I drive up to South Eliseo. There is a new artwork display. I see that the Azaleas have been removed from the meditation garden. I realize now they were for the party. I actually like the simplicity of the garden without them. They were too bright for the space. They blocked the beautiful lines of the stones and plants.
I feel how I am dragging. I look at the puzzle but feel no desire to play. Only the outline is in place. I feel fatigue.
I look around and see that the waiting area is provided as a gift from Autodesk. I wonder what motivated such an odd gift.
I open the book I brought with me, Catching the Thread, Sufism, Dreamwork & Jungian Psychology by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee. It jumped off the shelf at me this morning after I checked out the symbolism of bridges and hats. Hats symbolize identity. How interesting that my identity was returned to me in the dream, and the idea of the bridge is a quest accomplished. It fits, or so it seems.
I read from the introduction to Vaughan-Lee's book. "Dreams are like mirrors in which we can see ourselves. They reflect back our hidden self, revealing the true face of our own nature." It goes on, and, then, says, "And when we wake, our dreams can be a doorway through which we can walk back into this inner world, can step into the landscape of the soul." "It is through this inner landscape that the spiritual traveler must find his or her way."
In the words of St. Augustine:
People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long compass of rivers, as the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.
With that, I go in for my treatment. A woman is back from vacation, so it is her voice that will guide me now, not Anna's. Anna touches me though and calls me "Punkin." We are happy to see each other. I have pictures taken today, so it is a longer process. Then, the treatment where I am first radiated bare, and then, with what feels like a wet jellyfish flopped across my chest, so I am flattened, and every part gets touched. The big eye moves, and all is done again in a new spot. I lie there feeling depressed. The novelty has worn off, and I am tired of this. This is my seventh one, a day of rest I think to myself, though I have had two days of rest, but I don't feel rested. I feel tired and depressed.
They tell me I have not escaped the Social Services person. She was running late on Friday, so she is waiting for me today. Oh, joy. I don't need social services. I am angry. The garden is wet. Perfect! I like it wet. I sit there angry, wanting a life outside this place. Two elderly wives wait for their husbands, and talk about what their husbands have been through. They are so glad their husbands don't have to do chemo. Two of us sit there with no hair. What is there to say? My mood does not improve.
And, then, Sandy appears, and leads me to her room. She is a therapist. If I had seen her Friday, I would have said all was well, but, today, is perfect, as all doesn't feel well. I am angry. I want to feel good. I want hair. I don't want to be here. She is really good. She has led support groups for cancer patients for years. She knows how I feel. I want to do cancer well. I am at a new stage. I want to do it right. I want my "normal" life. I am trying to do all I did before, and have these appointments and I can't do it all, and I feel sad. She helps me understand that I am still in it, and I will be for a long, long time. I won't feel truly well for a long time. It doesn't just end. She also emphasizes over and over again that I didn't cause this, and I can't prevent it. This is the luck of the draw. I need to learn to understand that. I sit with that. Okay, I didn't cause this and I can't prevent it. This is the luck of the draw. This is the luck of the draw. Hmmph!! Do I feel better because of that? I am not sure, but I do see that it is about acceptance and letting go. She says to use as my guide, "Moderation in all things, including moderation." I understand.
I realize as I talk to her that I need to talk to my sons, and ask them how this has been for them. I need to talk to Steve and my friends. How has this been for you? How are you now? How am we now? I have the energy to ask now. I have some energy to listen, and absorb, and maybe even support. I want an exchange again. I've been receiving. I want to give something back.
Sandy suggests I give myself some "Pity Parties," so, today, I may sit and cry. I guess I am feeling it all now, letting go, and feeling it. I am tired of hearing about cancer. I am tired of wearing a sign on my head, like the cap on my head that says cancer. I want to be normal, and so we talk about what normal means to me.
Sandy says people expect some great transformation with cancer. They want to emerge tranformed. Yep, that sounds good to me. People think they are going to be different, but the bills still need to be paid, and the house cleaned, and food brought in. Maybe that is what I am having to face. I have put some things off. I am going to ask for an extension on the taxes. I can't face doing them this week, but I have kept things up. I have navigated the worlds of this one and the spacy one., and the scary one. I guess I am doing okay. This is normal or why would they have a therapist on staff, and how amazing that today, a day where I really do feel angry and upset, is my day to meet with her. So, I will see her next Monday, too, and I will offer kindness to myself. I'm doing okay. I am okay, and, to return to the, I believe it was the 70's, so are you!! Take care, and let us all enjoy the rain, since, again, today, it is here.