“My Spirit is light”

SATURDAY
May 9 2015

Birthday parties can be a real chore. Making small talk with people you know only as so and so’s mom or dad in broken Spanish or English, smiling politely, and stuffing my face with junk food to pass the time. The party today for Lekan, Victor, and Pau was actually great. Most of the parents knew about the cancer and the heartfelt expressions of sympathy, extensions of offers of help, and sharing of cancer stories was incredible. The cancer acts like a key to people’s better, more generous, kinder, more empathetic selves. The specter of death really helps put things in perspective. 

On the down side, figuring out how to deal with my diet and digestive tract is still a challenge. Diarrhea followed immediately by constipation is no picnic. My colon decided to unblock itself in the middle of the party, making my [colostomy] bag full to almost bursting with the only bathroom available at the farm being an outhouse. Not pleasant. Despite that I feel strong and uplifted by the warmth and genuine caring I received. The families of this class have formed a real community that I feel lucky to be a part of.

MONDAY
May 11 2015 

I now know the drill and am almost at the halfway point with radiation. Blood samples taken directly from the portacath – 5 minutes. Consultation w/ oncologist – 10-15 minutes. Get new chemo bag refill – 5 minutes. Radiation – 10-15 minutes. Waiting – 2.5 hours. Not so bad.

What am I feeling right now? I desperately have to pee, but am on a crowded train and have to hold it until I get home in 40 min. It is standing room only and I was lucky enough to get a seat. My feet are tired, my belly is bloated, but my spirit is light. It is my gut with its loud gurgling and belching and occasional pangs that feel like snakes tying themselves in knots that weighs me down physically. 

Damien [our son, 10 years old at the time] left for his first ever overnight trip without us. Two nights and three days of a school trip out in the country. When I told him the tables were turned with him going on a trip while I was staying home, he seemed pleased with that idea. No anxiety or nerves whatsoever. I’m going to miss him.

TUESDAY
May 12 2015

Nina Simone’s  Feelin’ Good

James Brown  I Feel Good

Simon & Garfunkel  Feelin ‘ Groovy

Traffic  Feelin’ Alright

When people ask, I am going to start answering with songs. I guess I need some for when I’m not feeling so hot. Today, however, I’m feeling good. I’m on the train to the airport to pick [Susan’s childhood friend] Julie up and am excited about getting to spend the day with her tomorrow doing fun frivolous things. We both need and have perfect excuses to pamper ourselves.

Just having passed a power station, it struck me that I feel powerful. I have no problem describing myself as strong, but do not generally identify with power. That needs to change. Recognizing and acknowledging the power I have and powers I want to have are the keys to making real change.

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