Thursday, June 16, 2011

The right decision...

at the right time.

A and I went to the ER on Monday because I was breathing heavily; we were afraid the increasing difficulty might be due to a common, and dangerous, side-effect of Yervoy. They ran lots of tests for breathing (which of course was better while we were there), and found nothing. They also gave IV morphine for knee pain. (I have a pathologically fractured left tibia—meaning that mets are weakening my bones. I was also using an inadequate brace.) The morphine had worn off by the time we got home, but no one had taken any new films of the injury.

So on Tuesday morning, I was back in pain again and we didn’t have any real solutions. A called 911 for my labored breathing and increased pain in my left knee. I’d awakened that morning on the floor, rolling around, trying to get up and go to the bathroom by myself. I clearly wasn’t fully awake; I was screaming in pain, and the brace I was using wouldn’t protect me anymore. (I normally summon her, either by calling out or with the bicycle horn, when I need help getting to the bathroom in the night.) I was stoned on legal painkillers, but not stoned enough. A called the local ambulance, which could have taken me to the local hospital that contracts with Kaiser. But the drivers knew the ER staff had never seen what I had; I remember one saying I would “scare them.” (Not with my degree of disorientation; this is Stockton, CA. But my level of disease would have been a new challenge to them.) So the ambulance drivers helped get me into her car, and she drove me to the Kaiser hospital in Sac.

They took blood samples, and new images of my leg—we were insisting on a solution for the pain. They gave me a new, more stable clamshell cast, which I can remove to bathe. What matters most in my memory, and to my present reality, is the conversation with the ER doc. She came to my bed; A was sitting on the other side of me. I had just taken my first infusion of Yervoy the previous Friday. I’d never felt sure of it. I honestly felt more pressured into it by my doctor, than willing to stay in the fight myself. A and I have always been on the same page. I was afraid it wouldn’t work; I was afraid it would only work a little. I’d take baths and watch the tumors grow; I’d hear my own Darth Vader breathing, and feel some ground slip underneath me.

This doctor, God bless her, gave us both permission to admit that. I must have said something about the pain, frustration, and uncertainty I was in. She answered, “How committed are you to chemo?”

A and I looked at each other, and we both teared up. We knew. And it was okay. I looked back at the doctor. I knew the words were mine to say: “Not in our hearts, really.” She, God bless her, cried with us. And she got us connected with a palliative care doctor, who is working with us until he can get us connected with hospice.

This is the care I need. This is the care I finally had the readiness, and the courage, to ask for. I’ve been fighting for three years. That’s enough. Just saying, “I want hospice,” gives me so much peace. I don’t need to fight to the bitter end. I don’t need to be a warrior anymore. I can let go as my body wants to, into as much comfort as possible.

My warrior friends, and my cheerleader friends, will be sad for me. I’m sorry. And 40 does feel shockingly young. I would have loved to have been cured from this, to come back and live my new life with everything I’ve learned. But when I asked to see my most recent PET image, and it looked like a Jackson Pollack print of my upper body, that was enough. I don’t need to stare steel-eyed against all my invaded organs. I already see a breastplate of tumors when I take off my shirt (seriously! Almost like medallions all along my clavicle); feel them just under sea level when I touch my upper arms and legs. I know what’s inside me, and I know how tenacious it is. My oncologist had told me that Yervoy was basically my last, best hope. I could have exploded when the ER doc said she’d asked him what the realistic chances were and he’d agreed, “two months, best guess.” Yeah, they want to give us hope. But hope isn’t bread. And a “hope” that leaves me in misery because I don’t know how or when to let go (it isn’t “giving up”) is misleading. Reaching for the next straw until the offerer’s hand falls empty is not the way to ease into the awareness that you’re dying. And that it’s okay to die. All bodies do.

Are there things I’d have loved to do, and to keep doing? Of course, yes. But it’s time to ease into peaceful letting go. It’s time to pass the work I was doing, on to others—they already had picked up Safe Ground anyway, and there will be others who will celebrate Eucharist on the street, outside, at the river, until homeless people feel welcome in the churches. The ministry of welcoming all people into the kindom of God will constantly expand, until every soul is taken up into it. What I lose by dying soon, is time I love with friends on earth who love me. We will find that, as one friend says, on this side of the river and the other.

