Inspirational Quotes surround us in today’s world of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Throw away lines are designed to both challenge and motivate us.
Do they, or are we overwhelmed by the many thoughts, sayings, likes and shares crowding our day?
Do we really take time to reflect and ponder? Do we stop and listen to our own thoughts?
Do we quieten our minds enough to work out what we really feel, what we really believe?
Time To Ponder
I’m pondering today, partly because I’m battling severe pain and partly because I need quietness to listen to my own heart, my own thoughts and to just be.
Rain is falling outside, the sky is grey and the pitter patter of water drops on my roof, is encouraging me to stop and listen.
I need time to take stock of the Coronavirus Pandemic and what it means for me, my family, my friends, my country and the World.
I need time to rest physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I had a bone marrow biopsy recently as part of an Oncology review. My bone marrow continues to show signs of a malignant pattern on MRI. It’s likely my bone disease is causing this and not a blood cancer, but my Specialist team felt it was time for another Oncology review, just to be safe.
I had one in 2016 and it was decided then the bone disease did have it’s own malignant pattern. Not cancer, so no treatment. Nothing to do other than palliative care as the disease continues to progress.
This latest bone marrow biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. A malignant pattern of it’s own kind. Not cancer. The MRI suggests myleofibrosis and honestly, if it was I would have treatment options which would be a relief. Instead, I am left with no solutions to manage or treat my disease.
Even my Oncologist apologised when he gave me the news of my bone marrow biopsy results. He said normally he loves telling patients they don’t have cancer, but in my case the alternative of a progressive rare disease, with a mind of it’s own, is the worst case scenario.
It reminds me a little of the threat COVID-19 poses. It has a mind of its own and we are all hopeful the vaccination program will work but it’s all unknown.
People are exhausted from the stress of 2020 and the encroachment of COVID into 2021.
I’ve just spent over 12 months dealing with my disease progression and complications of severe lumbar spinal stenosis, fractures and failed surgeries. The journey clearly isn’t over but at the moment I’m exhausted and I need peace, perfect peace.
So often my husband wants to call an ambulance on really bad days.
Some days I probably should go to hospital, but I’ve had enough of spending a good part of the past 9 years there.
I Just Need To Stay Home!
So why do I really want to avoid going to hospital?
Hospitals are full of noise. Machines beeping, Nurses hustling and bustling along corridors, or prodding you awake at 1am to take your blood pressure.
Specialists visiting you just when you finally managed to make it to the bathroom, or were about to enjoy a meal.
Texts, phone calls, TV’s streaming different shows from different rooms. Nurse buzzers going off left, right and centre.
Blood tests being taken when least expected. Catering staff taking orders and delivering food.
Being wheeled numerous times through the hospital on your bed, to Radiology for scans and x-rays.
Cleaners coming into your room to dust and vacuum, just when you thought you were finally about to get some rest.
Noise, noise, noise!
I Need Peace, Perfect Peace
Quietness and solitude is what’s required to regroup, recharge and renew my physical and mental strength to deal with what’s coming next.
It’s clear my spine is now completely unstable and in an ideal world, I need fusion surgery and bone grafting. It’s all on hold because my Surgical team are concerned the integrity of my bones may mean the surgery could cause irreversible damage, possibly death due to high risk of infection.
So as I ponder my future, and the current global crisis, I’ve been looking at inspirational quotes for my online support group, Medical Musings With Friends.
The more quotes I read the more I feel a growing sense of emptiness.
So many lack substance, which is ok for a light-hearted pick me up kind of day, when a throwaway line will make you smile and say “yeah, I like that”.
Today is not that kind of day. Today I need more. Today I need to go where I know I will find real strength. Where my faith will be confirmed, where my soul will be comforted.
I have many favourite verses in the Bible that keep me going through the good days, the bad days and the in between days. This one is an anchor for me.
2 Corinthians 4 v 17 – 18
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
As I read those words and many like them I begin to relax. There is a much bigger picture for my life, for all our lives, than our current circumstances.
Focusing on something meaningful causes the noise of life, and unwanted thoughts, to dim and eventually disappear.
My mind begins to function again. My thoughts start to form with some clarity. My body may still be weak and broken but my soul is being renewed.
As my soul is revitalised, my mind relaxes and my pain begins to creep slowly into the background. It’s still there, but it’s not consuming me completely, as a quiet soul helps manage it.
Time to ponder is definitely good for the mind, body and soul. It’s good medicine. It’s healing.
It is important for me to be reminded God has a plan for my life. A plan full of hope and a future.
When meaningful inspiration is needed I know where to go to find peace, perfect peace.
I’m so grateful my faith and hope in God, carries me through the dark tunnel of chronic illness and pain and global uncertainty.
Step Away From Your Device
Stepping away from the noise of Social Media, reading a book, listening to music or just sitting quietly, can feel like heaven.
Turning off Netflix and listening to the silence filling the room, can be so relaxing. Suddenly the birds outside can be heard tweeting, rather than Twitter chirping at you with a notification on your phone.
The view out of the window is a beautiful real-time moving picture, rather than the Photoshop version on Instagram.
The book or magazine on your bedside table beckons you to pick it up. No blue screen, no flashing lights, no pop ups tempting you to check a message or FB comment. Just the smell of paper and no demands….bliss!
Taking time to be quiet is an important tool in anyone’s life, but especially when living with a chronic illness. Especially as we grapple to make sense of this global pandemic and it’s ongoing life changing consequences.
We all need time to think, to regroup, to even feel our pain, physical or emotional, rather than trying to ignore it and push through. We need to listen to our bodies and our thoughts.
We need to care for our minds and our souls. Let them be quiet, even for half an hour, longer if possible. Don’t be afraid of silence.
Peace, perfect peace! Why wouldn’t any of us choose it and take time to capture it.
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum Medical Musings with Friends. It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
I’m a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
If you would like an audible version of my blog, please check out my Podcast, Medical Musings With Sam
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women
If you would like to read a little more about my journey, here’s the link to My Story