I open my hand toward Heaven and ask for the sparrow of hope to softly land in my hand.Continue Reading...
Archives For hope
Craving Life Nov 7, 2009
This morning I found the articles below about a beautiful woman, Jen Merendino and her husband, Angelo. Their story begins with Jen, newlywed of only 5 months, being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. Like myself, they decided to document their story from the time of diagnosis until they reached the end of their journey Notice I do not refer to “her” journey. You see, Angelo shares Jen’s cancer as he helplessly walks this journey along with her. It is terminal. It is ongoing.
A few weeks ago, I decided to relive the beginning of my journey. I have traced back my steps and intend to dance through those steps all over again. This time around, I will be doing some editing, preparing and organizing in preparation for publishing. My story continues, however instead of one novel, I believe it will be a series.
Like a story, life has a beginning, a middle and an end. I am still dancing around the cadence of my story. My music can be heard within the beauty of nature. It is in the bird, in the wind, in the rain and in the crackle of a fire.
It is LIFE. I crave LIFE.
Excerpt 1 Dancing With Cancer:
Together we will dance, much like a puppet on strings.
I wear the mask of cancer.
Many before me have worn this mask.
We are family.
Cancer consumes us.
It is on our minds when we fall asleep.
It is on our minds when we awake.
Identity is lost.
We change physically.
We change emotionally.
We fight and are courageous
We cry and lose hope.
Cancer consumes us.
We share the same steps
The same moves
The same agony
Together we will dance, much like a puppet on strings.
I am disabled, due to stage 4 colon cancer. Since my diagnosis, I have self-published 4 poetry books which reflect the emotional ups and downs of the Face of Cancer.
Those with cancer are my family.
Those touched personally by the hand of cancer, are now my family.
We wear the same mask,
We share the same face,
We are consumed,
Cancer is our identity.
My poetry reflects these feelings, my current novel will reflect these feelings as well. We Are The Face of Cancer
Sometimes I truly believe I am dying. I fight depression and cancer on a daily basis. On Dec 9, 2009, I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. It has spread to 1 lymph node (stage 3) and has gone through a few layers of the colon wall. There are 3 types of colon cancer. Type 1 is the least aggressive; type 3 is the most aggressive. Mine is type 1. Chemotherapy will be Jan 12. I have been told I may not lose my hair. I will most likely feel very ill.
The thought of losing my hair truly does not bother me.
Lose Hair, Win Life …. when you think of it this way ….losing all of your hair really seems insignificant.
My goal is to stay free of cancer for the next 5 years. Those lucky ones are officially considered to be cured. My surgeon is now my new best friend. I will see him every 3 months for the next 5 years. I will have bloodwork and other tests taken with each visit.
The dance is just beginning:
One morning I awoke with severe abdominal pain. I was currently suffering from a sinus, ear and respiratory infection. I also had the Flu. Thus, I believed the severe stomach cramps were just another horrible symptom. As the days progressed, I gradually recovered from my illness except for the ongoing abdominal pain. Finally, the pain became so bad, I could not stand or sit up. I stayed balled in a fetal position in bed. I went to the emergency room.
Initially, it was believed I was having a gall bladder attack. The pain centered just below my right breast and I had upper abdominal swelling. I was admitted to the hospital to prepare for emergency gall bladder surgery. Blood was drawn, CAT Scans, X-rays and a Cholescintigraphy or HIDA (scan of the gall bladder function) were all given. That evening, all of the test results were in. My gall bladder was in great health.
Puzzled, my surgeon began to ask more questions about my symptoms and family history. The following morning, before discharging from the hospital, I was scheduled to have both an Upper GI Endoscopy, and a lower Colonoscopy. It was rare for my Doctor to do both of the procedures at the same time, but in my case, he felt it was necessary. He explained that my symptoms which included terrible heartburn and diarrhea, made him think I had more than one problem. He felt it best to check my entire digestive system.
by Renee Robinson
And now on to the Merindino’s story:
Five months after New Yorkers Angelo and Jen Merendino were married, Jen was diagnosed with breast cancer. As the next four years of treatment and medications passed, which left then-39-year-old Jen fatigued, in a walker, staying for long stints in the hospital.
