Me and my husband travelled to Rome from 5-9 April 2018, to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary.
This past one year a lot of things happened in our lives, mostly because of DIPG. But nevertheless, we’re never been this happy.
One year of tears and laughter
One year of happiness
One year of love
It’s pure, precious and priceless.
Wishing one million more…
WHAT’S IN ROME
(apart of their great food and impressive architectures)
:: BEAUTIFUL PAINTINGS
One thing I realized that all the paintings and sculptures of Jesus Christ are always beautiful.
All paintings of Jesus showed a very clean skin and face, without blood and scars. Accompanied with a small and light cross. Tiny nail wounds through the palms. Some of paintings even show no nail wounds, only one tiny wound close to the chest, that’s it.
Many painters painted Jesus died peacefully, surrounded by His mother, disciples and angels.
But the Bible told me differently. Jesus was suffered, tortured, in extreme pain, and left without pity without comforts by His side. According to historical facts, the cross weighs around 110 pounds, the nails were driven between the small bones of the wrists and not through the palms. If nails driven through the palms will strip out between the fingers when made to support the weight of the human body.
Jesus initial suffering start in Gethsemane, He was under great emotional stress that He had Hematridosis (bloody sweat). That midnight Jesus was captured, then it was recorded that soldiers struck His face. I believe in the morning, Jesus is battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night.
Then after got full punishment of death sentence, according to Roman history, Jesus was stripped of His clothing and His hands tied to a post above His head, received 40 lashes, with the flagrum, a short whip consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead attached near the ends of each. The heavy whip is brought down with full force again and again across Jesus’ shoulders, back, and legs. It cut through His skin, causes mass of torn and bleeding tissue. When it is determined by the centurion in charge that Jesus is near death, the beating is finally stopped.
Then the soldiers made a crown from flexible branches covered with long thorns and pressed into His scalp. Again and again the soldiers struck Him on the head with a staff and spit on Him.
The cross then is tied across His shoulder, and slow journey begins. He stumbles and falls. Still bleeding and sweating the shock, the 650 yard journey from the fortress Antonia to Golgotha is finally completed with the help from Simon of Cyrene, together carrying the heavy cross.
Arrived Golgotha, Jesus quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire drives a heavy, wrought-iron nail through the wrists and deep into the wood. The cross is then lifted and the titulus reading, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,” is nailed in place. The left foot is now pressed backward against the right foot, and a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees moderately flexed. Jesus is now crucified.
At this point, as the arms fatigue, cramps sweep over the muscles, knotting them in relentless pain. Hanging by his arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are unable to act. Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath.
During these periods, He uttered the seven short sentences:
1. Looking down at the Roman soldiers, He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:24)
2. to the thief that recognized His distinction of His divinity, “Today you shall be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Word of salvation, Jesus saved him just because he asked.
3. looking down at the terrified John, he said, “Here is your mother.” Then, looking to His mother Mary, “Woman here is your son.” (John 19:25-27).
4. Cry (prophesied in Psalm 22), “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45-49)
5. Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the scripture) “I thirst” (John 19:28)
6. “It is finished” (John 19:30)
7. His last cry, “Father! Into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
How bad was Jesus tortured?
Many people were shocked when they saw him. His appearance was so damaged He didn’t look like a man; His form was so changed they could barely tell He was human (Isaiah 52:14)
Yes, I wrote a long story of Jesus crucification process (yet still far from detail). I am not trying to preach here, but I just want to share what crossed my mind when I saw those paintings. From the Bible and history I learned that He showed His wounds to prove His presence, His faithfulness and His love.
Meanwhile, unfortunately, like the painting, we often just show off the beauty side of us, hiding the scars or the wounds we have. We thought by only showing our success is to prove our faith, our presence/existence.
I have scars.
My scar is I had mistakes, I had depression, I had bulimia, I was codependent to alcoholic abusive partner. My wound now is I have brainstem tumor.
I am not ashamed to show my scars my wound, it tells a story:
A faith that grace is exist, love is exist.
:: MARATHON RACE IN ROME
At the same day marathon in Rome, cycle race was conducted in France. Tragically there was an accident, a healthy 20s years old cyclist crashed and died.
We never knew when death is coming,
We never knew how it’s gonna be.
Unfortunately, it’s uncommon to talk about death and dying.
But to acknowledge what is death and what is dying, the truth sets us free, and we understand how to live life.
:: FRIENDLY AND UNFRIENDLY IN ROME
On the third day in Rome, I had leg muscle pain and blisters from the new shoes. I can’t walk comfortably. Then I saw a mid-aged officer from Red Cross standing by for the Marathon. I came to him and asked for patches, he very nicely gave me two pieces and smile warmly.
Then after walked few hundred meters, I realized I need 2 more patches. But it’s Sunday, pharmacies and supermarket closed.
“Honig, try that souvenir shop, maybe they sell patches, it’s a tourist area, many need it”, said my husband.
I entered the shop,
“Do you sell patches for blisters?”
“No, you can get it in pharmacy or supermarket. But, oh today’s closed. Do you need it urgently?”
“Yes, my feet hurt”
“Well, I have two patches, how about I give it to you” she smiled.
Then all my blisters covered with patches, and I can continue walking comfortably.
Kindness tastes sweet!
The last day in Rome was raining all day. We were tired and wet, standing by the street waiting for taxi to airport. A taxi came, and a couple desperately entered the car, the driver asked them if they’re willing to share car with us, we asked them too, but they ignore us in silent and look unhappy. If it’s us that get in that taxi, we will happily offer them a ride, we both go to airport, and it makes us happy to give.
I remember a few months ago, me and friends looking for a table for 6 in a crowded coffee shop. We found a table for 2, and saw a man in his late 50s at the table for 4. My friend who is German asked politely to swap table, but he refused.
“This table is only for 4”
“Yes, but it’s bigger table, we can add chairs. That table for two won’t fit us”
Few minutes later, he left grumpily.
I felt bad for him, because he wasted his time being grumpy. If only he has a big heart and said “yes, no problem” or “yes sure, how about combine our tables and I join you” with a cheerful heart.
Arrived Rome airport, waiting at the coffee shop, I was tired.
My husband smiling and staring at me.
“Why you smile like that”, I start laughing.
“Because you look sad and tired, and I know me smiling makes you happy”.
Smile is contagious indeed.
:: CONCLUDE ROME TRIP
I am amazed of this beautiful city, I am grateful for my 1 year happy wedding anniversary. At the same time I was reminded again and again the vulnerability of human, it humbles me more.
It’s important to face and address our fears. It’s important to understand the truth.
To be grateful of what we have. To be kind. To give more. To smile more.
Because time is precious, and to live life with pure love and with grace is priceless.
Love and hugs,
Source about crucifixion: https://www1.cbn.com/medical-view-of-the-crucifixion-of-jes…
WEEK 47 POST BIOPSY
BRAINSTEM MIDLINE PONTINE GLIOBLASTOMA (DIPG) GRADE IV
UPDATE ABOUT MY TREATMENT:
Last Tuesday, my white blood cells level recovered to 3.1 (a week before was 2.3, normal range 4-10), so on Wednesday I had chemo CCNU 40mg.
This time chemo CCNU dose reduced from 120mg to 40mg, and Procarbazin was canceled. Reason to change the treatment is because the combined treatment caused my white blood cells level drop that I can’t continue with chemo.