Thursday, April 4, 2013

24 hours later

Needle face
As you can imagine, it is not easy (or sensible)
to take these photos with needles in my wrists!
I don't have to be a model cancer patient. Sometimes death is there like a kitten purring on my lap, and it is fine. At other times, it's very sad. That's the way it is, nothing stays the same. I have let go of my life many times. Many times I have picked it up again; then just a momentary thought that it will be taken away, and streams are running down my face.

Being fine can be being fine, or it can be a fence, or a mask. Or a fencing mask! Seriously though, I need a paradigm shift. I am fine perhaps too often. Or not that, as much as the rather deep feeling that I want to be fine, or I want to appear to be fine, that is problematic, habitual. Falling apart has got to become OK too. The word cataclysm springs to mind.

Today for the first time at Misha's, she asked me how I am, and my eyes filled with tears. She was really sweet. She suggested Levine's womb meditation, perhaps recording myself, then playing it back. Also books by Elizabeth Kulber-Ross about the stages of grief for the dying. I felt very calm after the acupuncture.

Need to finish all the damn paperwork, that will be a great relief. Perhaps I do have some imagination about a world that doesn't include me.

There is no point in worrying about chemotherapy. I've done it twice. I very deeply do not want to do it again, to take a gentler path, but that decision is for later.

I had some very sweet conversations today. Danamaya came over and we talked about giving help and receiving help, and how hard the latter is sometimes, and how being self sufficient...leaves something major out of experience. And about dying, what it might be like to die in this flat that I've lived in for 19 years.

I can't imagine dying. I don't know what it will be like. I don't know what it's like to be cared for in that way, or indeed how that might happen. I haven't needed, or acknowledged that I needed, much help, possibly since I was somewhere between 5 and 10 years old. I've never even stayed overnight in a hospital.

My cough seems to be getting more frequent. For example, I used to never cough when I was lying down. Now I do. There could be other reasons for this but at this point I'm going to assume that cancer is at least part of it. Though I'm still getting some amount of exercise, I am tired, every day.

Some time in the relatively near future, I will get very sick over a period of time, I will perhaps be quite helpless at some point, and I will die.

Who knew?


  1. Being not in your shoes I feel somewhat ridiculous offering anything, but to say nothing seems lonely. I feel sad and sorry, and it seems like boundless grief has a rightful place in all this. But I have regular meltdowns, so of course I think so.

    With love, Mary

    PS: "I fear that being human is itself fast becoming a condition. It’s as if we are trying to contain grief, and the absolute pain of a loss like mine."

  2. That was such a wonderful, deep conversation we had yesterday. I haven't had many such conversations in this life. Such realness, such love--such an honor to be with you. Plus there was chocolate, strawberries and talk of metronomes. What more could anyone ask for? I love you very, very much!

  3. I follow your reporting in and admire your honest, openness and heartfelt spirit. I find your whole being living completely in the present moment with clarity of feelings and experience. Sending you hugs and love. Affectionately thinking of you, Dharmasuri

  4. I have no imagination of a world that doesn't include you. You will be in my world always.