it was just a small knot on the lower portion of my neck…just a little bit to the right of the jugular vein…my girlfriend and husband told me to leave it alone…to stop rubbing it..but it’s a bit difficult to ignore something that is not usually there…kind of like trying to ignore a man staring at you through your bathroom window or like trying to ignore a wild pig during a jog in the forest….these things can’t not be noticed!!

so i asked my hobby musician colleague(an orthopedic surgeon) to take a look at it..he also told me not to worry….that we should “keep an eye on it”….my intuition shot through the ceiling…a couple days later, i returned to his office and told him,

“Cut this thing out!”

“If you are to get cancer, this(non-hodgkin’s lymphoma) is the one to get,”my oncologist said.


then my spirit made a flip flop….

I reconnected to folk around me who practiced natural medicine…traditional chinese medicine…acupuncture with a therapist in Mulheim…Dr. Ding Ge……mistletoe at Lukas clinic in Dornach, Switzerland.   Eurythymic exercises….I laid on my bed for hours at a time, talking down my fear…I quietened my soul….

I decided that I would not die…I hit my knees and talked to God and was instructed to be still…to walk by the still waters….to anoint my head with oil…..then……GOD let me know that there was more for me to do…

I started speaking my mind…everything….Each and every situation which used to intimidate me and make me swallow my words, I confronted!  Changes in character changes situations. I was fired from my job….I hired a lawyer and was paid for unjust dismissal.   

I spoke out against racism even to the point of screaming at two German police officers as a result of racial profiling.  With the assistance of another good lawyer, the  fine was reduced from 3,000 to 600 Euros(fined for insulting a police officer and driving away after he shouted stop)…Yeah, right, like how stupid would I be to enter a police station with nazi police officers….N-o-o-o-o- thanks!!!!—-I filed a police harassment report with the American Consulates in Strasbourg, France, Berlin, Germany,  and Amnesty International AND incorporated the harassment scene in a theatrical performance for a fund-raiser for SIRIP(Somali Intervention Radio Instruction Program) in Loerrach, Germany.  1,000 Euros raised.   I am no longer harassed by the police..(Sometimes we must scream!)   

For my 50th birthday, I went home to North Carolina to my church where the preacher and women of God laid their healing hands on me…

Fast Forward

Five years later, I have no symptoms of this diagnosis.  I refuse to measure my life by the yearly oncological visits. 

I continue to tell folk what I think….even if it is a neighbor who hacks my email accounts, tells colleagues to phone me and hang up, and annoys by making unnecessary noise with a lawnmower(maybe he wants us to move so his daughter can move next door) READ THIS!!!! AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN!  BACK OFF OR WE GO TO COURT!!!

How lovely to see the green of the daffodils peeking through the dried out crumpled leaves….

How gracious I am when my vocal student pierces that note using her head voice and slides back to her chest voice effortlessly…

How thankful I am to be able to assist an elderly French man who has fallen in the cornfields….

How awesomely courageous it is to step out on faith and share a truth. Though it makes some folk feel uncomfortable,  others are strengthened!

How I cherish the vagabond dogs who occasionally visit near our fence for that occasional meat treat….

How safe and comforting when I see our cat rise and fall on the tummy of my tv watching hubbie……

Just like the coffee he brings to me on Sunday mo’ nin…and the Naomi Campbell perfume he duty-free purchases on a return flight from wherever…..

dependable, warming, luxurious…. delicious….there.

How beautiful our daughter is……how healthy she is….how translucent and porcelain like her skin…how glorious her heritage……how promising her life…….

How humble and forgiving life makes us when love is at the table….patience, silence, respect, diplomacy, giving and taking are as essential as pepper and salt.. 

I thank God for my life….and for his whispers.

He is not through with me yet.


About whenquiet

A child of God, opinionated, survivor, eloquent, elegant, exquisite, and humble, loving life and shining light to those who are in the shadow.
This entry was posted in African American History, Contemplation, health, International Travel, Life Perspective, Nature, Poetry and stories, Spirituality, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to BE STILL

  1. What a beautiful story of triumph.

  2. jesswords10 says:

    I agree! What an absolutely languid way of relating your story in a non-linear way. It moves from event to event, but in snapshots of personal strength and voice. I always find peace and self knowledge when I read your work. Thank you for sharing your work. And for speaking out!

  3. whenquiet says:

    Thank you, Trinity.
    I am thankful for every day.

  4. whenquiet says:

    Hi Jesswords10! I am so encouraged and uplifted to read that my challenges captured in word have given some peace to you. What an honor! Thank you!

  5. mcreek says:

    Such a reminder of the precious things we so often take for granted. My favorite verse is Psalm 46:10: “Be still an know that I am God…” What a peace I got just reading the peace you have received.

    Blessings to you.

  6. whenquiet says:

    Thank you for responding Meredith. And thank you for your very interesting blog entry concerning negativity. I have learned to insert distancing principles in my life. When someone around me is constantly nit picking, I play Mahalia Jackson, take a long walk, or phone someone that makes me laugh. God bless you!

  7. What a beautiful work of writing! You are truly a strong woman to have beaten cancer in such a way. Amazing how some of the most difficult and fear-filled times of our lives can also become the most freeing. You portrayed this story of YOU in such a profound and poetic sense. Have you thought of submitting this to some literary magazines and/or literary contests?


  8. whenquiet says:

    Thanks so much Shari! You mention literary magazines/contests….Could you kindly suggest a few? Thanks!

  9. Sure!! For example, Columbia University in New York has a Literary Journal, “Columbia: A Journal of Art and Literature.” Every year, they have a writing contest (this year’s deadline just passed, Feb. 1–I submitted–but maybe next year?). You can also submit a piece of writing to them for publication. You can also visit the website of Poets and Writers (just Google them), and there, they have a complete list of ALL literary magazines. So far, I’ve been writing for several magazines in a JOURNALISTIC sense; however, I’m starting to do my own research for some good, reputable literary magazines as well. I hope those two leads help! 🙂

  10. whenquiet says:


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