Thanks to those who are still visiting, and especially to new followers, but in an effort to consolidate my life, I am trying to move all my blogs to my new website. Aptly named Seekers Road, it includes all that I seek, from my missing daughter to health to truth and purpose.
I had my last chemotherapy treatment today. I made it through 20 long weeks! The staff and my nurses at Epic Care were wonderful, as always. As I finished my infusion they came out with pompoms and an award and gave me a cheer. It was embarrassing, but fun! The woman sitting next to me today was having her very first chemo infusion. She had the same disease, and the same chemo regimen. I was really happy to tell her that it was nowhere near as bad as I had feared it would be. The drugs are good. Take them and you won’t suffer from the unremitting nausea and vomiting chemo used to be known for. She had her concerns and had done her research, and had a good plan. Then I told her how wonderful the staff at the clinic were, and how they made chemo actually pleasant. For some reason everybody, including the staff, laughs when I say that. But really, the infusion is not painful or uncomfortable in itself. For me it was a time to relax, read, nap, be taken care of.
I expected to dance out of my last chemo and start celebrating immediately. I was given the all clear to enjoy some foods that have been denied me for awhile, and I considered that I needed to go out to a couple of restaurants and do that. I guess I forgot that on the last day of chemo I actually received chemo! It decided to remind me that it wasn’t all pleasant. Very, very tired today, a little achey, even a little nauseous. My brain has turned to complete mush. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked out to the other room today, only to say, “Why am I here?” once I got there. But I know by tomorrow I will be feeling better for the most part. In a couple of days I am starting a cleanse to get all the toxins out of my body. The happy dance is coming soon.
I was glad to have a woman having her first chemo sitting next to me this morning. If there is one thing I want to come out of my experience, it is to be able to say to others who are heading into it, “Don’t be afraid.” Yes, there are side effects to chemo, but for most of us, most of the time, they are manageable. Life goes on, with a few extra naps, and a few less food choices.
I had ordered a new necklace through the internet, and it just arrived today. It is a mommy and baby elephant. Have I mentioned how much I love elephants? Probably not. Well, now you know. Better yet, it is made of dragonglass! More commonly known as obsidian this side of the Seven Kingdoms, dragonglass kills the Others, the White Walkers who are coming to destroy the world. Interestingly, it created them as well, as when it was plunged into the hearts of humans that is what they transformed into. In the opening episode of this most recent series, those who were reading over Sam’s shoulder also discovered that it is a cure for greyscale, a fatal disease in which all of a man’s (or woman’s, or child’s) skin is turned to stone. I was planning on slaying a few demons and being healed, so a little bit of dragonglass coming along right now can’t hurt, can it?
So here is my current plan. I am going to spend every day marking how much better I feel than the day before. In between chemo and radiation, I hope to be able to recapture just a little bit of strength in my muscles. I am going to mark each and every way I feel better. And I will spend a little time every day studying my hair to see how it is growing. Already I have a blanket of peach fuzz on my head, as you can see in the above picture, some of it long enough to make little drifts over the top of the temples of my glasses! I have gotten to really hate scarves and head covers, so I am anxious to never have to wear them again!
When I get to radiation, since I have to be there every single day, I plan to take my laptop and go to a coffee shop afterwards. I don’t have LTE on my laptop, so I won’t be tempted by Facebook. I will have to concentrate on Word, and the two books I have swirling around in my head waiting to take form on the page. If you are one of my praying friends, or one who sends puffs of positive energy, I’d appreciate that now. I’m not sure which book to concentrate on first, and while they are swirling they are not fully formed. I need all the help I can get to bring them to birth. I am also taking recommendations for coffee shops in the Dublin area, since that is where I am having radiation therapy.
Meanwhile, as best I can, I will wait and see. I will try to live in each moment rather than in fear of the future. There is one thing I know, and that is that life can turn on a dime. You can wake up one morning and when you go to bed that night your entire world will have changed. Sometimes, those changes are even for good. I believe in those things. I’ve had a little voice in the back of my head that has said several times, “Something really good is going to happen.” I generally shush it, calling it wishful thinking, the fantasies of someone right before they drown maybe. But I’m going to listen instead, embrace it, be open to it. However big or however small, I am certain that something really good is going to happen, and I will be grateful.