I will want visitors. All who want to see me, who know how to contact us, please do. If you don’t know where we are, just ask. (My e-mail address is in my profile; A's is in the previous post.  We're both on Facebook.)  I don’t have the endurance for long goodbyes, and again I honestly don’t know how much time I have here. Give time if you can; love me and us any way that you can. A and I both know how much you support us. Know that we love you.

We want to keep me at home as long as we can.  We won't move me until we need to.

Meanwhile, I’ll write as I can. What I know about my self-expression right now: Expect memory recall that’s alternately not-me fuzzy and freakishly clear, and expect honest emotions. A will write for us both, when and if I can’t. We both appreciate your friendship more than we can say.

Kirstin

118 comments:

Mimi said...

I cannot express how grateful I have been for Hospice in my life with my loved ones. They are truly angels on earth.

Typing through tears, as I am wont to do a lot when reading your beautiful words. Know you are loved, know you are prayed for, know you are a Child of God.

DeltaCinderella said...

Kirstin and Andee,
Neil and I love you so much. We know you're making the right decision and that you feel it's time to enter hospice. That said, I just spent the past five minutes crying, howling and tearing at my clothes.

Someday in a perfect world we'll be together and I'll treat you to a shopping spree and lunch in Union Square.

I wish my arms were 1,000 miles long so I could hug you both right now.

I love you,
Lisa

Anonymous said...

Hugs from Deni & Ted. You are a bright star in a dark world.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Blessings on you and A., Kirstin. We will keep walking along with you--in love and prayer--as you start this next phase of your journey.

Love,
Doxy

sheelah said...

wow. goodbyes are hard. thank you for sharing this with all of us. I feel honored to witness your process. I will write more when i have the words. sending you big big love.

rani said...

kirstin,

i hope that hospice brings you all the comfort you need. i cry with your decision, but it sounds like the right thing to do. much love to andee, a real angel.

xox
rani

Anonymous said...

You are without a doubt, the bravest and most inspiring people I have ever known. I have no words. Just awe.

Van

Grandmère Mimi said...

"The right decision...at the right time" is beautifully written, straight from the heart. I send love, blessings, and prayers, to you and Andee, Kirstin.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much - your ministry is going on in this different form and I appreciate it. Receiving hospice ministry is wonderful, loving and caring. What you have started on the street will continue, you know. In tears, trusting you are not in pain. Ruth

Susan Kay Gilbert said...

Kirstin: 40 means 4 decades we have been blessed to have your heart in this world with us. I honor this next part of your journey and know you have chosen well. It's true--all our bodies will die. But it is how we have lived that makes all the difference--whose lives we have made better by our being here. Blessings to both you and Andee. Susan

FHS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louise said...

Dear Kirstin and Andee, Grace and Faith are two words that come to me (amid the tears) when I think of you both. And Love of course. Always Love....


Louise.

Allie said...

Thank you for letting me walk and pray your journey with you. God shines so brightly through you, and though I have never met you in person, you have touched my life vividly.

40 years of a brave, and vivid life is more than most can report.

Thank you, and through the tears, prayers for your and A's ease.

Suzer said...

Kirsten, even though I have only known you through an internet connection, your kindness and wisdom have been an inspiration. What you write puts all my selfish little worries and doubts into perspective. My partner, Lisa, and I have often wished we could afford to come spend a few days with you, for the gift of being able to meet you in real life.

Our love and prayers are with you always. And we send our love to Andee as well, and hope that you both will be carried gently in God's hands through this transition.

LKT said...

Peace be with you both, and love to you, and my prayers and those of many others. And thank you for not hiding the tough bits of your life away. There should be a James Bond babe named Guts Galore. I nominate you for the role.

maggie j said...

You are so very brave to make this decision. I am sitting here crying for you and those who know and love you. I am so sorry. My love to you.

Lauralew said...

Oh, Kirsten. Such a tough decision, but a necessary one to give you your peace. I have no platitudes, just love. And prayers for both of you. I'm glad the weight of the fight is off of your shoulders so you can just be for the remainder.

Anonymous said...

Kirsten,

All I can do is repeat the words, "Let it Be," from the Beatles song.

Actually, when I hear that song, I use it as a prayer for you.

Susan and I really want to come to see you, but if we do not make it, I want you to know how much your words mean to so many.

What a decision to make. I cannot help telling you that I have cried a river, reading this post.

