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Monday, March 14, 2011

Marlene R

Letter to myself:

I’m telling you, Self, it’s time to take charge of your life again. Face the facts: I am what I think. So my mind is my own and I need to keep thinking on a positive path. My spirit is mine alone. When I start the slow slide into depression, it’s time to sit quietly and invite God’s spirit to fill me with healing and joy. Other than eating healthy food and exercising, my body takes it’s own road. And I have to learn to live with the results.

When that gray shadow of depression starts creeping into my self, I need to remember the past. So I say, Self, you’ve encountered a lot through the years. That horrid time in our late thirties when our marriage went through an emotional earthquake. Remember, Self, crawling an inch at a time out of the pit of depression and with God’s good help standing on the plateau. Remember how that turned out. We rebuilt stronger and better than ever. WE WON. And we proved the synergy that one plus one equals a hundred, a million, a billion.

Good years flew by and then came the devastating news that I had stage IV ovarian cancer. It took a year of tests to identify the reason for a small pain in my right side. I remembered back to 50 years ago as a surgical nurse assisting with an abdominal operation. The surgeon opened the woman’s abdomen and sighed. She was full of cancerous tumors. He grabbed my hand and thrust it into her abdomen so I could feel the hard balls of anti-life. Sadly he said, “Let’s sew her up and send her home to die.”

But that was fifty hears ago, and medicine now waves magic wands. My surgeon cut me from stem to stern and took out all my innards. He examined them carefully and removed all the cancer he could find. Four weeks later I started eight weeks of chemotherapy. I lost all my hair, but not my sense of humor. I felt miserable with aches and nausea, but daily slayed the dragon of despair. After six months I was cancer free. Whoopee, I WON. Then I worked like the devil to regain muscle strength and the joy of life.

Another six months and a new PET scan showed a cancerous spot on my liver. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I had cancer licked. There goes the old bod again, taking it’s own path. So another round of chemo, but not so harsh this time. Then another PET scan proving I was cancer free again.

I think the second round damaged my spirit. I think I lost trust that all will be well. Depression started creeping into my psyche again. I had no energy. I felt gray and useless. And now it’s time to slay the dragon again. So I sit quietly with open mind, heart, soul and let God’s healing spirit flow through me. I become my own cheerleader again. I turn mental flips and cartwheels. I say, Self, here are the facts:

You were born to be joyful, living, giving, loving. Now live in the spirit.
A month ago, I went on zip lines through a forest in Costa Rica. I whooped and hollered and yelled, “Thank you. Thank you.” Over and over again. “Thank you.”

The real me is back in residence. Halleluiah.


A poem by Marlene:


When you are lost, shaking inside,
wobbly and rudderless
somewhere will appear to show the way.
Once turned in the right direction,
you will magically arrive
to lead the way for another’s
dark night.
And so it goes, like a round dance.
Strangers come and go,
friends weave in and out.
Strangers become friends.
Believe in serendipity and
do not yet despair.


Anonymous said...

tears. tears. tears. tears. tears.

Iman Woods Creative said...

Ditto, tears. Marlene, I send strength and love out into the universe with your name all over it. Your ability to pick up and keep trying is beatiful. Halleluiah.

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