Saturday, June 25, 2011

Laying to Rest—Keeping Abreast

Now that the season has changed from Spring to Summer.
Darkest days of Winter, literally the coldest days on record in Denver I was "cocooned" and deeply internal, passing through surgery, the aftermath, the transisting to Spring- Spring= with it's Oncology Skyline treatment center-Chemotherapy- all of your energy poured into me as I sunk deep into the elements of my body rearranging roots, and fibers, tendrils, down to the very corm. 
Time passing…
Summer light opening toward everything potentially  experienced with a new reason of being- patience and determination prevail.
In a week, July 1- it will be exactly 5 months from the day of surgery, and I will begin taking the second prescribed medical protocol of either tamaxofin or aramatase for 5 years. I've been queasy about this part because it is such a long time, yet the stats show instead of a 24% mortality rate (or chance of recurrence and death- with the chemo only), I gain another 9% benefit so would be down to a mere 15% chance of being dead from cancer in 10 years. That's it, those are the odds. Done! 
Now it's all up to me, my choice, my attitudes, my endeavoring.

I can't express how much it has meant to me that you you have each kept abreast of this incredible experience! Suffice it to say- I know in my deepest felt sense, in my heart,  your support of this blog kept me present in this world. It has been the greatest of outlets for a simple creativity and sanity. Long days of silence and solitude deeply internal movement of the mind found expression and connection to the outside worlds of each of you. It has been like being with a true family as expansive as the sky and as solid as the earth holding me everyday in its arms. 

The blog has had over 2200 reads, from multiple countries and it is somewhat shocking to think there is so much interest and participation.  Thank you, thank you, thank you so much.

I feel it is important now to turn to new projects, return to hospice care-giving and complete the investigation and plans for Morning Glory—in other words increase my activity- Note I'm being very careful not to use the word: 'busy'- The very last thing I want to ever do is return to any kind of busyness.
Equally important, I never want to cling in any way to this blog or to any of your support by continuing to post material that does not directly relate to my experience of breast cancer. As I continue to incorporate the healing of cancer surgery deeply into the tissue of my body, my energy must naturally shift outward, like summer- heliotrophically toward new growth, new light. 

and then there is autumn ahead, and the harvest to come…


The teachings these days (Mahamudra) are all about leaving nothing out. Meditation with the eyes wide open. The question: What's to be avoided?  Nothing.
My body image changes. I watch when and where I feel self-conscious, especially these brilliant days when I forget about the new considerations I must make for a simple trip to the pool! As I return to a more normal physical state as my hair thickens and lengthens across my pate it is like I am returning from a long [5 months]- successful refuge in a cave. When the refugant returns to the mundane world of the marketplace and worldly affairs there is a danger of forgetting the hard work of deep stillness and insight  — these writings this format and platform has been my scratching on the cave wall for others who may follow may it be a source of cheer and humor, maybe a resting place from your own challenges of the day, at best a moment of encouragement!

Thank you all for caring, for your incredible, enduring care!
love, e

Thursday, June 23, 2011

to the Sea as far as I could see—then melting into space

REBIRTH that is the purpose and result of Pilgrimage
To celebrate and motivate my trek through CHEMo- F promised we would see the Pacific Ocean and all* my California family and friends— at the same time M & T (dearest friends I have had the great good-fortune to love for over 33 years) planned an historic visit to Denver. We decided we would make a 2-car caravan back through the desert and then rendezvous back in Carmel once we visited Cordelia, Chris and god-daughter Gracie, Will, Allison, dear Sussan and Richard, in Beverly hills, and Joe and Stacy with their goats and darling chickens in Redlands.
Chemo may have been monumental- but the Victory Lap was EPIC

Eating Artichokes, olives, and cherries on the cliffs with my dearest Meredith.
we traveled 11 days, over 3,000 miles, the first leg down through Glenwood Canyon where the Colorado River was lapping the high way
Biggest I've ever seen the Colorado- or the Sacramento. Green River over it's banks- horses standing in the fields up to their knees in water- Every where GREEN

Fond farewells and over the golden central valley foothills, away from M&T, Big Sur and white sand with moon milk on the beaches—  we shot up 300 miles on I-5 to Ono California to see my ailing Uncle who I adore- Two 10-hour days followed that, nearly breaking the camel's back (I do mean sweet Aubrielle)
*We sorely missed seeing and being with our dear ones: Chrissy Offutt; Mimi; Ken Malkin; Julie Cuccia; Shawna McGowen; Greg LeClair and cousin Josie—It only means second round and very soon! Wish we would have planned another week!

It has definitely been a long week recovering- but with care and joy and reflection. Now the work of renewal truly begins. The macrobiotic shift away from fats, sugars, and all processed food. The movement toward sea-vegetables (seaweed), juicing, and finally back to Yoga- [Yes, we did eat RED Vines and Beef Jerky at one point on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevadas, in Susanville]-

Today-My body is both a pale frail atrophied version of its self, and a much more vibrant and transparent one—
This morning i felt the breeze in my sprouting hair- eyebrows darkening, - I would like more energy- the heat of summer keeping me slow, and then I remember the days flat in bed and slow is just alright with me!
It feels nice to be back home and to have been away- to see the familiar rooms and walls in new light with travel dust on them. I recommend a road trip for anyone in need of pilgrimage — a journey of significance

I saw an advertisement to day of a young woman in running clothes- the print over her head said- before I buy the plane ticket to Germany, I'm going to run there 100 times and back!
It seemed so puritanical and beside the point—What ever might be in Munich or Berlin or Hamburg that has the power to change your whole world view has nothing to do with running- 900,000 miles. And if you did run 900,000 miles you wouldn't have any time for travel!
Get out and go!

Through countless births in the cycle of existence
I have run, not finding
although seeking the builder of this house;
and again and again I faced the suffering of new birth.
Oh housebuilder! Now you are seen.

You shall not build a house again for me.
All your beams are broken,
the ridgepole is shattered.
The mind has become freed from conditioning:
the end of craving has been reached.

Buddha—The Dhammapada,