Tag Archives: Strength

Weekend Writing Prompt #13 – Light

Weekend Writing Prompt #13 – Light

“Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.” – Sammi Cox

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Villanelle Poem – Light and Dark

*

The end of tunnel was finally in sight

Travel of a long journey found in no vain

Energized my weary body moved toward the light

~

The road taken was not one I had chosen

Unexpected trail and body half frozen

The end of tunnel was finally in sight

~

Trotting in darkness with heavy feet

Hope, my only strength to pick up the beat

Energized my weary body moved toward the light

~

Long hall of darkness with pain in veins

Comfort in heart stopped me from faint

The end of tunnel was finally in sight

~

Throbbing pain head to toes subsided

Medication and nutrition worked two-sided

Energized my weary body moved toward the light

~

Six months of cancer treatment had completed

Only follow up appointments needed to be repeated

The end of tunnel was finally in sight

Energized my weary body moved toward the light

~     ~     ~

Hi Sammi, The Villanelle poem is a 19-line poem, sorry for writing more than 15 line.
The highly structured villanelle is a nineteen-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains. The form is made up of five tercets followed by a quatrain. The first and third lines of the opening tercet are repeated alternately in the last lines of the succeeding stanzas; then in the final stanza, the refrain serves as the poem’s two concluding lines.  https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/villanelle-poetic-form

Feeling Cranky?

 

Morning.sunrise 2

Cranky person is like cranky engine that

Needs motor oil or fluid for transmission

When feeling cranky or irritation

If stomach is growling, check satisfaction

Toss and turn in sleep pattern

Count the blessings, listen to soothing sound of the ocean

~ ~ ~

Cranky person is like defeated being

Churning, entangling, and exhausting

Maybe someone is inconsiderate of him

Overdone it and step on his toes

Maybe a situation is so demanding

Too many ends for him a grab a hold

~ ~ ~

First gain physical strength, then

Calm the mind and emotion

Tomorrow is a brand new day

His strength enables a blessed progression

~ ~ ~

Daily Prompt: Cranky

Gratitude Moments #8

May 17, 2009

After the surgery removing the tumors in the lingual nodes on the left hip area, I rested for six weeks. The third cycle of bio-chemotherapy started on May 6th. I came home on Sunday, May 10th. Twelve pounds of fluid was put on me and I looked like a little red plum. The swelling was almost intolerable. The left leg was a lot bigger than my right leg. The fluid was not circulating to my upper body. At this point, the nurses said due to the removal of the lymph nodes, and the nerve damage from the surgery; the circulation problem could be permanent. I surely prayed that it would not be the case.

The case manager from my primary care hospital referred me to lymphedema therapy to treat the swelling. The therapist measured the circumference of my left leg in 3 inches increment, from the ankle to the upper thigh. Then measured and compared to my right leg. The measurement served as a baseline. Each returned visit, she would measure again to check the progress. She gave me handouts of home exercise with instructions and graphic demonstrations. The instruction was to do the exercise twice a day. The rest of the day, I was supposed to sit in a reclining position with my legs elevated to a position higher than my heart.

Even though I started eating regularly, I felt tired. The blood test showed that I was anemic severely. The doctor prescribed iron 325 mg plus vitamin C 500mg for two month.

June 15, 2009

I checked in to the hospital on Wed. June 3rd for my final cycle of bio-chemotherapy. Strangely I felt okay when I checked in, but a couple hours later, I had a fever of 103 degree.  My doctor put “on hold” of all the chemo medication. Even though the hydration had started, but it was suspended. To cover all the bases, he ordered chest x-ray, ultra sound of my heart, and blood culture, to make sure I didn’t have infection anywhere. If the fever was caused by infection, the chemo medication would further weaken my immune system to fight the infection.

The doctor waited until June 4th afternoon when he got the blood culture result, and then started the chemo medication. After 5 days of chemo, he kept me one more day for observation; that made the 5 days treatment into 7 days. The doctor ordered IV antibiotic for all the days I was in the hospital plus 5 days home health care after I was discharged. At the end of the antibiotic, a blood culture was done again. Eventually I understood the doctor’s caution, because the infection was a dangerous thing when my low immune system couldn’t fight it off.  I was so glad that it was my last cycle of chemo.

A couple side effects were accumulated to the worst point. One was the swelling of my left leg. By the 10th day after I came home; it was still very, very swollen. It felt like it was going to explode. The pressure made my walking or moving was very painful because the fluid was saturated. I finally called the doctor, and he prescribed water pill to make me urinate more often. It helped but worked slowly.  After two weeks, both whole legs were still swollen all the way to the ankles; at least the pain was subsided.

