November 14th, 2008: Friday: remarkably fine weather. Breezes so zephyrus and soft that my friend Betsy while turning to go to the gym this morning was entranced by the squashes and sunflowers arrangement on her fireplace hearth, half lit by sunlight. In wild inspiration she blew off the gym, dedicating herself to full appreciating the beauty of the day. I had a bit of a scuffle about getting my meds sent to a pharmacy; that took up most of the morning. But once in place, I headed into downtown for the first time in the week, a bit feeble but otherwise glad to be out in the world. Last night’s dinner had stayed down, breakfast was staying down. I picked up my meds and headed into work at around 1 p.m. There were tasks to do, and I did them. There is also the ongoing coming out process to people who stop and say, “Hey, how’s the hip doing?” If there’s time, I’ll ask them to sit and then give the three to five minute summary of my cancer, including, today, my first journey into chemo-land. If it seems appropriate, I’ll ask if they’d like the link to the blog. These are tender connections, and they remind me of how fragile and strong my illness is. And how fragile and strong I am. Two days ago at this time, I could ONLY lie prone on my bed. Today, I am making choices about what to do and how to replenish.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working to understand my relationship to my cancer. In the 1970’s Symington model, there was a great warrior ethic. Patients imagined voracious Pac Men that went around gobbling cancer cells. That never worked for me. When putting together the invocation to the chemo, I avoided most references to the war-like. So how can I model the struggle? The identification of other, and the choice to remove out-of-control growth? The closest I’ve come so far are organic gardening practices from the property in Glen Ellen. For example, we’ll try to use a natural product to eliminate a pest. This summer on a tour through the nearby Benzinger Winery, there were all manner of critters and brews that supported the complex vines and raptors and rodents and birdlife that sustain the overall grape harvest. But is this what my sarcoma in my pelvis feels like? No, not really. Perhaps some dialog work with the cancer or with the rest of my body. If you have thoughts out there in the blog community, please send your ideas.