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With all gratitude!

May 5, 2012

I want to post this as both a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has given us words of support and encouragement and sent out thoughts and prayers over the past several weeks and to give you a tangible “this is how I am helping”.

I had the MRI of my brain this morning. I hated it. This is what I texted my sister and my dad this last night: “I don’t really want to talk so please don’t call. I have cried enough today. I just wanted to tell you that I have an MRI of my brain in the morning at 8:30 and I am scared. Just pray for peace.” I didn’t tell Chris I was scared because he has enough to worry about. He will be angry at me if he reads this but it won’t stop me from trying to protect him as much as I can through this. I told him on the way that I was anxious.

I was waiting in the changing room (some MRI requires a hospital gown, fortunately not mine) and could feel myself getting more and more anxious and tearing up. Two voices came into my head. One was my friend Elaine telling me to meditate and be strong. The second was my friend and yoga instructor Nicole talking me through the steps of cleansing breath.

This is not my first experience with illness, my first experience with cancer, but not with being sick. My mother took me through rounds of holistic and homeopathic medicine when I was younger. Some of it was helpful, some not so much. I remember one doctor that I went to for quite a while explain to me about therapy and how everything is made up of something. What he said, I boil down to this: Everything is made up of something else. Cells are made up of atoms, atoms are made up of protons and electrons, everything is made up of energy. Everything is made up of something. Light and sound travel in waves they push through the air with energy that goes from one place to another. Everything is made up of something else. Words are sounds, they have energy, they move in waves from one place to another. Thoughts are powerful. They spark little electrical fires in your brain. That takes energy. Energy is the thing that keeps us going so we have to feed it. We have to keep our body’s energy clean, strong and that includes our minds. When I heard this, I was also taking physics so the whole idea of particles and sound and light made sense to me. I recognized its power. It stuck.

But I am a long way away from an MRI waiting room with the voices in my head telling me to be strong and reminding me how to breathe. This is what I want to share with you. This is what is in my heart today and it is all because of you. Because you took the time to put your energy to good use for me. Because you took the time to speak words and say prayers on my behalf.

I was able to calm down in the waiting room. I had about two minutes to close my eyes and just breathe. Then I went into the MRI room. I knew that they were going to give me earplugs. I have been in the room many times. I knew I was going to get the Hannibal Lecter mask. I knew I would have to place my head in a cage and be very still for at least thirty minutes. I knew it was going to be hard. I kept repeating the words Nicole said so many times in class. Relax your feet. Relax your legs. Let your feet flop. Soften your belly. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe. I slide in the machine and the noises start. It sounds like an evacuation drill even with the earplugs. CRASH. CRASH. CRASH. Breathe. In through your nose, out through your mouth. I hear Nicole. I feel peaceful like I always did in class. Like I do every time I am in her home. Then I hear a softer noise. Thwang. Thwang. Thwang. CRASH. CRASH. CRASH. It is suddenly call and response. I hear the voice of my sister’s pastor as he leads call and response in their church. His voice is calm and commanding. It is not words that I have to actually understand. Just comforting sounds. And his voice. CRASH. CRASH. CRASH. I hear the response only it isn’t the shrill machinations of the scanner. It is you. All of you. Calling out the thoughts and words and prayers you have poured out to me and my family in the last weeks and days. It is faces I have known my whole life and faces I have never seen and voices I know as well as my own and voices I have never heard. And suddenly there is no fear and tears are streaming down my face and I am surrounded by the presence of so much comfort that YOU have sent to me. Thwang. Thwang. Thwang. CRASH. CRASH. CRASH. The noises now take on a rhythm and they are a call and response just for me, spoken on my behalf. It is melodious and drowns out every other sound. Tears continue down my face but this time tears of relief. I know I am going to be okay in this moment. I know that I am not alone. Thwang. Thwang. Thwang. CRASH. CRASH. CRASH. I get so taken away by the rhythm of it that the MRI technician stops the scan and asks if I am alright. How do I tell him? He has to repeat two minutes because I have been moving my head in time. Thwang. Thwang. Thwang. CRASH. CRASH. CRASH. You have literally overtaken the MRI.

