Sunday, May 30, 2021

Joy Amidst the Journey


Not sure whether my internal action motor is in good repair or not. What I mean by that is this: Again, and yet again, I’ve vowed to myself that I would begin to post something on this blog every other week. I keep making that commitment to myself—and sometimes to you—yet, somehow the motor sputters, then conks out. No posting for weeks, sometimes months, once two years. 

So today, I begin again with no guarantee of when the next post will be, just an update of what’s been happening in the life of Elisa, the 38-year-old woman whom I met through blogging and who has become the daughter/granddaughter I never had. 

Since November, when the specialists at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake diagnosed her rare stage 4 melanoma cancer, she’s had a great deal of radiation. Two weeks ago, she drove to Utah from her home in Idaho to have another brain scan. Then, great news! Her two brain tumors were gone. They’d vamoosed! Cause for deep and lasting rejoicing. 



However, this past Thursday, when she returned to Huntsman for her every-three-week-immunotherapy-infusion, the pre-infusion tests brought less joyous news. That is, the medication, which is supposed to attack and kill the cancer cells in her neck, spine, and hip, had attacked her liver. She now has stage 3 liver failure. 

In November, the doctors told Elisa she might live 2 years. Then when immunotherapy began, they said that if she responded well to the particular infusion med they were using, she might live 10 years and, possibly, experience remission.

 Obviously, that med doesn’t work for her. There will be no further infusions for at least two months. She drove herself home yesterday afternoon, after staying two nights in the hospital. Drove, not knowing if the infusions will begin again and, if they do, what med will be used and how effective it might be. 

That is, she drove not knowing, but trusting, as she has trusted throughout, that all shall be well. In an earlier posting, I shared with you my belief that the essence of Elisa is joy. At the deep center of herself where she is truly One in Oneness, she is always—no matter what happens—joyous. 

Her “million-dollar smile” reflects that joy. It’s the reason, I think, many of the people she meets do not recognize that she is ill. She doesn’t look ill, nor act ill. She keeps laughing with her children, her husband, her parents and in-laws, her friends. She keeps making memories with them.

 I’ve said before, and I say again, she inspires me as I deal with my piddling ills. On days when  self-pity begins to tip-toe into my psyche and I, although aware of its sneaky ways, let it enter the corridors of my mind and heart, I think of Elisa and try to embrace the joy she’s shared with me. 

That doesn’t always work, I admit. Sometimes, I do my Irish keening because of vision concerns and also the Meniere’s symptoms that have been so persistent with the weather pattern of the past weeks here in Missouri.

Throughout my youth, Mom used to say whenever I grumbled about my life:  “Dolores, you find what you look for. If you look for good you will find it, and if you look for bad, you will surely find that also.” 

That seems to be Elisa’s philosophy of life. Somehow, she has the inspiring ability to embrace all the possibilities of her life. She is, I tell you, one of the great gifts of my existence. 

Peace. 

PS: Elisa posts on Facebook. She also posts on her blog: https://ecwrites.blogspot.com

 


32 comments:

  1. Elisa has a tremendous spirit. Her 100-watt smile is infectious as well. How wonderful that you & she became close!

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    1. Dear Bea, yes, a true blessing. Peace.

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  2. I love you so very much, Dee. I hope you know how much you’ve added to my life and how much you mean to me, the children, and Mike. YOU have brought so much joy into my life!

    💜💜💜

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  3. What a truly inspirational woman. Thank you - and her. She has a smile which lights up the world.

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  4. I'm so glad you have a daughter-of-the-heart. Her joy is yours and she inspires people she never met through you.

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    1. Dear Jean, thank you for giving me the phrase "daughter-of-the-heart." It's so exactly fits. I'll use it from now on! Peace.

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  5. Elisa ... thank you for being a friend.

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  6. She does have a beautiful smile and her story is inspiring - inspiring me to 'quitmybitchin'when I get down about life. I hope she has many more happy years with her family.

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    1. Dear Molly, I'm hoping that also, but you and I both know that we have so little control over anything--just over the way we respond to things. I want to respond and not react. Peace.