You are surrounded with the light from so many people who know you, personally, and just know you from the Internet.

We will walk with you into the next phase of your journey.

With much love,
Lisa Coston

Vinegar Martini said...

You are brave and beautiful and you have touched so many. Take heart in that and know you are loved very much!

Anonymous said...

Prayers, blessing and lots of love to you both. I honor and respect the courage you both have to make this decision. I know that you journey with many companions in the Spirit.
Rose

Anonymous said...

Like so many, I'm crying, and praying, and blessing God for the sweet light of you. Why this is the path I have no answer for. I only see the "how" of it, and your footsteps shine.

Strength for the journey, for you and Andee and all within your wide-flung net. So many, seen and unseen.... Dee

Holly said...

Dear Kirstin -- You don't know me, but I have read your words since before your first surgery and have held you in my thoughts and prayers.

Your brave, faithful journey is an example to us all. Thank you for inviting us all to walk with you.

Many blessings and much peace.
Holly

Anonymous said...

Dear Kristin
Thank you for your honesty. thank you for sharing your thoughts and all that went into your decision. Such a brave decision that will give you control over your life and I hope relief from your pain.
Blessings on you lovely one;you who share my own daughter's name. You are a gift to so many.
with love
Doris from St. Aidan's

johnieb said...

Y'all have been a model for my life throughout; love and grace abound in your struggle, with all being 'meet and right". It has been an honor and a profound teaching to share this with you: however distantly it may sometimes feel, it also has given me a real sense of grace through the Communio Sancti.

May Godde continue to bless us richly.

Ann said...

Taking you in my heart to the beach today - listen - you can hear the ocean and the gulls - roaring and crying with me.

IT said...

It is clear you are at peace with this decision and that it is time. You have fought with valor, now it is time for rest. We who remain will step into your place, and hold you always in our hearts as you make this next journey.

Kirstin said...

I, and we, love you all so much. Thank you for truly being here with us.

Kirstin

jw said...

"And that it’s okay to die." I have found in the past year that folks don't want to hear that, but it is the one "seeing" I received this year that has given me a peace, having prepared for and cheated death three times this year, for all shall be well, for living or dying or dead, we are Christ's, and Christ is God's, "And so all shall be well, and All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well." Finally, someone sharing their real life with us! Telling us what we need to hearQ God continue to bless you Kirsten and Andee and us through you both.

Kirstin said...

Joel, our love to you and Margaret.

Jim said...

Love and peace! You are both brave and amazingly loving people. I continue as do so many to keep you in my prayers.

FWIW
jimB

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Kirstin, you have not ceased to be a warrior. You have merely switched from storming the ramparts of the fortress of your tumor to storming the gates of Heaven in anticipation of your arrival. (It's not a matter of "Are you ready for Heaven?"--it's a matter of "Are they ready for YOU?")

I am sad--incredibly sad--that this day has come. Yet I am also relieved that that you were able to receive this news and make this decision with the grace you have shown these last three years.

May God richly bless you and Andee in this journey. You are loved by many (including me), and I'm glad to be one of the "flashmob of grace," as MadPriest put it!

+clumber said...

Kirstin,

Your precious smile and amazing courage are matched by the beauty of your voice as you've allowed us to be with you on this part of the journey. Surely we shall all be together again and laugh and hug and cry. Thank you for sharing so much with us.

Blessings be on you and Andee,
+Clumber

word verification: monet which seems so beautifully fitting!

JCF said...

I've been hurt by those (inc. my friend Cathy---I can say this now) who waited too long for hospice.

Hospice isn't for one final zonked-and-shutting-down day (Cathy, Elizabeth Edwards). It's for LIVING.

You're going to get to LIVE now, Kirstin, and I'm grateful. However short or long, actual LIFE.

Something we should all aim for.

Know you're in my prayers. I'd love to meet you, if that's not too much (look for my email).

John said...

Hello Kristin,

Even though I have kept in tough with you poorly since I left Sacramento for Russia, I will always remember your inspired words at the Thursday night group at Trinity Cathedral. I will also always remember your support for me when I was received into the church. Thank you for sharing the gift of your inspired spirit with us all.

John

Lois Keen said...

Prayers for you both, Kirsten. A thoroughly brave decision. God's Peace with you. Blessings.

