Friday, March 30, 2012

On Muffins, Coffee and God

Today I ate one third of a blueberry muffin, and last night, I was able to eat the frosting off a slice of cake.

I am over-the-moon excited about this, because lately my mouth has been so sore I thought I would be on the feeding tube/liquid diet forever.

In order to eat anything, I still have to use a special mouthwash first; it contains a numbing agent so that the food isn't excruciating on the way down. Sometimes this alters the taste of the food, but the food tasted right, too.  The frosting actually tasted like frosting, and the blueberry muffin tasted just the way I remembered.

The other big discovery this week is the return of coffee.  Ice coffee, to be precise - no cream or milk, because dairy still hurts, but dark roast ice coffee with extra sugar tastes divine.  I haven't had any coffee for about four months, so it also produces this kind of euphoric effect that I am very  much enjoying.

I needed these little shots-of-hope, because this past week has been really hard.  I was determined not to come here and complain anymore, so I waited for a good patch to blog.   I have come here enough to talk about fear and pain.  There is still a lot of fear, and a lot of pain.  But it's getting better.  Finally.

I am feeling something like hope every now and then. And this is HUGE.

I had a pre-surgery medical evaluation (CT Scan, EKG, anesthesia consult, etc.) and the CT Scan showed pneumonia in my upper right lung.  I have been reallllly tired, pretty much all the time, and a little feverish at night, but no coughing or anything, so this was a surprise to me.  I'm hoping the antibiotics they gave me for the pneumonia will kick in so I don't have to delay surgery, which is scheduled for April 4th.

Maybe part of my more hopeful mood has to do with a Healing Mass I went to on Wednesday night.  I'd never done anything like that before, and it was so peaceful, so breathtakingly serene.  As I opened my hands and turned my fear over to God, I felt a burden being lifted from me.  The Priest was very clear about how to pray, too, which was helpful for me.  I mentioned in my last post that I don't like to ask for anything specific because it feels selfish or wrong.   The Priest said, "Tell God exactly what you need.  If you need to be cured from cancer, pray to Him to be cured from cancer."

So I did.

I sat in the darkened church, opened my palms heavenward and prayed, "Please cure my cancer.  Please cure my cancer.  I'm so very scared, and my kids need me.  My husband needs me.  I'm not ready to go, yet.  Please cure my cancer."

I still feel a little itchy with the notion of asking God to cure me.  But it can't hurt to ask, right?  What happens to me is  not up to me, this much I do know, and all the worry and fear in the world isn't going to change the outcome.  So it felt good to have a little hope, a little faith.

Combine that with dark roast ice coffee and a blueberry muffin and you've got one happy girl.


  1. Hooray for coffee, cake and a wonderful Priest.

    I learned about specific prayer when I was in university. And although I know EXACTLY what you mean about it feeling selfish, it is also about having faith in God. He knows what is in your heart, you are just sharing it with Him and having faith that He loves you specifically and individually.

    Glad to hear from you. Glad it is all about Hope.

  2. I am so happy you are able to enjoy some tasty treats and coffee! And to attend a beautiful healing mass. Does a body good! Big hugs!

  3. Oh Ellie, I am sending you all the yummy things in the world across the ether. All your favourite things to eat as well as lots and lots of love.

    Anything that works for you - you do it. And I will do it too. Thinking of you.

    Oh I saw that 'You are not alone' video too with you and some other women on it. That was really great for me to see. x

  4. I have that same fear--I have so much, how can I ask for more?

    Here's to whole muffins and cream in your coffee for the rest of your many happy years.

  5. I am also having surgery on April 4th. You and I can pray for each other.

  6. I took a peek at your muffin today. I was thrilled for you! You peeled back the paper liner with such accuracy, and in slow motion. It looked like you were opening an envelope to a secret. So glad you were amongst friends as you savored your muffin!! May that liner be the first to many new layers of your beautiful life!

  7. Caffeine and sugar... what more do we really need? But, praise God, more is coming!!! I am going to fast for you on April 4 (at least breakfast and lunch... by dinner I'll assume your surgery will be a done deal and a great success) and ask God to cure your cancer and heal your mouth and speedily restore your energy and taste and fill you with joy and yummy food!

  8. i love where you find your happy, and how humble you are in your asks.

    (I hope that you're heard.)

  9. I am just learning to pray myself so I think it would be cool to have a priest tell me exactly how. Even though I'm Jewish. But you know.

    I am here pulling for you every day even though I don't check in often enough. You are there for so many people -it's only right that we are all here for you! You are a good deeder!

  10. Grateful that you went to a healing mass, I've never been to one myself but I'm sure if I were in your shoes I'd feel wonderful going to one as well. I'm sure God heard your prayers and I'll shot an extra one up there to him just to make sure he gets the message. So happy you got a good "taste of life" recently, I can only being to image how that must have felt. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us all.

