Sunday, November 25, 2007

TWO OUNCES OF BLISS


1/2 full, originally uploaded by *davidsαngle.

Three weeks ago I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Then the news got worse: a cat scan revealed spots on my liver, a possible metastasis.

So how does a lifelong neurotic and avowed hypochondriac deal with that kind of news? Initially, not too well. The day I got the scan results I went home, drank too much wine, cried, yelled at the wonderful husband who was as anxious as I was, and avoided calls from friends and family members. I preferred to sit in the dark and drink my misery to the last drop; thank you very much.

But the next morning I woke up in a different frame of mind. It was a bright November morning; I had work I love to do; and after only twelve hours, I was already tired of my own despair and fear. I couldn't change the fact that I was ill; I couldn't make the road ahead pain or anxiety free, but I could get out of bed and take the dogs to the beach. I could pick up a common, translucent shell and hold it up to the light until it revealed just how uncommon it was. Then I could put it in my pocket and take it home to remind me--just in case I forgot.

Fortunately, last week an MRI revealed no sign of metastasis; and I'm optimistic about my surgery next Thursday. Still, it's been a difficult time. The other night I was watching a British movie called Greenfingers. In it, a character says, "You have to learn to make adversity your ally." I knew exactly what he was talking about. I may not be ready to call adversity my ally yet, but it is certainly my teacher.

One thing I learned was that for every ounce of trouble I was forced to drink, I would counter it with two ounces of bliss. Not the cheap bliss I attempted to find in a wine bottle, but the real thing. The kind I saw in that thin shell when I held it up to the light. The kind we all have inside us if we choose to draw on it.

I really think this is where we so often go wrong . When bad things happen--whether it's disease, rejection, mistreatment, percieved or otherwise--we allow it to control us. In other words, we pour ourselves another glass of poison when what we really need is the antidote--a double shot of BLISS!

My grandfather, who I called John, said it more succinctly: "No kick." (Translation: No complaints.) I've written about his two word exhortation here and elsewhere, but it has never meant more to me than it does right now. When asked to expand on his philosophy, he said, "Once you give in to complaining, you're all done."

Well, John, I'm not done yet.

Peace and love to all--

*The luminous photograph entitled "1/2 Full" was done by a particularly talented photographer named David Michael. I spent a good hour this afternoon enjoying his innovative images on Flickr, and hope others will do the same.




146 comments:

Patry Francis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

god patry. i am so sorry to hear about this news, but am INSPIRED by your fortitude and wisdom! i will be sending good healing thoughts your way and hoping all goes well next week. much love!
~ruby

marja-leena said...

Oh my dear Patry, what a shock! As Ruby wrote, you certainly are an inspiration in your strength and bravery in this very difficult time. My warmest good wishes in the surgery and for speedy healing after! Hugs.

Kate I said...

Patry, I've visited your blog before but never left a comment. Today, I'm leaving a comment...in the face of such devastating news your strength is amazing and inspiring. You will find your way through this and I send you strength and healing thoughts for your surgery next week.

Olivia said...

Patry, I too send you healing thoughts, positive energy, and good wishes for your upcoming surgery. Peace be with you, Olivia

Emma said...

Patry, you don't know me but I enjoy reading your blog; found you via Pohangina Pete. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I would like to thank you for your invigorating attitude! You are awesome, in every sense of the word.

Jean said...

Patry. Oh. I am shocked and sorry and encouraged by your words. And sending you lots of love.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your inspiration. May your strength be as great. Very best wishes for you and all your loved ones.

rr

(Another reader-non-commenter)

deirdre said...

I'll be thinking of you as you move through this and into health again.

leslee said...

Patry - yes, what a shock. Good to hear that the MRI was good, and hopefully the surgery will go well also. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. You have a great attitude and that helps with healing. Lots of love.

Kerstin said...

