Friday, November 28, 2008

November 22nd, 2008: Today I was talking with my friend Martha Thomas who I see every summer when I go to Santa Fe for opera. Martha suggested that my current inability to listen to classical music might be related to my pain medication. Bingo! When I started taking light amounts of meds in mid-July, I still had an active listening life. Once I started taking Percoset after my hip replacement, I could no longer tolerate the complexity of many instruments playing at once, let alone orchestra plus voices. My mind can’t hold the multiplicity so to protect myself I either turn it off or zone out. I won’t be on meds forever, so it’s a relief to know that this spell will pass. For now, pain management is more important. It’s an interesting tradeoff: during this illness, I cannot have the comfort of music.

Back to the subject of whether to continue to recite the welcoming invocation to the chemotherapy drugs. The chemo is still at work in my system. Major proof appeared last night in the middle of a shower. I happened to glance down at the bottom of the tub after shampooing my hair. To my astonishment, the entire floor of the tub was covered with hair from my head. It was like I was standing on a felt rug. However, all of you are welcome to take a pause if you like for another week. I’ll let you know when I go back into the hospital, probably around Dec. 1st. Once there, the chemo will start again in earnest, and that’s when my body can most use the support from all of you. Again, many, many thanks for being part of this collective effort to help my physical self drink poison with the intention of getting better.

Terry Conner is a friend who comes to my apartment and gives me wonderful Reiki sessions once a week or so. I’ve avoided creating an agenda for those sessions. With no advanced plan, each experience seems more creative because what appears during the touch isn’t forced. This morning, I was prone on my massage table, enjoying nothing in particular when it occurred to me that I don’t make direct contact with the tumor in my pelvis. I have had visualizations about the tumor, but we don’t have what I would call a direct relationship. I don’t talk to it. Never, since it first came into my awareness on August 29th of this year have I asked its name or given it a name. During the debate—melanoma or sarcoma?—I wondered what kind of tumor it was. But that isn’t very personal. Of course, I feared it. I worried that this tumor might kill me or lead directly to my death. I feel it as a physical impediment, and I use the pain from the tumor to manage my medication dosage. Otherwise, my response has been: ignore it. This morning, flat on the table, I realized that I could talk to the tumor. And the following conversation took place:

Geo: Can you respond?
Tumor: Oh, yes. I’m very expressive. And patient. I’ve been waiting for you to contact me,
Geo: Waiting for me?
Tumor: Yes. Please remember, I’m the one making the sacrifice.
Geo: Sacrifice?
Tumor: Yes. I grew to get your attention. I will die first. I know that.
Geo: Why? Why have you done this?
Tumor: You’ve been growing out of balance. Part of you is growing rapidly and part of you is stuck. Your body can’t support this tension.
Geo: Can you give me…?
Tumor: An example? Yes, food. You don’t eat food your body needs. For many years you’ve eaten whatever you want. But you eat for your mouth, not for your body.
Geo: I’ve changed my diet in the last three months.
Tumor: Yes, you’ve learned from me. You’re afraid of me. You don’t want to die. You’ll even change your diet!
Geo: My tumor, my teacher.
Tumor: I have a great deal to teach you. A great deal.

End of dialog. Clearly there’s a lot more here. Through the rest of the Reiki session, I lay on the table, amazed that I could know about this cancer for almost three months before venturing to address it directly. And more amazed that the tumor could have such an interactive intelligence, let alone take on the task of growing in my body to help me to wake up. This direct dialog seems as important as using my healing center. There are so many ways to cultivate health and healing.

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