How Much More?

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When it rains, it pours! We have all heard that saying through the years and most likely experienced such by saying reluctantly, and maybe in anger. Just how much more?

2B631403-CBB3-459A-B8C7-7EFD8ED07B62We are all experiencing this pandemic worldwide and it has affected each of us in some way or another.

Many students have waited a lifetime to enjoy their senior year and to graduate, walking proudly to receive the diploma as well as the parents reaching this milestone, only to be non-existent. A sense of grief occurs for all, as there will be no prom, no senior skip day, no final anything, everything disappeared.3F3B820A-958F-4EB7-B1DC-6382BD257460

The fog within the mind remains, questioning the present and future. On top of that, for many work has ceased, now to remain at home so the normalcy of the daily grind comes to a halt. The fog becomes even more dense, grasping just what is happening and trying to make sense of it all. Still, the hope of we will get through this remains and keeps us moving forward, making the best of the situations being dealt.

It is when on top of all of this, how can it get any worse, right? Sadly it can, in many ways and for many people.

The icing on the cake for my sweet friend was when she was diagnosed with breast cancer recently. Now the anger comes, and rightfully so. At times afraid to even think or 14DAA72A-FCF9-41B9-A356-93DEBB265D4Bsay, how much more? How can it get any worse? Knowing faith will need to step in and bring peace to carry her through this whole ordeal. No doubt the thoughts linger in wondering what is in store and what the future holds. All the while being supportive with her family during this time, and with her oldest daughter being a senior that will graduate although there will be no ceremony. Basically, here is your diploma and we wish you the best in life.

Lost in the fog and trying to find a way out but the visibility is impossible, while reaching to find clarity and the light of day. Confusion with it all. How much more?

This is indeed what my dear friend, my co-worker is experiencing. My heart aches for her and the family being hit from one side to another. Questioning myself, how much more can this family withstand?  I am even angry at times for her, feeling the grief, the confusion, uncertainties and wanting to reach in the fog to drag her out.

86279495-4B21-4F59-98C3-5497A9422609While I am dealing with the pandemic and my work situation right now, too, I get frustrated and feel anxiety kick in, which is normal for everyone right now. To have hope, and we all need hope, knowing we will all get through this, and we will.

My anxiousness lessens in this when I place myself in my friend’s shoes, knowing my troubles are nothing compared, and I need to support her through this. In life, there is always somebody, and we have all said or thought, that has it worse off than we do. In that, you keep moving forward, knowing you can get through this. Many others have it worse than my friend, so that keeps her moving forward, knowing she can get through this, too. We need to have and feel the hope in life, in order to push through, as we will all get through this. Hold on to the hope within!

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Nehemiah 8:10 Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.

Care of a Cardinal

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To get off of what is going on all around us, around me, I thought would share a part of my life, plus for me to go down memory lane. Think back in your own life and bring up good memories, write them down for your children/family, or just for yourself. We need to deviate from what is happening around us. Take a break!

So today as I stood at my kitchen sink looking out the window, waiting for my coffee to finish, I watched the birds on my deck enjoying the birdseed. It seems like I always have at least ten cardinals all the time. Now and then I will have a blue jay, woodpecker, doves and then, of course, the pesty black birds that try to take over and eat all the seed. C454C9FA-C679-4DF1-B596-18DB6635A8DC

Many have said that when there are red birds, the cardinals, it’s family members that have passed. If that is the case, I am having a family reunion daily, which is fine with me. It is kinda nice to imagine, if so.

Sometimes remembering that saying, and as with family members, they quarrel now and then, pick on each other, but so do the birds, so I smile and think it must be my family members.EB951341-5668-418B-9453-C8ABE81844F8

The bright red cardinal is the male. I never understood why he had to be so bright and pretty, as it should be the female. The females are more grayish with a red tint. No matter, they are beautiful and I do love watching them.

When watching the birds, I was reminded of the day before my thyroidectomy several years back. Standing at my kitchen sink also, I was looking out, crying and praying because I was scared. Majority of the time I can hold it together for the most part, while with others or at work, but I do fall apart when alone. This was one of those times. Even so, I know the Lord has me in the palm of His Hand.

Had it not been for me being in the hospital for four days before Christmas with an A-Fib attack prior to my surgery, this blog would not be as it is.

My family doctor, when they did actually come to the hospitals for visits, she asked if I had the ultrasound of my goiter that was present on the right side of my neck. No, I put off making an appointment due to work or one reason or another. Nobody would have noticed the goiter but it was causing me swallowing issues, as it was pressing on my esophagus. The ultrasound was ordered before they would release me. Please release me, let me go I was begging, as I had only one day to get my Christmas together before my boys were home from college.