Patry, How does a lifelong word magician and optimist deal with this? With her wonderful and much loved grace, humor and wisdom. My husband always says, when asked whether he is a half-full or half-empty person: "I am a half glass away from the next full glass." Good luck with your surgery, Patry, my thoughts will be with you, sending you lots of bliss :)

Warmest wishes,
Kerstin

zhoen said...

(o)

rbarenblat said...

Thinking of you, Patry. This is tough stuff -- the toughest there is, really. I know what you mean about becoming tired of one's own despair and fear, though. I wish you healing of all kinds, in the days and weeks to come.

Marilyn said...

Oh, pal, I'm so very, very sorry to hear this news. This post contains such kernels of wisdom and light. Some of us are doing a no-complaint challenge via 37 Days and Christine Kane's blog...you've just kicked it up several notches with this post and made it so much more meaningful. Last night before sleep I was reading an article by Thich Nhat Hanh and this post reminded me of some things in it...about how mindfulness does not fight anger or despair...instead it recognizes it and treats it tenderly with compassion. As you embrace this part of your life's journey for all that it will offer you, I will be holding you in love and light. Be well, friend. I'll be thinking of you and praying for you. Much love.

Irene said...

Patry, your strength, wisdom and courage inspire me. I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. xo

Natalie said...

Patry, everyone here has expressed my own thoughts, wishes and admiration. What you are shines through and nothing can dim that light. Blessings to you from every direction.

martha said...

I will be sending love and light

kathryn said...

You are in my heart and meditations.

Diana said...

Just adding my "me too" to all that has been said, Patry. My thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

Saw the first draft of this post - just the title and photo - in my feed reader last night and was pleased. "Patry's getting back into blogging!" But this is obviously not what I was expecting to read. So sad. I'm glad you're finding the strength to rise above, but still. Aggh!

Neil said...

Sophia and I send you love and strength. May you heal quickly.

Patry Francis said...

Thanks so much to all of you--from the kind lurkers (so glad you spoke!) to the old friends. Your good words and thoughts are more than two ounces of bliss...

MB said...

Patry, I'm so sorry -- what a challenge you've been given! You are in my thoughts and prayers for speedy healing and continuing strength. Your words show you are already beginning to find solace in the best kind of good spirits. Thank you for sharing your inspiration. Much love to you.

robin andrea said...

I gasped out loud when I read this. All I can hope is that the love and affection we all send from afar is added to the ounces of bliss. Wishing you the very best.

Left-handed Trees... said...

Patry,
This news surprises and saddens me, but I am pulling for you and wishing you well! You will be in my ongoing thoughts now (and I'll light a candle for you next Thursday).
Love to you,
Delia

mm said...

Patry, what a difficult time this must have been. You are in my thoughts and will be particularly so on Thursday. Light and love and healing to you.

The Writers' Group said...

Patry,

I have no doubt your generous spirit and faith will see you through. Until then my prayers and well-wishes are with you.

Lynne

Christine Kane said...

I've added you to my morning prayer list! Much love and light coming your way!

The Writers' Group said...

I only wanted to add that I, too, have fingers and toes crossed for you. Your post, given the weight of all you have and are dealing with is amazing -- inspiring. Thinking of you.

Hannah

The Writers' Group said...

Patry, this isn't the first time you've faced adversity, surely it won't be the last, but perhaps it might be the best. Having been to the brink and back, I assure you the trip is worth it.

Move forward, Patry. Move onward and upward. And never give up. We're here for you.

Amy MacKinnon

Dale said...

{{{Patry}}}

Oh, Patry. So much love.

pohanginapete said...

What can I say, Patry? Nothing, I think, that hasn't already been said by all these good people. To read these comments is to be reminded that despite the ills of the world, it's fundamentally good; love and compassion are always close by. For having the courage and wisdom to prompt that reminder, thanks, Patry.

Best wishes and a big hug.

Fred Garber said...

