Sunday 17 May 2009
My Desk, listening to the sounds of the Atlantic
I arrived home exactly one week after having the tumour removed by miraculous brain surgery. It was a strange new reality that met me around every corner. I was and still am overwhelmed by an overwhelming feeling of feeling.
I can’t make sense of it, don’t want to make sense of it. It’s enough to just wake up in the morning and instead of thinking, ‘what will I do with this day, how will I take it and shape it and make it interesting to me and do something with it?’ I don’t. Most mornings I wake up and I notice a feeling or sensation in my body. Usually it’s in the middle of my chest and it sets the tone for what unfolds. But more than framing the day, this feeling has become the new language of my waking time in ways that I can’t really express in words.
I have wondered if, by divine intervention, the neurosurgeon removed that part of my brain which has been holding the reigns of my waking hours for the last 38 years with such cunning control allowing me only rare glimpses of what it might be like to feel.
So on the one hand I have been swimming in an ocean of feeling and discovering a patience and receptivity that has me speechless, (hence the lack of blogging!). But on the other hand I have been watching the approaching deadline of my Radiation and Chemo therapy approaching which has been pulling me out of the ocean like a coast-guard helicopter intent on rescuing me when all I want is to carry on swimming in the warm water.
Which brings me to tonight. Tomorrow morning I begin Radiation and Chemo Therapy. It will work something like this: I will receive about 10min of very focused X-rays to an area of my brain designed to target any remaining cancerous cells that lay outside of the tumour that was removed. I’ll be going to Vincent Pallotti hospital every weekday for the duration of the 6 weeks. The Chemo Therapy will be a pill or pills that I’ll swallow every day for the next 6 weeks. That will be followed by a 3 week holiday and then an MRI scan to see how I've responded. I'll then start a 6 month Chemo treatment which will involve 5 days of a higher dose Chemo per month for the 6 months and then another scan and so on.
How do I feel? On Friday I noticed that I'd been picked up by the coast guard. I felt a real discomfort and sense that I did not want to be where I was for the first time since the wave broke. On Saturday the feeling intensified and I acknowledged that perhaps it was time to admit that the prospect of Radiation and Chemo was enough to make anybody feel a bit bang. And now as I sit here, on the eve of the next big phase of this journey, I feel ready. If I wanted a walk in the park I'd be in the park.
What about the Alternative Therapies? It’s been a bit of climb to get to this point. More about that tomorrow.