Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thank You, Roslyn.

To walk in my garden is like walking in a slow motion fireworks display. Each new bloom shoots up, explodes, suspends for a moment of fullness and then gradually descends into nothingness; nearby, another dozen plants, promise to do the same. This year the garden is tossing up familiar displays but in showy new colors. It is revealing blossoms never before seen. My mind and sometimes even my mouth is full of oohs! and ahs! I wonder: What will I see next?

Experiences, like spring blossoms, wait for the right conditions. They shoot up, reach their fullness, and dissolve again. Again and again this happens, one one top of another, creating infinite layers of reality. Sometimes I enjoy it as if it were a fireworks display. Other times, I call it bombardment and plead for a cease fire. 

While at the BMT clinic recently I spoke with a patient finishing up his treatment—one last bone marrow biopsy and his port removed.  "Finished," I sighed. 

That same day I met another patient—diagnosed with ALL and admitted the day before.  "New," I sighed.

To see them was to look forward and back: I'm not new. I'm not finished. This chemotherapy experience is dissolving. The AVN experience is arising. Ooh! Ah! I wonder: What will I see next?

No more steroids for me (better late than never I guess). I've found an orthopedic surgeon, recommended by a fellow AVN patient. The surgeon, my oncologist, and my better judgment all advocate waiting until my treatment ends (January 2011) before replacing my hips. 

If you're wondering how I feel, well, imagine a muscle bound man who hasn't touched his toes in years, who one day decides to attempt the splits. He works all weekend long to achieve this goal and pays for it the following week. Getting up and sitting down is slow and painful. He walks like a 90-year old woman; with tiny steps, unbalanced. I've been feeling like that since March. I'll be feeling like that until my hips are replaced. AVN is like having square pegs in round holes for hip joints. 

Can I get a cease fire, please?

I know there will never be a cease fire. I know there is no truly safe place to go. And so, to live, I create a sanctuary of appreciation all around me. Living is a fireworks display after all: one experience exploding on top of another, creating infinite layers of reality. 

This morning, while slowly, carefully, painfully sitting down on my porch swing, I saw a swallow tail butterfly. It was the same swallow tail I saw yesterday. It was the same pain I felt yesterday. I enjoy the garden show, the labor of a woman already dead, whose house we now own. My heart leaps.