Patry...I am praying for you. Your post as always was great. I love the honesty as you talked about your changing emotions. That foto of the espresso was perfect for your post. I think I need 2 ounces of that kind of inspiration right now.

bella said...

Just stumbled upon your blog.
Sweet Jesus, that's rough new to swallow.
As a hypochondriac myself, I was still stunned when diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
And as one who has walked this crooked road of illness, I am in love with your spirit and your honesty.
The shimmering seashell is an image I will hold close.

Therese said...

Patry,

I'm surprised (and dismayed) by your news, but not at all surprised by the grace and wisdom with which you're handling it.

Best wishes on all good outcomes, and peace and love to you as well.

-Therese Fowler

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Patry,

Prayers and best wishes from a former lurker (pulled over here from our mutual friends at The Writers' Group).

Your spirit is remarkable and affirming--all the best on Thursday and many many days afterwards.

Judy

Patry Francis said...

I would like to say something individually to you all as I usually would, but I am quite simply overwhelmed.

Pohanginapete says it for me: your genuine warmth, compassion and goodwill prove definitively that despite the obvious evil in the world, goodness wins. Every time.

A side note: my surgery has been rescheduled for Wednesday due to a cancellation. Keep the good vibes flowing that morning...

Maryanne Stahl said...

oh my god Patry. I am so sorry. You are courageous and wise and will get through this. I will send you reiki.

Fuck cancer.

Ric said...

Clicking through the blogs, hoping my dear Patry had finally woken from her autumn nap to replace the blueberry pie. Ah, she has, and then, oh my, bad news.

But she didn't refuse to see (like some character I read somewhere), she bounced back, turning negative to positive, despair to hope, anger to resolve.

And soon, when I click through this way again, we'll have news of the next book (anxiously awaited), and wonderful stories of angel nurses, skilled surgeons and delicious hospital food.

Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

If there's any one who can do bliss to the fullest, it's you. I think you'll be receiving nothing but good energy from us, your readers and friends. It's good to know how you're doing--and I will hop on board the heal-you-quickly bandwagon. Sending love from still sunny-in-nearly-december California.

xo
J

Myfanwy Collins said...

I'm so very sorry to hear this news, Patry, but I love your attitude. For a post that made me sad when I started reading it, you made me smile at the end. Please do let me know if there's anything I can do!

RobinSlick said...

Oh hell, Patry.

This so totally sucks. I mean, I really just want to scream F*ck, f*ck, f*ck, so I will...sigh...alright, that's a little better but not much...so instead I am going to take the good news part of your diagnosis, light candles for your successful surgery, and look forward to partying with you in New York City next year.

Okay? Okay!

Aphra Behn said...

Good Luck.

Aphra.

Kristy said...

It's all been said, and more eloquently than I can manage, Patry. Thinking of you, fellow debut author, friend and friend of friends.

LitPark said...

Patry.

God.

I love you, friend. I'm right here with you.

And crying.

gerry rosser said...

All my healing thoughts are with you.
gerry

Jessie said...

patry, be well. these words...this is the meaning of bravery. i will be thinking of you. from now until you are well!

Ellen said...

I just started reading your beautiful book when I got this news.

Patry, I hope you feel the strength of one more voice in the prayers headed your way! Glad you got some good news from the MRI and I hope the surgery brings even more bright light to the prognosis.

Thinking about you tons ...

xoEllen

rdl said...

You are and always have been my hero; you will be fine. you are loved and I especially love what Ric said (except for the hospital food). we are so partying as soon as you are better!!
xo

Anonymous said...

Patry...I don't even have words. That you've been going through this and carrying on conversations about writing, etc. - God, you're strong.

Please know that I'm with you, I love you, and plan to send so many healing thoughts your way, you'll feel them coming.

You're truly a marvel. You're who and what we all aspire to be, you know that, don't you?

Hugs and kisses,
Tish

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

One more voice in the symphony of healing that's playing for you right now. Be blessed.