I am calm. We laugh, John and I about getting a good scan. We go back to business and the moment is gone but not the peace. Not the confidence that I am not in this alone. That I have an army of support. I now think of the joke another friend told Chris last night and I laugh out loud and remind myself to be still. John is going to think I am hysterical.

Moments more and it is over. The test is complete. The fear is gone. But I have the moment. I have the memory. I have you. You have done this for me. What you are doing is not nothing. Every word, every thought, every prayer was in that room with me today and I thank you.

There are more tests, there are more hard things and tough decisions and trying days. What you are doing is working. What your doing is not nothing. Please, stay with me.


12 Comments leave one →
  1. Stacey Rowe permalink
    May 5, 2012 3:22 am

    Absolutely beautiful-and so true. You are NOT alone!! ❤

  2. Janet permalink
    May 5, 2012 3:25 am

    Thank you Mareeka! Isn’t it great when u actually, really feel how u are part of it. Plugged into the power source that IS God or Spirit or the Divine! Thanks for also being there. For me. For all of us. For we are all pieces of the same puzzle. Or collective!

  3. May 5, 2012 3:35 am

    You ARE not alone, Jesus said that He would NEVER leave us, and to fear not, we don’t know what the purpose behind this is, but God does and it will all be for His glory. I will continue to pray for your total comfort and peace throughout this. love you

  4. Shelley permalink
    May 5, 2012 3:39 am

    You are fantastic Mareeka. I tell you that in all sincerity and pray that everyday you will feel our love and support even if we can’t be there holding your hand. We hold you in our heart! You are and will continue to be part of a collective that loves you dearly and if any one part of us, or all together, help you in any way, thank you for letting us know! You are a such a beautiful soul and I thank you so much for sharing your thoughts – and fears – here with us. You are letting us know that you truly are keeping us close to your heart, because sweet one, you are so very close to close to ours!

  5. Mary permalink
    May 5, 2012 3:55 am

    I will tell you that SEVERAL times the oddest times (at a traffic light, waiting in a line, driving in my car, watching john phillip jump…several times) you came to my mind…and so I prayed. It is truly a gift He gives to us to bear each other’s burdens….I will continue to lift up under my part. Keep sharing…and talking…we love you.

  6. Michele Reynolds permalink
    May 5, 2012 5:27 am

    My prayers and thoughts are with you Mareeka. You write your thoughts and feelings in such a powerful way. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Cynthia Williams permalink
    May 5, 2012 1:33 pm

    I am saying daily prayers for you Mareeka. You are constantly in my thoughts and I will keep sending positive energy your way.

  8. Laurie Hilbrecht permalink
    May 5, 2012 2:40 pm

    I sit here reading this tears rolling down my face saying to myself what a strong women you are and how precious is our Father to give you such grace and peace. I pray daily for your healing and your family and I know that HE will never leave you may HIS peace be with you today and everyday.

  9. Sarah permalink
    May 5, 2012 8:37 pm

    I love your strength! I will be a prayer warrior for you and your family!

  10. Trudi Matthews permalink
    May 8, 2012 2:24 pm

    May the peace of the Lord always be with you. When I don’t know how or what to pray, I find the ancient words from the liturgy are such a comfort. I am glad you thought of them and they brought you peace. I am praying that the peace of the Lord will be with you – always with you.

    And, because we both work with medical information, I am thinking of something practical right now – can your husband gets a big binder ready for you? Would you ask that he gets copies of EVERYTHING from every visit? Every report. Every result. Keep that binder up to date and take it to every appointment. I am sure you know the drill and the reasons why.

    May the peace of the Lord always be with you.

  11. Tiffany manzanares permalink
    May 8, 2012 6:53 pm

    I pray all goes well with you. That the peace you feel will never leave you.


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