A Note from Margaret!

An update [from Margaret] from the unexpected journey along the yellow brick road …

Believe it or not there actually used to be a Land of Oz theme park at Beech Mountain in North Carolina. My mother found and sent the brochure and pictures of me with my little brother and father from our visit in 1971. I vividly remember how enchanted I was even then with Dorothy’s story. Today I remain stalwart in my belief that my breast cancer experience is best viewed through the lens of a winding, long, scary, and joyful journey along the yellow brick road.FullSizeRender

According to my calculations we are off to an excellent start with quite a few miles already behind us. Here are some of my “numbers” as mere words seem woefully inadequate to express my heartfelt gratitude for the overwhelming grace, mercy, kindness, love, support and prayers from all of you:

33.33333% chemo complete (2 of 6 finished and on 1/29 we will be 50%)
2 = surgeries complete
3 = biopsies complete
7 = scans complete (PET, Bone, MRI, Ultrasounds, Mammogram, and EKG)
29 = panel of genes tested which came back “unequivocally normal”
3 months = breast cancer survivor (from date of diagnosis 10/24/14)
174 = # of inspirational songs you all have shared with me for my special playlist
210 = # of “3 Good Things” noted in the past 70 days (and truthfully there are almost always more than 3 good things even on the worst of days!)
387 = # of cards, notes, and letters of encouragement & support from you all. WOW

And now for one of my recent favorite quotes which rings so true for where I am in this journey: “It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.” – Anne Lamotte

Inevitably on the days I cannot sing I hear your songs and my heart and spirit are lifted. Thank you.

I also feel the need to share with you what an amazing partner I am blessed to call husband, best friend, and most recently care giver. He will hate that I am saying these things but I insist. Many of you have experienced first-hand his pastoral care, his calm amidst the storm, his wisdom, his strength of spirit and character, and his knack for saying not just words – but the right word at the right time. This journey is long and scary and can go from laughing and singing to despair and back with lightning speed. He has exceeded my wildest expectations in the daunting care giver role and told me over and over how much he loves me – not with words but by fixing me the same roasted vegetables that taste good to me every night for days, making trips to the drugstore and the grocery store at a moment’s notice, doing laundry, cleaning up the kitchen immediately after cooking so I would not suffer from nausea because of the smells, loading and unloading the dishwasher, sitting through “chick flick” movies with me, walking Deacon first thing in the morning and last thing at night, driving me to and from, and telling me that I am doing great when I most need to hear those words – all without even a hint of complaint and while continuing to serve his flock. I am so grateful. I know that I dare not compare him to Glenda the good witch but hopefully you get the picture!

My sincere thanks again to all of you for making my world a lake and not a glass.

“An aging Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, and so, one morning, sent him for some salt. When the apprentice returned, the master instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it. ‘How does it taste?’ the master asked. ‘Bitter,’ spit the apprentice. The master chuckled and then asked the young man to take the same handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, ‘Now drink from the lake.’ As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, ‘How does it taste?’ ‘Fresh,’ remarked the apprentice. ‘Do you taste the salt?’ asked the master. ‘No,’ said the young man. At this, the master sat beside this serious young man who so reminded him of himself and took his hands, offering, ‘The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things . . . . Stop being a glass. Become a lake.’

With gratitude, joy, and hope,
Margaret (in the turquoise raincoat at The Land of Oz) FullSizeRender (3)

10 thoughts on “A Note from Margaret!

  1. Love the Raincoat such a fashion statement. Plus reading your post lifts my heart. I love your realness, but optimism. It has been fun getting to know John more.
    Hugs, Denise

    • Margaret,
      You are an inspiration! Your grace in traveling the yellow brick road is amazing. May fairy dust sprinkle upon you and sparkle with the light of heaven.

    • M: last Sat MK&i took Morgan & Ella to see Wizard of Oz @ Parker Arts Center. Wonderful production. They loved it.
      plays thru Feb 8.

  2. So ironic that we should be the ones lifting your spirits, yet you’re the one doing the heavy lifting on our behalf.
    And, I love the love you share with your husband, partner, cheerleader and humorist. My favorite couple!

  3. So good to read a new blog post, you continue to amaze me with your beautiful and inspirational words! John gets best supporting actor, but he couldn’t do it without the perfect leading lady. Keep up the good fight and know you are thought of and prayed for from all over the U.S. And beyond! Love you! Diane

  4. Oh my, I will ponder the glass/lake/salt story for a long while. So simple and true. Margaret, your honesty and thoughts are an inspiration. How many lives John and you touch as you travel your yellow brick road. I am deeply grateful. Suellen ps the new hair look is fabulous — but if you continue to look younger and younger, you’ll be back in college soon

  5. Dear Margaret, You have no idea how much of an inspiration you are to all of us. I only hope, that i can handle any problems I may face on that Yellow Brick road in the future, with the openness and love that you are so beautifully capable of doing. Love to all of you. Dee

  6. We are praying for you every day. Be courageous & full of hope as God holds you during this time. Sending much love. Wish I were there for a cup of tea & a BIG HUG.

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