Thank you all for your support through this part of my journey. It means more than you could know. I love you all.
While on the outside these are kind of scary days when many things in my life are uncertain, on the inside I feel like something is coming alive in me. It is like a bubbling up inside of me of joy and excitement. Only people who have followed my blogs for a long time are likely to recognize what I mean when I say this, but the ocean waves have set me on the shore once again, and outside of that water I can see the brilliance in color and clarity of the world around me. There is a song in the distance that was muffled before, but now calls to me.
I will write more about this in days to come, but the bubbles just wanted to get out and be known. Enough for now.
Shine little light! Grow bright!
I have never, ever in my whole entire life been able to sell something. I could not sell a glass of water to a rich man who had been wandering lost in the desert. I could not sell a blanket to a wealthy family in a snowstorm with a baby. I could not sell the cure for cancer if I happened across it. Nope. Nada. It’s just not me.
This stems from my inability to take things from people. Can’t do that either. Not even help. I am not sure why this is. Perhaps it has to do with my deep seated feelings of unworthiness. Or perhaps it is simply that I have a servant personality. Those rich people who are dying of thirst or freezing? You’d better believe I’d supply them with water and blankets, but I’d GIVE them to them, not sell them.
Nevertheless, a couple of factors have converged in my life. One of them is financial anxiety. I have been receiving California State Disability while getting cancer treatments, which has been fine. But it will run out in just a couple of months now, well before my cancer treatments are finished. I will have at least two more months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments after the disability runs out. Then I will have to wait four to five months and will have to have a major surgery. It is reconstructive surgery, but without going into gory details, at this point it is not elective. I have complications from the mastectomy that are going to have to be taken care of. I wasn’t working when I was diagnosed with cancer, so I don’t have a job to go back to, and I can’t imagine finding a new job right after treatment with a fairly lengthy leave needed within just a few months. In addition, there are other things going on in my life, places where at this moment my attention is needed, enough that it would make holding down a full-time job difficult.
So what to do??? I am thinking at this point of retiring, getting social security. That would not be enough money to live on, however. The nice thing about social security, as opposed to disability, is that you are allowed to earn money to supplement your income, and there are a few possible avenues. I could do free-lance paralegal work for local attorneys, but that is not likely to produce a steady stream of income. Hey, I could finish those books I have been working on! I could even self publish for practically no money, and maybe a few people would buy one. This has been my main plan for awhile. Or perhaps I could become a Walmart greeter like so many other social security recipients.
But no, please, don’t make me become a Walmart greeter!
So into this life of mine comes something new. doTERRA. I have a friend, Erika, another cancer patient, who was a doTERRA Wellness Consultant. I also have another friend who had told me about her sister, who’d had Stage IV Breast Cancer (Stage IV is considered incurable) who had become cancer free even though she had not been able to complete chemo due to side effects. She used a few supplements, including several from doTERRA, and swore by the doTERRA Frankincense oil that she put on the sole of her feet every night. So I asked Erika about the products. Now the retail price of some of these things is more than I can afford, so Erika suggested that I could become a Wellness Consultant myself. That way I could buy things at wholesale prices, and also receive points back from my purchases, which I could use to get other products.
So that’s what I did.
I have really enjoyed the doTERRA products. I have diffusers around the house, and I have had oils in them most of every day. Some I choose just because I like the smell, and some for the purpose of improving my life. I’d had a nasty chest cold and cough for awhile when I first received my doTERRA shipment. The cough had me up numerous times during the night, and not even the codeine syrup my doctor prescribed could stop it. That night I put the Frankincense on my feet, and I put the doTERRA Breathe blend in the diffuser in my bedroom, and a little bit on my chest. I laid down and just felt so peaceful as I drifted off to sleep. That was the first full night of sleep I’d had in several weeks!