Paul said...

I sit at work with tears streaming down my face and all I can say is, I love you.

((((((((((((( KP ))))))))))))

and

(((((((((((( A ))))))))))))

it's margaret said...

I love you so very much.

...what Joel said. --from the center of the earth that is Guatemala. The space between us will always be holy.

Karen said...

Hi Kirsten and Andee,

You don't know me, but I've followed the blog for awhile. I graduated from seminary awhile ago and cannot imagine going through it while on chemo. I just wanted to say thank you for writing what you have. It has meant a lot to me. I wish you a cure, but if that does not happen in this world, I hope your entry into Heaven is glorious and peaceful. I expect that the witnesses may be cheering for you!!

You both are in my prayers. I can send a little money if you need it and if you can tell me how.

Karen
Huntsville, AL

Bishop Laura said...

I haven't followed your journey closely these past few years, but whenever I have I have been moved by your courage and honesty and grace, and that of those who have walked with you. Thank you for sharing your experience and for sharing this holy choice--and Jane R's picture of the two of you with such radiant smiles--with all of us.

I have a beautiful memory of our mass and lunch together in Berkeley before this all started....And, from your words about handing on your ministry, new inspiration to pray about whether I too can be part of taking the sacraments out to the folks who don't feel welcome to come in for them. Thank you for that as well.

Deep peace, blessings and prayers to you and A. as you take these last steps together, and I will offer the Eucharist for you as soon as I can.

Brian said...

Kirstin and Andee, I came to know you through the blog, sent here by Jonathan and Mimi.

I have prayed continually through the journey. Now that you are preparing for a new journey I will continue to pray. I volunteered for Hospice for a few years and I know that they will give you the comfort you need and the space you need.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful lives with me, a stranger, and helping me to see God.

Love and prayers from Florida!

Malinda said...

Prayers for you both and gratefulness for the gift your honesty & bravery brings us all. Thank you for sharing your life's journey - all of it - so openly, you are a teacher for me of what it is walk this path. Thank you, friend.

Caminante said...

Dearest Kirstin and Andee,

Coming at comment 42 I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said but to reflect that saying 'Let it be' and it's OK to die' is not giving up.

I am so glad your ER doc could weep with you because surely those were holy tears in a holy moment.

May you figure out in the time you have with us the peace that passes understanding... and may you find that peace.

I don't have many other words right now than I hold you both in prayer and I love you.
Lee

Josette at Halushki said...

Much love and many prayers from Pennsylvania. Warriors need peace, as well as battles. Thank you for sharing yourself with us through your words - they are their own blessing to us all.

Brother Causticus said...

Brother Causticus and Deacon Thorndike Andrewes hold you in light and love and are "persuaded neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth," --nor cancer -- "nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." We are lighting a candle for you in a side chapel of St. Euphemesius-By-The-Freeway that burn brightly day and night throughout your journey home.

Kirstin said...

Lee, all these tears are holy. The doctor was blessing incarnate. And I love you for ever.

BC came back for me! I'm honored. :-)

Much love to everyone.

Linda in High Point said...

No, it is not giving up...it is having the wisdom and courage to accept that this is also part of the journey. Though we have never "met", I have followed your odyssey online and have long been surrounding you with light and love. That will continue evven as you continue to walk into the light.

Betsy said...

Prayers for both of you on this new part of the journey; may you be lifted along the way by the grace and love of the Spirit.

jzygail said...

Kirsten, the blogger, Slacktivist, has written several times about the difference in "Go forth and make disciples" and what usually happens that Christians go forth and make converts.

You, my love, have been making disciples. In the best, most perfect sense of that commission.

You will be missed here, but know now, you have created many disciples and fed many more who needed feeding.

I will never forget you--quite possibly the 5 most inadequate words I've ever written.

Siuan @ Snowbound said...

I am sad for you and happy for you if that makes sense. I don't comment often and I wanted you to know you have been in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your journey, it's been tough to read yet inspiring. I lost my Dad 3 short months ago to cancer and I still have a hard time hearing about it. You are a wonderful person who will be missed by many.

Ellie Finlay said...

I am deeply, deeply moved by this and I have more admiration and respect for you than I can possibly express.

My prayers continue.

Denise said...

