Sunday, March 30, 2014

Exposed and raw and very real

Dear all,

Thank you for calling & emailing to check up on me. I have not written much these past three weeks because, well, I have been busy! I seemed to have sailed through the first round of chemo. Blood levels stayed good, energy really, not too bad. Last night, Paul & I taught a beginning East Coast Swing class at our dance place & then danced the night away. I am 3 days into my 5 day fast and gearing up for #2/4 chemo treatments tomorrow.

I am doing my best to reframe my infusion time into some kind of R&R. Have my bag packed for this "trip," with my modified fast, food morsels and beverages, portable Scrabble, a little sewing project, my NOOK. I am most of the way through O Pioneers, by WIlla Cather, evocative in the sweetest of ways of my early married life in Nebraska. It's so slow moving, gentle and calm and completes my descent into the world of milquetoast distraction.

In other positive moves, I taught a bit last weekend in our course in Amherst and had the class over for dinner, serving our usual salmon fillet & lots of other goodies. Now that's how I like to run this ship! Sophie stepped up to hostess the evening, too and her leaving yesterday has left a big gap. But I cannot complain, her 6 weeks home was healing and nurturing to me in profound and I imagine, lasting ways. Misha was home this weekend, too, sharing his enthusiasm about his work and other projects, which is infectious. I admire the industry of my children. 

Paul & I will visit Jonah in Chicago in a few weeks. Feels good to make plans and create adventure. Three months honkered down on the farm has been fine. I have not been bored or lonely or too tired or particularly sad, but as I can feel the rush of spring trying to make her entrance, I feel itchin' to get out and do my usual and more social & community things. So, my local folks, email me for a date!

The whole focus on healing, though I know it's essential, is a bit of a nuisance. And really, I never felt sick, except to recover from the trauma of surgery. All activity restrictions were mercifully lifted last week, so I am happily back into yoga, to raising my arms over my head with some effort and much joy. Stretching up and out with a big yawn may be the most delicious and satisfying thing I have ever done.  I practice mindfulness meditation each day and keeping up with positive visualizations of pristine health and no cancer cells running amok. I have an image of small sparkly ball of light that I slowly move along through my entire body, taking inventory and naming parts (I was THAT 1st year naturopathic medical student who was BANANAS  over anatomy, and remarkably many of those small parts' names stuck!) I  instruct all systems to cooperate, do their jobs, integrate and metabolize pharmaceuticals and leave me behind intact & thriving. I follow that up by embarking on my daily prayers, to give thanks for my many & ongoing blessings and to ask for help for those I love who need it. I swear, it's a full time job all this intentionality! These skills, which I have worked to develop over the years are gaining further clarity and muscle and I'm glad time to put it all in action. That said, going ballroom dancing for lessons or a social dance clearly remains my best medicine.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the evolution through various haircut styles & currently I am rocking the buzz cut. See below for my genetic profile with Misha (to the right here.) Turns out he & I have the same haircut, the same hairline, the same head shape & profile!

At first this buzz was a bit jarring, but now, I now rather like it. It's bold, it's brave, it's chilly! All I can say is, if you ever think to do it, here's my advice: you walk into any room you are going into with your mojo ON, with excellent good posture & a big smile.

Of all things, it feels empowering; there is no artifice whatsoever, you are exposed and raw and very real. Not a bad place to be.
Love & light,

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