Cancer Surgery, et al
is 7:37 in the evening, Sunday July 13, and I am scheduled for thyroid
cancer surgery tomorrow morning at 9:00 or thereabouts. This week has
been filled with pre-op examinations and appointments. A general exam
with my physician—blood tests and two EKGs because the first was a
little fuzzy (my heart is fine). Then a CAT scan, because I’d been
having pressure behind my eyes, that showed my head was clear. A change
in my readers—from 2.50 to 2.75—seemed to help, and David, who is not a
good back-rubber by genetic design, found the knot in my left shoulder,
knuckled it out and this relieved the tension, also alleviating the
pressure behind my eyes.
I found I didn’t have time to run
for a physical therapy appointment my general physician had arranged
for me (David fixed the shoulder anyway); nor did I want to spend $87
on a skin patch so that I could absorb some pain medication since I am
not allowed to have anything that thins my blood.
concluded that houseguests from overseas, in addition to the visit of a
young-adult grandson and his girlfriend, the launching of a Kickstarter
crowd-funding campaign, food on the table, and a visit to the Art
Institute to increase their culture learning, and a looming cancer
surgery all had combined to so stress me out so that my shoulders were
hunched, and I was contributing to my own painful achiness.
Somewhere in here I fit in a visit to Delnor Hospital to register for
surgery, to visit with a nurse who explained the operating procedure
(bath at night, clean sheets, and wiping my body in the morning and
again at the hospital with swipes that remove bacteria). This may seem
silly, but we have watched the impact this year of MERSA and hospital
infections and a sepsis episode. I will happily bathe, change sheets,
swipe, dress, undress in the pre-surgery unit, then swipe again.
Believe me, I know by experience that it is a jungle out there. No more
dangerous place on earth than a seemingly sterile hospital with
the way, since I fell in January and dislocated my shoulder, I’ve spent
some $3000 out of pocket on nutritional counseling and discovered many
things about my state of unhealth. I’ve come to realize, and tests
verify, that my adrenals are not functioning very well. I am living
with adrenal fatigue; my adrenal glands get stuck on the
fright-and-flight response mechanism.
In addition to
three kinds of nutritional powders taken three times a day, iodine
supplements and adrenal boosters, I am supposed to walk at least 10,000
steps. I walked 2 miles this morning and came home despite my clean
EKGs with heart arrhythmia. I had to lie down (after we had turned the
mattress, spread the clean summer dust ruffle over the mattress,
re-made the bed with clean mattress cover and sheets, which included
putting the pillows through an hour in the dryer to exterminate dust
mites) with my heart thrumping and feeling like my body was jerking
slightly beyond my control.
I sound like a lady under duress? David looked at me and said, “You are
just going into warp speed thinking about everything that has to be
done today, aren’t you?” He was absolutely right. David and I are both
getting in touch with the fact that I am in the habit of disabling my
poor adrenal system. So I rested this morning, picked a bouquet of
flowers for the dining room table, rested again this afternoon, spent a
long time in Scripture that wasn’t in the middle of the night, took a
handful of the $126 worth of supplements that were mailed to me to help
me go through surgery well and respond better in recovery. I watched
the World Cup final game with Cirillo, the Mexican man who lives with
us during the growing season, and with my husband.
this last week, we learned that Cirillo had become a Christian and
wants me to go to “church” with him next Thursday night (a gathering in
Wheaton for ex-offenders that David is inclined to attend). I will
probably go if I feel up to it (if the supplements have done their
work). Meanwhile, we had a family gathering up at my daughter’s Turtle
Creek Acres for the big cousins. Much of the work of this year has been
to understand and develop a deep relationship with our high-functioning
autistic grandson (he scores in the 100th percentile in the nation in
math and science). Coached by his dad, we had a wonderful, happy
laughing afternoon of ping-pong challenges, of dinner together (for
which I made a macaroni ziti that tasted great but looked like I’d
scraped the leftovers off plates!) and of Rook challenges.
is now 8:07 in the evening before surgery, and I have to say that my
most pressing concern right now is that we won’t meet our Kickstarter
goal of raising $22,500 to revise, re-illustrate and republish The Kingdom Tales Trilogy,
three sets of books that are allegories designed to reveal in fiction
the Kingdom of God to kids of all ages. As of this moment, we have 53
Backers (almost no Backers in the lowest levels!). We have pledges
(really pre-orders for products) of around $12,000 (out of a goal of
$22,500) with another 19 days to go.
Talk about a
nail-biter. Talk about an adrenal blast. Talk about heart arrhythmia.
Talk about thyroid cancer surgery. Talk about I need to get to bed into
those clean sheets. I’ll pack a hospital bag in the morning (we’ll have
to leave by 7:15 am).
