My Last Infusion

Chemotherapy Infusion Day #8 – TODAY I RANG THE BELL! No more infusions. I am smiling, lethargic, in my old blue recliner, drinking hot tea,  typing with rubber gloves on and Little Hotties hand warmers at the ready. I would love to report that my attitude issue I spoke of in my last post had passed quickly but in all honesty it only passed today, a few hours into my infusion. In my family, the build-up is much more challenging than the event. Last night as I wrapped up my last thing for the day, emotions hit me like. ton of bricks. I cried a hard cry, I was angry and wanted to hit something hard all while walking linked arms with my wife walking on the icy sidewalk trying not to wipe out to get to our car to drive home. Jenn told me she had the inclination to take me to Sidetrack to get me a fish sandwich and fries so I could eat my feelings. My reply was “No, I can just go home and eat my feelings.” Once home I grabbed the Peanut Butter Panda Puffs out of the pantry but got distracted by something, I don’t remember, that took me into the other room. Anticipating my bowl of yummy cereal as I reentered the kitchen the cereal box was nowhere to be found. Chemo brain does this weird thing that you doubt everything and short-term memory is creatively fickle. I retraced my tracks looking in the cupboard, checking the bathroom, the laundry room, our bedroom, you know that feeling like nothing is out-of-bounds at this point – it was nowhere to be found. Still questioning my sanity my, wife finally takes mercy on me and brings it down from its hiding place on top of the fridge. This is classic Jenn so I roll with the punches and pour my mug-bowl of cereal – lots of cereal milk as a filler. Jenn makes a sassy comment about my ratio and proportions to the mug-bowl. I comment back as I lift the mug up about an inch off the table just to have it slip out of my hand and spill cereal and almond milk all over the table. Jenn, now in hysterics at the unfolding of events, watches me as I throw all give a shits out the window and scooped that cereal and milk right off the tabletop and into my mouth. I.WILL.EAT.MY.EMOTIONS.TONIGHT! I did eventually find a wee slice of grace and scooped the cereal back into the mug-bowl to finish my task. The second bowl was executed without incident. I ate my feelings and it made me happy.

Post-Chemo: I am on the there side of the looking-glass I am leaning into my body’s changes, my mind’s altered functioning, and trying to observe without judgment or labeling. This too shall pass. I am ok. I am still within me I just need to have the coping me on the surface for a while. I will return.

I was magically texted by my acupuncturist this afternoon about an opening at 4:30pm today. I was so happy! It has been such an amazing health necessity for this journey and me. On the drive home, feeling a bit crumpled in the passenger’s seat, I stared out the window like I did when I was a kid riding in the back of the station wagon driving Up North to Hubbard Lake. Staring out the window at the beautiful bare trees against the early evening grey sky words started to come to mind. Luckily I had just today made myself an external limbic system in notebook form, so I pulled it and a pen out of my pocket and started writing.

Today, I have been feeling much more open to the messages the universe sending me. So I let the words flow and this is what came out. No editing.

Bare trees of Winter
A sense of dormancy
A time to recuperate, regenerate,
to come back in Spring taller, stronger and wiser for the season
Dormancy of the Soul
Through heartbreak, loss, longing, change,even chemotherapy
To pull in
To take care
To learn
To see the formerly unseen
Every year respect for my Elders grows
My mentors in retrospect
A view that has only come with age, experience and openness
to the messages being offered
I thought I knew and understood
but as time passes
I see what before was unseeable –
childbirth, parenting, divorce, coming out, cancer, aging
struggles and growing
Some things cannot be understood until it is experienced
no words suffice
Those who have also walked these paths
have a shared knowing
that cannot be described
Compassion, Empathy and Aging Wisdom

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 6:25pm


Photos and a video from Today



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