The hare within

reflections on my journey on the cancer seas

The bell is about to sound on round 2, though the blog for this comes later. When I’m further along to be able to see, conclude and converse. This is the pre moment, sat awaiting the treatment to start, a magical moment and also a moment filled with yikes. I am struck with a thought regarding why anyone would choose to do this strange dance with chemo. I conceptually understand why, of course, anything that gives me a chance to live a full and rich life beyond the diagnosis is obviously worth doing. But the question is rolling around my head today. I just have to trust I suppose. The pleasantries of the nursing staff are a balm. The icy touch of the saline going into my picc line feels invasive and that’s not even my treatment. Its delayed. I’m waiting. I’m here, present and correct.

My mood is a combination of nervous and buoyant. Concurrently with this chemo course I have joined a fantastic training course online, every couple of weeks, so manageable and already expanding me with joy. Its been such a balm for my soul so far. As is the so called lovely gathering where sensitive open folk come together on zoom to share about their lives twice a week. Its amazing to witness and be witnessed. Wonderful to find a tribe I can be fully me with, no holds barred, all the messy, sad, joyful, crazy bits out in the open, no judgment, just love. Truly a gift. Held with skilful intimate ease by the genius who is forging a path for making this way of being the norm. I’m in, no arguments, no question about this.

Right now I am wanting bigger ears! Seriously the mask doesn’t fit and I feel like I’m channelling my inner Ewok. Hat is on to cover the shedding hair that is my present story. The same lady is sat opposite me as last time. She is not joking around this time. She is quieter. I understand why. I understand what this takes from us. She looks at me as I write, not unlike an owl. If I look up and catch her gaze she blinks, shrugs and smiles or looks away quickly. I wonder what she sees in me. I wonder what she thinks. Not enough to engage, this is an odd place for engagement, an odd time for friend making. So I sit back into my words, or the tangle of words that rolls out of my heart mind onto the page. They seem to have a flow all of their own. As if I’m just an instrument to their design.

The woman opposite is now behind a pleated blue curtain. Private. The talking is more hushed. Nothing serious, just a necessary moment that I could guess about, but why guess? Leave her to her privacy. I’m sure its all fine. The nurses seem calm, yes its all fine. Hyper vigilance and alert status are familiar stances for me. I can sense the bolting hare under my skin. Ready waiting, watching. Nervous energy, whiskers twitching, poised. Still my meds are delayed. Part of me screams for it to be over and done, and part of me hopes to be sent home because they are lost. That’s almost funny.

I’m remembering times of teaching workshops and how I used to go to the bathroom just before folk where set to arrive. Then I would come into the room as if I was one of the participants and mill gently around, saying hi and hearing snippets of conversations about them being there that day. I often wondered what it would be like to pretend and not declare myself as the facilitator. I used to sit in that moment and just breathe and take in the room. I loved that. And always it humbled me, they are just people like me. I was only there to bring a bag of tools that I love. Perhaps I can pretend here. Perhaps I can be a volunteer helping out and not be a patient. Perhaps. Though doubtful. That moment has passed.

I am fully here in plain sight, no hiding. I put my hand on the hare’s back. Its wiry body quivers. I quiver. Eyes are wild but held. I’m learning new skills and resilience in all this. Ones I never thought I’d need. I can do this. I can. I am doing this. I am. Its arrived. And breathe.




Journeying through cancer lands and life beyond

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Lys Lily Wild

Lys Lily Wild

Journeying through cancer lands and life beyond

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