#6 Making Progress And A Spiritual Experience At The Hospital

On most Mondays, I plan to publish a past communication or two about Eric Russ and his Health Journey that originally appeared in Caring Bridge.  For anyone with a “health opportunity” as my nurse friend calls it, I hope these posts are helpful.

Making Progress

Today was quite a day.  Eric has decided to pursue some medical help along with alternative methods.  We had a number of visits from doctors and have a plan in place for the future that Eric is comfortable with.  He is beginning the hormone therapy which has the best chance of reducing the size of the main tumor.  He may also do radiation that is very specialized.  Not sure about that yet, but the docs will study the situation and see if they can do it safely.  They are conservative, and if they aren’t sure about the effects, they will not do it. What I’m so impressed with about Pardee, is that if a doctor and a patient don’t seem to match, they adjust.  They send a different doctor or nurse who is a better match.  It is REALLY wonderful.  We’ve experienced the shifts along the way, and today was a stellar combination of caregivers who could relate with Eric really well and offer some alternatives that are now working for Eric. I cannot even begin to tell you how much was accomplished today on so many levels!  Really wonderful! Love, Terri

A Spiritual Experience at the Hospital

By the way, before I forget, I wanted you all to know that the John of God herbs came yesterday in the afternoon, and Eric started on those.  I think the “John of God” process has been going on ever since Eric’s photo went before John of God on Christmas Day. Yesterday was an amazing day on every possible level. Even today, I am still in awe…. and in total and complete appreciation. Each doctor, caregiver, nurse that came into Eric’s hospital room yesterday seemed like an angel in human disguise.  Each person entered gently, offered their wisdom and assistance, and left having made such a difference to Eric and to anyone in the room.  It was a life-changing for me and I do not use that term loosely.  It was a full day, but relaxing in the deepest way possible. First, there was Alexis, the chaplain.  She came in and had a talk with Eric.  Kind of the usual gentle kind of talk, no pressure to do anything or say anything in particular, but it was clear that she was truly available to assist in any way. And I thought to myself, “that’s my girl. I could talk to her.”  So as she was leaving, I said, “I would love to have some time with you.  Could we do that?”  So we went across the hall to the conference room, and I started talking.  Venting, laughing, crying, the whole bit.  Which I am good at.  If I know that someone can hear me, and that they know it’s just “stuff”, I let go.  I was so, so, so, so completely thankful for her ability to be neutral.  Then nothing gets “stuck in the corners” and everything can be released.  So wonderful. I described what was going on, why I was frustrated.  I told her that for me, (and for me only) the whole process with Eric for months and months now has felt like a pattern of avoidance, where everything is basically on hold, constipated, locked up, and unmoving.  I said that it was clearly my view, and that my view was causing me stress.  I wanted to feel easier about his choices, whatever they were, and that it had to be OK with me for him to do nothing, continue in whatever way he felt best about, but that it was clear that I had some emotional work to do — yet again, oh boy — but that watching him suffer was unbearable to me and I couldn’t stand it any longer.  Whew. That was a long, long run-on sentence!!!  So you really get my state of being at that moment!!! She listened.  She received.  She understood.  She was heavenly.  I want to know this woman more, outside the hospital. I told her that part of the burden for me is financial, like what in the heck was I going to do about mounting medical bills??  So she put some wheels into motion about that. And the first person to come to the room was a woman on staff at Pardee Hospital who helped Eric apply for Medicaid.  It’s all she does, every day, all day. Instead of the process taking 2 years, often ending with being rejected, her goal is to get it done in 45 days or less and she is successful with this on a regular basis.  So that is done.  She also got another process started that will help him while he can’t work.  At one point, she said, “In case you haven’t noticed, I have very big shoulders.  This financial burden is no longer your problem.”  And she laughed and said it with complete joy.  Anybody who can have a light heart about helping people apply for assistance is quite something in my book. The next person to come in was Dr. Anthony.  This man is both heaven and wisdom on two feet.  He is Indian, and has one foot in the world of alternative medicine, and another in traditional Oncology.  How perfect is that!  He spoke slowly in a beautifully measured and present way, as if he was choosing every word just for Eric.  First, he asked Eric questions.  A lot of thoughtful and very direct questions. He asked about Eric’s understanding of what was going on, what Eric’s priorities were, and what he wanted. Then, slowly Dr. Anthony laid everything out.  Here is what is going on in my view as your doctor, here is my extensive experience with the kind of aggressive cancer that you have, here is what will happen if nothing is done, here are your possible options, side effects, here is what I see about how much time you have, etc.  He said that since all of his relatives are from India, they do everything alternative as well, and that he has all the room in the world for that.  He also said that, in his experience, doing alternative medicine right along with traditional medicine works well.  He said that his experience is “do everything and see what works.” I felt as if I was in meditation or prayer while he was talking.  I learned SO MUCH listening to him, and feeling what he was doing, his perfect transitions from one step to the next  — it was nothing short of masterful.  The most important thing Dr. Anthony did with Eric and with the rest of us in the room was give Eric permission to do nothing medical at all.  Dr. Anthony said that “doing nothing” is a perfectly respectable thing to do, that it just depends on your priorities.” So after that session, Eric said he still needed time to think.  Dr. Anthony said, “OK, I’ll be back tomorrow to check in with you.” Then came the Palliative care woman, Dr. Hart, who patiently and gently went through more information. She took him on another journey of understanding, and at the end of that, he said, “let’s just get started.”  At one point, after a quite a bit of time, she described herself as someone who is a bridge between heaven and earth — as above, so below. And she smiled and said that knowing this is her real job in the medical community makes her day totally joyful and worth every minute.  She said that people occasionally ask her if she ever gets to “really talk” with her patients, and she smiled even more and said, “Today is a perfect example of the fact that I do get to REALLY TALK to my patients.”  And she thanked us and went on her way. So Eric is doing well, all things considered.  He is on his way to wherever he is going. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.  He is moved and touched and in appreciation for all the assistance along his journey. Love, love and more love, Terri

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Terri Crosby

Helping you create life-affirming, ever-evolving, happier relationships with those you love. Follow me on twitter at@TerriCrosby or read myblog.

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Rise Up by Andra Day

What a great set of words for these oncoming days.

Rise Up

 
You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry go round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
Bring it to its feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
And we will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh, oh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you
For you
For you
For you
Ah, ah, ah, ah
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cassandra Monique Batie / Jennifer Decilveo
Rise Up lyrics © BMG Rights Management

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

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Rippling Abs, Anyone?

Rippling Abs, Anyone?

During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
 
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
 
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
 
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
 
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
 
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
 
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
 
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
 
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
 
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
 
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
 
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.
 

Terri’s book of photography combined with poetry is here! 100 Words: Small Servings of Whimsy and Wisdom to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Heart.

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Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Check Out This Troublemaker in Relationships

Sometimes we ask intimate partners to do for us what is actually ours to do.

We ask our partner to give us the reassurance, love or appreciation we feel is missing in ourselves, with the hope that they will give us what we’re asking for—and then we’ll feel better. They’ll take care of our problem.

But when they do give us what we’re asking for, it can never be enough, because we have insufficient context for what they’ve given. We haven’t build the inner foundation to receive it, hear it, welcome it, believe it. They try to help, but their love for us falls into our void, our black hole, our love bucket with no bottom.

As always, there’s hope. Check out the video below.

Terri Crosby. http://www.incareofrelationships.com/.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

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