February 26th, 2006

Book Cover

Good Morning!!

Yesterday, Jane and I met to look at the work we have been doing in the morning. I found myself wanting to avoid going back in to look at my writing from the time of the operation and the beginning of chemo. Amazingly, I found it was not at all shocking to read. I was barely touching the surface of what was going on. I was like a water strider cohering to the surface of the pond while whirlpools raged below. I may try, when all is once again calm, to see if I can go back in again, and perhaps, touch a bit more deeply what was going on for me. Seeing my words and how they veered away from pain, while still attempting to touch it, was curious to me, and it obviously makes sense as a way to self-protect. I also know we can't heal what we can't feel, so it is important for me to feel and clear this when I am ready. I am hoping the writing will do that.

Our drive up to Petaluma was wonderful. I realized when we leave on vacation, we often are thinking of where we are going. When our destination is 20 miles away, every mile is key. The cows are dwelling on green hills. We live in the most beautiful of places. It was also fun to read about Sonoma and Napa from the tourist point of view. What an area this is!!

Rachel Naomi Remen was amazing, naturally. I am grateful to have seen her. Jan bought me her book "Kitchen Table Wisdom" and had Rachel inscribe it "For Cathy whose daughter-in-law Jan loves her. Blessings from Rachel." Then, Jan wanted me to meet Rachel, so took me up to her, and Rachel, so impressed wtih Jan and her inscription to me spoke a long time to us. I am quite touched.

Rachel found out she had Chrone's Disease when she was fifteen. She was told she would be debilitated, and dead before the age of forty, so she chose not to marry or have children. She is now 68, thanks to many operations and medical science, but she speaks of the will to live as key, and of the mystery and the importance of intuition. She says that life is "outside the box" and most medical professionals think so strongly inside the box they cannot even imagine outside. She helped me with my decision on the operation. It is not happening for me. My will to live is strong. I have shown that. That is what counts.

On the hill in my yard are many Rosemary plants. All of them are flourishing, but one, which is now dead. I look at it, and, as far as I can tell, all conditions are the same, and it didn't make it. I think it is like that sometimes, acceptance of that. I am planning to be one who lives. My will to live is strong.

I am concerned on my red and white blood cells now that the abscess is still a problem, and I am fighting off a cold and the flu. I request heavy visualizations for my blood test tomorrow. I really want to do my final chemo on Tuesday. I will rest today, and pray to get my numbers back up. Thank you for all you do!

Before Rachel spoke, a man who had just been through chemo sang some songs he had written. The first one was on how people said to him, "Only two more weeks of chemo." He, then, described what those two weeks were like. I know this final one is going to debilitate me even more, and I am looking forward to it. I want this part complete. It feels like a major hurdle accomplished. I give thanks for that, even though this singer was very descriptive on how challenging chemo is. He pointed out things that I realized I had been trying to ignore. He also spoke of how he had to battle the insurance companies every step of the way for operations and drugs. That has certainly not been my experience. The opposite is probably more true. I give thanks for Blue Shield.

Love to all of you, and a beautiful Sunday too!!!
Book Cover

perception -

On Thursday, when I walked back into the reception area after my oncology appointment and sat back down to wait to find out when and where I would have the sonogram, I thought the whole open area was filled with a wonderfully rich Tibetan style music. I heard gongs and drums. I was sitting stunned with the thought of another operation, and, now, in some pain, and sort of spacy, and I thought the cancer care place was offering soothing Tibetan music. How thoughtful, I thought. After awhile, I realized that it was the men working outside to replace the front entry. It was the sound of jackhammers and other noisy tools, muffled by the doors and expanded in the openness of the atrium.

It reminded me that we can interpret the sound of the freeway as the sound of an ocean or a rushing stream. I needed music, and music is what I heard. It is like that sometimes. May your day be the same.