Believe me, I’m not even talking about
the great stressors in my life. Those are all confidential and beyond
description as far as pain. (Yes, David’s and my marriage is still OK.)
didn’t know, when the Kickstarter Campaign launched, that these
stressors would take place concurrently. I didn’t know that one son,
who is filming a documentary on a Christian tattoo artist who removes
barcode tattoos from sex-slave trafficking victims and gang members
leaving their gangs, would actually give shelter to one. Converted the
same night his buddy was gang-slain, then shot in the stomach because
his rivals knew he wasn’t “packing” any more. Operated on,
hospitalized, recovering (of sorts) in the home of the parents of his
“baby-mama,” my big-hearted, merciful son has provided a safe
place—because Lord knows if this former gang member popped his head out
of the door in the “hood,” he was done for. We dropped in last night,
unannounced, and there he was. “Man,” the former gang kid said to David
and to me, “this is Heaven. I’ve been in Hell and this is Heaven.”
wanted to weep. OK, so my adrenals are fatigued. OK, so I’ve got this
cancer operation tomorrow and no one knows if it is really cancer I
have and they won’t know until they take the left side of the thyroid
out and biopsy it while I am unconscious with anesthetics on the
operating table. OK, sometimes I ramp up into warp speed (well,
actually, it seems to be a default action). OK, so I’m 71 years of age
and should have learned how not to do this to myself. OK. OK. OK.
have a son who is merciful. I have a husband who rubs the knots out of
the tightening muscle in my shoulder. I have young-adult and teenage
grandchildren who play ping-pong with their aunt and uncle in the
summer sunshine and get beaten by their grandfather. I have
grandchildren who are supportive and kind and welcoming to their cousin
who is learning to understand his own autism and articulate what he has
learned to others. I have a son-in-law who talks turkey to me when I am
being overly considerate and who makes us laugh and who takes time out
to spend with young-adult cousins who visit and want to come back for
two more weeks. I have a daughter who sends me home with aqua eggs and
a box of almost ripe Georgia peaches.
have a God who loves me, who knew that we would lose a well-loved child
and have a whacked-out, strung out year in which we launched an
Internet marketing campaign, and in which I would drop half the rhubarb
and blackberry strudel, which I got up early to fix for my
grandchildren who had picked the rhubarb, on the floor.
have friends who are saying, “Oh, those Mainses. They’re always doing
crazy stuff. Let’s Back that Kickstarter Campaign. Where’s that link?
What are the levels? How do I get the new republished books? When’s the
end date? How can I tell some friends? How can we push to make this
Send yourself and people to www.KingdomTales.com/Kickstarter. Or to make a pledge directly, go to https://bit.ly/KickstartTales.
Let’s get over the halfway mark by the end of this week, Saturday 19.
And just pray that I will not begin to think this craziness is the new
normal. Mama said there would be days, weeks, months, years like this.
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The Tales of the Kingdom Trilogy
is three children’s storybooks that teach biblical truths. You and your
spouse will enjoy reading these heartwarming stories with your family
while you impart valuable lessons about loyalty, honesty, courage,
friendship, kindness, perseverance and more! Each lesson conveys
Kingdom Truths via powerful and compelling stores and original art. A Girl Named Dirty
is a young woman who prefers living in the pig pen, until one day she
meets the King—who can find beauty anywhere—and He changes her
perspective on life forever!
Back Our KICKSTARTER Project to
RECEIVE books 1-3 of this Award-winning CHILDREN'S TRILOGY to READ
& ENJOY WITH YOUR KIDS (or GRANDKIDS)—each story teaches character
lessons for life, and comes fully revised, re-published in print and
all eBook formats, and re-illustrated with captivating, original art!
All books will be delivered in time for Christmas gift giving. Go here
for more details: https://bit.ly/KickstartTales
The Soulish Food e-mails are
posted biweekly on the Hungry Souls Web
site. Newcomers can look that over and decide if they want to
register on the Web site to receive the biweekly newsletter. You might
want to recommend this to friends also. They can go to www.HungrySouls.org.
most pressing concern right now is that we won’t meet our Kickstarter
goal of raising $22,500 to revise, re-illustrate and republish The Kingdom Tales Trilogy, three sets of books that are allegories designed to reveal in fiction the Kingdom of God to kids of all ages.”
The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
always try to read the books my grandchildren read. To my delight, some
of them are becoming big readers. This can’t do anything but delight a
grandmother who has a writer’s heart. Joscelyn Timberlake highly,
highly recommended John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.
And since we are on the topic of thyroid cancer, I read the book—also
enjoyed the writing, then went to the movie of the same name with Josie
and her mother, Melissa, my daughter.
In The Fault in Our Stars,
John Green has created a soulful novel that tackles big subjects—life,
death, love—with the perfect blend of levity and heart-swelling
emotion. Hazel is sixteen, with terminal cancer, when she meets
Augustus at her kids-with-cancer support group. The two are kindred
spirits, sharing an irreverent sense of humor and immense charm, and
watching them fall in love even as they face universal questions of the
human condition—How will I be remembered? Does my life, and will my
death, have meaning?—has a raw honesty that is deeply moving.