Leah said...

sending loads of love, light, and pure, unadulterated bliss your way!! i love your grandfather's words of wisdom. definitely an inspiration, as are you!!

much love to you! xoxox

gayle said...

Oh Patry. I am sending tons of healing vibes your way. Thank you for your beautiful words about bliss--I needed to hear them today (although I wish you had shared them under different circumstances.) You have so much support--I hope you will continue to feel it.

xo
gayle

Karen Dionne said...

What a shock. Dear Patry, I'm SO sorry to hear you're ill. If love and support and an indomitable spirit can carry you through this, then your feet aren't even going to touch the ground.

Much love and prayers coming your way.

Karen

Robin said...

(((Patry)))
I'm so sorry. Here I thought you were off chasing your muse. Now I see that even as you face yet another challenge, you continue to inspire... As usual, you are the muse.

We'll be thinking about you, especially tomorrow. Please be well.

Don't take this the wrong way, but the kids thought the dog had died or something when they saw me this morning. The damn CT scan threw me off. Not that they don't care about you, but they were damn happy to see the dog. :) (hope that made you smile...)

Lots of people here rooting for you (really). Let us know if there's something we can do.
xoxo,
Robin

Moanna said...

You don't know me either but I hope you have a peaceful day today as you wait for the surgery tomorrow.

Amishlaw said...

Patry, it's hard to know what to write that might be of some comfort to you. Your writings, your book, your blog and your comments on other people's blogs have touched thousands of lives. You have a lot of friends, all over the world, and we're pulling for you.

Anonymous said...

That 2-to-1 bliss-to-misery ratio represents a choice--by far the healthier and more hopeful choice, of course, but in the moment the pull toward rage and wallowing and (etc) must be extraordinarily strong. Consciously seeking the seashell, rather than submitting to the perfectly-understandble embrace of self-pity--well, that you even have that impulse strikes me as a profound blessing. That you act on it, and so quickly--well, your example is a gift. To us. So thank you, and heal well, because you're healing for all of us too.

--DJC

Martha O'Connor said...

Patry,
I'll keep you and your family in my prayers. Much, much love,
Martha O'Connor

Tasha Alexander said...

Patry, you're in my thoughts. Wish there was something eloquent and helpful I could say.

Jackie said...

Here's sending you positive thoughts, and tons of cyber hugs. I'm wishing you and your family tons of bliss.

shelagh said...

Here is a book I just got from the library two days ago. Maybe it was because I had to share it with you:) It might help you and it certainly won't harm you. I have started trying the exercises. 8 moves and it takes six minutes only 2 x a day.
The author was healed. He wrote the book to share the moving mediation and his story is at the back, he didn't want it to overshadow the message. Qi Gong for beginners, Eight Easy Movements for Vibrant Health- Stanley D. Wilson, PHD.
I wish you peace and healing and the strength to face life on your own terms. Cheers, Shelagh

Lynn Sinclair said...

Patry, thank you so much for sharing, in this post, your wisdom and grace. Wonderful words to live by. I'll be sending good vibes your way on Wednesday, and looking forward to your next post.

Devon Ellington said...

What can we do to help? I'm not sure where you're located, but I'm sure those of us close enough to provide physical assistance (cooking, driving, whatever) will be happy to help, and those of us farther away will do anything we can, too.

Don't be afraid to ask.

Carmen said...

Thinking of you

lori said...

Dear Patry,
I just heard from Karen on Backspace. I am sending all healing prayers I know-- With such a shining spirit, I know you'll do fine, but just in case, they're coming to you by air, should definitely be there before Thursday. Good luck with the surgery and god bless. Lori

Nick said...

Wishing you a speedy recovery from the upcoming operation. You will be in my prayers.

-Nick

Larramie said...

No kick, indeed, Patry! I've always believed those John words and I believe in you!!!

pia said...

Look at the love for you, Patry! I want to add mine, and thank you for the beautiful post and for showing me your shell.

