Bits and Pieces

… kinda like legos, but they don’t fit together as well.

It’s been an incredible week over at the WhyMommy house.  Last week, I became Catholic.  No, really!  I followed my heart and joined the church of over a billion people throughout the world.  Am I going right-wing crazy and joining marches for this and that?  No.  I’m still me.  I’m still the me I’ve always been, but I’m now joined together with a billion people who also believe and who are trying to be better each day.  And it brings me peace.

Confirmation was more moving than I ever expected.  Since religion to me has always been first and foremost about my personal relationship with God, I typically keep it — well, personal — but fellowship is also very important to me, and as I wrote about last week, the fellowship I’ve found at this church is amazing.  So receiving the sacraments this week (Reconciliation (known as Confession), Confirmation, Communion, and the Anointing of the Sick) in the presence of my pastor and my new church family was nothing short of amazing.  I wish I could convey how very beautiful it was to be confirmed in the sanctuary in the middle of the church, and then turn around and see my beautiful church family clapping for me and welcoming me in, but words alone fall short of the magic.  They even threw a party downstairs, and we celebrated together.  It felt good to get out of the house and celebrate, and to take this big and scary step of joining a church — a church that for so long I found tradition-bound with beliefs I just could not understand.  Now I understand some, I realize that others were mixed up with interpretations of tradition, and some I am still seeking to understand, but I’ve been told that that’s okay.  That there is a lot to learn, and it can take time and prayer to understand it all.  So I continue on my journey.

Speaking of friendship, I had a lovely visit from Kristen yesterday (did you see this post? sigh.), and it felt like old times, just sitting and chatting and having a good girl talk.  I haven’t gotten out much at all since I’ve been in treatment, and it was so fun! to have a friend visit me.  I’m feeling a million times better than I did last week (which wouldn’t be hard), so it was particularly great that we could sit and talk and have fun.  She reminded me that I haven’t updated you all on my feet lately — I’m happy to report that they’re just dry and peeling now; the redness is subsiding, and it DOES NOT HURT TO WALK.  I’ve been on a lower dose for the last two cycles (6 weeks) and it is working perfectly.  As it turns out, the condition of one’s feet is the marker for how the body metabolizes Xeloda; when the feet get tender, you’ve got about the right dose, so if it hurts to walk (my oncologist explained) it’s time to dial back.  So I’m getting the right dose AND I’m able to walk and get around again, and the bedroom slippers are back in the closet where they belong.

The kids had a wonderful Halloween.  They dressed up as a spotted dalmation and a tiger, and they stole my heart and the hearts of nearly everyone who saw them!  We celebrated at their school parties (Thursday and Friday), at the Downtown OurTown Trick-Or-Treat, where we saw Mom-In-A-Million and kidlet, as well as our friend Colleen and her girls, and had a grand old time in an old-fashioned hay maze, new-fashioned music, and of course Ye Olde Bouncy Castle.  We even took pictures, and they came out adorable.

By the time we got home, though, Widget was tired and quiet, and we didn’t know it, but by Sunday afternoon he would be nursing a 103′ fever.  So we said goodbye to one set of grandparents, prepared for the next, and cuddled him throughout the weekend and early days of the week.

Now I’m back to the computer working, Little Bear is back in school, Widget is all better (but still at home while we wait out the 24 hours post-fever), Daddy is making great progress on a big project, and we’re all just keeping our heads above water.  I’m finishing up one NASA contract and waiting to hear on the next, hoping with all my might that we’re not turned down because I’ve been sick this fall and they’re worried about me getting the work done next year.  After all, I finish chemo next month and will be ready to work more full-time again in January — and I really hope we get this grant.  It’s a joint project with some members of the DC social media crowd that you probably know very well — always-patient educator Amy (@TeachMama), technology guru Leticia (@TechSavvyMama), Virtual Science Fair organizer and awesomesauce Jean (@Stimey), journalist and Junior League President J.J. (@caffandaprayer), and engineer Lisa, who is a wizard with children, engineering, and making the conections between them. 

And speaking of new projects, head on over and check out the story behind @BananaBlueberry (and other good stuff for you) — Nicole has an amazing backstory that blew me away this morning.  She’ll be posting bits (The BananaBlueberry Bits Book!) each Wednesday, and I’m tuning in to hear more each week — won’t you?


11 Responses to Bits and Pieces

  1. Laurie says:

    Whoa, you’re busy! Glad things are going well on so many fronts…lots to respond to so I won’t even try, just say more power to you and hope the grants/NASA projects go through. That’s good stuff.

  2. JavaMom says:

    Congratulations on your confirmation! That is wonderful! I’m glad you’ve found the supportive church community you wanted and needed!

    I, too, am anxiously awaiting news of our NASA proposal! Especially because it means I’ll get to work with some of my favorite people!

  3. elesha says:

    Welcome the catholicism I’m like you even thought I have been one my whole life. There are things I still don’t understand but that’s ok. Susanne I was just wondering if I missed a post cause I now you were having a bio-psy on that lump have you done that yet ?

  4. Richard Foster says:

    We enjoyed talking to you last week. I hope you got the package. I found a foot prep on line using henna to treat Xeloda side effects. It sounded like it would work, but messy.

  5. My heart swelled with joy for you as I read about your confirmation. Congratulations! And the rest of the post is just as joyful. I’m so glad you’ve found your balance with the chemo, and that it is working well as well as letting you live your life. I have fingers crossed for your next NASA project – I think I know a little bit about it and it’s very exciting 🙂
    I wonder if Widget’s fever could be the same virus that is going around here? Poor wee man. Hugs from us.
    Also, I was thinking of you (and WhyDaddy) on Saturday: Pearl & I got to look through the big observatory telescope at Jupiter and three visible moons!

  6. Kay Lynn says:

    I joined the Catholic church last year and I can relate to your confirmation experience. There is still a lot that I don’t understand, but I am so glad that my sons have such a wonderful church in which they can grow and become good young men. I was raised Presbyterian and have so many good memories of Sunday School and VBS and I’m so glad that I can give them those same experiences.

  7. Adam says:

    Neat. There is something beautiful in “high church” that we often miss in Protestantville. I’ve heard it said God created us to need beauty which is why He had Moses build the Temple so ornate, so intricate. I was sad to see where you had been was not supportive like the Body should be. A 17th century English theologian said there was no holiness without social holiness, meaning we become more like Christ only within the relationship with other believers. So I’m really glad to see you have a found a vital (a nice Latin word – Mr. Barfield would be proud) church family, where you can love and grow and heal and reciprocate that for others.

  8. Lynne says:

    Welcome to our Catholic faith family. Like most families, you’ll find out that we don’t always get along or agree with each other, but we consider ourselves a family following a path. We represent the full spectrum of the human and political continuum – I believe that you will fit in no matter where you find yourself and your family. Welcome!

  9. Wow – I had no idea you were in this journey. Welcome ! Our Church is lucky to have you. I struggle and question many things but choose to remain a practicing Catholic because of some central tenets that I believe in fervently.

    Glad you all had a good Halloween.

  10. […] this, I will add a return to faith.  A book, or two.  A job well done.  A little extra exposure to a shared love of science among […]

  11. Ella says:

    Many congratulations on your confirmation, I hope your new church brings you and your family much support and love x

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