Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Archive for the ‘Personal Story’ Category

A three-part series on my coming home to the Catholic Church, or best stated, “My return home to Rome”.

How would you react… Part IV

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on October 6, 2018

Come all who labor and I will give you rest. ~Mt 11:28

AS I INDICATED in the last post…

God has provided me with a number of heads-up moments to prepare me for the next event. So here’s how it happened:

  • I receive a text from one of my parents asking me how I’m doing
  • I respond with, “Doing as well as expected. Did ya’ll send the check yet for the funeral services?”
  • They reply with, “Why? You are still very much alive!”
  • I did say that one of my parents was having difficulty accepting the cancer, so the Holy Spirit stepped in: “…do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” ~Mt 10:19b-20

Without giving away which parent, the Spirit reminded them that they themselves were not leaving their end of life decisions until the last minute. My youngest sibling was traveling out to meet them to place their signature on some important docs and will eventually be the one in-charge of their “estate” when my parents pass.

Then the Spirit made this proclamation that set me up for what I would hear at my Oncologist’s appointment. He said though me in the text,

“Well my passing is not such a mystery. This cancer IS growing and I AM loosing weight. It’s a serious cancer and one that has a low survival rate. I can’t wait until I’m not here to take care of this end-of-life detail. So either ya’ll fulfill your promise or I will find other means to raise the funds needed.”

My parent sent out the check the next day. I later found out from my sibling that this had been a continuous argument between my parents – and finally the one who had accepted the situation, won!

THURSDAY’S APPOINTMENT

That Thursday I listened to this wonderful Oncologist – who, believe it or not, isn’t in it for the money, but for saving life. So what he had to say really impressed me and demonstrated clearly that he truly was interested in quality of life, no matter at what stage of cancer. 

He looked me in the eye, was calm and honest. He informed me that my diagnosis was incorrect. The PET scan confirmed his findings, I don’t have Colon Cancer, Stage 3, but Rectal Cancer, stage 4. The liver is inundated with lesions and therefore inoperable. Chemotherapy wouldn’t do any good.  I have 6 months to a year left. Then he said,

“Let’s focus on quality of the life remaining to you. I think you should pursue radiation to shrink the tumor because we don’t want it closing off your colon. That’s a very painful way to die. Then if we can shrink it enough, we can remove it. This will alleviate a lot of the pain that you are currently in. Thus we can drastically improve the quality of remaining life.”

Scroll back up and read again what the Spirit had me write just two days prior! Amazing, is it not? I responded to his comments with equal calm and a very positive attitude as I had just received confirmation that I would get to go home early!!!

And that, dear readers, is EXACTLY how I see it! This life is VERY TEMPORARY. It’s NOT our FINAL destination. HEAVEN IS our FINAL GOAL, our FINAL DESTINATION. 

We MUST keep our eyes on Christ and Eternity, or this life will have no meaning, no purpose. I’ll be writing more on this later, after I’ve had a full recovery from everything.

Now, if you would like to help, because I sure won’t be able to earn any funds for a while, if at all, there are two ways that you can:

Way number ONE:

Snail Mail: Those who know me can shoot me an email (click on the Contact Me, right column) for the current address – btw, it’s not on Hamilton Street. Any amount you would like to give will go towards living expenses: Rent, utilities, phone. I anticipate selling my car as I most likely won’t be driving when the cancer in the liver begins to make life difficult. But I’ll only be asking the payoff price for the loan, so no extra funds there.

My groceries are covered. 🙂 

Way number TWO:

Click HERE to make a direct donation via paypal. My friend and I did look into “Go fund Me”, but they keep 40% of whatever is raised. We’re trying to raise living expenses, not hire a lawyer. 😉

These donations can be ONE time or monthly support. It’s entirely up to you and I will not solicit further assistance should you choose the first. I have AT LAST learned to TRUST in the Lord for His provisions. He’s the One to inspire the giving. 😉

A BIG THANK YOU in advance for anyone who can help!

And as always, THANK YOU for your prayers! You’re in my prayers as well. And with all this extra suffering I get to experience, there’s more GRACES available associated with those prayers. 😉

UPDATE: 10/05/18

Today was my final day for treatment, Woohoo! Yesterday, my birthday (10/04), was miserable. I got super sick thanks to my body deciding that would be the day for a week’s worth of pooing. Lots of misery there. But on the positive side my friend kept me with her so that I didn’t have to go through this alone on my birthday. She is soooo AWESOME!!! And I received many birthday greetings both in text and in the mail to make the day extra special.

Her Birthday Flowers to me. Now they greet me whenever I wake up.