Blessings.

Joanne said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Joanne - from bksp.org

Lance Reynald said...

may you face bliss with it's close cousin, fearlessness.

an average person I would worry about with this news...

But you, I know you have everything it takes to conquer... and the wisdom to see your way through.

my wishes, my thoughts, my hopes and with all my heart; I know you'll get through.

xo. LR

Annie Coe said...

I am so sorry! I think you are totally right about the 2 onces of bliss. My thoughts are with you and
I KNOW you will pull through. I am
a faithful reader, but this is my first comment. You are a wonderful writer and a dear soul. All the best,
Love,Annie

Jon Clinch said...

We're pulling for you, Patry.

steve said...

Patry,

I had been checking into your blog regularly, and hoped you were preoccupied with your new novel. My hopes and prayers for your complete recovery. And I'm still looking forward to reading your next novel.

pam said...

Patry,

I'm sorry that you are going through this, and am inspired by your attitude. That outlook is so powerful and I hope it leads to a speedy recover. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Pam

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I came via Kathryn's A Mindful Life. Thinking of you, Patry.

Richard Lewis said...

Thanks for this moving post.

Grace be with you.

Prayers said.

Charles Gramlich said...

I dropped by from "Slow Train's" blog. I wish you the absolute best. Your attitude is certainly potent. I really liked how you said that after twelve hours of despair you were already bored with it. I'd like to have more of that attitude in my own life. Best wishes.

Patry Francis said...

I'm truly humbled by all the light and love I've received here. Humbled and more grateful than you'll ever know--but not totally surprised. I've always known you were all wonderful. Thanks again. xox

Mardougrrl said...

I am so, so sorry to hear this--you are in my thoughts. And as always, you are SUCH an inspiration to me...not just as a writer, but as a person.

Good luck, Patry. I am praying for you.

Julie said...

I also dropped in from Slow Train's blog. Keep courage.

Julie

Lisa said...

No kick. You have always been an inspiration, but never more than you are at this moment. We love you Patry.
xoxoxo

SzélsőFa said...

Steve from a slow train suggested me visiting your site. I've read your entries about Madeleine L'Engle, who's one of my favourite author, and about 'chasing the Muse' all summer long.
I'm sorry to have heard about this illness and I'm sending you some positive energy from over here, from Europe.
Best wishes,
SzélsőFa

Marilyn said...

Patry, just popping by this morning to wish you well with your surgery today and let you know that I'll be thinking of you and sending healing thoughts your way. I also wanted to send a message sent to you by one of your Davis book party ladies, Esther. (She's the third from the right in our group photo.) Here it is:
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dear Patry,

Appreciate where you are at this moment and pay attention to everything that is working in your life right now. As Padre Pio (a healer, seer and visionary) said: "Pray, hope and don't worry". Please accept my sincere wishes for healing.

Love, Esther
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now go get well so you can finish that next book and we can have another party! Much love, Marilyn

Anonymous said...

Patry,

My thoughts are with you. You are such a generous person and giving writer. Your strength and positive energy will shine through.

Liz Kahrs

sue said...

Oh, hun... I'll be keeping good thoughts for you. Thank you for sharing with us.

floots said...

patry - wish i could say more
all i can send you is a breath of healing highland air and my very best wishes
floots

Melissa Marsh said...

Patry, I love your attitude. My prayers will be with you.

Sky said...

hey, patry. i just learned about this, and i am so sorry that you and ted and the family are going through a trying time right now. your attitude is truly remarkable. i wish i had the strength you demonstrate when facing my own challenges. i am such a whiner, but i am going to try to learn from you! you are indeed a hero, as rdl said. sending love and big hugs to you and ted. we are here for you.

ORION said...

My thoughts are with you.

LitPark said...

When anyone in our family is sick or has had surgery, they get to have the little Tibetan bell beside the bell. You can ring it to get snacks, heating pads, anything! If you don't have a bell, I will send you one.

