Modest Dress for Catholics

When I go to mass, I get distracted, and it’s not because the homily is boring, or because I didn’t get enough sleep the night before. From where I sit with the choir, I can see the entire congregation, and it doesn’t look good. Save for a few select families, we all look like a bunch of bums. I remember how we would dress up in the 80s and 90s to go to mass. What happened?! Why don’t women wear something, oh, feminine and modest, and why don’t the men at least put on a button up shirt and slacks? Is it THAT difficult to look nice for God?

I realize that with the changes of Vatican II, people seemed to think they didn’t have to look nice, or cover their heads to pray, or anything like that. The Vatican never, ever said that we were allowed to nix mantillas at mass. We’re a very liberal state, and I understand that, but that doesn’t excuse wearing daisy duke shorts and a boobie shirt for 90 whole minutes on a Sunday morning.

I am very, VERY disappointed in all of you. Yes, especially you, right there, the one in the pajamas. That is NOT OKAY. …rant over.

Remission… finally.

As of November 11th, I’m officially in remission.  It’s been a very, very long time, and I’m extremely lucky to be finished relatively unscathed.  My bladder and kidneys are still subpar, but compared to others with the same cancer as I had, this is definitely a blessing.

The power of prayer does work, and I wanted to take this moment to thank everyone who has prayed for me.  My remission really is unexplained, and a miracle in itself.  My fleet of doctors didn’t think I’d achieve remission until after Christmas, but it’s the middle of November, and already we’re talking about maintenance drugs, and what remission will mean for the future.  I have a future, thanks to everyone who prayed for me.  I know you can argue that I was lucky, and science was on my side.  That may be true, but I truly believe my remission is a gift from God.  He granted our prayers that I get better.  If anything, this is further proof that God exists (for me).  Cancer really affected my outlook on life.  It made me realize that life is precious, and can be short.  I had to confront my own mortality.  It’s hard laying in a hospital bed and being told that you could die, and even harder to see friends walk away from you because they don’t understand how sick you really are.  I didn’t want to tell anyone that I was dying.  One night, I looked over to my friend and told him the whole story, trying hard not to cry.  We both cried that night for a long time, and he told me (I’ll always remember this): “You will not die. I will not let you die.”  We both prayed so hard that night, and continued to every night. I still pray every night, but it’s a prayer of thanksgiving.

It’s been a wild ride.  I’ve had blood transfusions, been put on the kidney transplant list, stayed for nights on end in a small, sterile hospital room, and have visited the ER more times than I’d like to admit.  I’m just glad I’m on the upwards road to recovery, and that I had such supportive friends and family along the way.  So, thank you everyone who gave me words of encouragement and a hand to hold during these past few months.

Mysterious Ways

Have you ever prayed for something, hard, and then when the outcome happened, it wasn’t what you were expecting (or hoping for)?  It’s no secret that I have lots of time on my hands, and when I (honestly) have nothing to do, I’ll say a rosary or two or six.  I think it started out as idle praying out of concern for a friend and a really messed up situation (it was messed up in my mind at least, but what do I know?).  It became rather fervent and desperate as of last night.  I felt… panicked.  You know, the choked-up panicked feeling you get when something is completely out of your hands, and you’re overly paranoid?   Right.  So, long story cut very, very short: we came to a conclusion tonight that I didn’t see coming at all.  Well no, I did in the long run, but not this soon.  Needless to say I was blindsided.

Here’s my little note to God, if you will.  And seriously, don’t lecture me on my notes to God – it’s not your business.

God, um, why right now?  I know you disapproved, but seriously, couldn’t you just ween it off or something?  I know, my fault, asking for something that I didn’t see coming.  I shouldn’t have said, “Please help him make the right decision,” because, ultimately, he did.  Now I feel like a jerk, and I’m not blaming you, but why right now when I’m so unsure of everything, and then you drop this in my lap?  Argh, not fair.

Glad that’s off my chest, even though I’m not.  I’ve not felt this guilty or this sad in such a long time.  This just came on a day where I found out that I have mono (again – they think at least), and I still have my painful hip problem that just leaves me emotionally drained.  I can’t do this on my own, goddammit.  I don’t feel comfortable calling anyone at the moment, even Sean.  It’s one of those things where you want to lock yourself in your closet and not let anyone in; where the dark envelops you in a suffocating blanket of warmth and protectiveness.  It’s bad timing – it’s always bad timing.  Worst timing.

If my closet wasn’t full of shoes and my guitar, I’d go sit in it right now.  But, since I don’t have that option, my bed is as good as any.

Schedules

My chemo schedule’s changed.  They want to do every-other week, for three days.  This is good and bad, I think.  Good, because it’s less treatment all at once (five days in a row was WAY too much, thanks), and every-other week is easy to remember.  Maybe this’ll be better.  The few days after treatment, thursday and today, have just left me exhausted and ill.  I’m so freaking lucky though.  I don’t have to stay in the hospital, and my prognosis is like, 95% recovery (that 5% is reserved in case I do something retarded).  Go me!

I’ve received messages that people are praying for me, and I’m not sure how to receive that.  I mean, it means a lot to me, but it also makes me feel a bit weird, like they’re wasting their time on me.  Is that how it’s supposed to be?  It’s not like this is a private thing for me – freaking everybody knows.  But, I don’t want to be a bother.  I just want to go through this as nonchalantly as possible, bothering as few people as I can.  Maybe people will forget that I have it (despite the awesome no-hair haircut), and they’ll treat me like normal.  *sigh*  How are you supposed to feel when you have cancer?