Kirstin, I haven't been in contact with you for a long time -- years -- and I had no idea about any of this. I'm so very sorry. You have come to the end of a long journey, and it's okay for you to rest. It's okay. All my love to you. (musicmommy)

Cranmer49 said...

Such courage and grace, Kirsten -- so many blessings on you and Andee as you continue this journey. Thank you for your strong witness. Liz

OmegaMom said...

Much love, Kirstin. You are so strong and loving.

Dora said...

I thank God for you and the mark you have made and continue to make in my life. May the journey continue to be peaceful for you.
Shalom

Mother Paula said...

This is the first time I've met you, because so many FB friends have shared your blog online today. Thank you for sharing part of your journey with the rest of us. May you be enfolded in the knowledge and peace of the grace and love and communion of God, until we are all reunited where there are no more tears.

Anonymous said...

Kirstin and A, Blessings as you enter this part of your journey. May it be easy, may your burdens be lifted, and may you have that sure and certain knowledge that God holds you. Will hold you in prayer.
Peace, Heather and David (from CDSP, now at VTS)

LutheranChik said...

Kirstin, I've hesitated writing because it's been difficult for me to find the words...God bless you for sharing your life with so many through your work and through this blog. I think your decision was a wise and courageous one; and I think you and Andee will find Hospice to be a blessing.

Ever since you began blogging about your illness, I've included you in our prayers at our church...in our Prayers of the Church, where we pray for individuals; especially when I've been assisting, and leading those prayers, I've felt as if I've been carrying you and yours with me to the altar. We also have a "put and take" prayer program at our church, where individuals write prayer requests on slips of paper and then we share them during the Eucharist...so you've had many people praying for you these many months. And we will keep doing it.

Nothing -- nothing -- can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. But you know that.;-) Love and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kirstin and Andee,
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. We are humbled, and we will continue to walk with you. We send you much love,
Mary Beth & Mary Lee

johnieb said...

K & A,

it is we (including you, too!) who are honored, not only by the appearance of Bro C., but by the presence of the overflowing Spirit of heaven which is among us.

Candy said...

Kirsten, I have never met you but consider Andee a friend and know that it has been a difficult journey for you both. You made the decision you needed to make. The burden of fighting is lifted. My prayers are with you both. God bless you both.
Candy

Anonymous said...

Like several here you don't know me but I've been following your journey for years through this blog. Reading this post brings both sadness and relief ... relief that you have found peace in not fighting as much as you found in fighting.

My thoughts and prayers will be with you!

SimplySuzi said...

Kirstin, you are bringing a little bit of heaven to earth as you witness so honestly and courageously. We are all connected and today I see Christ a little more clearly. Thank you. may God bless you with deep peace, and even joy, as you journey on.

Suzanne

Boaz said...

God bless you, Kirsten. The work you were doing was God's work and He will pass it on.

Anonymous said...

Oh Kirstin, what can I say? God bless you woman, you are remarkable and I am so privileged to know you and pray with you, to be in community with you out here.

Memories that I have of you are... The first time you came to my (old) blog and commented on a post about Rachel Corrie. I loved the sound of your (written) voice and then realized that I"knew" you from Mimi's.

I recall once walking into my pastor's office and noticing that he was reading your blog; he must have gotten the link from mine. It touched me, still does, how God weaves us together, near and far. We are the Body of Christ.

You and Jane in a photo from two summers ago is in my head and now the photo from a few days ago is right there with it. I am so glad that she got to connect with you both times.

Another memory, reading of your time in New Orleans and I especially recall you writing about St. Anna's and the words about entering your missionfield that were written on the wall of the church or over the door, maybe.

The image of you leaving there and entering your mission field have never left my heart. Today I see you entering, as ever and always, your mission field.

Different fields maybe, same mission, although ever deepening.

My heart and prayers are with you and with A. I wish that I could come to meet you, an impossibility for numerous reasons. We have met in the heart and we will meet in the Kingdom.

God bless you and know that you are held with much love and with many prayers.

Thank you for being such a light in the world.

I am at work, so comment as anonymous, but it is me, Fran.

KJ said...

Prayers abounding. Peace of Christ.

Karen+ said...

This is a brave, graceful decision that you've made. My partner is a hospice nurse and I can't even begin to describe how much of a ministry this is. Claire and I will both keep you in our prayers as you continue on this journey.

Karen J.
Pontiac, MI

Ann said...