Love you.

LitPark said...

That should say...beside the bed.

Amber said...

You will be in our prayers tonight. I am wishing you the best! And healing! And I am thanking you for being you.

:)

Becca said...

Patry, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

You convey such courage in these beautifully written words. May your fighting spirit be strong, and may the love of your family and friends continue to hold you up.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone:
Our day yesterday started at 3:30 am as we headed into Boston for Patry's surgery which was scheduled for 6am.It ended with me driving down I93 around 9pm exhausted but ecstatic with how well everything went.
The operation was successful and her surgeon, one of the worlds best, was very happy with what he saw and how she made out. She's very strong spiritually and physically and hopefully will becoming home soon with a long healing period ahead of her.
Thanks for your prayers,
peace and love,
Ted

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Patry, all my thoughts and healing vibes are with you. Please be well.

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Thanks for posting this update, Ted. You gave me wonderful news to begin my day. I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Ted. I'm glad she'd doing well and I'm glad she has you.

Fred Garber said...

This is great news!

Anonymous said...

Ted, you're a darling to have posted this. I'm crying with relief - wonderful news!

Love to you, Patry, and your family,

Tish

Jackie said...

Thank God, Ted. Sending even more prayers and positive thoughts Patry's way.

jenny gardiner said...

Hi Patry,
You don't know me but I remember you from the panel at the Backspace conference and it was so lovely to see your joy with your publishing successes. I hope you can refer to those joyful moments as your struggles may get worse. Please know friends and strangers alike are pulling for you.
Best wishes for a return to good health.

floots said...

ted: thanks for the update
best wishes

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Patry:

You're always such a shining example of graciousness and inspiration. Your friends and admirers are endless...and our love for you is, too.

Jean said...

I'm so happy to read your message, Ted. Much love to both of you and all your family.

Sustenance Scout said...

Ted and Patry, So glad the surgery is behind you! For some reason I thought it was next week, Phew!! Wishing you both a very healing, restful weekend. Love and prayers from Denver, K.

Sally Crawford from London (http://www.sallycrawford.typepad.com) said...

Patry,

Please accept a big hug.

Even though we don't know each other really I send you my love and warmest, warmest thoughts.

Sustenance Scout said...

Just followed up with a post on my blog to update those who know and love Patry but haven't yet read Ted's encouraging update.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Patry!! Love, K.

Carleen Brice said...

I'm so glad to hear the surgery went well!! I know Denver is sending you lots of love and healing wishes!

Marilyn said...

Ted, thank you so much for that update. So relieved and glad to hear it went well. Will continue to hold Patry in my thoughts and prayers...and visualize her healing. Best to both of you. ~Marilyn in Davis, CA

Peter said...

With all my love, Patry, get well.

Tinker said...

Oh Patry! I am wishing you so very, very much bliss right now, my friend - and I feel sure you will find it, everywhere you look. With your love of shells and acorns and metaphors - you definitely have an eye for it.
Sending you many, many ((hugs)) as many as you can stand, and I'm praying for you to be as blissed out and healthy as can possibly be.
~((hugs))

Anonymous said...

Update: Patry is improving every day. She is in good spirits and ready to come home even though we haven't heard anything about a release date yet. She is up walking the halls and has started receiving some fluids. All good news!!!
Hopefully she will be posting a new message soon.
Thanks again for all your prayers and support,
Ted

Marilyn said...

Ted, thank you so much for keeping us updated. I was thinking of her (and you) this morning when I walked by a certain inn in downtown Davis. This is for Patry...

http://tinyurl.com/2qchtv

I'm thinking of her and holding big thoughts of healing for her. Much love to her.

Tinker said...

Patry, I am so sorry to hear about this...I had been wondering where you were. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing you as much bliss as you need while you kick this, and strength to you and all of your family. Sending you much love and many ((hugs)).
~Tinker
Thanks Ted for keeping us updated!