I have really enjoyed learning about the doTERRA products. I know people in MLM schemes where the entire focus seems to be on the MLM scheme rather than on the products. Not so with doTERRA. The products are great. I have tried a lot of the products and look forward to trying more in the future. The doTERRA group I belong to has a Facebook page on which education videos are posted pretty much daily. None of these are about sales and recruiting. They are all about the essential oils, or on various needs people face and how to meet them with the oils.
At any rate, if I make money at this it will be amazing. It will be a miracle! But it is something I can try to do. At the very least I am getting benefits from the products, and that is also something I can share with family and friends.
If you are interested in doTERRA products, I invite you to visit my website, at www.mydoterra.com/sharonmurch. Spend some time learning about essential oils, and the company. In the upper right hand corner, there are three lines. If you click on those three lines, it will allow you to access links where you can shop, or look into joining doTERRA. At the bottom of the page is a link to the product catalog, which has a lot of information on the products, and the wholesale as well as retail prices of them all. And if you happen to be local to the Castro Valley area, send me a message or an email and perhaps we can meet up. I am happy to share with you what I have and what I know, and to give you some free samples. I don’t have anything on me to sell right now, so if you wanted to buy something I’d have to order it. But you know me: I love to give stuff away.
Thanks so much for reading this, which I hope doesn’t sound too much like a pitiful cross between a sales pitch and a plea for help. But in with that, it’s an offer, too, for some great products which I absolutely believe will benefit your life and the lives of those you love.
I apologize to my blog followers, because this morning I was uploading photos from my phone to WordPress, and they somehow got published as a blog entry and sent to you guys. Not a technical wizard here. Sorry!
I believe in God. Ultimately, this belief is a choice, but I have also had too much experience of God in my life, too many synchronicities, too many times I have had answers given dramatically and at just the right time and place to want to deny it. I believe in God because I feel him when I pray. It is not like talking to an “imaginary friend” as some have characterized prayer. It isn’t a feeling of talking to myself, or the ceiling or the sky. I have felt the presence of God. I know a lot of people who put their faith in humans (humanism), or “science,” who seem to think that if you can’t prove the existence of God, then God doesn’t exist. Well, better minds than mine have put forth ontological, cosmological, teleological, and other logical and moral arguments for God’s existence. There are those who assume an intellectual superiority for their atheism, but I don’t think you can accuse Plato, Aristotle, Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, and the many others of being ninnies. Many intellectual giants have argued for the existence of God.
Now I can kind of understand why people don’t believe in God, but I think it’s a point of view that is very limited. God’s existence can’t be proven by science? There is so much that can’t be proven by science, so much that IS that can’t be explained by science. You tell me, when did time begin, and when will it end? When you get to the end of the universe, what is there? To me, these questions are just completely mind boggling. You want to believe in the Big Bang and evolution? Well, that’s fine, but it certainly doesn’t preclude the existence of God, because the question still remains where did all that stuff come from in the first place? All the matter and energy in the universe just popped into existence from NOWHERE? Personally, I don’t need any philosopher’s elaborate argument to see this. The existence of the universe, of life, of anything is something that no scientist can adequately explain. I understand that this does not in any way prove the existence of God. What it does do, though, is knock “science” off its pedestal. In fact, much what is explained by “science” has to be taken on faith. So many things in science are preceded by the term “theory of.” Whenever you see that term, it means that this is an explanation that somebody came up with for how or why things are the way they are based on their interpretation of events, but it cannot be proven. Science is great as science, but as a god it has clay feet.
I would not laugh at anyone who chooses to be an atheist. That is their choice. But it must be recognized as a choice, as a faith in itself, rather than a foregone conclusion, and there is nothing that makes it an intellectually superior choice.
