul is in the hands of God, then perhaps my passing will not wrench their heart out and stomp it to bits. This is good. I die in love and into love.

THE SPIRITUAL HEALING

When you have walked with Jesus for some time, there are times when He allows you to see parts of the plan for your life with such clarity that you are almost literally thrown back in your chair and mesmerized by the sheer perfectness of it. Many times when I got peeks of things and reasons and wherefores I would laugh with joy over how marvelous He is.

In the clarity of that moment, crystal clear and radiant…I saw the plan with more understanding and transparency than any other time in my life. I have struggled in the darkness for a long time. I have dispelled great shadows. Some of this darkness has been lifelong, and a constant struggle. Tiring, exhausting, and debilitating.   All of this left me at once. For the first time in my life….I was purely me. I was healed of Spirit first. And this is of course the greatest healing.

 

 

A Day in The Life

In Deep Thoughts, Faith on January 21, 2016 at 3:35 am

I have always kept my spiritual life hidden. Oh, most people who know me, know I am Christian, but the practices, the daily activities of my walk with Jesus are generally not known by many.  I try to live as a Christian, to behave as Christ would want, but I am not a brow beater. And I do not do an extraordinary job of it. I find myself on my knees begging forgiveness on most days.

As the years passed, I eventually just became a sort of Solitary Contemplative.  Prayer was my favorite activity. I studied prayer and prayer forms. More and more Prayer became the primary focus of my life. Besides the continual prayer that goes on in one’s head–the conversation with Jesus, who is with you always, I had my formal prayer times. Much of my work I gave to God as prayer and meditation.

When I wake up in the morning, I toss my legs over the side of the bed, and when my feet hit the ground, My first prayer begins. I ask Jesus to guide me through the day, to control my words and actions, To allow me to be a blessing to others that day. I also praise him for the many blessings he has given me, and for the wonderful world he created for me to live in. Also if there is a friend I am praying for, your name will be the first spoken  word out of my mouth.

At 6 am I begin my “formal” prayers. I begin with the Chaplet of St. Michael. Most of you know that my goal in all this and for the past 2 years has been to join the Catholic Church.  But I have lived as a Catholic for 10 years now or better.  I have a small “home altar”, and I light a candle. This Candle contains my prayers, and reminds me all day as I pass it to pray for those I am interceding for.  Other candles get lit along the way. I have a votive I light for deep prayers when a friend has asked for prayers. Recently during this time, I invited my family to light a candle and pray for me, so now there are three votives on the altar, unlit, so they can feel free to light one for me, and for their own prayers.

Some have issues with the whole “praying TO angels and saints” thing in Catholicism, but this is merely a misconception. We believe that Heaven is a living place. People who have died in Christ are alive and with the Lord, it would be quite silly if you landed in heaven and were told you could not pray.  We are merely asking for angels, the Lord’s protectors to pray for us and assist us, and also those Christians alive with the Lord in Heaven to also pray for us. It is no different than asking someone here on the earth in their corporal state to do the same. It is also a great comfort to me personally knowing that around the world, 24 hours a day, for more than 2000 years these same prayers that I say have floated heavenward continually.

After the chaplet I have 5 minutes of silent meditation. To best hear the Lord speak, one must be in silence. He speaks in a “still quiet voice.” I rest in the Lord and enter His Peace.

Next I say my first rosary of the day. I have to admit the Rosary is my favorite prayer. I studied it for a couple years before I even began saying it. It is so deep and rich and glorious. I also began to make rosaries as a meditation in itself. Simply the rosary is a group of Biblical prayers, said on beads, with 5 meditations on the events of Christ’s life each day. Eventually the soft “Hail Marys” you are saying on the small beads fade into the background and only the meditation on the Lord fills your mind.  Mary, the mother of God always leads to her Son.

As you meditate on each “mystery” or aspect of our salvation, the story becomes richer and you gain many insights into your own walk with God.

