Friday, May 29, 2009

Something's Happening that Doesn't Suck

This is the Angel Card I drew while I was visiting my sister. These angel cards are eerily meaningful. Whether or not they are predictors, or if they just happen to give you the nudge you need when you need it—well, I guess it doesn't really matter. Crystal had the news I needed to hear, when I needed to hear it. My wonderful sister Kim framed this card for me. 

I have energy. Its not long, long lasting, but it is palpable. My strength is returning. Yesterday, while walking up an incline, I felt the smallest stirring in my glutes. I may get my butt back yet!

Yesterday Randin and I hired a chef to come a few nights a week to cook, (obviously), but also to instruct us. This woman, Dawn, has also experienced the terror of low, low weight. She's been to 85 and back, and so knows what I am up against. I really believe she can help me through my weight gain, to do it healthfully, and most importantly sustainably, intelligently, and lovingly.

Yesterday was also a chemo day. The doctors were surprised that my blood counts recovered enough to receive it. They tell me there is nothing I can do to effect my counts, that it is simply something that happens on its own. But I'm not sure. I'm not sure because so much has changed for me in the last few weeks. I'm eating for one. I'm not really depressed anymore, for another. 

Today I went to see the acupuncturist. It mellows me out. I'm so remarkably tense from my top of my head to my belly. I'm probably tense body wide to be truthful, but I feel the rigidity primarily in my upper body and jaw. I think it is because I am angry at my body right now. My heart is wrapped up and closed, and that includes my arms. (They often do the wrapping). 

I think I'm ready to open my heart again, and to trust my body again. To listen to my body. I must remember that this sickness is here to teach me something. It is using my body as the metaphor. I love metaphors. I love poetry. I love language. I love to examine and interpret, and share what I have learned with others. My eyes are opening. I no longer have them clenched shut.  I'm blinking and looking about like a newborn. And I'm just as hairless! More! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Here's where I am now: I'm tired of waiting to feel better, so I'm doing things anyway. I'm exercising anyway. I'm eating anyway. I'm washing the dishes anyway.  Dr. Asch seems to imply that I will and should be feeling better soon, that there is some latency from Consolidation I and the CNS phases that I need to shed. I admit to feeling a bit stronger, but again I think it has to do more with my do it anyway policy than anything else. I just can't imagine feeling better than this, when the schedule says chemo weekly? I may as well adjust to a body that is poisoned all the time.

Life has been awful and terrifying this past April/May. I stopped eating. Went to 85 pounds. Dr. Peterson said, "It's as if you are disappearing on us." The truth is I was. I had lost the desire to live. I checked myself into the hospital. Was threatened with a feeding tube. Please don't panic. I'm not in such a dark place as I was. But I was in a dark place, and touched a level of hopelessness I'd never experienced before:

Life is mundane. People's conversations are inane. Going anywhere and doing anything is pointless. Everything we do as humans is to stave off boredom another day.  Humans are hopelessly bored or boring. Why do any of us bother living, and why should I bother when it is so hard and I all I do is sleep and get poisoned?

I realized that a feeding tube would do nothing to inspire me to eat again. It wasn't food, it was my outlook. We went with the Mom plan. Mom pulled me from the hospital, took me home and happily force fed me for 3 days. I've never eaten so much pork. I swept the walk, it felt great to use my arms. I sat in the sunshine. I held mom's little dog. I let go of the terror.

Mom and I went for a drive to examine the changes in the neighborhood. My high school has doubled in size and Pleasant Grove is a construction zone! On the way home we ran into (very nearly literally), my sister Vicki, who had just found the perfect tree for her yard.

I went to Nephi and spent a sunday with my sister Kim and her family, little grand-kids, doing lovely little grand-kid things, such as showing off for great aunt Brandi while running through the sprinkler. I spoke with my Brother-in-Law Cory, who I know has seen this dark place, and in whose eyes and arms I knew I would find understanding and compassion. I watched my nephew and his wife cuddling on the grass and felt proud of them, and their beautiful family. I felt the joy working on and improving Dad's house brings to my sister. I felt the anticipation of a baby horse expected in just a few days. 

I enjoyed the surprise visit by Uncle Jerry and Aunt Pat (Dad's sister), and even let Uncle Jerry trim my fingernails.

I remembered I like little dill pickles.

The experience enlivened me. I still feel like our lives are hopeless attempts against boredom, but the quality of our attempts, what we choose to do to not feel bored, there's a magic there. Particularly if it builds relationship, to each other, to land, to animals.

I've been weeding my garden, some. It's full of grass.