round 2: day 4:  trusting the downhill slide…

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still need to share the story of my 3 days in the hospital, during my first chemo go-round, but haven’t been able to sit down and revisit at the keyboard. soon…

but for now, i bring us to day four of round two.

i came home from the hospital (last go round)  on a sunday afternoon and by tuesday morning, the entire experience felt like a distant nightmare. almost impossible to revisit. i taught 2 classes on tuesday, 1 wednesday, 2 thursday, 1 friday and 1 on saturday. i had 2 massage clients. i felt strong, healthy, peaceful and energized. rested a lot. went for long walks. ate well. slept beautifully, even worked out at the Y with my daughter on the following sunday.

gathering myself up for my next treatment on tuesday the 6th. election day. sure, why not?! got my daughter to school, went to vote and drove myself to the cancer center to plug in for the next session. after my previous experience (details forthcoming) my doctor said, “well, we won’t do that to you ever again.” yes, please, don’t, thank you very much. we discussed options and came up with a new cocktail for me that had steroids taken almost entirely out of the equation.

my fantastically present and funny Buddhist friend, hung out with me for an hour or so while i was on the drip. we laughed uproariously, taking in the surreal and yet pleasant vibe in the chemo lounge. then she left, i fell asleep, woke to to discover my lovely mother had brought me food, but did not want to wake me. i was super hungry, ate a delicious meal of wild black rice, garbanzo beans and kale and sweet potato salad, and was sent home shortly there after.

quiet night, slept well. cancelled all of my clients and classes for the week, and just rested, went for long walks, and listened to my body as it began to feel thick and slow down from deep inside. like watching slow motion film footage of a bomb blast.

the mind begins to feel stuck. like you can take information in, but it can’t be assimilated. it just sits there, awaiting a response. a reaction. stuck in a groove like a record with a skip in it.

my shaved head begins to get extra sensitive. passing my hand over my skull feels like my hair follicles are made of fiberglass. that sharp, itching, sting, that makes you feel a bit nauseous at the level the sensation is turned up to. teeth hurt. metallic taste in your mouth. heartburn. queasy stomach. super tender heart and emotions. the “panic tapes” want their own air time. hell, they want their own mini series…. breathe.

“o.k., here it comes again. the next wave. i remember this now.” just being still and present with it. following my breath. letting it pass through me, not trying to push the sensations away from me. i am doing this on purpose. i have invited this formula into my body to clean house. asking my body and spirit to trust me. to trust this process and to do everything i can to counteract the harsh side effects: restfull  sleep, long walks, fresh juice, healthy organic food, pure water, gentle yoga, massage.

had some amma bodywork done a few days ago, and last night a very gentle thai massage before i went to bed. could feel the logjam swirl, unstick and begin to percolate. and then, disperse.

slept well. bundling up to go for a walk. take a nap later. to be present with this process, with this day, and also cross another day off of the calendar of this most memorable year 2012…