Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Hi, everyone! I just want to share something amazing with all of you.

I just got home a little while ago from another trip up to Tuscon to see Dr. Lang about a glitch with my remaining drain. Not a big deal. I got to get the drain out which feels heavenly, but have to wear an ace wrap around my chest for a week or so. Not fun in this heat. It is warm and very itchy! I met with the radiologist yesterday and things are in the works to start my treatments some time next week. My radiologist's name is Dr. Tannehill and I really liked him. He actually worked with Dr. Livingston and Dr. Lang in Tuscon up until a couple of months ago and has just recently relocated to Scottsdale. How awesome is it that I'm able to go to a radiologist here close to home that comes very highly recommended by my doctors in Tuscon?! He spent quite a bit of time talking with Joe, Pam, and I explaining everything and answering all of our questions. He and the other two radiologists at this radiological center specialize in breast cancer patients. That is all they do. It was pretty scary listening to all the short term and long term side effects, but it is something I need to do. I left feeling that if I had to do this, at least I was in expert hands, again.

Anyway, as you all know, the last few days have been a little rough emotionally. I really thought I was coming to the end of my treatment, only to find I still have a ways to go. My feelings have been a lot like when I was first diagnosed. Sad and scared, but also anxious to get the fight going. My last chemo was a little over a month ago, so any cancer cells left in my body have had a bit of a vacation. I'm ready to go again and do whatever it is I need to do to get rid of them!

Ok. Here is the speechless part. I was just sitting in the living room, working on a knitting project, feeling physically and emotionally tired out from a couple of long days, when Joe came in with the mail. He handed me a large manila package from his cousin, Mary Monica, who lives in California. I think I've met Mary Monica twice, both times back when Joe and I were first married. She is a breast cancer survivor, also, and has been in touch with us (mostly Joe, I'm shy about getting on the phone) frequently since I was diagnosed with words of encouragement, support, and advice. When I opened the package, my breath was literally taken away and then I just started to cry. Inside was a beautiful chain of paper cranes folded by Mary Monica and her friends for me. If you don't know the story behind Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, you can visit to learn more. Mary Monica had no way to know that I share this story with my students each year and teach them how to fold cranes. I hope she doesn't mind if I share her beautiful words here.

"This chain of paper cranes were inspired by the Sadako World Peace Project. They also represent my hopes, prayers, and wishes for you on your journey through breast cancer to regain your health, strength, (hair), and make a full recovery."

How can I possibly be down or sad or discouraged when I have wonderful, beautiful people like Mary Monica and all the rest of you rooting for me. Every time all of the medical information and treatment and side effects become overwhelming, it is met by the overwhelming love and support of my family and friends. My mind is literally without words to describe my feelings. I am speechless. Yet, my heart and spirit are filled with love and joy.

Thank you, Mary Monica! Thank you everyone! I hold each of you close in my heart.



Dottie said...

Dear Martha,

I think anyone would have to agree that the "coincidences" you've had throughout this ordeal are far too miraculous to be just coincidences, Martha!! How PERFECT is the radiology situation?!? I think you are extraordinarily blessed to have LOTS of beautiful spirits being part of and guiding every step of your way!

What a BEAUTIFUL thing for Mary Monica to do! It takes the Sadako story to a whole different level, doesn't it? WOW!!! I'll bet that's going to change the way you teach that book in the future!! What a kind thing for her to do!

Can I just say, Martha, that I was "Speechless!" when I read that you were doing a KNITTING project!! Is this the Martha Hitzel I know????? ;o)

Lots of love,

velvet brick said...

WoW! I'm not familiar with this story, Martha! I will be checking it out tonight...what an amazing gift to open and behold!!! Mary Monica is a beautiful woman! I love the pictures that you took showing it - I don't know if I could have accurately pictured it in my mind if you had just described it. Thank you for the pics - and for including you!! : ))

The universe continues to bring the best to you in your treatment, my girl. The radiologist is the one who will do the best - I agree about it not being a coincidence!

Let us shoulder your fears and worries, Martha. We have many strong shoulders and can handle them for you so that you can focus on taking care of yourself. Don't be shy to pick up the phone and call your friends. We will carry them for you so that you don't have to. We walk this with you.

Love to you and your family - I am looking forward to the 'margarita express' tomorrow!! : ))

Carolla del Sola

N-Search of Peace! said...

Yet another "light" in the darkness!

With immense love and strength I wrap around you always and forever...


Mary Monica said...

Dear Martha,

I am tearfully reading your latest post and am so glad the cranes arrived at the right moment. I had been working on them for a while...always on my "to do" list and finally was able to finish and mail them this past weekend. I love the photos of them and you.

I helped a friend teach children at an elementary school in Davis (CA)to fold the cranes and we helped them fold 1,000 that day that are now in their library as their wish for world peace. I had no idea that you taught the book to your class.

It is OK to be down, scared, and discouraged...we will be your strength when you need us. My drains (one in particular) took forever to come out as well...I remember how happy I was to have them gone. You keep taking it one day at a time.

lots of love to you,
Mary Monica