Saw the photo of you with Jane - your eyes filled with the same joy and wisdom. When I first met you and saw your name I thought, Yes - Kirstin spelled with 2 "I" s - perfect.

Ann (no e!)

David said...

Lit a candle for you last Sunday at our Mary Shrine, and will continue to do so every time I'm at church until you're barefoot & laughing at the gates of Heaven...

claire said...

Oh, Kirstin and Andee, I feel like calling you my children even though I have never seen you.
I join you, Kirstin, in your letting go. I had read about your tumors through Jane.
It is good to read your update and I'll keep reading you.
I love what David just wrote. Like him, I'll continue praying till you're barefoot and laughing at the gates of Heaven.
A star shower of blessings, child ♥

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Never doubt that you are loved, but know that Jesus loves you more. Be gentle with yourself and each other - especially in those moments when this disease is at its most violent. May Brother Death greet you with the same grace and love as you plan to meet him. You are being lifted up in prayer every step of this journey.

Rainbow Pastor said...

I know you only through your posts and our common membership in RevGalBlogPals, but I thank you for your honesty and your trust in yourself. Your words about knowing when it is time ring so true--as someone living with cancer who lost my sister to it just a couple of months ago, it is a blessing to be able to say, "yes, it is time to stop." Praises to the brave and wise ER doc who knew this.
Blessings to you and A--may your remaining time be rich, and full of loe and God's blessings.

Kayko said...

No words, but taking a breath for and with you.
Peace and light.

Joanna said...

You are in my heart.

Deb said...

I've been a lurker on your journey... time to let you know that you have spoken deeper words of truth and wisdom to me than you'll ever know. May peace and joy surround you... and all those you love...

Anonymous said...

I am in awe of your courage and grace as you begin your final journey. I will miss your insightful words and incredible sense of humour, my Gooey friend. (remember Friday night chats?) Thank you for those memories and for making sure I didn't live a sheltered life (way up in the Great White North) never having known what a geoduck was.
xo
lucykimbra

Ann said...

On your journey - remember Auden:

Follow Him through the Land of Unlikeness;
You will see rare beasts, and have unique adventures.

may your journey be filled with rare beasts and unique adventures.

we expect postcards from these new lands!!

Sarah said...

This is the first time I've intersected with your journey, and I read this post with tears. Thank you for being you in your living, and thank you for being you as go graciously and peacefully to the next place. Many blessings and much comfort in the days ahead.

Sarah

yearoflivingmusically said...

I'm a first-timer here, too, and I read through tears. Thank you for the joy you have brought to a whole community here, and for your bravery and honesty. I will be keeping you in my prayers.
Rosemary

OmPowered said...

Darlin, it takes as much or more courage & bravery to put the weapons down as it does to keep swinging them. Love to you my friend, O She Who Is And Will Always Be Immortal. <3 ~E

Paul said...

My friend Kathy knows you through me and I have shared your journey with her. She wrote me this morning:

"She's done so much in such a short time, touched so many people both physically and through her blog. She's inspired and impassioned, transformed and touched so many people and she's right. Her work will go on. The world is a better place for her having been here, no matter the length of time.
Her aura is brightening to a translucent, almost blindingly white and she's preparing to ascend on angel's wings.
I feel humbled to have known her, as sporadically as I did. Thank you for sharing such an extraordinary human being with your readers on your blog."

Muthah+ said...

Kirstin, What a wonderful post on surrender. You have fought the good fight--but they never say much about allowing God to take over. I am grateful for the peace you have found. My prayers are for you both.

Crimson Rambler said...

and this also is a gift to the rest of us...the clarity and candour with which you have related what is happening. God love that ER physician for asking the right question at the right moment. I thank God at every remembrance of you both.

river song said...

hugs and tears... hugs through tears...

Anonymous said...

"...where sorrow and pain are no more, neither death but life everlasting..." Godspeed, dear Kirstin, on your resurrection journey....

themethatisme said...

Timing is everything Kirstin. Go into that blessed place with the love and blessings of everyone who has been enriched by your passage in this place, even those of us who have been inspired solely by your writing.

Robin said...

I don't know that I've ever left a comment here, but I want you to know that you are both much in my prayer. May the God who grants us courage and grace shower an abundance of both into your lives.

Lisa Fox said...

