Saturday, July 9, 2016

together apart

His face was brown, tanned from working outside in the summer sun.  I asked him how she was and the lines formed on his forehead. His worry was palpable. His concern painful to watch.  "She's been in the hospital. She has an infection everywhere. They gave her 12 bags of antibiotic." I asked if she was here today.  "She's seeing the doctor. She has an infection. They gave her 12 bags ..." His words faded as he stared out the window. He spoke of her with the feverishness of someone who might lose the one thing he couldn't live without. Later he asked me if I was doing okay. And he talked for a few minutes of other things. Like what was growing in his garden and the irrigation pump he had built to keep it watered. But in his eyes you could read where his heart and soul was. She cancelled her treatment and they went home to the farm...a giving up or a giving in? He said he had cancer before, then he had some heart surgery and now he thinks his cancer is back.

When I go to treatment there are multiple stories like this. The suffering astounds me and I feel a connection with it. I feel the camaraderie of the others but at the same time the fear hovers over us all. There is a lot of joking, singing, encouraging, comforting...a strange mixture of love and sadness that brings us together in our illness.


Every morning I have an appointment with a beast called Trilogy.
Lights flashing, red beams shooting,
sounds of clicks and whirs engulf me, body and mind. 

I struggle to hold my thoughts away from the beast, feasting instead on fleeting images that soothe and calm.
And sometimes, only sometimes I succeed.

After I leave the beast the dance of life goes on  

But in a limping painful way.
Not a graceful ballet instead a clumsy waltz
With stops and starts and angry steps.
And yet it does continue...

For those who are not aware I am out of remission and back into treatment. Its a tiny relapse but the attack against it is aggressive. No baldness this time but threats of more nausea and other unpleasant side effects. I am moving through it with great fear and trepidation finding bits of comfort as life provides from time to time.