Sustenance Scout said...

Thanks, Ted! Looking forward to hearing that Patry's settled back at home. Please give her a big hug from Denver! K.

Shauna Roberts said...

I came to your blog via The Writers Group. My best wishes on a speedy and easy recovery. May you continue to find bliss in the ordinary things that too many people overlook.

Colorsonmymind said...

Great news that it hasn't metastisized.

beautiful honesty.

I have something I would love to send you if you would send me your address.

thea@theacoughlin.com

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I've been thinking of you and have just stopped by the blog to see what you've written about this scary experience. It's poignant as usual and it gives me hope that should I ever get such news, there's life after it.
Best wishes for all to be well.
You have lots more living to do

Holly Kennedy said...

Oh, Patry, my heart goes out to you. Please consider yourself cyber-hugged!

Much love and best wishes will be sent your way daily as you fight this awful hurdle.

KG said...

Dear wonderful Patry!

I am sending you so many positive vibes right now. There's an endless supply coming right to you!

You have so much love and support out there, as seen in these heartfelt comments.

I read the comment update from Ted, and I am relieved that the surgery was a success.

We are all here for you if you need anything. Please let us know. We bloggers are a village, a community, and we are here for you.

The Writers' Group said...

Patry & Ted,

I think of youdaily and hope all is going as well as can be expected -- no, much more so. Ted, thanks for the updates; they've helped us all breathe a little easier. Yes, a long road ahead to be sure, but what a gift to have each other and an entire community to share the burden.

Amy

Kitty said...

Dear Patry,

You are a wonderful writer and have been an inspiration to me ever since I discovered your blog. I haven't read your whole blog journey, so I don't know the story of your life. But I do know that since I have been casually stopping by, you seem to me to be living your dream: your novel pubbed, you have more one the way, you went on this awesome book tour. Knowing you're out there, making magic for yourself has really meant something to me.

Your news shocks me, but your attitude remains an inspiration. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

-Kitty

Patry Francis said...

Just got home this afternoon. My hospital stay was longer than anticipated, but on the other hand, the pain was also less than I expected. (That's two ounces of bliss for every ounce of trouble in action!) As Ted said, the surgery was successful and the pathology reports were all good news. A meeting with the oncologist in two weeks will determine if any other treatment is needed.

Reading and rereading all your wonderful messages made me cry and smile, then cry again. The amazing thing is that I HEAR and KNOW so many of your unique voices and spirits. And yes, I've had a percocet but even if I hadn't, I'd say it anyway: I love you all for your kindness and just for being your wonderful selves. You have lifted me up more than you know

Right now I'm feeling pretty beat up and exhausted, but I plan to answer all my emails a few at a time.

Sky said...

Oh, Patry, I am smiling as I see your image here and read your words. So glad you are home and that things seem upbeat. It is scary and hard, but your strength and positive attitude will carry you through - along with the love and good wishes and prayers of so many people, many of whom you don't know in person. Isn't it just grand how technology brings so many hearts together?! :) I send love and joy and many wishes for healing and continued good news. I did some imagery work in the past when I was having my own crisis. I hope you will do some, too. Seeing our bodies as healed keeps us focused in the right direction. Hugs to you and Ted.

Laura said...

Patry, I'm so glad you're home and in good spirits and that you are surrounded by healing love. Your generous heart and optimism will make all the difference in your recovery. Such terrible trials always leave behind surprising gifts, and I see here that the first is a bounty of love from the people whose lives you've touched. You're a blessing!

You'll be in my prayers. Hugs--L.

Carolyn Burns Bass said...

Sleeping in your own bed will speed your recovery along more than ever.

We'll all be looking forward to more from you--percocet or not.

More blissings.

Sustenance Scout said...

