October 13th, 2008: Today I returned to UCSF Mission Bay radiology for another MRI. It took a long, long time: almost two hours. Apparently, there was a doctor—perhaps Dr. O’Donnell the bone oncologist—watching the scans at a remote site. They took me out of the machine on several occasions, adjusted my position and rolled me back in. At the time, these tests don’t seem rigorous, but a few hours later, I am leveled. So it was today; I came home and slept for two hours.
Yesterday evening, I sent out the link to this blog to some sixty people, with others to follow. As with all drafts, the thought crossed my mind, OK, what did I miss in the first edition? There have been so many wonderful visits that weren’t noted here and tender times on the phone with people I love. The bedrock of my life in the last six weeks has been solid with affection and care. That said, there have been two events that have clamored for a bit of text since they meant a lot to me.
First, my godson Willem and his parents, Darius and Kris, moved from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon at the end of September. I have to say, I will miss their presence in the City. Once a month, we would have a Willem night when his godmother, Christine Rickerby and I would visit for dinner. Watching him grow and become himself during this first year has been a deep joy for me. What a wonderful child! A couple of weeks before the move, Willem and his mom came over for a visit. Those of you have seen my apartment know that it is not easily baby-proofed. Mostly Kris and I followed Willem around as he discovered computer cords, large pieces of glass, my collection of stuffed animals and other wonders that were new to him. Getting to know Willem has brought forth a yearning to nurture a new baby that I hadn’t experienced for many years. As with so many things, I am focused on getting well so that I can deepen our connection.
Second, in early October I decided that I could not return from my two month leave of absence from the HIV Planning Council, the city commission that I serve on. I’d had been on the council for almost two years and it was a group where I found a lot of receptivity for my skills at documenting procedure and doing committee work as well as a challenging amount of learning on my part about Federal HIV funding and how dollars are spent for HIV services. After working on the ground at Maitri Compassionate Care for 20 years, the Planning Council was a larger, tri-county and national picture for me about how people with HIV and AIDS are receiving care. The biggest loss for me was giving up the company of many talented people who serve on the council. I felt a big synergy between our talents and how we created solutions together. But, I also knew that I couldn’t attend three meetings a month with a surgery and another convalescence heading my way. So, goodbye for now.
On a related note, I’ve also had to look at my commitment to Maitri: can I continue to serve on the Board? Hopefully, yes. In 2008, I did a lot of work with other board members to analyze merging with two other organizations. Now that that work is over, I hope to cruise for the next few months without having to leave my home organization. That’s my hope.