With each challenge we grew closer. Words became less important. One night Jen had just been admitted to the hospital, her pain was out of control. She grabbed my arm, her eyes watering, “You have to look in my eyes, that’s the only way I can handle this pain.” We loved each other with every bit of our souls. Jen taught me to love, to listen, to give and to believe in others and myself. I’ve never been as happy as I was during this time.
Angelo, a photographer, began to document her (and their) trials with intimate, powerful shots initially meant for their friends and family. The result is a chronological series of photographs of Jen throughout the course of her illness: laughing, sleeping, grimacing with pain, pushing the painkiller drip, putting on makeup, swimming in the ocean.
My photographs show this daily life. They humanize the face of cancer, on the face of my wife. They show the challenge, difficulty, fear, sadness and loneliness that we faced, that Jennifer faced, as she battled this disease. Most important of all, they show our Love. These photographs do not define us, but they are us.
Jen passed away a year and a half ago of Stage IV breast cancer. If you’re not already crying,this blog post about an alert Jen set on Angelo’s phone for the 22nd of every month, just a short time before she passed away (“Jennifer thinks Angelo is hot!”), should do you in. Fucking devastating. The Battle We Didn’t Choose [My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer] Resource:http://jezebel.com/angelo-merendino/ Photographer Angelo Merendino
At this time of monumental change on Earth, the challenges of life have become more accelerated, and there are a growing number of people who are experiencing despair and a loss of hope.
The activation of greater spiritual light on the Earth has created a shift of awareness and priorities within the collective consciousness of humanity, and has intensified the process of individual and global purification. This massive cleansing process is creating great upheaval for so many people.
As this process is becoming more accelerated on all levels, so are the challenges and transformations.. we may go through. We may encounter situations of challenge and difficulty that feel so extreme, that we do not know how we are going to get through them.
Whether it be the loss of a loved one, a sudden illness, living through a natural disaster, a sudden loss of our income and livelihood, or any other number of painful situations, there are times When life becomes so challenging that we are overwhelmed with emotions of grief, anger, and despair. “Why did this happen to me?” we ask, and it may be that we cannot feel any answer, or any sense of inner comfort in the midst of our pain.
At times like these, often our emotions are so intense that it is not possible to feel anything positive. It is not possible to imagine living through until tomorrow. It is not possible to believe we will ever feel whole again.
What is needed at times like this, is the healing presence of love. Love is the healer which can mend broken hearts and heal all wounds. Love is available at all times from the divine, and also from within us and around us. Love is the very fabric of physically manifest life on Earth, and though most of us do not yet perceive the presence of love in this way, it is growing stronger and is now more and more present in tangible ways in daily life.
Love can come in many forms into our lives, in the comforting embrace of a friend or family member, in the prayers and good wishes of even those we are not personally connected with, or in the presence of God that we may be able to feel in quiet times. Love can also be felt in the warmth of a relationship with a beloved animal friend, or by being in a pristine natural environment where you can feel the majesty and grace of God’s creation.
When we are in severe pain, often it is not possible to feel or respond to love right away. If more love comes our way, it may trigger a flood of our deeper emotions, causing us to cry harder, or feel angrier or more despairing. We may try to isolate ourselves and hide from the pain, and hide from those who love us to avoid feeling the pain.
Healing from despair and the loss of hope is a process, and it generally does not happen overnight. What is needed to sustain us during these times, is a source of love that can be present with us consistently through the turbulent ups and downs of emotion that we are experiencing.
All of us are human and imperfect, and it may be that our friends, family members or counselors are not always able to always hold a consistent presence of love for us during difficult times. Everyone on Earth is being affected by the greater intensity of spiritual light, and they are also in a healing process. It is helpful if we can cultivate an inner connection with spirit that can sustain us through good times and bad.
It is always a good idea to cultivate an inner connection with spirit, for the divine source of all love, light and life is available to us at all times to provide comfort, support and nurturing no matter what else is going on in our lives. The stronger this connection with the divine becomes within us, the more will be possible to receive in the way of blessing, grace and healing.
When we are feeling overwhelmed with pain, despair, or the loss of hope, it may not be possible for us to extricate ourselves from the depths of emotion by ourselves. In this situation, joining with others can be of great benefit. Whether it be a support group, a healing relationship, or a close friendship, being willing to ask for and receive help will activate and strengthen the presence of love in your own being and within those who are available and willing to help.
