Traversing the tangle tumble
My journey on the cancer seas.
There is a tangle tumble inside my bones and muscles. Ghosting memories of the 10 days post this last round of chemo echoing still in my waking hours. A burnt taste lays across my tongue as I scan my recovering body. Chemo is not for the faint of heart, its one of the hardest things I’ve ever done this lifetime. I don’t feel very brave, just wiped out and sombre. Normal for a task so intense.
Round 4 with docetaxel has been a sharp acrid banshee howl out to the world. Truly I have been in the ring. A reluctant soul defending her corner. Defending my humanity and right to live in the face of a purging poison. I have a heightened perception of my internal body workings, and as a youngster I assumed everyone had similar experiences. Apparently not. Its been a gift regarding my work with body. And not so much fun through this particular chemo tide. The electric cattle prod sensations, burning nerves and foul muscle aching has left me almost broken. Almost, but not quite. I’m here now to tell the tale.
I want to maintain honesty, a raw candour for you all to read and understand. Somehow it helps me to navigate through if I am witnessed. And to that end after this round I am at a loss as to whether to do the next two. There are a number of reasons other than the cruel symptoms I’ve mentioned which continue on albeit in lesser form. Psychologically I feel on my edges. So long in relative isolation has had a toll even for me. And on top of that my sinus infection is still wiping me out. All of these I will present to my medical team this week.
And then there is the Covid tide. It has come way too close to my door in the past week and looks set to continue doing so. As I am now nearly a month on from round 4, my immune system is marginally more intact. If however I do chemo this week, I will have a massively compromised immune system again. Such is the fall out of this trek through chemotherapy. And this scares the shit out of me in light of the escalating risk with the virus.
Its not that I am out mingling in crowds, or shops or gatherings. I’m still hauled up at my friends home shielding. This is to do with the ripple effect of transmission around in my community. Like the circles of water on a disturbed lake travel far across it surface, so too does this. I have in mind the Native American notion of what we do now affecting 7 generations into the future. Only what we choose to do now affects each one of us so much quicker in these times we are living.
There are many ways for us to enter into the heroes journey this lifetime. A health crisis is but one. There is also room to become heroic by making our choices wider than just ourselves, choices that acknowledge the impact our actions have. In saying all I am about this round I don’t regret wandering into these lands. They are skeleton bare and scorched, and if it were not for all of you it would be a very lonely time indeed. I am peeled back to my bare essentials and still in the tangle of the briar patch. The light in my tunnel is only just about to turn into a dawn. From this place of bone, flesh can reform on a new life and way of living.
I salute those who have gone before me and those who will travel after in this cancer story. And I look to everyone and say let us be heroic.