The line to my heart.
My journey over the cancer seas
‘’Breath out slowly,’’ so I did and was still releasing breath as I looked down at the blue fine line that was on the table. My eyes widened. ‘’That’s bloody long!.’’ The nurse looked at me and tapped on my chest on the left, “It reaches up to here, and sits just behind the valve to your heart.” I sat open mouthed utterly speechless. For 5 months I have had this Picc line in my arm for ease of administering the chemotherapy, and I never knew it went right up to my heart! It makes a macabre kind of sense and likely they don’t tell folk until its taken out because, well its pretty mind boggling.
So yes, I am finished with chemotherapy. The combination of factors with my tolerance of the last round and the Covid worry have tipped the balance. As I said before chemo is not for the faint hearted and even with all the will in the world I couldn’t finish my course. I had a couple of 10min conversations with some of my medical team and then its done. Like I was picked up last December by a super speed machine and now Ive been dropped off unceremoniously with no real follow up plan other than a vague idea of a scan at some point. They mean well, I know that, they just have masses of others to tend who are in deeper need than me. And it also felt abrupt.
I sat in my car at the hospice for a good while afterwards trying to pin point what I was feeling. No, not fear, sadness, worry, anger, anxiety. All emotions I am very familiar with this past 9 months. No. This was an echo of a feeling from before, I knew its taste, it just seemed different. That’s because it is different, its a reserved joy. That’s the feeling, the smile without the bounce. I’m not a total pessimist, just cautious in my happiness right now. Besides as I look around at the world beyond cancer treatments we all seem a bit cautious in our lives.
I was musing as I travelled home upon the treatments I have received this year and laughed as I realised that they follow the 5 elements that sits as the bedrock of traditional Chinese medicine. The system of healing that I use in my shiatsu treatments. The surgery links in with the metal element, the radiotherapy is the fire element. Then the chemicals of the chemotherapy, one is synthetically synthesised from sea sponge so the water element. Another nods its head to a soil fungus, so the earth element. And we all know the Taxol comes from the Yew, that being the wood element. Fascinating to connect the harshness of all I have faced with a system that makes deep sense to me. Each of the elements create or control the others, like water controlling fire. And each element can be connected to internal organs and systems in the body which makes it a fascinating diagnostic tool. not that I was in diagnosis mode when I was musing on it all. Maybe this is my way of normalising the horrific. There is likely a grain of truth in this, still it made me smile.
My work does not end here, now is the time to turn up the volume on all the alternative healing modalities that have been underpinning the allopathic journey. I will be sourcing mistletoe to inject, continuing with full spectrum CBD THC oil and medicinal mushrooms. Continued therapy and changed diet and life goals. For now I need to carry on supporting my immune system and recovering. I still get tired easily. And I can live with reserved joy, beats catastrophic fear any day! Thank you, all of you. If you are reading this know that I think you are wonderful. Your support, no matter how small, has been received with gratitude. I will continue to write as I untangle myself and find my new way back. I sincerely couldn’t have done this without you all.
You are the true lines to my heart.