Yesterday, Zach's grandmother and I visited the Marin Cancer Institute. I avoid the place like the plague but we thought it might offer Zach's mother some emotional group and individual support that she does not appear to be getting through UCSF, and I was given more support than I could begin to take in when I was going through chemotherapy and radiation. I barely had energy for the art class and only attended one, but am still with what I drew and what it showed as interpreted through a kind and gracious artistic therapist.
Diane Brandon was there, as though waiting for us, and offered tea. She said this is my job, exactly this. She said, how can a county like this, with all this money, not have this available for its people, and yet, there are other wealthy areas where medical care does not treat the whole person like they do in Marin.
I had been feeling some discomfort with my left breast this week and was feeling some concern. I learned that scar tissue takes three to five years to begin to heal. The nerve endings are beginning to spark again and so I feel, and my nipple is turning from white to pink and rosy red. This is probably more information than you want to know about me, but once one goes through a medical experience like I did, there is not much need for modesty. I remember lying on the table being tattooed for radiation and men and women technicians gathered round in a sweet and friendly way and so modesty falls aside. I was blessed to keep both my breasts. I was grateful for my care and I also walked away, I realize now, a bit numb.
I could walk into the Institute yesterday without holding my breath, could look around and appreciate it. I know this country and the world are going through something unlike what we have ever seen, and we may or may not be holding our breath to see what comes next, but we do land in a place where people care and work to make our lives serene.
Blessings to each of us, this moment and the next.