Thyroid II

This is the butterfly I saw out front the morning my surgeon called to tell me the pathology report had shown cancer cells in my goiter. The butterfly remained long enough for me to say good-bye to Jay on the front porch and run back in for my camera.  She may be the same butterfly who nicked my shoulder later on that day in the garden.  I will take her presence as a sign of life, of hope.

I had asked my brother several days ago for the recipe he uses for steamed cabbage.  I typed the word ‘life’ in my itunes and started listening to the random songs that popped up (right now it is Barbara Streisand, thanks to either my husband or daughter who are oh so romantic).  I gingerly took the cabbage out of the grocery bag, keeping a keen eye out for bugs.  Earlier this week I had cut the cabbage from my garden cringing as I saw evidence of bugs and slugs.  My victory that day was cutting the cabbage; I threw it in a grocery bag, tied the handles tight and shoved it in my fridge hoping any bugs would either suffocate or die in the cold.  Today there was nothing moving across the tender leaves and I cut large swathes around the holes left from bug munching.  Shredded cabbage and chicken broth, homemade from my friend Anita who one day showed up at work with a bag of frozen home made chicken broth for me.  I don’t know why she keeps making it for me; I accept her little baggies of gold with gratitude. I added fresh thyme pricked from the plant I just put in the ground this morning and the cabbage was soon done.

I never take my garden for granted; I am always amazed when I go out and my little buddies have something new to offer me.  Broccoli, peas, onions, cilantro, herbs…..  I can’t resist pulling some weeds and getting my hands in the dirt every time I go out.  There has been more than once that at work I look down and see a smudge of dirt on my shin, or am in a meeting and realize there is a thin lining of mud up over the soles of my shoes.  The most embarrassing moment was yesterday during pre-op testing when I realized there was a thick line of dirt shoved up under my nails.  Didn’t I even wash my hands before I left home? Every time the nurse turned her back I surreptitiously  picked at the dirt, glad that giving blood meant I had to show the inside of my arm and my palm rather than the encrusted nails on top of my hand.

I find out in great relief that I need to be at the hospital tomorrow morningl at 6:45; now I know I won’t get throwing-up-sick in the pre-op from dehydration and caffeine withdrawal like I did last week, when I had to wait until 11:30.  I want to set up the soaker hoses this afternoon yet because the weather is supposed to get hot again starting tomorrow.  I am deeply grateful for fresh cabbage and thyme, to a garden that needs watering, to my family and friends who have showered me with gifts and time, and their presence.  I am grateful to the man delivering flowers who met my eyes in a grin after I hid behind the door signing for flowers because I was, ahem, inappropriately dressed.  (Or maybe he was grinning because I wasn’t as discreet as I thought).

I am grateful for this time of connection with the earth and with my loved ones and with myself.  The sun and sky and breeze has been glorious these past few days and I am grounded by all this, despite facing another surgery.  I see this time as an opportunity to reflect on new space in my throat, of cleansing and healing, of health and wholeness.  I carry with me the words of my friend Melody:

The throat is a sacred vessel, a passageway from the lips, through the cave of the mouth to the inner terrain of the throat that allows entry to the heart.  You are clearing the way for your heart to speak.

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  1. Thanks for sharing that beautiful and hopeful post.
    I know a little girl who will gladly pick bugs with you. She has a love for the garden that grows with every year. You are welcome to her.
    Prayers for you!

  2. Jay B

     /  June 27, 2012

    Tina you are truly amazing. A beautiful flower in the garden of my life. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Grace Marie Gerber

     /  June 28, 2012

    Tina, thank you for this sharing. Beautiful writing. It is the first I knew of your journey.

  4. melody schaper

     /  June 28, 2012

    Beautiful Tina, and so healing. Light and love comes to you and through you always. I will light a candle for you in the morning. melody

  5. Carolyn Bergey

     /  June 28, 2012

    Tina – your heart is very open.Thank you for sharing these moments of joy.

  6. Tina, Thank you for sharing your story in such a beautiful, descriptive way. You are in my prayers.

  7. I love reading you… and seeing the world through your heart. Thank you. xo


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