Friday, April 13, 2007

life and death

I have a stitch in my right side tonight. It's probably nothing but since my liver functions are also a little elevated, my doctor is ordering another ultrasound.

Suddenly, 'stable' is looking pretty good.

I try not to dwell on my fears. There are, however, times when the dark thoughts that nibble at the edge of my consciousness threaten to swallow me whole.

I want to live longer than the friend of a friend (and mother of young children) who died from liver mets within two years of her diagnosis.

I want to outlive the prognosis of "years not decades" that was gently delivered by my oncologist.

I want to be a living, breathing medical miracle.

I want to live.

14 comments:

Flippy said...

I hope it's just one of those weird little pains that everyone gets, only not everyone has to worry about it. Maybe you need a dose of Cute Overload to get you thinking about something else for a bit. Focus on kittens and puppies and bunnies.

I'll keep my fingers crossed. My toes too, even if it makes them cramp.

Anonymous said...

Laurie~ From reading your blog, I know that you are not a "believer" in the Lord Jesus, however, I have also faced death more than once in my life...what would it hurt to connect with the giver of life...the One Who is Life? No, not religion, but a Person. In the darkness of the horrors that hit us in life, He is as close as the mention of His Name...Jesus. Call out to Him in faith and just see what He can do. He declares Himself to be the "God of the impossible".
Just a thought. Been praying for you.

Flippy said...

Hey, don't be an asshole and force YOUR religion on someone when they're sick. Lots of people who believe in Jesus don't get their prayed for "miracles", so don't push that on anyone. Yeah, Jesus was a PERSON. Got that, a person. Your average Jewish hippie who would live in San Francisco and be nice to strangers and smoke a bowl after his busy day at the record store. He can't make anyone sick or heal anyone or get you better Christmas presents. He doesn't declare himself to be anything. You declare him to be all kinds of stuff he isn't/wasn't, can't do, isn't responsible for, wouldn't want to do, etc. If he's so great, he'll do good things without being asked, just like the rest of us good people.

Laurie, sorry if I'm out of line. If you want to delete this, no hard feelings. But if you want, I can go down to our Home Depot early on a weekday morning and pick up like 10 Jesuses for you. They work their miracles for $8/hr. cash.

laurie said...

Well....while I am always grateful when someone tells me that they're praying for me (or holding me in their meditations or just sending out good vibes), the lack of religion in my life is not from laziness or ignorance. It is a conscious choice that I have made.

I have my own kind of spirituality, which I will write about some day but I do not believe in God.
What's more, my spouse is a secular Jew and in our house we observe both traditions.

I try to be respectful of others' beliefs (and there are many readers of this blog who are devoutly religious). In turn, I ask that you respect the fact that I am not in need of 'saving.'

Oh, and Flippy? You were a little over the top but you did make me laugh out loud, so you get serious points for that.

kalen said...

laurie - you ARE living. you are alive. hold onto that. and you still amaze me with the life you've been able to allow yourself to have even when you've been sick and scared.

and i am NOT trying to start a debate here, but flippy - you called someone an asshole because they offered a peaceful suggestion to look into a religious perspective - and then you spent a significant amount of words shoving *YOUR* religion down that person's throat:

"Yeah, Jesus was a PERSON. Got that, a person. Your average Jewish hippie who would live in San Francisco and be nice to strangers and smoke a bowl after his busy day at the record store. He can't make anyone sick or heal anyone or get you better Christmas presents."

- that's your religion, and you just shoved it, quite forcefully, upon someone.

it's such a sad day when people cannot even offer advice about God/Jesus (OR) about Buddhism or Judaism or whatever... wow.

laurie - i respect your decision and i hope you find your peace wherever you feel most comfortable. and i pray for you daily to just be happy & strong.

have a great week :)

Flippy said...

kalen, "- that's your religion, and you just shoved it, quite forcefully, upon someone."

Nope, I was agreeing with the anonymous religious person who said, and I quote, "No, not religion, but a Person."

I can't force my religion on anyone, as I don't have a religion to force. Like Laurie's husband, I'm a secular Jew, although I refer to it as a cultural Jew. As a child of a Holocaust survivor, whose many relatives were killed based on their religion, I can be positive about my beliefs about what "miracles" can be done. How many devout people in the camps prayed to be saved, yet weren't? That gives me my answer right there.

The anonymous person was trying to offer a suggestion contrary to what they already knew Laurie believed. That doesn't seem peaceful to me. But praying for her, that's even fine with me. That is him/her doing something they believe.

dd said...

Guess what's foremost in my thoughts is always the question "what is the best thing for my friend". It's not about me, it's about her; not about my beliefs but about respecting hers and those of her family. I spend my time thinking about every way I can make things easier, more enjoyable and memorable.

pocketina said...

I just hope it all turns out to be something easy & boring & nothing to worry about...and I wish you as many decades as you want.

laurie said...

Kalen, I really appreciate your comments, your support and your prayers. I do, however, have to disagree with you on one important matter.
While the commenter may not have intended to offend, I do find it offensive to suggest that I need to believe in any particular religion in order to find solace, or, perhaps, good health.
It is no more appropriate to suggest that this is the right thing for me than it would to suggest I change religions were I a practicing Jew or Muslim or Buddhist.
As I wrote recently, when someone comes to my front door to proselytize, I tell them politely but firmly that I am not interested. When someone comes to blog to proselytize, my reaction is exactly the same.

laurie said...

Oh, and thank you to all of you for your kind and supportive words about my very real fears (and to my mother-in-law who sent a very insightful, loving and funny email in response to today's comments). My breathing has been a little shallower this week end but I feel so much better knowing that you all are there.

Anonymous said...

Okay, FYI, I have been praying for Laurie for months now. My heart aches for her. I read her story [public blog site] and I sit here and cry sometimes for her candor that she shares from her experiences. I smile at her family pics with her hubby and sons and pray that God [as I know Him] will give her life and allow her to see them as men. I am NOT trying to "convert" anyone, I am just sharing what has worked for me personally...I have survived two types of cancer and severe liver failure because of heavy doses of a particluar anticancer chemo that nearly took me out. I survived, with my sanity in tact, my mother being killed by a doctor in the hospital for an unrelated boo-boo he made, watched my beloved hubby die in front of me five days before Christmas two years after losing my Mom, and four years later lost my oldest son to a sudden and mysterious illness. So, I have a few "notches" on my belt buckle for surviving. I ONLY shared with Laurie what helped me survive in good health...body, mind and soul. I highly respect the Jews, heck, the Lord Jesus in His humanness was a Jew...and through the beloved Jewish nation, we have the Ten Commandments. [Flippy, kindly wipe the froth from your mouth, and step off your soap box.]
Laurie, I respect you and your beliefs and meant NO offense. I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Laurie,

Sending positive thoughts your way. Hoping you prove your dr wrong and get your decades, MANY decades.

Hoping the scan is clean-and the liver fns improve. I know about some of your fears.

Many gentle hugs,

Deb-

maria said...

Hope all goes well - I think of you often - and following on the inpromptu religion discussion - I suppose I pray for you too - but after going through medical drama with my son - I'm not sure how I feel about the whole pray for someone thing. I mean - I got to keep Gibson -so far - but my friend didn't get to keep Sachiel - does that mean more people prayed for Gibson? I don't think so. Your sick, someone else is sick - does the one who gets more prayers - or better prayers - get better? I don't know - and I don't mean to start a debate - just thinking...

Thank you for sharing your journey. I hope the ultrasound shows nothing of interest.

Chris said...

I'm stopping in again to wish you clean ultrasounds and many more days of "rolling on the floor" laughter.