Aside from the obvious, which is having a shocking number of medical personnel have access and *ahem* viewing rights to my girly bits…
It is amazingly easy for me to love.
“ You strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do,
determined to save
the only life you could save.”
~ Mary Oliver, from “The Journey”, in Dream Work (1986)
So very true. that poem above.
A poem. Ironic, isn’t it?
The waiting is over.
My surgery is scheduled.
I really like my oncologist. He is a gentle man with a mysterious air of steel reserves that make letting him work with my choices a dream.
I have power over this process, power that the oncologist has given me. This is special.
I have received so many gentle gifts in the words of people I know.
It is so hard to be humble when one feels so betrayed by their body.
I recall the days when I worked to help get Arizona to use the funds allowed to states through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000. There was a community lobby day where people went to speak to legislators about the importance of these services. One of our FEMALE state legislators listened to the impassioned plea of several women who were lobbying that day, many of whom were cancer survivors. The FEMALE (in caps because I am still incredulous) told them that she was unable to support the legislation they were requesting for her to support because “only women who are loose and get abortions will get breast and cervical cancer”.
Thankfully, we were able to pass this locally.
Like my life right now, there is nothing coherent about this post.
|The Bloggess pinned it to her Pinterest account|
I have had my paperwork to fill out for my upcoming oncology appointment for over a week.
A conversation I had about faith.
This assignment is due by Sunday night, but I certainly hope to have a nice “dent” in its completion by Friday, if possible. I truly appreciate your help on this. Would you mind telling me your age, where you are from, and if you followed your worldview since your youth or did something influence a change?
The required elements are outlined below:1) For this assignment, you will interview two people with different worldviews. One will have the Christian worldview and the other will be one of the following:
b) Secular Humanism
d) New Age
2) Include in your interview, the following prompts:
a) What does it mean to be human?
b) What happens after death?
c) Elaborate on who Jesus Christ is according to your worldview.
d) How does your worldview deal with the concepts of evil and suffering in the world?
Thank you again for your time!!
“but in the end
if we’re lucky
we’ll have the love
of a precious few
maybe the ability to stare
death in the eye”
I am not shy to say that I
loathe / hate / dislike am ambivalent about poetry. OK, OK… Most of it. I love Yeats, and Keats. And Robert Burns. and a few isolated bits and pieces from others… I love the poems that Doralice puts on her blog… they are pretty [insert expletive] awesome… but really not much more. I only own poetry books that people give me. I have never purchased a book of poems.
If you navigate to my previous posts from 2011 you will see my desperate and unsuccessful attempt to try and find the magic in poetry that so many postulate that it has… (the posts start with “My favorite Line is..” if you are curious).
I even took a Coursera course to try and get it, figuring that I was reading them wrong or something along those lines. But, I found so much of it to be sad and pretentious and boring and far too much work to enjoy.
Maybe it is that I prefer Hemingway like poets, meaning that they use simple images, words, phrases, and images that make conjuring up the magic story that poetry can be, so seamless and easy.
|Is this really true?|
Anyway, that line above appeared in my feed on “The Facebook”.
The whole poem can be found here.
So, I know now that what it is is that I am not a fan of most of the post modern poetry, I love the romantics, the ones who use and understand words with so much more grace, who don’t try to fray you out of feeling a place in our world, I don’t like the ones that push you into spending hours trying to decode what in the hell they mean, that make you feel like you are sitting an a very uncomfortable perch as you try to find meaning in them, that seem haughty and petulant with words meant to tease the reader. Those, I find difficult. I can’t read them without wanting to throw the book they are written in across the room.
I don’t need a poem to make me feel good, I can be pushed to sadness, and anger, and any other emotion but I need to connect to the words. I fight bitterly to do that in those times when I have sought to read poetry.
But that makes me ask, what makes you tick when it comes to poetry? What poems do you love? what poets have inspired you enough to purchase a book of their poems? If you write poetry, what inspires you? Do you feel ridiculous (exposed, vulnerable) when you do?
I am just trying to understand.
A family friend keeps crossing my mind these days.
Her name was Ilza Hahlo. She was born in Vienna in or around 1908. She grew up to be a textile designer and designed costumes and sets for the opera there. She came from, what I assume to be, an affluent family. She had access to resources many did not. As a young girl she and her sisters had some warts on their hands treated by radium, by the infamous Madame Curie herself, I was told.
Of course, it must have been so exciting to be treated by someone who was revolutionizing the world. There was no way of knowing, I am sure, what the after effects of such a procedure might be.
Ilza eventually moved to New York and tried her hand at textile design stateside. She really did make beautiful textiles.
|One of Ilza’s textile designs|
Somehow she ended up in Arizona, which was our luck. She was a beautiful woman when I met her. We also knew that she had cancer when she came into the family friendship fold. It is assumed that her cancer was the result from the radium exposure she had as a young girl.
I recall one time, as she and my grandmother visited each other one bright Arizona afternoon, hearing Ilza tell my grandmother that as her illness got worse, her colours got brighter as if she was trying to bring all the goodness in light in and shut the darkness and pain out,
This has been running through my mind a lot these past 13 days. There is a darkness that descends and while the pain I currently feel is the result of the last biopsy procedure, there is something else there. It has hints of so many things, despair, anger, fright… to name but a few.