My Birthday will be repeated at a later date, though, since I wasn’t able to eat very much. Thankfully I feel 150% better today and I hope to continue to improve as the weeks go by.

The way this radiation treatment is supposed to work is, over the next 4 weeks the tumor cells should be dying off and the tumor should be shrinking. That’s what the prayers are for. If it shrinks enough it can be removed. Of course the colon will most likely come with it so to prevent any new recurrences of the tumor, and I’m TOTALLY OKAY with that. Easier waste removal, if you think about it. 😉

So in 4 weeks there should be another scan and the Oncologists will then make a decision on what’s next to be done. Again, all prayers are focused on this being successful and the tumor being removed. Quality of life, that’s the focus right now. 🙂

Thank you for adding this to your own prayers! And thank you, again, for any support you are able to give.

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How would you react… Part III

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on October 3, 2018

Image result for PET scan

Found on Google Images, Sept 30, 2018

I drove myself to the hospital for the PET scan which was NOT a walk in the park. My friend had already given me the heads-up about the procedure so I came prepared! I brought my eye mask with me so I’d have no idea what was going on beyond the incidental noises. But before any of that, they inject a sugar isotope that has to move around the body for 40 minutes. So you have to SIT perfectly still and close your eyes so that it goes to the cancer and no where else.

I DON’T SIT anymore. Even as I type this, I’m lying on my front on my bed. This is how I spend most of my time in fact. Lying on my front because the tumor is right there in my behind, growing, painful and super uncomfortable. I even eat lying on my front, when I have an appetite.

So sitting for this 40 minutes was on my side as much as I could do. But the only way for the scanner was on my back. I DON’T LIE ON MY BACK EITHER. So you can imagine my discomfort and pain. I had taken my pain pill earlier that morning, and it’s good for 8hrs. But it was approaching the last “hour” of the pill’s presence when I had to lie on that table for a good 20 – 30 minutes!!!  

 WHEN IT WAS ALL SAID AND DONE…

I was sick to my stomach. They ask you to fast and drink a lot of water prior to the scan. I had done that – I got to pee before the scan – but my head was deprived of nourishment and I nearly fainted walking back to the waiting lounge. I also felt nauseous and nearly threw up a couple of times. Fortunately I had brought with me a snack pack of chicken salad and crackers.  They had small couches in the waiting room, so I climbed on to one and began the arduous task of eating not quite lying on my stomach. 

I also had to make another visit to the restroom. My body wasn’t reacting too well to the injection, even though the paper I was handed said that I should be able to return to my normal duties. Well I just made it home and ended up sleeping a good hour – my normal duties – and still feeling sick and dizzy!

Now, WHY the PET scan? Because my new Oncologist ordered it. The paper read,A second opinion”.  I don’t think he doubted the surgeon’s findings, but he wanted to be sure of what he would be treating. My appointment with him wouldn’t be until the following Thursday. And, as it turned out, I would follow his appointment with the Radiology Oncologist’s appointment. They are in the same building and right next to each other to be exact. 🙂

IN THE MEANTIME…

Believe it or not, but communications were going back and forth between family members about the current condition of my cancer and tumor – some were handling it better than others. But a promise had been made to cover the funeral expenses – again, I wasn’t leaving anything to the last minute. This current diagnosis wasn’t incurable, but anything is possible with cancer. PLUS this is a PURIFIER from God, and it could be His was of bringing me home asap. Something I’m definitely NOT opposed to! I had always said that I wanted my purgatory – PURIFICATION – done here on earth so that I could get home asap. 🙂

So during the next few days I began to plan for end of life possibilities. I made contact with my county’s Cancer Aid Society who have been unbelievable in the assistance they have provided me with! Contacted Home Health Care and also began the process of applying for my state’s Medicaid to cover the costs of the Oncologists. 

When that appointment finally arrived, my friend again drove me to it. She’s been with me since the beginning of this ordeal – back to the very first ER visit! I’ll never be able to adequately express my gratitude at her generosity with putting her own life on hold to help me through this. The Medicaid office also made contact with me en-route to the Oncologist because I was missing a month’s income that was crucial to my approval. I informed her where I was headed and made promise to email that information after my appointments. God’s timing has been everything!

EVERYTHING SEEMED to be falling into place…

Through all of this God has been present both in His servants and in their prayers. He’s provided the people and the resources to see me through this. He’s even given to me some heads-up moments before the events happened so as to not allow me to be taken by surprise and allowing His Graces to sustain me. This gives me even more TRUST in His goodness and mercy! Because the next visit was not what anyone was expecting to hear, except perhaps, by me.

To be continued…

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