  11. I LOVED this post, Ellie. You remind me not to take the smallest (in my mind) things for granted and how beautiful the simplest things are. I love that you went to the healing mass and that you just said what was in your heart. I know what you mean about praying for specific things and so on since we are so geared to ask only for the knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out. But it sounds like that's really what you did. I doubt that God frowns on us for asking to be healed or to have our pain taken away. On the contrary, I feel it is just more conscious contact with our higher power. When I was trying to get sober, I prayed many times (drunk as hell) for God to help me, to heal my soul-sickness. Apparently, someone heard me and I was thrown a lifeline. I am lifting you up in my prayers this morning for healing and wellness and peace. Our faith may waver from time to time during dark, scary times in our lives. What's important is that we just don't lose that faith. You haven't.I love you, sweet Ellie. Onward and upward! xoxo

  12. Complaining? You call your recent posts complaining? That is so far from the truth Ellie. You've just been brutally honest about your life as of late. Really happy and excited that you are beginning to be able to eat and taste again. Four months...that's amazing.

    You're amazing.

    Hugs, love and healing prayers.

  13. Love this post. Muffins, icing, coffee, so much that is holy here. And prayer. I cherish the Catholic tradition in which I was raised; but, honestly, we prayed for everyone and everything, it seems, from "pagan" babies in the missions to the poor souls in Purgatory! It kind of undermines one's personal needs.

    So I love and cherish, too, having learned to pray a la Step 11, ONLY for knowledge of God's will for us (me) and the power to carry that out. It makes my spiritual life more manageable, allows me to shine the spotlight on me and my needs. And I find that pondering God's will for me on a daily basis only reinforces my belief in a God who is good and wants nothing but what is good for us.

    It surely is God's will for you to be healed, Ellie. It must be. Your part in that healing has been so hard through all of these treatments. May the hard parts give way more and more to small and great wonders: muffins, icing, coffee, healing prayer ... What's next?

    Just keep cooperating with all the grace that comes your way. All shall be well. :)

  14. My sister recently introduced me to your blog. Our dad is battling lung cancer, and reading your blog has given me/us some insight into how he might be feeing. (He's pretty stoic and doesn't often let on about how tough it is for him.) Thank you for sharing so honestly.

    I am glad that you are more hopeful after attending a healing Mass! What a wonderful full of God's graces. Never feel bad about praying for specific things. I am constantly praying that my dad will be cured. I know that God's plan is the best and I will love Him and be faithful to Him regardless....but that doesn't stop me from begging and pleading for God to hear and answer my specific requests. I will be praying that your cancer will be cured and that your surgery goes well.

  15. It is wonderful to read about how strong you are being and taking pleasure in small things that other people wouldn't think twice about. You are near the end of the surgery process so keep strong and let us know how you are as often your absence makes us concerned for you.

  16. I come here for your honesty and am never disappointed. I am so happy to hear about your hopeful moments this week. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to pray.

    "The child psychologist who thought she had all the answers to parenting until she became one herself."

  17. So happy to hear about your good moments - but if you need to come here and complain - do it, we don't mind :)
    Lots and lots of love.

  18. Fear, love - it's all life, and you are living it, Ellie, beautifully.

    I am so glad you are asking for what you want. How can it not help, to say "I want to be here. I want to stay."?

    I want you here, too. Love, love, love to you.

  19. It never hurts to ask. Never, ever, ever.

  20. Ellie,
    Hoping you've kicked that pneumonia enough that tomorrow's scheduled surgery is still on. Sending you good thoughts and prayers that all the doc will find to remove is scar tissue! Get through all that, then look forward to coffee and blueberry muffins!
    Lee Ann

  21. You should ask for it all. You deserve it all.

    Including a whole muffin!

  22. Thinking of you today and wearing blue! God Bless,

  23. Love this. And you. Thinking about you today. And always. xoxo

  24. I found you through Heather of the EO's blog, and just wanted to pop in to let you know that you will be in my prayers!

    Also, if you need something to read while you're recuperating, I highly recommend the book 10 Prayers God Always Says Yes To. I discovered it via the endorsement of a mother who lost a college-age daughter who was her only child. She said the book really helped her answer those difficult questions of why God seems to answer some prayers and not others, and I found that it gave me a lot of peace about those issues as well.

    Anyway, sorry for that tangent -- I mainly just wanted to let you know that I'll be praying for you!

  25. Sending you healing thoughts. Hope all is well. Thanks for inspiring me.

  26. Ellie -- I know you had your surgery recently. I hope you are okay and will write an update soon. My prayers are still strong. Joanne

  27. Hooray for hope!

    I pray that you were able to have your surgery and that it went well.

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