I think that one problem atheists have is mixing up the existence of God with religion. The two are really quite separate, as is proven by the existence of so many religions in the history of man’s existence. You want to argue with religion, I can understand that. That is a subject that is full of mud pits and thorns. I have honestly encountered God in many ways in the course of my life. I feel called to Christianity, but not without a million questions. For some reason, even though I have allowed the questions to drive me away from it, I keep getting called back to it. I am not going to say I have it all figured out. I am not going to say that my doubts and questions have all been stilled. Far from it. But since I was a very young child, living in a completely non-religious household, Christianity has called to me, and it has never stopped, so I have to honor that call. When I find all the answers to all the questions, I will write a book on it, but in the meantime, decades into the journey, I am still seeking to learn everything I can about this faith that calls me. I have said before that perhaps it is impossible for we mere humans to know The Truth, and I will not argue against anyone who takes this position. Honestly, I cannot tell you exactly where I will end up on the spectrum of belief. But I will end up on the spectrum itself. It is, to me, completely logical. It potentially holds answers to the unanswerable questions, and even if it doesn’t, it is certainly no more fantastic than the Questions Which Must Exist. It is no more difficult to believe in a source from which everything came into existence, than it is to believe that everything just appeared from nowhere.
And in the meantime, although I know harm has been done in the name of religion, I personally am not doing harm. Well, perhaps I am. If the harshest tenets of the Christian faith are true, I may be doing harm by not shaking you by the shoulders and warning you about them. But I have a great, huge faith in God. I think God is entirely capable of communicating to you what he wants you to know. I am here to tell you that there was not ever in my entire life anyone who “shared the gospel” with me. Never. God called me all on his own. And although I will admit to having gone through a judgmental phase on my Christian journey, in the end I find in the teachings of Jesus a call to love, and to do so without fear, without counting the cost of that love. Lord knows I have learned the emotional cost of love, in the loss of my daughter, in all the sorrows of my children that pierce my own heart, as well as the material cost in the lifestyle I chose from the beginning, which was to do with less in order to be able to give more to those I love. God always has more to give than we do, whether money or love.
If you want to be intellectually honest about your faith, or lack of it, I think you have to be willing to give up your assumptions. I will agree that I cannot prove the existence of God, and hey, you might be right. One day I might die and drift into nothingness, but if so, I am not going to care. Maybe you should be willing to give up the notion that you can possibly “know” that God does not exist. Just logically, it is impossible to prove a negative. Personally, I think the highest intelligence exists in the humility of knowing the limitations of our knowledge. So open it up. Just be willing to say, “God if you are real, show me.” Who knows? You might be surprised.
I’m not going to try and reduce the weight of your burden, but I’m going to help you grow strong enough to carry it.
Dr. Greenberg to Ethan in Afterward by Jennier Mathieu
I am a very imperfect person, living an imperfect life, in the company of imperfect people. Am I disappointed? Oh yes. I am very disappointed in many things in life, myself above all! So what should I do with that disappointment? Well, at best I should use it as a motivator to change things for the better. Anybody who has been reading my blogs for awhile, however, is aware of this problem I have with wet cement filling my various body parts. In fact, as I was writing about change, I literally felt that cement start creeping down my spine. I am working on this, really. At the least, I should just be aware of things, which means being aware not only of how things are disappointing, but also of how they are glorious. It’s a trite thing to say, but I have so much to be thankful for just by virtue of living in the time and place I do. Not going to list the rest. You get it.
But what is not a helpful reaction to disappointment is anger.
Here is what I can tell you. I can love you, even when you are disappointing. I can love you, even when I know you find me disappointing (which is actually harder). There is so much more to you, and to me, and to life, than what is wrong. There is so much that is right. It is not work for me to focus on those things. It is easy. What is hard is blocking out anger from other people.
Even that, I can do.
Being angry doesn’t help anything, as you know. Sulking, storming, yelling, none of it helps. It doesn’t perfect the imperfect — quite the opposite.
When in the presence of anger, I can block it out. But it costs my heart dearly, because my heart really needs to learn to open up and not to shut down. My heart has been hurt so much, so badly, so deeply, that its greatest skill has been learning to close in on itself. But in order to heal, in order to get rid of the wet cement and all else that keeps me from moving forward in life, it needs to open. In seeking peace in an angry world, it closes tighter.
Ultimately, it makes me more disappointing.
Life is what it is. Let’s embrace it, and each other. Let’s keep each other warm in the storms, shelter each other from the heat.When we feel cared for in this way, life will be less disappointing.
When we feel loved unconditionally, our hearts can open, and heal.
And then, who knows, we all just might be less disappointing. Even me.
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