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  7. I am so happy you have such a wonderful person in your life. Her smile tells so much. May this new treatment work as well as the last only with no side effects. Positive attitude is a wonderful medicine and she has that in spades.

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    1. Dear Patti, yes, absolutely, "she has--a positive attitude--in spades!!!" Peace.

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  8. Thank you for sharing Elisa and her journey with your own virtual family, of which I am one. I too hope she will live on for many years to come, but she has spread so much joy already! And yes, that is a million-dollar smile!

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    1. Dear DJan, she has spread joy. That may be her mission in life. And I am just so grateful that she chose me for a friend. Peace.

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  9. Elisa certainly is an amazing and inspiring young woman. Not many could remain so joy-FULL and loving, going through all she has. The world needs more like her and I hope she gets to stay a long, long time.

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    1. Dear Cynthia, I'm hoping the same and trusting that "all shall be well." I don't know what is the "well" for myself or anyone else, but I trust that "all shall be" --in the end--"exceedingly well." Peace.

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  10. I too agree that Elisa is one of those special people who face everything in life with a smile. She is on my prayer list that gets bigger every day. My best friend's daughter is fighting for her life, another friend's 18 year old daughter, and another's father. Life is precious... but miracles do happen. And thoughts and prayers are powerful!

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    1. Dear Rian, thank you for adding Elisa to your prayer list. I know you did that months ago. I so hope that miracles happen for your best friend's daughter and the 18-year-old daughter and the father for whom you pray. And I so agree with you about the power of thoughts and prayers . . . and visualizations. Through these responses, pours healing and Light and Goodness. Peace.

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  11. This was a bloody great post that I really liked, you are so amazing

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    1. Dear Jo-Anne, thank you. Your enthusiasm has made my day. Peace.

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  12. dear Dee believe it or not Elisa is gift of my life either ,i looked hard for people ,one at least who can share my way and vision but i had no luck to encounter one directly ,but this sounds fruit of my longest wait as she seems one of those person about whom i firmly believed that they exist although they are not in my range .
    thank you sp much for being insightful enough to find her and grab essence of life from her through her way of life and attitude ,i can say happily ,proudly i was not wrong !
    my prayers for her from the bottom my heart and depth of my soul,i hope ,i believe she will win this battle eventually because she is not fighting for victory but just enjoying the moments of play available to her :)
    precious Dee i am positive that no matter how hard is aging and it's issues you will never forget what you had from the glass of life joyously and what is left you will enjoy each sip of it gratefully !
    in my thoughts and prays you and Elisa always my friend!
    hugs and blessings!

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  13. Dear Baili, you truly recognize the joy within her. I am so glad--so very glad--that she speaks to you. I hope that you click on the link to her blog and go and read her many postings. They are so uplifting. Take care. You, yourself, are a joy to know. I hope you know that about yourself. Peace.

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  14. She's a beautiful person and a true warrior. Reminds me of Princess Eksa of Frozen, kind but brave, full of life and happiness. May she remain in best of her health and wellbeing. I wish the same for you too. Lots of love, peace and light for you. Thank you for sharing about Elisa and your story. It's unforgettable.

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    1. Dear Bhavana, that's a great comparison. Thank you for thinking of it. When I visited Elisa and her family, her youngest daughter and I looked at "Frozen" together. So I think you are right! Thank you for your well-wishes for both of us. Peace.

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  15. Before I typed this comment I stopped and prayed out loud for Elisa, a beautiful warrior, and I asked God for full healing for her according to His will. I hope this week also finds you healthy with your vision and Meniers situations. Peace and Grace to you.

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    1. Dear Terra, how kind of you. Thank you. Elisa absolutely believes in the power of prayer and iso grateful to all of us who are fellow travelers and who know that we live in Oneness. Peace and Grace to you also. What a lovely ending.

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  16. Remarkable woman and glad you have her in your life. I do hope all works out well for her.

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    1. Dear Joared, I am so fortunate to have her in my life. Blessed. And I believe that, as Julian of Norwich said, "And all shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be exceedingly well." I do not know--nor do any of us--what "well" means in Elisa's situation but I trust that she will embrace whatever it is. Peace.

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