Patry, I'm going to take a chance here to speak for blogging friends who've also sent you emails: PLEASE don't worry about emailing back! I wrote just to let you know how I felt and to send along a little extra tlc and because I felt the need to do SOMETHING in reaction to your news. Hearing from you here is a gift in itself; please rest and don't worry about anything that "ought" to be done. Hugs from Denver, K.

Fred Garber said...

Patry! What great news! You are home and resting! You are one tough lady! I have been praying for you. Next sunday morning our church will be having a special mass, play and feast in honor of the Virgen of Guadaloupe(even though the real feast day is the 12th). I will light a candle for you. You being home is such a great gift!

bloglily said...

Oh dear Patry, I'm so sorry you're going through this, so glad you're home, and so happy to hear you're finished with surgery. I had breast cancer last year (it feels so odd to say it like that, in the past tense, because the feeling of having stepped over a line to some other place never really leaves you, which is not necessarily a bad thing), and it was an extraordinary and sometimes overwhelming journey -- not all bad, not all good. But you never stop being who you are, you know. I'm so happy you're home, and know that you will be well with whatever comes because that is so clearly the person you are. Much love to you (and to your wonderful husband), Lily

Laura said...

Hey Patry!

I'm so glad you're home and on the mend! My Fred and I have been thinking of you, give yourself a big hug from us (or even better, ask Ted to give you a hug from us!)

:D

Love

Laura

Patry Francis said...

K--and everyone: Thanks for being so understanding about the emails. The truth is I really would like to respond to e-mails )in a slow and plodding way)and to send out meagre thank yous to the many who have been so kind to me--but I can't! For the first time, when I press the magic "send" button, it doesn't work.

Seems there's a problem with my server, which involves changing some secret number, and detailed technical instructions my brain is far too foggy to follow. Hoping to get my poor besieged Ted to work on the problem later tonight.

Simply Coll said...

Patry, I have been checking in every once in awhile.. wondering. I was so shocked to read this post today. I am so very sorry for all that you have been through. I so admire your attitude and will leave today with a better outlook in so many ways.
I wish you all the best in this battle. I am sending prayers.

LitPark said...

So glad to know you're home. Thinking all good thoughts for you. Enjoy the percocet and make sure you have a bell to ring. xo

tess said...

patry,
I've been traveling and just got home and found out about your crisis. I don't want to add to the ever-growing number of messages you have to respond to; I just want to tell you I'm thinking about you and hoping, hoping that you know how many people are rooting for you!

Tess Gerritsen

saraarts said...

Oh, dear, I'm so sorry to hear this -- not to hear that you're not done yet, of course, but that you're having to go through this yucky cancer crap at all. Gad, you too? Rats.

I came here on the off-chance that you'd finally written something. I'm glad I did. I'm glad to know (even belatedly), even though it sucks.

Hang tough, kiddo. Let me know if there's anything I can do for you, even all the way up here in Concord.

colleen said...

Patry, Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. It sounds trite, but I mean it.

colleen said...

P.S. And here I was thinking all this time that your absence here was because you were writing away, full of creativity working on your new novel.

deb said...

Patry ...

I haven't dropped in to visit you in a while, so when I checked in today ... shit. Words are failing me ... my fingers sit poised on the keys thinking there might be something I could say, knowing there's nothing really. But still: I am sending you good vibes for what they're worth ... wishing you a peaceful recovery in the aftermath of the surgery and happy, healthy cells growing strong to kick that cancer's ass. Sweet, vibrant vibes coming your way w/love, Deb

paris parfait said...

Oh Patry - I am just now reading this on Dec. 22. What a shock, but you are strong and it sounds like you have wonderful doctors. My thoughts and prayers are with you. xo

SweetAnnee said...

I am PRAYING!!
deena

traveler64 said...

Dear Patry, this is the first time I read your blog, sent here by a friend, who also told me about your novel. I am a stranger to you, however I wanted to wish you the very best and assure you that this stranger has you in her thoughts and in her prayers. As I read your novel, my thoughts will be with you.
Adriana.

Patry Francis said...

xx

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