The rose among the thorns

How well I know what I mean to do
When the long dark autumn-evenings come:
And where, my soul, is thy pleasant hue?
With the music of all thy voices, dumb
In life's November too!
...the whole is well worth thinking o'er
When autumn comes: which I mean to do
One day, as I said before.

~ Robert Browning, By the Fire-Side ~

My local cardiologist is so wonderful. He looked over all the records from Mayo, and was befuddled by their decision not to diagnose me with orthostatic intolerance. That is the diagnosis he gave me today, after reviewing the test results from Mayo. He is loathe to treat me, as the treatments can be worse than the illness. I tend to agree! The main factor that seems to exacerbate my symptoms is the hypothyroidism prior to my radioactive iodine scans followed by the rapid increase in medication post-scan and consequent hyperthyroidism. I will be treated with at least one cardiac medication during that process when I have my next scan in early December. I am hopeful that will help alleviate the massive increase in fainting episodes that I experienced last time.

The bad news is that I won't be driving until at least next summer. That's kind of a hard pill to swallow, on two counts: first, I have to ask for help; like most humans I hate asking for help. I hate being an inconvenience to people. I hate feeling pitied. Chalk that one up to foolish pride probably. Second, the country feels suffocating when you can't get out of it. The same black velvet blanket of night sky that can feel so liberating and peaceful, those same quiet afternoon whispers of wind, the same hollow echo of the dog's bark across the valley before us...the very silence that brings me peace when I am weary also smothers me when I am lonely. It is a good picture: that which is meant to bless is often twisted to curse us. Cancer is like that, too, I suppose. We wallow in pain and suffering when perhaps the trial was just bent to water our souls and teach us the deepest truths of life, the universe, the Love that surrounds. That we might have the "power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:18-19)

My friend Heather has surgery tomorrow. Would you join me in praying that she will come through surgery quickly and easily, and that the surgeon would be able to remove all of the cancer?