December 23rd, 2005

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Good Morning!

Ah, I am settling into such joy.

Today feels like Christmas Eve to me as we began gathering in the roundness of family, coziness and food. The holiday begins!

I heard from my cousin Greg in Australia this morning, and that means so much to me. He has been struggling with my mother's passing, as who would not. She was a woman beyond imagining, and I miss her painfully much. I am so glad to hear of the beautiful days and nights "down under."

So, my writing this morning with Jane. Let me go back and see what is up for me. I left there for emails and so now return to what I was feeling. Ah, I have a lot to say. Maybe I will place my rant at the end.

As many of you know, I am in the Two Cents Chronicle newspaper pool, so a question is asked, and I write an answer, and sometimes it is published in the paper. Well, the question for today must have been asked right when I was beginning chemo, and so, I gave a glowing report of how much I was learning and loving the support of family and friends, and so yesterday, when I am feeling worst than lousy, and was feeling angry at my medical bills, I see that I will be published today in the paper, saying what I would not probably say today. They need to be more up-to-date for me. : )    Or, maybe I would say the same.  Who knows?  The love, joy, and support are all still there.

So, when I go in for chemo, take a guess as to what a treatment costs. Okay, where are you in your guess?

Well, here is the sum for one treatment.     $10, 394.00!

Can you believe it? One chemical itself is $5000.00. I am charged $300.00 an hour for my chair with the IV drip. I could be in a suite at the Ritz-Carlton enjoying room service. So, that, on top of not feeling well yesterday, well, my feelings about chemo, were a bit dim.  I do want to clarify that though I say, I am charged, my insurance company is charged, and still, I see it as somewhat the same.   I am appalled.

I woke at 2:00 this morning and read more of This Cold Heaven by Gretel Ehrlich. I recommend this book.

I am lifted now on the enchantment of Christmas, and connection, and love.  I have perhaps moved through what I wrote in my morning time with Jane.  I don't know if, after reflection, I will come to the same conclusion, as I did this morning, but it is freeing to continue to remind myself that I have choice in this.  I am not locked into anything, and none of us are.  We all have choice, moment, by moment, now and now and now.

Love to You All!!


This morning
each log in its place in the fire -
the kindling to start
and then, the little guys,
followed by the huge elders
of the forest,
with years of tales
to tell -

I sit with the stream,
I walked with yesterday,
and now it’s voice inside,
a rhythm
that questions the chemo,
the injection of poison,
and the price -

What gall to charge me $300.00
an hour for a chair with a stand
holding a bag -
I don’t understand  -
and I resent money made off of me,
and yet education -
tuition to be paid  - research - 

All that drips in the bag,
as I consider life on the ice,
where the hunt means life,
and this - is this the beginning
where there was enough abundance
in the tribe
to support religion and priests -

Is this now our priesthood -
the medical community -
and when does it make sense,
and when is it out of control - 

and what do I choose now -
I am feeling today I can do this myself -
walk in the hills in the rain -
all this money - I could walk all this away
with love
just love - immersion in love -

I’m thinking now
that that is my way -
to be in love,
in the hills,
by the stream,
placed like the logs,
in the fire -

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Lord Byron!!

This feels appropriate right now.

     I live not in myself, but I became a portion of all around me ....

            Are not the mountains, waves and skies a part of me

                               and of my soul, as I of them?

                                            - Lord Byron
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Jane's poem for today!

Everything counts even this single drop.

Blown by wind it scales my second story window.

It too may someday plunge with courage into the deep ravine.

I wrap my known shadows close, a cloak against the rain.

They circumscribe my nature.

My heart is a candle burning in darkness.

Jane Ann Flint

I love this poem, and what it says.   Great joy to all of you!!
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Beauty -

This world is so beautiful that I can hardly believe it exists.

 Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today, when I shower I really notice the bones of my skull and face.  They are so prominent, and it feels odd and comforting to feel the shape of the skull.

Try it though.  Touch your head, and run your hands over the bones of your beautiful face, and skull.   Feel the roundness of the eye socket, the depth and protection there.  Revel in the beauty you are!!!   What joy in the hills and valleys of ourselves!!

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Malpractice Insurance -

My soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Jan, is in her final months of residency, and informs me that the cost of medical malpractice insurance is prohibitive. As she gives me the numbers, I see that part of the medical costs are that. It is a shame. Anyway, no thinking about medicine for the next days.

All is well here, as we settle comfortably into the season.

Holiday Joy to All!! Savor! Enjoy!!