Joyce is 100% Cancer Free

by NotDownOrOut

Joyce is 100% cancer free. Her lymph nodes are normal and she has no lymphedema. It may not be true yet, but I say it many times a day so that it will soon be true. And I keep writing my affirmations in my blog so that others will read them and add their voices to mine and help make it so.

I met Joyce while we waited for our CAT scans at the county hospital. She had just been told that she had breast cancer. I was there to determine if there was any evidence that uterine cancer had returned. She was feeling like a little kid who has turned and turned in a circle until she has become so dizzy she could fall over. She tells me that she is “intuitive” and sometimes knows things without being told them. Her senses told her that she was in the presence of someone with the spirit of a nun. Based on this impression, she introduced herself to me.

I am flattered by the comparison. I aspire to be so virtuous as to dedicate my life to the service of God, but I am not worthy to claim any likeness to the sisters. I believe. I have faith in what I cannot prove. But I am grounded in my own concerns. My first thought on waking is not Him. It is usually that same sentence that has haunted me for months now. I am the President of the United States and I ask my Secret Service special agent in charge if he knows where my son is. I am fairly confident that nuns do not have repetitive dreams in which they suspect that their nonexistent sons are werewolves on the run. Oh yes, I’m still waking from that dream a hundred times each month. And I am not the President of the United States. I am not a mother. I do not know anyone who claims to be a werewolf.

Living like a nun, in the sense of being chaste? Okay, I’m doing that, but not for lack of thinking about life before divorce (something it would help me to forget) or after annulment (something that has not happened).

In the past year I have prayed quite a bit. I do think of Him many nights before I go to sleep. But my prayer is a talisman against a new fear: “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” I have said many prayers in the last year for strength in the face of terrifying pain. Tears fill my eyes as I recall when my bladder was trying to expel blood clots following radiation and chemotherapy. I have never before known a pain so awful that I might gnaw off a limb to end it. I prayed nonstop for hours with my voice rising to a crescendo of emotion. But those were prayers for me. I pray quite a bit for others now because so many prayed for me. But I am still in the “red” when it comes to giving back to the many who added me to their prayer groups’ lists this past year.

I am grateful to God for all I have. And I have come to realize that, even though my friends will joke that I should be on a show about hoarders, I no longer love my things like I once did. No, not even my two matched German mugs found in separate antique stores miles and years apart. One is pink and one is blue. I imagine they were once a pair and that I have reunited them in my cupboard. They each bear the image of a fat man who says, “I am not greedy but I like alot.” No, not even the little calling card tray near my front door that says, “At home Sunday 4 to 8. Hoping you will remain the same . . . .” But I am a long way from a vow of poverty even if I shudder when I look at the medical bills that slip through the safety net that my Republican friends wish so badly that they could clip along with the tax rate.

Anyway . . . I am no nun. But I am flattered that my spirit reveals itself to be better than my human existence because the latter is a work in progress.

I gave Joyce my card when she asked for my phone number. She calls me to talk about her experiences in treatment for breast cancer. I call her right after her every third Wednesday chemotherapy sessions and again three days later on Saturday night because that’s the day when I found myself feeling most exhausted.

Joyce’s doctors are hoping that chemotherapy will shrink the size of her tumor before they remove it. She first became aware of her condition because her arm swelled with lymphedema to a point that she could no longer ignore. She told me that she had no intention of claiming cancer as “hers” and was fighting it with her own daily affirmations of good health, which started my doing the same.

We spoke about a month ago when she heard from her doctors that a more recent CAT scan showed no sign of the tumor that once was there. She had just had her second CAT scan. It appeared to be a bona fide miracle. The doctors did not have an explanation for its absence from their results. They decided that it was an error and will be testing her again very shortly. But I find myself wondering whether we can still make it so. If everyone says it each time he or she reads this blog, and maybe says it a few more times for good measure, well, maybe the “prayerful” person hiding within each of our human guises will accomplish something wondrous for a pediatric nurse who has helped so many others in their time of greatest need. One does not have to be a nun, a catholic, or even a believer to make a miracle. One need only offer a few words to the universe as a little experiment in kindness.

Who or what are you worried about? Feel free to post a positive affirmation of your own and everyone who views them can add a voice to your good intentions and between us maybe we can cure or ease or resolve or reassure or help each other.

I am thinking today that Joyce is 100% cancer free, has normal lymph nodes and no more lymphedema. Peggy has no expiration date. Arlene will live a long life. My family and friends are my “secret” power. Prayer is the best medicine. Cheryl is winning her war against cancer. All of us find strength in knowledge and faith. All of you will hear good news about a loved one soon.