Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mountain Climbing

One of my friends, "Bushlady" commented on yesterday's post:

"Bless, I woke up this morning thinking of you and this journey to health that you are on, and I was thinking of a hill in Bolivia where people climb and stop at the Stations of the Cross and leave a stone on the way. I feel that we are all climbing with you on your journey and leaving a stone, (thought or prayer) at each step of your way, to reach the place at the top with the lovely view over the lake and town, where we shall cheer with you that your goal is reached!"

As I said in my reply to her, what a lovely image she painted with her words!  She has given me the exact visualization I had needed!

Of course, she said "hill", but I have a tendency to "make a mountain out of a molehill", so, a mountain it is!  :D 

There is a 7,360 foot high mountain in my country of birth, Sri Lanka, known as Adam's Peak, that is considered a sacred mountain, which pilgrims (and tourists) climb.  One generally drives up part of the way and then, climbs the rest of the way.  There are thousands of steps built into the side of the mountain to facilitate the climb.  There is a rock formation near the top that has an indentation that resembles a large foot print; according to the different traditions of four of the religions in the country (Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Islam), the rock "foot print" is attributed to the Buddha, Shiva, St. Thomas, and Adam.  Most people climb it at night, in order to reach the top just before sunrise in order to see the rising sun cast the shadow of the mountain on the surrounding landscape.  I had always wanted to climb it, but never did. Now, I have the opportunity to climb it, in a manner of speaking, thanks to Bushlady's comment about climbing a mountain.  One step at a time, of course.

So, today, I climbed another step, or two.  I received yet another approved authorization in the mail, to make an appointment for a new patient visit.  At least, that is what I think it is.  There is a medical billing code on the authorization form, but no description.  However, the internet is a wonderful resource.  I did a search using the code and received a description!  It's a type of "outpatient checking in"!  I presume they'll take down my information and such.  I'll know more on Monday, when I plan to call and schedule the appointment.  But it's more evidence that my case is making its way through the system.  

I also made some other progress in other areas, as well.  I filled out some paperwork pertaining to legal and financial matters.  I will make appointments, next week, to go over those papers with my attorney and financial planner.  I know some people worry about the time the medical matters are taking, but, I'm using that time to attend to my legal and financial matters.  I want to make sure everything is in place for my daughter before I go under the surgeon's knife!  Just in case. One never knows how these things work, does one?

I also went to the bank during my morning break and transferred funds to my daughter's account for her October rent and the plane ticket for her next flight home (for my surgery).  Yes, I know, there are other, more convenient ways to transfer funds than to go to the bank to do transactions in person.  But, I got to walk a couple of blocks in the sunshine on my way to the bank and back (fresh air, exercise) and, when one of the bank customer service persons whom I've interacted with over the years inquired after my health and I shared my news with her, she immediately gave me a hug and told me she will pray for me.  Not that I expect her to actively pray for me, but, just the fact that she expressed that sentiment was sufficient.   She helped me up one of the steps on the mountain.

Later, during my lunch break, I stopped by the pharmacy.  The pharmacist and I have become friends, too, simply because we've interacted over the years.  While she fills out my prescriptions and puts through my transactions, I've talked to her about my daughter and inquired after her children, etc.  She confided in me when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer; I confided in her when I was diagnosed.  She has since asked me for my personal phone number and has called me, after work, on her own time, as a friend, not my pharmacist, to ask how my consultation with the surgeon went, etc.  So, today, I picked up an item for daughter and updated my pharmacist friend, too.  She's another friend who is encouraging my climb up the mountain.

Later in the afternoon, I went to the restroom and one of my co-workers was also there.  We've known each other for at least 25 years.  I've seen her daughter grow up from a little girl to being a mother of a little girl, herself; my colleague has babysat my daughter when she was a little girl.  So, when she asked me, casually, how I was, I didn't give the usual, "I'm fine, thank you; how are you", which is what I tell most of my co-workers (the vast majority of my co-workers don't know about my diagnosis).  Instead, I told her about my diagnosis.   She's a single parent with an only child, herself.  So, she immediately understood my concerns for my daughter.  Plus, she had dealt with her own mother's breast cancer diagnosis.  She, too, gave me a hug and we both teared up.  But I have another friend climbing the mountain with me.  :)    

This evening, I received an international phone call from my eldest half-brother.  He's a doctor.  A Professor of Gynecology, actually.  We have not always been close due to the rift between my mother and her step-children that I've alluded to in earlier posts, and the fact that he's 16 years older.  But this illness seems to be drawing my half-siblings closer to me.  Yesterday, my half-sister called to ask how I was, saying she's been very worried about me and telling me to let her know if there's anything she can do.  I've also received phone calls from my other surviving half-brother.  (Two of my half-brothers have already died.)  Family dynamics are interesting, isn't it?  

Today, I am grateful for:

- My friend Bushlady for giving me the mountain climbing analogy
- The steps I managed to climb, today
- The family and friends who are supporting me in my climb
- All the hugs I received today
- All the love and caring that is surrounding me and lifting me up

I hope that each one of you who are reading this realizes just how much your friendship means to me.  I hope life blesses you all with love, laughter, and joy.

Do you have a mountain to climb, too?  Want to go mountain climbing with me?    




  1. Bless, I am delighted that the inspiration I received led you to think of that very sacred mountain in the country of your birth. It sounds wonderful! So happy that many are joining you on your pilgrimage to health with their loving concern. You have some special people around you.

    1. Bushlady, once again, thank you. :)

    2. I will also walk with you Bless. Bushlady knows just what to say at the right time. I will leave a stone along the way. All of us goners will be walking with you my friend. For you and to give Little Bless strength.


    3. Thank you, Frugal. I appreciate you walking with me and Little Bless. This is not just my journey, is it? This is having such an impact on her, too. Hope all is well with you and your husband. (((HUGS)))

  2. Bless, I am glad that your distant family is reaching out to you at this time.

    I have a brother who lives in this state that I rarely see. He is 18 years my senior & at one time, his wife did not think very highly of my family, but in times of need, he & his wife have always reached out to me. I have also tried to be there for them, as well.

    Family is a blessing whether they are near or far.

    Becky (hartbe)

    1. Becky, I'm glad your brother and his wife are there for you in times of trouble. Yes, family is a blessing. As are friends. Hope all is well with you. :)

  3. It's nice that your family is starting to come together again. And I'm very happy you have many loving relatives and friends to help you along your journey.

    1. Jess, thank you. I feel so blessed to have all the support I am having. We don't realize just how important family and friends are, until something like this happens. Hope all is well with you and Little Wolf and your family.

  4. Bless , so happy to climb that mountain with you.. I too, am laying that rock on tip top of that mountain [through prayer]. So happy that Bushlady, said it so well. thank you.
    I am so happy your family and friends are there for you..
    hugs and prayers. Judy

    1. Judy, thank you. The prayers and kind thoughts, and the compassion, kindness, sympathy, and caring expressed by those prayers and thoughts, are so helpful. I feel so blessed!

  5. Again, I know this is old news but still, it's worth saying that I think it's absolutely wonderful that the pharmacist took time to get to know you as a person over the years, even to the extent of taking your number so she could keep in touch with you during your illness and convalescence. This is exactly why I am so anti automated machines in shops, banks etc. People need people! (And people need jobs!)

    1. Yes, people need people and jobs, too! I much rather interact with people, whenever possible!


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