After prayers I watch the Daily Mass on Television. Since I am unable to drive and do not get out much, and am a solitary kind of person, in this way I can attend Mass without leaving home. I do sometimes take a bus downtown to Mass if I am feeling well enough to accomplish that.

Later in the morning after chores and such are done, I sit down to do my Spiritual reading, The Bible, and usually a book I am reading which allows me some Lectio Divina  Right now it is “Meditation on the Passion” Rev. Reginald Walsh OP. 

At 2 in the afternoon I stop for “Holy Hour” and spend another hour in Prayer. I say the Divine Mercy Chaplet and another Rosary. Although sometimes I just meditate and save my second Rosary for before bed.

I give you all this background so that some of the things I may say or relay in future posts will make more sense. My life is a life of prayer. Jesus is with me guiding me, holding me, helping me at this time. I am going Home. I am going to see my King.

 

Some of the Back Pages

In Deep Thoughts, Faith on January 19, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Managed to insert an image, took me a bit longer than usual, but at least I relearned that skill. Yay me.

People thought I would be devastated, perhaps in despair. I can certainly understand this, it is, on its first glance, a devastating message to receive. I suppose most people react this way.  But for me, it was the perfect example of God’s perfect timing. (Kairos) When you are Christian, and you give your life and will over to Jesus, the only time your life goes correctly is when you are firmly in His hands.  I have spent 50 years now, having been baptized at age 9, attempting to follow the Christian way, and not done a great job of it. I have fallen and failed many times, but have always turned back. With Christ is the only way my life made any sense.  Most outsiders to the Faith assume that we all accept Christ and then are all goody goody perfect. This is never true. Faith is a struggle. Walking the path is a climb. But it is glorious, and is our purpose.

Truly, my initial reaction was a spiritual healing so deep it defies description, followed by a feeling of being completely filled with God’s grace and a sudden strength of spirit I have only felt once before in my life. At my Baptism.

It all made sense. It was like finishing a giant jig saw puzzle. I wept with Joy, and hoped that others who did not understand the gift I was just given would snatch it from me with their own ideas of how I should die, and that I should clutch at this world and want more time in it.  I have been given tasks to complete, wonderful ones by our Lord, and I pray each day to do them well.

First and foremost is to finally take my light from under the bushel and remind everyone I meet:

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath for us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”  1 John 4:16

I am to be that love.

 

 

3 on a Match or some such Nonsense

In Deep Thoughts, Faith on January 18, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Not going to try to pretty this up with pictures and such since I just got back the ability to type and use my computer and language and still getting used to the whole blind thing in my right eye. I will try to get the technical word for what happened to my eye eventually, I see the oncology doctor Friday, and will ask him. Sisters did a great job keeping track of things, just do not have the lust for new words in the same way I do, and certainly did not know that word would need to be added to my vocabulary. It will be, however….oh yes, it will be.

So, where to begin with all this? Do we begin at the beginning, or tuck pieces of that in along the way? Life is a spiritual journey, will people understand if they do not know in part at least the paths you have trod along the way?  I may either make sense or come off as a raving lunatic. I will tuck it in, or go on long diatribes if the need fits, I guess.

Lets start with current situation.

I am dying. I have brain/lung cancer of the aggressive form, and will die this year. 6-7 months is the prognosis.

I have been sick in some fashion for some time, and as is my way I have not tried to go crazy overboard and diagnose myself with brain cancer, although certainly if there were a time to do this, now would have been the time. Denise and I were together when the news came down, and as the words were spoken, I could see her steel herself up for the journey ahead. Over the next few days in the hospital and they poked prodded, pinged and wing dinged, I just allowed others who love me to care for me, while I drifted into the arms of my loving Savior Jesus Christ for perfect peace in whatever the verdict was.

In the end, it is the most beautiful experience I have had in my life. There is so much I can say, and will say, and my hope is that in some small way the profound deepening of my faith through this will in some way strengthen yours. Please pray merely that God give me the ability to share this with you.