Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thank God - I passed the test...

Kanswer sucks.
So do car accidents.
So does illness of every kind.
So do financial challenges.
And being without a job.
And divorce.
And pain and suffering.
And train accidents, plane crashes, war, and injustice.
The list of things that break our hearts and our spirits is long.

But we are strong people, all of us.
We work hard at jobs we don't always love.
We look for ways to save money and be responsible.
We do our best to love our family members and friends.
We ask for forgiveness when we mess up.
We pray for those we love and those we don't even know.
We sit in silence and place one another in our circles of meditation and peace.
We take the medication and do the exercise.
We use our oxygen, our crutches, our braces, and our glassses.
We follow the proper protocols.
We cry when we need to and then we get back out into the fray and fight hard to thrive. Survival isn't enough; we want to live with gusto.
We ask for help when we can muster up the courage.
We accept it when it is offered.
We try hard, as hard as we can, most of the time.

And then when the opportunity comes to assess our progress, to check our blood levels, to see what is working and what isn't working, we take a deep breath, and take the test.

Allow me to make this a bit more personal.

I repeat: Kanswer sucks!

As soon as I was diagnosed last November, I started doing lots of reading and research on what I could do to fight this dreadful disease and come out victorious on the other side. There is way too much information on the internet, most of which is frightening, overwhelming, and ultimately depressing. I had to take breaks from reading it. And I needed to find someone outside of the traditional medical establishment to walk alongside me on this arduous and horrifying journey.

I know I have mentioned him before, but I must mention him again: my chiropractor/internist is amazing. (If you live in the Charlotte area and need a chiropractor who knows about internal medicine, homeopathy, and general good health, check out Dr. Philip Arnone at The Balanced Body Center in Matthews, North Carolina. He rocks!) He got me started on supplements, pills, drops, and a new way of eating that got me through chemotherapy and surgery with far fewer side effects than anyone I know who has gone through this process. The presence of kanswer meant that my body had lost its ability to fight off and kill invasive disease cells, so the goal was and continues to be to increase the ph of my body, reduce the acidity, support my immune function, and strengthen all my organ systems in order to return my body to balance and health.

The other day, a friend commented to my son that I look really good considering the fact that I've only recently emerged from this kanswer ordeal. Daniel said, "She should look good. All she does is drink healthy drinks and eat garden food." Indeed, my son, that is certainly my goal these days.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, Dr. Arnone said that I should do a blood test to check my body's immune function, its ability to absorb nutrients from my food, and assess which nutrients are deficient. Two vials of blood and $430 later, I got the results two days ago. My immune system rating is higher than normal for a healthy woman my age - someone who has not had kanswer! My body craves vitamin D3 and selenium. Only two nutrients out of dozens tested. I am thrilled. Grateful. Awed. Shocked. Did I mention that I am enormously grateful? I passed the test!

An hour later, I went to the local hospital to have a third echo done of my heart. One of the treatments for my breast kanswer sometimes affects the heart, so the oncologist orders ECGs (or is it EKGs?) every three months or so. I lay there on the table while the woman moved her handy-dandy little device around on my chest. At one point, she asked me, "Do you exercise a lot?" I said yes. She said, "Your heart likes it." Deep sigh of gratitude. Once again, I passed the test. Yay!!!!!

But being the fearmonger that I can be sometimes, that excitement was soon tempered by the "what ifs?" What if this test is flawed? What if they missed something? What if it was just a fluke that day? What if the echo machine didn't assess my heart properly? What if the machine itself harms my heart? What if kanswer comes back anyway? What if...?

I had to stop myself from following that line of questions as soon as possible. I have had to stop the flow of those doubts, fears, and concerns several times since Monday.

I return repeatedly to the place of gratitude: thank you, Lord, that I am on the mend.
Thank you that the garden food, the healthy drinks, the vitamins, the regular exercise, the good sleep are all working together for good and for good health.
Thank you for the abundance of organic fruit and vegetables available.
Thank you for supermarkets and farmer's markets.
Thank you for the vehicles that transport it all.
Thank you for fuel, for electricity, and for the infrastructure that makes it all accessible.
Thank you for the person who invented and patented juicers.
Thank you for Steve's job that continues to support us and this life we live.
Thank you for health insurance, hospitals, and medical knowledge.
Thank you for the doctors - Arnone, Lassiter, Turk, Belle - who have overseen my care.
Thank you for the nurses too - Erica, Morgan, Susan, Kacie, and the many others whose names I never learned, especially the nurses in the hospital.

Thank you all for the prayers and love and support you send on a daily basis.
Thank you for the cards, emails, text messages, and care packages.

I am doing well, feeling well, and I passed the test!
Thanks be to God!

When the opportunity comes to see how you are doing, to look back and see how far you've come, to look around you and give thanks to your support team, go ahead and do it. Here's the truth of the matter: no matter what the test says or doesn't say, no matter how many vitamin or nutrient deficiencies show up, no matter if you have to stay on the medications for the rest of your life, you are here. You are a survivor. You are fighting the good fight. You are winning the race. Simply by showing up and doing the best you can as often as you can, you are victorious. You have passed the test!


Lisa said...

WONDERFUL NEWS!!!! Doing the HAPPY DANCE here for you!!!

I needed this dose of positive perspective today. Thank you!!!


Paul Bock said...

Joyous News to hear Gail....My Heart is Overjoyed to hear your words this morning.

Your Journey has inspired me beyond words. God certainly is watching over you ( his loving child) Gail.

Gentle Hugs I send to you Gail.


Jen Morgan said...

I have been following your blog for a bit now...I am so humbled by your words and your reminders to be grateful. I preach it, but sometimes don't practice it. Thank you for your reminders. That's all I wanted to say...thank you for you.

Moonshelle said...

Gail, that is wonderful news. Thank you for sharing it with us and as always, for inspiring us all to be more grateful, more present, and more focused on what really matters.

Moonshelle said...

Gail, that is wonderful news. Thank you for sharing it with us and as always, for inspiring us all to be more grateful, more present, and more focused on what really matters.