I know that nurses are not to say anything to their patients about tests. My nurse though looked at me before giving my release papers and instructions and just said, ‘you need to have a biopsy soon’ with a dead, serious look directly into my eyes. I can still see her in my mind of that serious moment between us  Okay! Just let me go home, I promise.

I did have the biopsy, a fine needle and a core needle biopsy. Now as I write this, I remember there were four of us in the dark room with my head tilted back. The nurse held my left hand, the doctor was on my right and the laboratory technician with the microscope was over to the side to receive the biopsy sample. Fine needle biopsy, done. With the core needle, they were hoping that they would get a good sample on the first try. Hey, I was, too. First try! Those two guys actually did a high-five, like two boys winning a ballgame. Hey, I am over here. Thank God it was over.

As I left the procedure room, now holding a bag of ice on my neck, I just hung out because I knew I tend to pass out, a vagal response. Of course, being independent as I am, I drove myself and now I was afraid to drive. So I found a place in the lobby and just sat down until I felt relief from the pain and the fear that was overtaking my mind. Sitting there, out comes a friend, that I have not seen for many years, from visiting her father and she was leaving. We talked briefly, as people do in passing but then she sat down and stayed with me. Later telling me it was not an accident of this meeting, and I knew that, too, as I needed support. One more hurdle down and a big one to come.

While I have had plenty of surgeries throughout my life, this time the doctor was going to be cutting on my throat. Not knowing for certain if I had Cancer, the fine needle and core needle biopsies showed cells that were questionable. They did not hesitate to schedule surgery. This all was in a timespan of seven weeks, from Christmas  until the day of surgery.

So standing at the kitchen window, 176DD623-B740-471E-8C6D-BE4DA370728Ethe day before surgery, out of the blue, a red cardinal came to the window, clutched onto the window screen right in front of me. I am looking at it and it is looking at me.  In that moment, I felt peace. Like it was there to let me know I was going to be okay, and I walked away with that assurance. So you tell me if cardinals are family members or not, as it sure felt that way.

Back then, I felt it was my mom but today I thought now that was a male cardinal so that must have been dad, if so. Either or, I had comfort going forward the next morning for surgery.

As the doctor made markings on my neck where to cut, the right side only was to be removed. He stopped and asked my permission that if they did not like what the left side of my thyroid looked like, can they remove it, too.  Otherwise, in six months we would be doing the same thing. Of course, I gave my permission, I felt I had to.

As they wheeled me back to the operating room, I knew my one doctor (ENT), the one doing the surgery, who specializes with thyroid cancer would be in there waiting to start. As the gurney went around the corner, I see the other ENT doctor I normally would see either for myself or for my boys. He was smiling and saying he was going be in the operating room also. I felt totally confident that these two would take care of me. I did, in fact, have a full thyroidectomy.

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Returning for my post-op visit a week later, my sister drove me, as I was not to look up or down, and trust me, I did not want to. The tape that he used was more of a nuisance than the pain. I am not one to have others in the exam room with me at any of my doctor’s office visits. When they called my name though, I looked at my sister and said, I think you are to be with me today. It was odd to have her in there with me though. As the doctor came in to remove the aggravating tape, bandage and drain tube, he then said that he was glad they removed the whole thyroid. The right side was the one of concern throughout this whole ordeal but Cancer was on the left side.7BD0DA6B-A8D6-4AF6-96E5-8CCA465F5AB2

Hearing the word Cancer will put one in a daze. The doctor said they caught it early and he felt confident that my bloodwork which would be needed often and for years, would show negative results, if so. Thankfully, negative results, still.

As my sister and I left, we got in the car and both just sat there stunned, not expecting to hear Cancer. It was a shock to both of us.

So with the cardinals outside my kitchen window today, reminding me of just how the Lord has had His Hand upon me from the beginning before Christmas, in the hospital, knowing had it not been, my outcome would not have been as positive.

Don’t you at times look back and see how the Hand of God worked in your life? Our ways are not His Ways. Since I procrastinated on that ultrasound for a year, it was no mistake that I ended up in the hospital on a different matter. I really feel that He allowed this in order to stop me from putting it off any longer. I am thankful.

We may not understand what we go through at times, questioning and even angry at God. It is no surprise to Him of our reaction.  Even now with the world-wide crisis, we don’t understand, there is hopelessness, fear, anger and all kinds of emotions, which is normal. Hopefully though, we will see that He is and has held our hand through trials we go through and going through and our faith will increase. We each have a choice and I hope that you Trust Him.

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Check your neck!  Thyroid Awareness is not just a woman issue, men are not exempt.

Red Cardinal Biblical Meaning – The Cardinal Symbols of Faith