One of the most potent experiences of despair is the way it feels endless, and intractable. It pervades all our senses and creates a feeling of hopelessness. Because it feels as though it will never end, we feel there is no reason to go on. Despair can sit like a cloud in our body, our mind and our emotions. While we are in it, it feels as though there is nothing else.
What happens through the presence of love, is that the divine light that is a natural part of love, begins to dissolve the cloud of despair. It can happen slowly or quickly, but it does happen if you are able to find within yourself the willingness to reach out for love.
Love heals all, and transforms even the most intense pain, if we can allow it. It is the path through despair, and through love hope returns and can be felt in the heart, the mind and the body. We feel lighter, clearer, more open and more alive. We can feel the new arriving into our consciousness, bringing forth blessings we never could imagine, the blessings that come from God’s love.
I found the sea
In a place I did not expect
It was there at my time of need
It was there to accept
The colors so beautiful
Picking up the desert hues
The sea is here in the desert
Brought here by a muse
An answer to my prayer
The sea brings me comfort
Within its fresh air
It breaks the heat of the wind
A welcome cool breeze
A retreat from reality
A moment to seize
The heat is hard to breathe
Curling me up in pain
Tears fall nearly everyday
Hope is under strain
Hope is sunshine in the rain
It is the sea in the desert
It is a moment to seize
The welcome cool breeze
Many days without hope seem to go by
On the rare day it appears
I want to breathe it in
It’s water washing away my fears
I pray on the sea’s mountain
Looking down at the gorgeous shore
True power and beauty
Majestic colorful waters I adore
Welcome me in
Taking me home
Reminding me of hope
My feet washed clean by the sea’s foam
The desert is hardly seen
So entranced am I
I want to hold on to this moment
For as long as I can
It brings me smiles, and beauty
It reminds me of who I am
It brings me the healing sea
It brings me great love
The faces of my family
Surrounds me with hope
Giving me needed peace
Forever I want to sit
Next to the Desert Sea
I close my eyes and I have wings
Beautiful, I look beautiful!
Light and free
I can go anywhere
I choose to be
Around the globe
Or perhaps New York City
I could go the Broadway
Take in some shows
Write a play
All full of hope
Maybe I’ll go to Vegas
Breathtaking at night
Vegas can be viewed
From miles away
What an amazing sight
I will spread my wings
Preen my feathers
As I look around
I have done all I wanted to
But here I am
Soaking in a bubble bath
Alone in this dream
Alone with these wings
Dreams are a fantastic escape
Lasting just a moment
All wishes come true
When I awake
Poof! My wings are gone
Along with the beauty
Of fantastic shows
In amazing cities
Where dreams come true
What an irony
I am left behind
Alone with reality
Slapping me across the face
I have to bathe without any bubbles
Get dressed and leave
Without the ease
And beauty of wings
Ride down to the hospital
Where are the shows?
Get hooked up to chemo
Where are the lights?
Drop by drop
My eyes getting heavy
Back to my dreams
Dreams of the dark
Dreams of a monster
Cancer is his name
But when I awake
He is still here
I’ve been turned wrong-side-out
I will never be the same
Nothing seems to help
So, I sit here and pout
Too tired to run
Too tired to cry
Too tired for pain
But it is here just the same
This is all part of what it feels like to die
It is what it is, no reason to lie
It doesn’t help to make it go away
It doesn’t mean I know longer care
I only state the facts for those who are too scared
Put it out there in black and white
Work out your feelings any way you can
Delete, burn, post or not
You are in control, the beast is not
These are the weakest moments
Too much effort to cry
Too exhausting to care
The only thing I want
Is to sleep through my pain
To forget for a while
Tomorrow, a new day
Perhaps brighter and better
Live to see the new day
It is only 1 dream away
I believe, prayer and the medical field can work easily hand in hand and DOES. My faith in an answered prayer and a miraculous healing is in no way an insult to the medical community or my Doctor’s ability. We are only human. Isn’t it possible, sometimes we need a little added help from our creator?
I also believe someone in need of a healing is obviously heavily dependent on prayer. Without prayer, there is no hope. Without hope, there is no reason. –No reason to fight. Without hope, one just gives up. Why continue to fight if there is no hope of survival? Why put up with daily pain, if the end result is known to be death?
My purpose in sharing this article? To inspire those prayers and to keep hope alive. Millions of people around the world are depending on it.
Doctor’s even know that Hope is a necessity to survive.
*article reblogged from http://www.timesofmalta.com