July 2010

Day 14: Round 2

The second round of chemo knocked me down. Hard. I also had a cold, which REALLY didn’t help. That said, I’ve bounced back pretty darn well and am enjoying life, along with a new sense of hairless normalcy, before the next hit-and-run. Speaking of, an older driver swerved sideways into me and Mary as we drove to Indy for chemo two weeks ago. (Yeah, I know. Could my day have gotten any worse?) Luckily, everyone was fine. Well, except our poor car, which sustained $4,000 worth of damage and is still recovering at the body shop. We made it to chemo 30 minutes late only to have the check-in nurse tell me that my appointment was scheduled for the day before and I’d missed it. WTF?!? I still don’t know what happened with that screw up, but they worked me into the chemo rotation, I got my 3-hour infusion and we limped home in the battered (but running) car. Let’s just hope things go a little more smoothly next time.

Day 1: Round 2

Headed to Indy this morning for my second round of chemo.

Lost my hair this week. That was tough. I look like an egg.

Meanwhile, ever grateful for:

  • the presence of so many friends and family (even when I want to be a hermit)
  • sweet Jamie and her traveling clippers
  • the acupuncturist who listened to my pain, said “I can fix that,” and did.
  • and my sweetie who bubble-wraps me in love every minute of every day

See ya on the other side.

Impossibility and Grace

My working knowledge of poetry would fit inside the period at the end of this sentence. But, recently, when I heard someone sing the praises of a book called Ten Poems to Change Your Life I was intrigued. So, I requested it from my local library, and I am savoring it. Of course, some of the poems speak to me more than others, but I’m hugely enjoying the thoughtful deconstruction given by the book’s author, Roger Housden.

Last Saturday, during a failed nap attempt, I opened the book to the poem “Zero Circle” by Rumi, the 13th Century Turkish poet. The following stanza and Housden’s commentary so perfectly summed up my chemo experience thus far that I felt compelled to post it. From now on, if anyone asks me what chemo feels like, I will point them to this poem.

Be helpless, dumbfounded,

Unable to say yes or no,

Then a stretcher will come from grace

to gather us up.

Housden writes:

When we fall utterly, something gathers us up. But our falling must be without reservation, without expectation, without hope, though not hopeless. You can’t plan for that kind of falling. When you abandon yourself utterly to life, the river will flow and the log jam will free. Impossible is another word for grace. Who would have thought it, life takes another turn, and you are gathered up into a whole different way of seeing and being.

You are, I am, that we can be sure of, and only that. Falling without either inflation or false humility into our own light.