Managing those emotions on a daily basis is very new to me, I have been made aware of just how happy I was/will be. What an unspeakable privilege this happiness is. It weathered through me through a serious chronic illness (valley fever that symptomatically lasted one over year) and the darkness of being on bed rest for a great amount of my pregnancy.
What is so different now. I think it may be that my own mortality is coming to rear it head in front of me. Suddenly beautiful things mean so much more; the goofy faces my son makes as his face matures from little boy to what it is now, the bright colors sweeping across the sky of a morning sunrise.
Subtle changes in myself too. The other day I ran across a nail polish set my mother had given me with wild and bright colors as I tend to prefer for my pedicures. I pulled the light teal color bottle out from the set and painted just one finger nail with its bright pastel hue. I can’t stand to have my nails painted, but some how this one in bright green, seems to be less of a bother. I smile when it catches my eye as my hands wave about as I talk during the day.
I also chose to wear a pair of red pumps, though I am not wearing a stitch of red clothing. I am wearing blacks and browns, but on my feet are these bright red shoes. They invoke my grandmother, as if I am asking her to guide me as I walk this new path.
So colour has taken on new meaning, bright patches of it to cross my path, much like a brightly plumed parrot stands out as one walks through the mass of greens that are everywhere under Amazonian jungle canopy.
|I loved the way Obsession for Men smelled (when I was a teenager).|
Yesterday, I obsessively read my pathology report. And by obsessively I mean that I read it repeatedly for a 5 or 6 hour stretch of time. I read this two page report and felt so much that it was as if my life depended on it. I would focus on one part of it, set it down, ponder it, and then come back to it and re-read that section. I would then set it down. Then pick it up and read the whole thing again. Focus on another section and repeat this process all while watching the utterly mindless and unbelievably mind-numbing Vampire Diaries on Netflix as background noise.
Thankfully, I am done. I think. I don’t really want to read it any more. My medical school stint reared its virtual head and I gained that understanding that I was looking for, picturing in my head the sizes of the different samples, trying to picture them as I read the descriptions. These three dimensional images rotating in my brain and looking at them from all directions. My brain would form these hologram like images as I studied each section of the report and the three samples in question and I could twist them to try to better understand the height and width and depth in hi-fidelity color based on the descriptions of the stains they used. My brain hadn’t thought this way for a while, it was both exhilarating and exhausting…. and all while not focusing on the screaming absence of the words “clear and present margins” and breathing deeply and heavily at the places that stated that the “extend … to the margin”. Wondering then, how much further they could have gone in order for me to be able to read those words I kept hoping to find.
That those two black and white pages that my GYN faxed to me contain the key information about what is going to happen to my life for the next few months (years, too) is a bit mind blowing. It is like the home pregnancy test I took when I was pregnant with Squink, something so small serves as such a huge symbol of GIGANTIC changes that are about to come.
It just seems, in a weird way, that these symbols of huge life changing moments should be different somehow. Maybe. It is also just amazing how simple things reveal so much. I wonder what the pathology report would look like if I painted it, applied rhinestones… or gave it a tiara?
As I woke up today and wondered what inspiration might come my way in terms of what to write for this round of 40 Days Of Writing… all while pondering how I spent my day yesterday – and hoping that I wouldn’t be so stuck on the diagnosis and the “C” word… when, I thought that part of this process of managing a diagnosis like this is that there is an element (or time period) of obsessing about it. Trying to get into its skin, wearing it and figuring it out… especially in those times of waiting (which frankly sucks the most of anything so far).
It all makes perfect sense, in a way. Today is another day.
I am feeling so very vulnerable.
1. capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt
2. open to temptation, persuasion, censure, etc
3. liable or exposed to disease, disaster, etc
Let me be very clear. I don’t do vulnerable. Rather, I don’t like to do vulnerable myself. Support vulnerable I am pretty good at.
This is vulnerable:
I am not that.
But yet, I feel so exposed.
I suppose there is this thing about letting go. My whole life I have loved fiercely, family, friends, the underserved among so many other things. And there is something, with a couple of rare exceptions, that is very one sided. In most of the cases (outside of family) love not expected to be reciprocated. In terms of friends; I can love them as much as I need to but since I know how variances are in the complexities of human relationships, I haven’t really expected or even needed them to love me back.
Until now, I suppose.
I received an email from someone I think is wonderful and call a very dear friend and in her email she said she had called me a best friend. Oh, I was struck by that. I hadn’t known that she had classified me in that category, and I was deeply, deeply touched and very grateful. I am better at the subtleties of friendships with men, and not so good at them with a grand preponderance of women.
But, it feels so vulnerable to allow oneself to be loved in this kind of situation. At least, for me, in terms of relationships outside of marriage and genetics.
As an aside, I made a variation of this Ayurvedic Dal recipe, it is a family favorite that is rich and complex in flavor but so hearty and filling. I even quadrupled the basic recipe (only one can of coconut soup, and some other changes). The way the currants plump up and complement the curry power is like a bit of food heaven.
Normally, I make brown rice but for some reason I bought some jasmine rice. In an attempt to make rice Ecuadorean style I followed the way Carloti (our live in maid/nanny) showed me…something like this recipe, but letting it sit longer so you get a crispy bottom.
There is so much comfort in comfort food.