Kirstin, as the 87th commenter here, I’m sure I don’t have much new to add. But I must add my words, hugs, and tears along with your other friends. It has taken me a full day before I could post a comment here. I had to get my emotions and thoughts under control.

When I read this yesterday, I was at the office at the end of my workday, and tears were flowing down my face. While I read your blog in a window on one part of my screen, another screen was open with the Decorah eagles … who were just – for the first time since their early-April hatching – flying from their nest to nearby tree branches. Somehow, that seems a perfect metaphor … as I read your words: One life winding down … Another just finding its wings.

Kirstin, my dear … although it is very hard for me to hear where you are now and what you are facing … my “better self” recognizes that you are much like those eagles: You are moving to another phase, where you will find your own spiritual wings. That won’t keep me from crying for you. But it will give me some peace. And I do trust your judgment that you’ve made the right decision.

I can’t remember how long we’ve been in dialogue on our blogs and other venues. But I know I have come to treasure you and the spirit within you.

Write here when you can … for as long as you can. Like so many others, I will be awaiting every word.

And I carry you in my heart every moment of every day.

Just now – while writing this – I am reminded of one of my favorite hymns: “The strife is o’er, the battle won.” #208 in our Hymnal.

The strife is o’er, the battle done;
The victory of life is won;
The song of triumph has begun: Alleluia!


Hon, I’m glad you’ve quit fighting. You have already won.

Caminante said...

Love, love, love. xo xo xo

Maggie said...

We don't know each other, though I read your blog from time to time. Also, I'm a friend of Doxy. I wish you Godspeed and peace on this final leg of your earthly journey. Thanks for sharing your story.

susankay said...

Kirstin (and Andee) -- I cried and I was so very glad. You'll have some tears still and I believe much gladness.

Blessings

Grandmère Mimi said...

More tears as I read once again your powerful post and the beautiful commentary here, Kirstin. Love abounds surely. And we should all be blessed to have a friend like Andee and a friend like you.

I send more love, prayers, and blessings to you both.

Anonymous said...

Kirsten...you will be missed your passing will leave a hole in many hearts mine included. I know from my late husbands fight with chemo how it only prolonged his pain. He died peacefully and he was ready even though I wasn't. I know God has a reason for taking you from this world to his and I know you will be in a better place. I send you love a wish for peace and happiness that will last till the end. Sweet dreams dear one. Love Cheryl Wilhite

Mum said...

Kirstin,
I hope you find peace within your soul now. It is time to just BE.
I love you and Andee, both.

Blessings
Kathy Bell

BooCat said...

Kirstin, I don't know what I might add to all that has already been said. You and Andee have been on my prayer list for some time now and will continue to be there.

Your life has blessed so many people, many more than you know. May God continue to bless both you and Andee.

Jane Els said...

I have enjoyed all your writings (even though I'm new, I went to older postings) on your call and ministry, Katrina recovery, the homeless and your ministry to so many. Maybe God's purpose for your life has been all those words. I hope you leave them up for a while. You have led a grace-filled life and I have learned many things from you.

May God grant you a pain-free and peaceful journey home. Tell Her how sorry we are for what we've done to Her planet and people. And ask God to please reconsider the artichoke. I'm just not sure what She was thinking with that one.

I will be praying for you as always.

Amy S. said...

I'm a first time reader sent here by a Facebook friend. I also am a cancer survivor and I work for the National Office of the American Cancer Society. Thank you for sharing your journey and your brave decision with all of us in the blogosphere. It inspired me and reminded me why my colleagues at the ACS and I work so hard. And it reminded me yet again that everyday on this earth is a gift.

Wishing you much peace and love.

Kay & Sarah said...

I was away over the weekend and was not on the computer. You were in my thoughts and prayers during that time. I knew that your last posts sounded as if your time was growing shorter here. It was the right decision at the right time. Prayers for grace, pain relief and peace. I will miss you. Andee you are in my prayers too. Blessing to you as you walk this road with with Kirsten.
Kay

james said...

Prayers, love and blessings to and for you, my friend. Thank you for the words with which you've inspired us for so long.

Louise said...

I went back to your story again, Kirstin and it still inspires. So again, thank you. You will live on.

Sylvia Miller-Mutia said...