Another side effect was the skin peeling off in big pieces on my feet and hands. After the skin was peeled off, the new skin was tender, sensitive, and painful. How I wished it shed like snake skin and came off nice and neat in one piece. The peeling and recovering of my skin took several months. But again, this was the last cycle; I had all summer to recover.  I told my daughter that at least after all, I got brand new skin. She said she admired my strength and was a good example to her. It touched my heart when she said that. If I could be an example to my daughter of faith and trust in God, it was worth all the physical suffering.

The fluid slowly but surely left my body. I was down to 114 pounds. I started walking back and forth on the street. After a couple weeks, I was able to walk around Laguna Lake with my husband. I even went to the gym swimming and used the machine to work on my legs. I knew people were looking at me because I lost my hair and looked very skinny.

My daughter Mercy who lived and worked in Portland, Oregon said she would come to see me in the summer. By this time, I had lost most of my hair. I was afraid my appearance would shock her. I took pictures and sent them to her intermittently; the side view and back view of my head, so that she was aware of the changes.

My family and friends continued to pray, send cards, emails, and phone calls to provide support. Since my husband was back to school to get the MRI and CT licenses, he was not able to take me to all the appointments. My friends signed up to give me rides to different appointments. One friend was driving me to the doctor’s office. She said she wanted to make sure she had a chance to give me a ride before I didn’t need it anymore. My husband switched his internship schedule as often as he could to care for my needs. I was very weak physically, but my heart hugged all these people whose love for me was incredible.

P.S. I had one more surgery and radiation before the treatment was over.

Gratitude Moments #7

April 29, 2009

My surgery was on March 12 and was discharged on March 19. The melanoma doctor, Dr. O’Day, said I could rest for six weeks before the next bio-chemotherapy. During these six weeks, I had to get strong physically and nutritionally. By this time, my vomiting had subsided. My appetite was increased. It was a good sign because I could eat as much as possible. I needed to gain at least six pounds in six weeks. With this mindset, I ate whenever my stomach allowed. I ate ice-cream every day. One friend teased me by saying that, “Go ahead and eat ice cream before you have to worry about weight gain!”

 Several of my neighbors had been our friends for twenty some years. They invited us over for dinners. One neighbor, Doris was especially hospitable, she invited us almost every weekend. Her son, Randy, my husband’s best friend, barbecued steaks. Doris said, “Miriam, eat. The meat will help to replenish your blood.” I did, I ate the biggest piece of steak on the platter. She was so pleased that I could eat. She told everybody included her dental hygiene patients that I ate the biggest piece of steak.

The chemo drugs burned all the cells in me, good and bad. I was down to skin and bone. Another issue was the burning that dried up my skin. I soaked in the hot bath for an hour each night. After the tough skins got soften a little bit, I scrubbed off the dead skin gently. After drying off, I put layers of lotion, and thick cream, and then lotion all over my body. The cream only served as sealing of my skin. As soon as the cream dried up, I felt itchy everywhere. It would take months down the road for the new skin to be the replacement of the dead skin. Soaking in the bath before bedtime helped me not to feel itchy at night. There were a few nights I could not get enough hot water for the bath, my husband boiled the water on the stove and carried pots of hot water to fill the bathtub. I could never forget about what he did for me!

As far as my body temperature, it was very difficult to describe. On one hand, I didn’t have enough blood to keep me warm, so I bundled up from head to toes in a warm spring time. Yet the drugs continue to burn and made my skin sensitive and hot. Bedtime was a drag for me. When I went to bed, I put a sheet between my legs so they would not have direct contact. With covers on, I would be too hot. Without covers on, I would be cold. So I just put a sheet over my upper body. I took medication to help me sleep, yet all the discomfort took three or four hours to be calmed down before I felt asleep. My husband kept very quiet when he got up in the morning. I had the mask on so the sunlight didn’t wake me up. It was about nine or ten o’clock when I woke up.

During this time, the world was thousands of miles away from me. The pain, discomfort, and weakness were ever present. This was also a time I felt the Lord was right next to me. I talked with Him all the time. I just said to him, “Please help me through this. I need to get well. I need to be well for my husband and my daughter.” His assurance gave me hope. His Word gave me strength and endurance to take a tiny step at a time. I knew I could make it.

Daily Prompt:  Replacement

Daily Prompt: Hospitality

Retreat for Renewal

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Quite a few years ago

Had a retreat at a Mission.

No newspapers, no television,

No phone calls outgoing or incoming,

Certain hours of the day –

No conversation with anyone.

Relaxed walk in the Mission,

Searching of the heart and soul,

Mind on the reflection.

Retreat such as this

Was hard for some

Who was constantly in action.

By the second day

Some made a commitment.

Through the quietness, non-action,

Came the renewal of inner strength and peace .

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Daily Prompt: Retreat

Daily Prompt: Renewal

Motivation Monday – Joy

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“This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8: 10

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward,  American Writer (1921-1994)

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” 
― Mark Twain (American Author 1835 – 1910)

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