I love you and I'm praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Kirstin,
Your unending bravery & strength is inspiring. You've touched many with it, probably more than you realize. When your journey is done, and you're on the other side, please give Kate a hug for me. Thanks & Godspeed, my friend.
-Missy from Maine

TominCV said...

Blessings on you, Kirstin and Andee. You both are an inspiration and a blessing to all of us. Journey On !

Tom

Lisa Fox said...

Just dropping in again to say "Hi." We had a good day at church today. I carried you in my heart.

Lisa Fox said...

Jane Els made me laugh when she wrote: And ask God to please reconsider the artichoke. I'm just not sure what She was thinking with that one.

I do love me my artichokes. But maybe God was doing the same thing with them as with the "great leviathan": "He made them for the sport of it." Isn't it fun to think of God just playin' around?!

Kathryn said...

Just to add prayers from another RevGal across the Pond...Your grace-filled journey through these 3 years has inspired so many, including me...and the ripples that you have made will not stop as you move from time into eternity....and from love to Love.
God bless you always

Beck said...

Kirstin... Gooey... my sweet... I haven't been online much lately but you are constantly in my thoughts. I love you so very much. I don't know what else I can say...

-Beck

terri c said...

Three dogs and a first-timer sending wishes of love and peace.

romelover said...

Kirstin: borrowed and slightly altered from the Anglican BCP, a prayer that I think fits your situation.

"We seem to give her back to you, dear God, who gave her to us. Yet as you did not lose her in giving, so we do not lose her by her returning. Not as the world gives, do you give, O Lover of Souls! What you give, you do not take away. For what is yours is ours always, if we are yours. Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing but the limit of our sight."

May God's peace carry you and Andee and all your loved ones through this most glorious part of your life. Thank you for all you have written and learned and passed on to us. You are powerful and strong and always, always will be for each of us.

And we will continue the fight to find stronger meds that work on this insidious disease.

Rest, friend I have yet to meet. You have earned it.

Prayers and love,
chrissie

DeborahG said...

Love you, love your wisdom, love your courage. Sending love and prayers that you continue to feel supported and know that you are loved.

susan s. said...

Kirstin, this may not be accurate, but I see you relaxing into the Spirit, rocking in the arms of Godde. It's all I can say. Love to you and Andee.

Magatha said...

Oh, Kirstin, this world needs you for at least another half-century. But this world is so much better for you having been in it, for however long that is. I am doing so much thinking. I want to do better, to make things better. Every effort I make from now on will be inspired by Kirstin-energy.

ray barber said...

Ray Riess said:
I wept when I read this most recent blog, Kirstin, grief and sadness, and also joy and relief, tears that just wanted to come. It has been a privilege to spend time with you recently. JOY! RELIEF! There is so much of that in your posting. And now the future, whatever it is, with your supporters by your side loving you and praying for you, and for ANDEE too. Our language doesn't allow the plural of "your" to show. Andee has been with you every step - she journeys with you. I send you both love and prayers. Love the photo with the heart shaped glasses. So good for the sunny day you head towards. Much love, Ray

Anonymous said...

A dear friend shared your blog post with NE and it deeply moved me. Convicted me about being afraid to live my life. I am so sorry that your healing is not here. Your courage to walk down this road God has for you-bless you.

Darren Miner+ said...

Kirstin,
I will offer a special intention for you at the Eucharist on June 28, when next I preside. May God bless you and keep you!

Ann said...

Thinking of you and Andee today - holding you in my heart.

Laura said...

Kirstin- I suspect we had almost every class together in jr high and high school. But I didn't know you well then and don't know you at all now but for FB and your blog. But I am glad to have reconnected with you these ways to know of your journey and to see a sliver of what you are made of. You are clearly loved by many whose lives you have touched and their words are a wonderful reflection of your impact. I will hold you and Andee in my hearts and thoughts. Hugs.

Laura Harris Brooks

Lisa said...

Thinking of you and Andee in my heart this morning. I light a white candle which sits on my mantle, and I hope for gentleness and soothing comfort for you both.
-Lisa from Baltimore, MD

Anonymous said...

I'm a longtime reader from the other side of the Atlantic. It would not honour the road your travelling to not comment.
Your integrity to be fully human and authentic is a light in the world.
The footprints you have trodden in life will be lasting.
Mary Oliver the poet has written a poem- Blackwater woods I read it with love for you today
Jane xx